The New Forest Walking Festival returns banner image

The New Forest Walking Festival returns

Smuggler’s trails, wild play activities and fascinating wildlife are just some of the treats awaiting walkers in this Autumn’s extended New Forest Walking Festival.

The festival includes dozens of guided walks led by knowledgeable local experts and booking is now open online.

Walks take you behind the scenes in the Forest to reveal the area’s history, heritage and wildlife from Saturday 12 October to Sunday 3 November, which includes half term week.

Old Railway Wander

The extended festival is part of the nationwide Year of Green Action – a year-long drive to get more people from all backgrounds involved in projects to celebrate and protect the natural world. It is also a celebration of 70 years since National Parks were established.

Run by the New Forest National Park Authority with support from Forest organisations and businesses, the festival has proved popular with residents and visitors since it began in 2013.

In 2018 more than 1,600 people enjoyed 75 behind the scenes family strolls, history hikes, wildlife walks and more.

The National Park is a wonderful place to walk during the autumn, with flat, accessible routes that allow walkers of all ages and abilities to enjoy the Forest’s fiery foliage.

Walk and learn

It's not just about walking at the festival, learn and play along the way.

  • Free-roaming pigs, ponies and the traditional rights of commoning
  • Wild play activities for children
  • WWII experimental sites
  • A secret forest
  • Top tips for bird watching

Many of the walks are free or discounted thanks to the festival being supported by the £4.4m National Heritage Lottery Fund Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.

The festival is run in partnership with many local organisations including the Forestry England, Hampshire County Council and New Forest Ramblers.

Click here for full details.


Check out OS Maps to discover walking routes in the local area. Here's some we'd recommend to get you going:

Plus find out more about The New Forest National Park here.

Published 09/10/2019