Woods, Heaths and Farmland near Linwood

Milkham Inclosure © Stuart Buchan
Ford through Dockens Water © George Evans
The High Corner Inn © Chris Gunns

A trail through the Milkham Inclosure to the village of Linwood returning via Woodford Bottom and Broomy Plain. The route is mostly on well sign-posted forest and heath cycle trails. There are two stretches of relatively quiet roads too, at Linwood and when crossing Broomy Plain.

1. Enter Milkham Inclosure and cycle mostly downhill for 2 kilometres (1.25 miles). Notice along here on the right, south-facing side of the track, numerous enormous, conically shaped Southern Wood Ant nests.

2. Cross a bridge over the Linford Brook, and enter Roe Inclosure before, after a further 0.5 kilometres (1/3 mile), turning right at the first 'T' junction, cycle track sign number 5.

3. Almost immediately re-cross the brook at another bridge, continue uphill past Roe Cottage and into the ancient, unenclosed woodlands of Red Shoot Wood. Notice along here two magnificent, aged pollard oaks, one on either side of the track.

4. Reach a minor road, and turn left, downhill, before, after a further 0.5 kilometres, turning right into a narrow lane beside The Red Shoot Inn.

5. Pass a 'No through road' sign, and at the bottom of the hill, cross a ford and follow the lane round as it turns sharply right. There are numerous old, coppiced hazels along here, evidence of a country craft largely now obsolete.

6. Leave the tarmac road and continue straight on, along a somewhat rutted track, then after a short distance, ignore a non-cycle track turn to the right, and follow the cycle track straight ahead, over the open expanse of Black Heath, with away to the left, the higher ground of Ibsley Common and, further on, Ogden's Purlieu.

7. After just over 0.5 kilometres, cross a ford over a narrow stream and follow the cycle track as it goes to the right.

8. Pass Black Barrow, this seems to be a natural hillock rather than a Bronze Age Barrow, and after another 1 kilometre (0.6 miles), pass close to Dockens Water before, at a 'T' junction, following the track to the right, uphill.

9. Follow the grassland edge before continuing on uphill, through the ancient, unenclosed woodlands of High Corner Wood, past the High Corner Inn and across a corner of Broomy Plain.

10. Reach a minor road and turn left. After 1.5 kilometres (1 mile), follow the road to the right, ignore the cycle track on the left, and then after a further 0.5 kilometre, turn right along the cycle track to return to the car park.

Trail Location

The trail starts at Milkham car park at the north-east edge of Milkham Inclosure. Alternative starting points are at the car parks north and north-west of Milkham Inclosure: High Corner (SU199104) and Spring Bushes (SU202102). Linwood can be reached via the A31 near Ringwood or from Stony Cross and Fritham from the north-east. The nearest train stations are Ashurst and Brockenhurst.

Dorset Cottages

Beautiful Dorset holiday cottages and self-catering accommodation perfectly located for walking and cycling the trails of this unique county