We did our first Britstop stop-over at a pub called ‘The Crown Stirrup’ on the edge of Lyndhurst in preparation for a long walk the next day. They were very dog friendly at the pub, and we had a nice little spot to park in for the night in exchange for Patos buying a drink. Right out of the back garden was a gate into the forest so it was perfect for a little walk before bed. I have quickly got used to sleeping in the van and had a good nights sleep.
The next day we did a 14km loop around Lyndhurst and boy was it fun! We set off from the main carpark in Lyndhurst next to the visitors centre and used a map we’d printed from the New forest website to navigate the circuit. Here is a link
It was terrifically dog friendly so I was a very happy dog! We were expecting it to be very busy as it was the last weekend of half term and the sun was shining in the sky but to our surprise it was pretty quiet. There was a small walk through the town passed some very flashy cars in a Ferrari showroom until we got to Bolton’s bench and a pretty cemetery where we crossed Pondhead, a beautiful open moor land full of horses with foals, cows and donkeys (this involved about half an hour of being on my lead wanting to chase things!) Once we crossed Pondhead and found the gate leading into the New forest I was free!
I went bounding off jumping over tree stumps, squeezing under things, my tail wagging so much I lost my balance at one point and landed in a heap on the forest floor!
This walk is one of my favourites, it involves hills, bogs, streams, thick forest, flat clearings, some pub stops (where I got lots of attention and some nice cold water!) and for three quarters of the walk I was free to run around and play.
The only sections that I was put on my lead were short bits on quiet country lanes, and crossing two busy roads. We did have to keep an eye out for wild horses but didn’t see any, I guess you may be put on your lead if you find some!
The majority of the walk was out in the forest where we’d occasionally bump into people and other dogs.
The trail isn’t marked so we had to use the map and prompts carefully, we went off course slightly but found our way back quite easily!
It’s so pretty, and there are so many luscious new smells to take in the hours flew by. I especially liked dipping my head in and getting wet and blowing bubbles in the marshy bogs in the forest clearings.
The pubs marked on the route are all dog friendly so we didn’t have to worry about that and I had a little nap while Patos drank a beer in the sunshine.
All wagged out and covered in smelly bog mud I had to put up with a shower back at the van…..
Its a hard life for a Milly!