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A sign at Hale Purlieu, New Forest, Hampshire
A sign at Hale Purlieu | © National Trust Images/Dave Johnson

Hale Purlieu figure of eight walk

A figure of eight walk through Hale Purlieu, crossing streams and taking in great views across the common’s valleys and mires. Look out for butterflies and dragonflies as you explore. Stonechats and Dartford warblers can also be seen flying between the gorse bushes.

Choose sensible footwear

The route crosses water at several points, so waterproof boots or wellies are advised, particularly in autumn and winter.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

National Trust car park at Lady's Mile Road, grid ref: SU188177

Step 1

Head north-east onto the common from the car park, picking up a gravel path through the gorse bushes that heads gently downhill towards the valley bottom, keeping left if the path forks.

Step 2

Reach the valley bottom and cross directly over the stream, which now has a new name – 'Beetles Bottom' – thought up by the Beetles class of Hale Primary School 2017. Continue to pass under the large ornate pine tree and carry on slightly right uphill towards a small patch of woodland.

Step 3

When the ground levels out you will reach a crossroad. Head straight on to follow a path that hugs the edge of the Purlieu, heading north-east, eventually passing under the power lines.

Step 4

You will meet another crossroad with a gravel cairn. Again, carry straight on, ignoring another crossroad soon afterwards. Before you reach the northern edge of the Purlieu, marked by a thick tree line, you will meet a third crossroad. Turn left here to again hug the edge of the Common.

Step 5

The ground will really flatten out and can become wet here. Turn left when you reach the edge of the common. Turn left on the wide grass track. Fork left just past a seat near the edge of the common, heading south and downhill towards a ford.

Step 6

Cross over the ford by any means possible (it can get very wet). Head straight on uphill towards a distant clump of trees as the ground levels out. Head under the power lines once more.

Step 7

About 150 metres past the powerlines, as you reach some birch trees, you come to a crossroad. You have been here before – this marks the centre of the figure of eight. Carry straight on at the crossroad heading south, keeping right as you hug the edge of the common.

Step 8

Cross over the ford at the bottom of the valley and head back uphill. Bear right back up towards the car park across the common to finish the walk. It can get wet towards the top so pick your way carefully.

End point

National Trust car park at Lady's Mile Road, grid ref: SU188177

Trail map

Hale Purlieu figure of eight trail map
Hale Purlieu figure of eight trail, Hampshire | © Crown copyright and database rights Ordnance Survey

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