Hampshire BDS Carriage Driving Route 7:
Highland Water and Holidays Hill

Start : Bolderwood car park (SU 243085). Busy in the summer.
Distance : Choice of 5, 7 or 9 mile routes
Terrain : Some of the prettiest driving in the central forest through Highland Water Inclosure with optional loops in Holidays Hill and Puckpits. Almost all on good gravel tracks with short road sections.
Instructions : Leave the car park at the eastern exit and enter the wood opposite at Post 143. Descend to Post 145 and turn right onto Bolderwood Walk. After the gate into Holmhill Inclosure, fork right at a triangle and follow the track to a wide turning area, known locally as the Frying Pan. Turn right uphill on a rough track and emerge onto the road through a gate and a bargate where you turn left.
After mile turn right (at Post 152) through a gate for the optional loop in Holidays Hill (2 miles). Fork right at the pond and continue ahead shortly afterwards. Follow the circuit, keeping to the right through the Knightwood and Woosons Hill Inclosures until you return to your way in. Take a steep turning to the left and fork left at the pond to
reach the road gate again.
Turn right on the road and pass the Portuguese Fireplace on your right. Turn left into Millyford car park (Post 151) and through the bargate on your left. After half a mile keep right (at Post 148) and arrive through the gate at a T-junction beside a striking dead oak tree (Post 101). Here you can turn left for the shorter route home or right for the longer one through Puckpits (an extra 2 miles).
For the latter, keep straight ahead for half a mile and then turn left at Post 94. Follow the circuit keeping left at all the junctions for about a mile until you reach a crossroads where it is worth pausing to admire the view over the Highland Water valley. Continue down the hill and right at the bottom, to the magnificent dead oak tree once again.
Set off westwards, crossing the bridge and swinging round upstream to your right. Follow the gravel track to your left and just as it starts to get steep turn left (at Post 102) into Bolderwood Walk. Take the second turning on your right (at Post 145) and return uphill to Bolderwood car park.
Additional Information : Refreshment can be found at the New Forest Inn in Emery Down, which is on the road about 1 mile East of Millyford Bridge. There is no easy place to tie up here so you will need to leave your groom outside!
For a special treat you could have a cream tea at Acres Down Farm Shop and Tearooms. This is mile straight on from the turning to Puckpits Inclosure at Post 94. Go through the locked bargate at Acres Down car park and the tearooms are 100yds further on your right.

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