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Walking the footsteps of New Forest smugglers

A stunning morning walk from Smugglers Road. The beautiful sunshine lifted my spirit as I gazed over the farfetched views and ancient land.

My path was embellished with dog rose and the delicate geometric shapes of the new growth of the gorse. Ponies quietly grazed and gently swished their tails and twitched their ears, and silver studded blue butterflies fluttered amongst the heather. Lapwings called from their nest site, and a dartford warbler sang from the gorse.

Heading away from the noise of the A31, I could really feel I was stepping into the territory of the smugglers as I meandered the track across the heath.

Cotton flower swayed amongst the boggy mires, and the warm morning sun carried the sweet smell of the bog myrtle.

Bright red sundew lined the bank of my path as I headed towards the ancient and mystical Ridley wood. Knowing these beech trees were here while the illegal markets took place in the 1800's draws you closer to the history of this magical place.

I could lose myself for hours held in the arms and energy of these trees with a mind and heart full of wonder under their canopies.

You can join me for this 'folklore in the forest' walk next month to learn more about the smugglers and walk in their footsteps amongst stunning views, ancient woodland, and great company.

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