The New Forest – Deer Leap, the unexplored path

The unexplored pathway at Deer Leap

Deer Leap a woodland walk and an unexplored path

On another walk in the New Forest with my son, Bard and his partner, Boho we had far better weather. We set off after lunch, starting at at Deer Leap car park again. Commando ran off in one direction for his marathon training, Bard, Boho and I strolled off in the other. Inexplicably there were no ponies about today, last time they were everywhere I looked, but there seemed to be a host of cyclists for some unknown reason. We took the odd little woodland path beyond the gate that I briefly explored last time and, dodging cyclists, trotted off to see where it led.

Trees everywhere but no horses

Mud and puddles

As I was using the Walkmeter there was no danger of getting lost so we just wandered. Each time the path divided we just chose a path and wound our way through the trees aimlessly, chatting all

Our beetle friend

the while about this and that. The path wound through the trees, branching occasionally but not changing, just tall fir trees as far as the eye could see, lots of boggy bits and big puddles because of all the recent rain and a cyclists round every bend. It felt like there was a cyclist convention. They were the only wildlife we saw, apart from one solitary beetle sitting on the path.

A little crooked house

Suddenly, there was a little crooked house in the distance, the first thing we’d seen that wasn’t a tree, puddle or on two wheels. As we got closer we saw the path seemed to end at a big wooden gate in front of the house. Closer still and dogs began barking. It was almost as if we’d been walking down a very long driveway all this time. At the last minute we noticed that the path branched to the right and became a small, slightly overgrown, track. We were about to head along it when I checked the Walkmeter and noticed we’d been walking for almost fifty minutes anyway which meant it was time to turn back. We turned, and at that moment a gaggle of people emerged from the house with a pack of dogs (thankfully on leads) and, wishing us a good afternoon, started off along the track.

I’m glad we had the Walkmeter because we’d taken so many different twists and turns I’m sure we’d still be walking now trying to find our way back to the original gate. Even with it we took a couple of wrong turns and had to retrace our steps, staring at the little blue line on the map until we found our original track. It’s funny how much quicker the time passes when you walk in company compared to when you walk alone. It seemed as if we’d barely set off and we were back at the car park with Commando running round the corner at the end of his ten miles. I’m not sure how he runs such a distance and still looks so fresh, I’d be bright red and gasping for breath if it was me.