Horse riding in the New Forest

Horse riding in the New Forest

Horse riders have always enjoyed open access on the Crown Lands of the New Forest, which is well furnished with lots of suitable tracks. Seeing this ancient landscape from the back of a horse is an excellent way to see the forest’s mature woods, shady streams, dappled glades and beautiful open heathland. To reduce damage to the ground please use the gravel tracks if it’s wet and when birds are nesting on the ground (from late March to end of August). 

When leaving Forestry England land, remember to use the bridleways. On private land, riders must keep to Public Rights of Way. These are shown on Ordnance Survey maps, and are usually indicated by fingerposts and / or blue arrows or dots.

You can ride a horse in the New Forest without a Forestry England riding permit. However we request that you adhere to all warning signs and the advice given on them. Help us to keep the New Forest a special place and follow our Horse Riding code of conduct.

Some areas we'd really recommend riding around include: 

  1. Highland Water Inclosure. Park the horsebox up in Millyford Bridge car park, head up through the Inclosure out to Mogshade, over to Andrews Mare and then back towards Acres Down and back to Millyford.
  2. Woodgreen and Castle Hill Inclosures are beautiful locations to ride in the autumn and winter. If you are using a horsebox it’s best to park at Ashley Walk or Godshill Cricket car parks.
  3. Unbox your trailer at Jamesmoor Pond car park and ride south towards Slufters Inclosure. Head out toward the top of Ocknell plain, this area has views of open heathland on the way back to the car park.


Organised riding events require permission from Forestry England. 

If you are taking part in an organised event, follow the additional instructions to minimise your impact. Help us to protect this special place.

Further Information

This is a shared Forest, riders must be mindful of other people, cyclists and the grazing ponies and other livestock that roam freely across the New Forest all year round.
Is this activity for you?
The trails follow a mixed range of surfaces on forest roads and trails.
There are lots of car parks in the New Forest where you can unbox. If you wish to drive a pony and cart on Forestry England land you will need to purchase a New Forest Driving Permit.