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New_forest Map
Gorley Common Map

A flat walk high on the top of a hill with views all round in a relatively quiet corner of the forest. What more could you ask for?

Gorley Common (otherwise known as Gorley Hill) sticks out like a sort of peninsula from the forest, with the fertile Ogden Valley to the east and the Avon valley to its west.

The walk starts on the eastern side of the hill and soon reaches point (2) where the trees open out to offer some fine views over Ogdens and Latchmore Bottom towards the Whitefield Plantation

Look out for the tiny pond on the side of the little valley you round the top of at point (3). This is a good example of a "flush".

At point (5) you will pass a small disused quarry on your left, this presumably dates back to the time when marl digging was a common practice. There is, or at least was in 2002, rather a lot of rubbish in the bottom, I am afraid to say.

This area of the common is something of a mystery. From here to the car park at Gunville (7) you will find yourself on the top of a bank, vaguely reminiscent of a railway embankment. Why is it here? It is obviously not defensive as it is only along one edge of the hill. Was this a huge gravel quarry? Who knows?

Update 2011: According to this blog post and Wikipedia, not only was this once a gravel pit, but it was also the site of an Iron Age hill fort. The bank, however, is a result of the quarrying operations, which destroyed all evidence of the fort.

Eventually you will reach point (6) where the trees on your left thin out, and you are rewarded with a fine view over the Avon Valley. The New Forest Water Park and other modern gravel workings, clearly visible below you.