Best bird watching trails in Hampshire, England

2,110 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Hampshire with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in Hampshire, England
Top trails (114)
#1 - Kempshott and Pardown
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
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Length: 6 mi • Est. 2 h 42 m
A circular walk around the Kempshott and Pardown (Oakley) areas just to the south of Basingstoke in Hampshire. The walk is through the hills to the south of, and looking over, Basingstoke. Good views across the town and northern Hampshire can be found at a couple of points. The terrain is gentle, so the walk is quite flat for the most part. There is one gentle but moderately long incline of note in the latter half of the walk. A good portion of the walk goes through, or alongside, beautiful old woodlands and hedgerows, all of which exhibit lush and extensive carpets of bluebells and wood anemone in the springtime. Many other wild flowers can be seen dependent on time of year. If you are partial to blackberrying, there are plenty of bountiful bushes along the route. You will follow one short section of quiet public road which is a dead end, so there is no through traffic. If you have dogs with you, certain sections may require they be on a lead in the interests of avoiding disturbance to wild ground-nesting birds and to protect game birds which are reared close by. Wild pheasants and partridges can be a common sight throughout the length of the walk. Some sections of the walk are lower-lying and can get quite muddy after rain; however, even the largest puddles can be bypassed around their edges. There are no stiles or other climbing obstacles to negotiate, a narrow metal gate is the only obstacle on route. Set aside around two to three hours to complete the walk.Show more
#2 - Cliddesden and Ellisfield
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
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Length: 6.2 mi • Est. 2 h 59 m
A circular walk taking in woodland tracks, byways and fields in the Hampshire countryside near Cliddesden. There are a few slopes, including some quite steep sections. Most of the walk is on woodland tracks or across fields, with a few very short sections of quiet road. Part of the route is along the old trackbed of the Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway, and the walk also includes a section of the long distance Three Castles Path. Some of the tracks can get muddy after wet weather. There are no stiles, but there are a number of gates including kissing gates. There are some fields where sheep were grazing at the time of writing. Allow 3.5 hours. Show more
#3 - Acres Down and Canadian War Memorial
New Forest National Park
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Length: 5.8 mi • Est. 2 h 46 m
A circular walk in the New Forest in Hampshire passing through heathland on the outskirts of the forest to the Canadian War Memorial and back again. Walking in the New Forest comes with both rewards and some hazards. The challenges can include bogs, fords, unmarked paths, remoteness (with patchy phone service) and some congested roads, but for the keen walker the attractions of the forest include the freedom to wander for miles in unspoiled countryside, the richness and diversity of the wildlife, and the sense of timelessness and peace. All this more than outweighs its wild side. However, if you are not familiar with the mainly unmarked routes, it is easy to get lost, so make sure you go out with a fully charged phone with GPS and a stout pair of walking boots. Acres Down Forest, with its easy-to-follow routes and wide gravel paths, represents the forest at its most civilized. Even on the surrounding heathland, the paths are generally clear enough to follow and there is a refreshing lack of New Forest bogs. There are no stiles or other obstacles to negotiate but you will go through a couple of gates and over two bridges. Allow 2.5 hours. Show more
#4 - Test Way and Testwood Lakes
Southampton, Hampshire, England
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Length: 5.6 mi • Est. 2 h 23 m
WARNING: The walk includes a boardwalk and is subject to tides and flooding, so it is best to check the Southampton tide times before setting out. This circular walk in Hampshire encompasses the lower part of the Test Way and Testwood Lakes between the M27 motorway and the highly industrialised suburb of Totton - not a very promising area for a nature walk you might think. Nevertheless, despite the surrounding urbanisation, Test Way is relatively unchanged and Testwood Lakes is a well managed nature reserve and a natural haven for wildlife. There is a busy year-round programme of activities and events for adults and children at the Testwood Lakes Centre. The walk will take you along and across two rivers: the River Test and the River Blackwater. Test Way is a 44 mile long route along the River Test which starts at Inkpen Beacon and ends at Eling Wharf just beyond Totton. The centre's opening hours are 1-4pm (summer) and 12-3pm (winter). Parking and access to the lakes is available 8am-6pm in the summer and 8am-4pm in the winter, but if you are walking the entire circular route and want unlimited parking you might prefer to park at B&Q in Nursling (which is how this walking guide is described). Dogs are allowed on the reserve but not inside Testwood Lakes Centre itself. The walk is flat but the wetland sections can become boggy in winter so stout footwear is recommended. There are several stiles and kissing gates and you will pass livestock (ponies and cattle) grazing in the fields. Allow 2-2.5 hours for the entire walk, although it is also possible to split it into 2 shorter circular routes. Show more
#5 - Thorney Island
Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 9.6 mi • Est. 4 h 5 m
Essentially this route is a walk around Thorney Island. It starts and ends at Nutbourne, adjacent to Nutbourne Marshes. The route involves accessing MOD land. Entry and exit is via remote controlled gates and you will be asked for some personal details (home address etc) before you are allowed access. You will also need to negotiate a number of gates and kissing gates along the way. Some sections of path can get muddy at times. About Thorney Island: Thorney Island came to the notice of the Air Ministry in 1933 following a fatal air crash here. The potential for the island as an airfield was recognised during the crash investigation and, with war clouds gathering over Europe, the airfield was developed and commissioned in 1938. HM King George VI subsequently visited the Island on 9th May 1944. The Royal Navy took over Thorney Island station for a brief period in 1976 and, in 1980, West Thorney became host to many hundreds of Vietnamese families. The Island Station became an army base (Baker Barracks) at the end of 1984 when it was chosen as the home for 47 Field Regiment Royal Artillery.Show more
#6 - The Abbots Mitre and Harewood Forest
Harewood Forest
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Length: 6.6 mi • Est. 3 h 19 m
A circular pub walk from the Abbots Mitre in the pretty village of Chilbolton, Hampshire. The Abbots Mitre is a superb traditional village pub serving locally sourced food, with roaring open fires in the winter months and a sunny raised garden to enjoy in the summer. The walking route takes you across Chilbolton’s Cow Common to join the Test Way, crossing the idyllic River Test with chance to spot a kingfisher. The Test Way leads you all the way into Harewood Forest, an ancient broadleaf woodland with carpets of spring flowers and plenty more wildlife to enjoy. The route has only gentle climbs and descents throughout, with nothing too steep. Many of the paths are surfaced with stone or tarmac, but there are a few unmade stretches that can get muddy in winter or after periods of rain. There are no stiles on route, but you will need to negotiate some simple gates, flights of steps and footbridges. A couple of short stretches of the Test Way are very narrow and so are prone to being a little overgrown in the height of the growing season. There is no farm livestock on route, but in the summer months you may come across conservation cattle grazing on Cow Common. The forest is criss-crossed by many paths, use the AllTrails App’s live GPS map to aid navigation. Approximate time 3.5 hours.Show more
#7 - Greywell and Mapledurwell
Greywell Moors Nature Reserve
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Length: 6.2 mi • Est. 2 h 51 m
A circular walk in Hampshire, along byways, bridleways and footpaths. The walk begins in the pretty village of Greywell and soon enters the Greywell Moors Nature Reserve alongside the River Whitewater, a crystal-clear river fed by local springs from the chalk aquifer below. The route then passes through fields and along byways to join part of the long-distance Three Castles Path, and continues through fields to skirt around the village of Mapledurwell. It returns across fields to Up Nately, and then enters woodland followed by parkland on Greywell Hill. Much of the walk is on gentle up and down slopes with some flat sections. It almost totally avoids roads, following a mixture of rights of way through fields, woods and open countryside. In January, at the time of writing, the tracks were generally good without too much mud. There are various gates including kissing gates and a few stiles, but all the stiles had easily liftable sections to allow dogs to pass. Allow 2.5 to 3 hours.Show more
#8 - South Downs Way (Complete)
South Downs National Park
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Length: 94.8 mi • Est. Multi-day
#9 - Butser Hill
Butser Hill National Reserve
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Length: 3.5 mi • Est. 1 h 51 m
#10 - Fritham Circular
New Forest National Park
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Length: 5.9 mi • Est. 2 h 46 m
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