One of the great things about walking is that it’s a great excuse to eat cake. You need to refuel right?! It has been known for us to go on a walk to specifically visit a cafe and we found this walk when searching for ‘holmsley circular walks’. We wanted to park up somewhere in the New Forest, walk the Old Station Tearooms in Holmsley, eat cake and then walk back to the car. This walk was perfect for that. Phil had searched for good tea rooms in the New Forest and the Old Station tearooms came up so we knew we had to pay them a visit.
This is the second time I’ve been to the New Forest and I still find it completely breathtaking. In a time where it feels like every scrap of land is being built on, to find such an expanse of green is heartwarming. I love seeing the horses and cows roaming free too. They never seemed bothered by us in the slightest and Poppy is used to seeing different animals now so she’s not bothered by them anymore either.
Once we’d parked up, we headed off, using the map at the top, which comes from the AA website (click on the map to go to their website). While the map is pretty clear, the directions aren’t. We weren’t sure how long we should walk once we’d past the cider shop. It turned out that we had to walk quite a way! We eventually found the right path we needed to go out onto the heath. It was incredibly beautiful all the way along. Every so often we’d come across an old bridge from the railway that’s no longer in use. It’s hard to imagine trains running through the New Forest now!
The weather had threatened rain all morning but we were spared until we were close the tearooms. Foolishly, I hadn’t checked to see if the tearooms was dog friendly (which it isn’t inside) so as we approached in the rain, I was a little worried that we’d be sitting outside in the rain, eating wet scones. Fortunately, we arrived to see plenty of outside seating, with a fair chunk of it undercover. The tearooms are adorable and it’s such a great way to use an old station house. The menu looked pretty good, but we were there for one thing and on thing only – the cream tea. And it didn’t disappoint. We had two fresh homemade scones with ample cream and jam. They were delicious and the perfect reward for walking all that way.
Just as we were finishing up, the heavens opened for a final down pour before the rain stopped. We were so lucky. We took a slightly shorter route than the one on the map because my knee was playing up a bit. Hilly walks make it unhappy so we took a path that had less of an incline and before we knew it, we were back at the car. It was a lovely walk and I’d love to do more New Forest walks as it’s such an amazing place.
The Walk: The walk is pretty flat and beautiful. As it’s part of the New Forest, you can change your walk at almost any point, to make it longer or shorter.
Car Park: We parked at the free car park in Burley. It wasn’t the one on the map as I took a wrong turn and carried on the road round to the right in Burley, rather than making a left. I think it was just opposite a cricket ground.
Refreshments: The whole point of our walk was to visit The Old Station Tearooms in Holmsley, which is well worth a visit. Dogs aren’t allowed in the cafe, but there’s plenty of seating outside, with some undercover.
Toilets: There are some at the tearooms. Use these as there are none anywhere else!