A walk in Wonderland
Hampshire Life|November 2020
A New Forest walk in the footsteps of Alice Hargreaves, the inspiration behind Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Fiona Barltrop

Situated in the heart of the National Park, and known as the capital of the New Forest, Lyndhurst is duly popular, especially in the summer when it can get very busy, so a visit during the quieter months of the year is to be recommended.

The New Forest Heritage Centre which houses a museum, gift shop and café is well worth a visit if you have time. Also of note is the church of St Michael and All Angels where the grave of former Lyndhurst resident Alice Hargreaves (née Liddell), Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, can be found. Nearby is the imposing building called Queen’s House, headquarters of the Forestry Commission and the location of the Verderers’ Hall (Verderers are officials who look after commoners’ rights and New Forest land use).

This walk explores the beautiful woodland between Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst a few miles to the south. Much of the route is along Forestry Commission gravel tracks through what are known as inclosures, timber plantations managed by the Forestry Commission. As well as the OS Explorer map, another very useful map to have with you is the cycle trail map (it also shows the main walking paths), which you can buy at the New Forest Heritage Centre. The forest can be confusing, especially for a newcomer, but the cycle trail map shows the numbers of the wooden waymarker posts which you’ll find on the ground at track junctions, so you can pinpoint where you are whenever you come across one.

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