Top 10 Dog Walks in Hampshire

From the New Forest to the South Downs, discover tranquil valleys, charming villages and ancient woodlands with your best furry friend in Hampshire. Our hound-picked routes showcase the best challenging hikes to short distance walks or Sunday pub lunch strolls with your four-legged friend.

So, get out your walking shoes and explore what wonderful Hampshire has to offer with your adventure-loving hound!

Lyndhurst Hill and Swan Green Circular

A beautiful walk in the New Forest National Park, this mostly flat scenic walk takes you through open land, lush forest, moorland, and heaths. Starting from Swan Green in Lyndhurst, your four-legged friend will love exploring the woodland and is allowed off-lead in some areas to make the most of the new sights and smells. There are many dog-friendly pubs along the path where you and your canine companion can make a quick stop to rest your legs.

Length of walk: 6.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy, walk along paths and flat tracks. Be sure to wear proper footwear in the winter because it can get very muddy!

STAY AT: 1 Bury Farm Cottage, Southampton


Nutbourne Marshes and Cobnor Peninsular Coastal Circular

Renowned as a bird sanctuary, this loop trail near Emsworth is a beautiful route for on-lead walks alongside the stretch of the seafront. Great for bird watching, the trail starts at Nutbourne Marshes, takes you around the peninsula of Cobnor Point then along the top of the Bosham channel, cutting back across the peninsular to bring you back to the starting point. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. If you are looking for a coastal walk then this is the perfect trail for you!

Length of walk: 6 miles

Difficulty: Easy, you will be walking along flat paths. Make sure to venture on the walk when the tide is low.

STAY AT: Ocean View, Hayling Island


Farley Mount Country Park

A picturesque walk around the Farley Mount area, navigate with your best furry friend along the year-round route that’s great for hiking and walking. Start at the Farley Mount car park and pass the mount, the pyramid-shaped folly that gives the park its name, on the way to waypoint. Be sure to keep an eye on the views of the stunning Hampshire landscape, if you’re visiting in the Spring make sure to admire the wonderful bluebells that make the park spectacular!

Length of walk: 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate, the first half is mostly flat while the second half has a few very slight inclines.

STAY AT: Lainston House, Winchester


Swanwick and Hamble Nature Trail

Wonderfully mixed with open fields, woodland and riverside walks, venture on the Swanwick and Hamble Nature Trail with your furry plus-one where they can enjoy off-lead frolics in some areas. Start at the trailhead where there is free parking and partake in the circular route that visits Swanwick Wood, the River Hamble, and Holly Hill Woodland Park. Stop off at some fabulous dog-friendly pubs in Swanwick including The Elm Tree Inn and The Old Ship and enjoy a bite to eat with your furry friend in their outside dining areas.

Length of walk: 8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate, this route is relatively flat and suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels but may be muddy after rain so waterproof shoes are recommended.

STAY AT: New Place Hotel, Southampton


Beaulieu to Buckler’s hard

From picturesque Beaulieu village to the historic ship-building hamlet of Buckler’s Hard, this walk starts close to the main street in Beaulieu village and follows the coastal footpath running from Milford on Sea to Emsworth Harbour. The route passes Beaulieu Mill and the large tidal mill-pool that is the Mill Dam. Finish the route at Buckler’s Hard and learn about the history of the area in the Maritime Museum, take a cruise on the Beaulieu River or treat you and your four-legged friend to a barbeque at Master Builder’s Yachtsman’s Bar at Buckler’s Hard. 

Length of walk: 5 miles

Difficulty: Easy, level ground with gravel or similar hard-packed surfaces

STAY AT: The Master Builder’s Hotel, Brockenhurst


Winchester to East Meon

Perfect for backpacking, bird watching, and camping, the Winchester to East Meon route is known as a more challenging trail with a variety of outdoor activities along the way. Taking an average of eight hours 32 minutes, many trekkers decide to complete this walk over two to three days. Start at Holden Farm and start your journey from Winchester to Exton passing through beautiful agricultural regions for your four-legged friend to explore.

Continue from Exton to Buriton stopping off at the dog-friendly Beech Cafe at the Sustainability Centre before setting down to camp at the popular The Nest in Burrito before the final Buriton to Cocking trek. Make sure to bring along a packed lunch and all your doggy essentials!

Length of walk: 21 miles

Difficulty: Challenging, better suited to seasoned trekkers and high-energy dogs with its uneven terrain and steep sections.

STAY AT: Blackbird Cottage, Winchester


The Whitefield Moor Loop

A wonderful walk for all the family, the Whitefield Moor Loop guides you through the most picturesque landscape of the New Forest National Park. Starting from Whitefield Moor car park, walk with your four-legged friend on-lead along gravel tracks through a variety of habitats including heathland, grassland and formerly enclosed woodland, as well as the spectacular Ober Water stream. For a longer walk, take the Ober Water path; which gives more time to soak up the beautiful scenery, tranquil stream and stunning surroundings.

Length of walk: 1 mile

Difficulty: Easy, a mixture of moderately smooth gravelled surfaces and compacted grassy ground. During wet weather, the path can flood and may be muddy in places.

STAY AT: Thatched Cottage Hotel, Brockenhurst


Brockenhurst Village Walk

A varied trail through the village and out into the countryside, the Brockenhurst Village Walk uncovers the pretty village of Brockenhurst through a mix of open space, woodland and rivers. Dogs are required to be kept on leads as you will pass many horses and donkeys but four-legged friends will love cooling off in the stream and discovering the new sights and smells along the way. Make sure to visit the many dog-friendly places to eat in Brockenhurst including Foresters Arms and The Huntsman of Brockenhurst.

Length of walk: 5 miles

Difficulty: Easy, although the first third of this route may only be possible for strollers and wheelchairs as it has a mostly gentle grade.

STAY AT: Balmer Lawn Hotel, Brockenhurst


Burley Village and Hurst Castle Circular

A beautiful circular trail that takes in many sights along the way, this route starts close to the Burley War Memorial. With many facilities and attractions at the beginning of the walk including a Reptile Centre and many places to eat, stop off at a dog-friendly cafe with your four-legged friend for a bite to eat before setting off on your adventure. Dogs will love taking the route through the New Forest, discovering the beautiful trees at the blackwater arboretum. Continue on the trail to reach Hurst Castle where you can spend some time discovering the history of the magnificent coastal fortress built by Henry VIII.

Length of walk: 5 miles

Difficulty: Easy, the route consists of flat paths and even terrain. 

STAY AT: The Old Mill, Lymington


Castle Bottom and Vigo Circular

Renowned for a wide variety of wildlife and wildflora, start the walk at Castle Bottom to see beautiful views, varying scenery and landscape. Dogs are required to be kept on a lead as cattle are grazed in the summer but will love the diversity of smells to discover. Watch out ahead for sightings of Nightjars, Dartford Warblers and Woodlarks which nest here in season. Best to visit the trail from March through to October, rest your legs at the end of the route in fabulous dog-friendly Cafe 46 in Yateley.

Length of walk: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy, although it can get muddy and wet if it rains, so make sure to bring suitable shoes!

STAY AT: Yew Tree Cottage, Fordingtonbridge