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New_forest Map

I am indebted to Pete Carpenter and his New Forest National Park site, for bringing this walk through Wilverley Inclosure to my attention.

My version takes broadly the same route between the car park and the Holmsley Station tearooms, but comes back a completely different and, in my view, better way

The walk starts at the southern end of the large car park on the east side of the inclosure, and returns along the edge of Wilverley Plain with fine open views.

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Although primarily comprised of Forestry Commission plantations these are well broken up by areas of old and regenerated woodland, providing plenty of variety.

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New_forest Map

Holmsley Station seems an extraordinarily substantial building given that it is, and always has been, in the middle of nowhere.

It was built in 1847 by the Southampton and Dorchester Railway which ran via Ringwood and Wimborne, and was built to serve the busy port of Christcurch.

In fact it was know as Christchurch Road until a branch line was built from Ringwood to that town in 1862.

In 1893 the line from Brockenhurst to Hamworthy via Bournemouth was finally completed, and route via Ringwood lost most of its traffic. It was closed by Dr Beeching in 1964.

In addition to the Station House, now occupied by the excellent tearooms, the bridge carrying the A35 over the track bed still exists and is in use, and the remains of the down platform can still be seen.

To the east the track bed has been converted into a road, replacing the old road which used to run to the north of Wilverley Inclosure. To the west the track is a public path which eventually joins the section of the line covered by my Burbush Walk.

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