Walking your dog in the New Forest

Man with dog on lead walking along heathland chalk track

The New Forest is a great place for dog walking, with winding tracks, open landscapes offering stunning views and wooded valleys leading down to streams and bogs. Perfectly suited for canine companions.

Enjoy a tremendous trundle or an adventurous hike through the New Forest Northern Commons with Autumn and Winter.

With much of the New Forest wildlfie hibernating or indeed migrated by now, keep an extra pair of eyes out for the rare glimpse of predatroy bird life, including soaring hen harriers and gliding goshawks. Stonechats and dartford warblers may brave the weather, and pop up from gorse bushes.

The New Forest is a very precious environment. Please bear in mind a few hints and tips when you're visiting with your dog:

Dog-walking guidelines

  • Livestock roam freely in the New Forest. When they are present please keep dogs on a short lead, give them a wide berth, do not get inbetween a cow + calf, and if they approach let your dog off the lead.
  • To minimise disturbance to local wildlife and livestock, please keep your dogs within sight and under close control at all times.
  • Please use a lead if necassary and stick to paths during ground-nesting bird season (March - July).
  • Please remove dog mess from all areas and dispose of it responsibly.
  • Be considerate to other people using the Forest.

The New Forest National Park Authority have worked with dog owners in the local community to create a dog walking code.