Bolderwood is one of the New Forest’s main tourist spots, located at the end of Bolderwood Ornamental Drive. Don’t expect gift shops and tea shops. Bolderwood is not a village – there are only two houses in the immediate area. The beauty of Bolderwood is its remote rural location in the Forest where you can park at the large Forestry England car park (free but donations requested), enjoy the wild countryside and have the opportunity to view some of the wild fallow deer population. For people not familiar with the area, it is not the easiest place to find – for SatNav purposes the postcode to use is SO43 7GQ.
There is an Information Unit maintained by Forestry England which is open every day during the Easter school holidays and then every weekend until the school summer holidays when it opens every day again. After that it reverts to weekend opening until the Autumn half term holiday. It is closed during the Winter.
At the Bolderwood Information Unit you can ask questions about the New Forest, its history, traditions and wildlife. You can also see wild Fallow deer from the viewing platform which is just across the road from the main car park. They are fed occasionally during the late Spring and Summer by one of the New Forest Keepers and they generally congregate near the platform around lunchtime in anticipation of his arrival. They are only fed to bring them in view of the platform as there is plenty of food for them in the Forest but it provides the public with an opportunity to see these naturally shy and retiring creatures who have graced the New Forest for centuries.
Further information on deer species found in the New Forest can be obtained by clicking here.
There are open lawns in front in the car park plus a large picnic area among the pine trees. In addition there are three way-marked walks through this picturesque part of the Forest, all of which are circular and bring you back to the car park:-
The first is a short 0.5 mile stroll which leads you to a deer viewing platform overlooking fields where the wild herds of fallow deer are regularly seen. The path is a moderately smooth gravelled surface with gentle slopes and benches along the way.
Jubilee Trail (Blue)
A one mile walk including the deer fields, this meandering route leads you past some majestic trees, the oldest of which date back to 1860. Unfortunately a large number of trees were lost in the Great Storms of 1987 and 1991 but many new trees have been planted and more will be planted over the coming years. Benches from which to admire their beauty can be found along the way.The path is a moderately smooth gravelled surface with two short but fairly steep slopes and frequent resting places.
Radnor Trail (Red)
A longer two mile route which explores a range of woodland types both ancient and modern. Once past the Radnor Stone the trail passes through sweet chestnut, oak and beech dating from 1860. It then skirts the fenced boundary of Mark Ash Wood, an Ancient and Ornamental woodland, where you can see pollarded beech trees. Bratley Water, flowing south to join the Blackwater, a tributary of the Lymington River, is an ideal spot to rest and have your picnic. Here you will find stands of Norway spruce planted in 1966 which are thriving in the moist valley bottom. The trail finally leads you past the deer viewing platform where you can often see a herd of fallow deer. The path is a moderately smooth gravelled surface with two short but fairly steep slopes and frequent resting places.