Take a walk round Burley…
If you have a few hours spare and plenty of energy, a good walk around the outskirts of Burley is a must. Take the Ringwood Road out towards Burley Street. There is a footpath all the way there. You will pass lots of greenery, fields, ponies and maybe deer. You will pass the Burley Manor Hotel on your right and just after that you will need to cross the road to take the footpath to keep you safely off the road.
It is approximately one mile from The Cross in the centre of the village. When you get to Burley Street you may notice the old Post Office or Burley Street Stores. A little further and you will pass Burley Street Garage, often ponies or cattle can be seen nearby grazing on the verges or the green. Take a left on the gravel track next to the garage.
Beware of the dragon
As you walk up the gravel track, through the trees and ponds, you might feel a spooky presence. The Burley Dragon, according to folklore, used to have a lair on Beacon Hill. That is until brave Sir Maurice Berkeley, Lord of the manor of Bisterne in the 15th century slayed the beast. Unfortunately the brave knight died from wounds inflicted by the dragon. Some say that this dragon may have actually been a wild boar, but a dragon is a lot more exciting.
A flat grassed area will arrive soon on your right. Walk across this and you will see breathtaking views towards Bournemouth. This is the Burley Beacon. At one time there was a Beacon here which enabled messages and signals to be passed on to other areas. It may have been lit to warn of the Spanish Armada. In the distance lies the old smugglers track which will take you all the way to Christchurch. Burley resident Lovey Warne used to signal the smugglers with her red petticoat.
You are also standing on the plateau of an Iron Age Fort. You might notice the ditch earthworks which encircle about five acres of land.
Carry on down the long winding lane and you will eventually reach a tarmac road, you have come to Pound Lane. The old yew tree in Pound Lane was known as the “dockyard”, this being the place where the smugglers pack ponies were tethered while the goods were taken to safe hiding.
You have now completed a horseshoe shaped tour of the village of Burley. A short 10 minute walk bearing left on Pound Lane and you will arrive back at the Cross in Burley.
If however, you bear right when you reach Pound Lane, you are then heading towards Thorney Hill or you could bear left at Burbush Carpark and follow the old railway track to Brockenhurst if you really fancy a walk!
Fancy another walk?
If you still have enough energy you could try the other side of the village. Again, starting from The Cross, head toward The Queens Head following the road round to the right up a short but steep hill. You will pass Burley Primary School on the left and can walk across the Cricket Pitch. Often scattered with ponies and foals.
You can follow the track towards the Burley Golf Club which you will pass on your left. You are now on Cott Lane.
Another peaceful walk through trees until you reach The White Buck where refreshments are a must. A huge beer garden together with a secret children’s adventure play area hidden in the trees. You can read the menu for a brief history of why it is called The White Buck.
Here you will reach Bisterne Close. A good 30 minute walk will see you all the way round to the other end. Lester Square can be found when you reach the other end of Bisterne Close.
Lester Square seems to be another little village within Burley. Follow the road past Lester Square along Beechwood Lane, turn left at the end and you will end up back in the village next to The Queens Head. Maybe time for refuelling again?