New Forest Standing Hat woodland wander

A short history of the Dyke

The Dyke encompasses an area of about 500 acres.

Legend has it that John de Pontoise, Bishop of Winchester, built the bank and ditches around 1284. He was given permission to enclose an area that he could crawl around in a day. To get the largest possible piece of land he spent 24 hours crawling along the ground.


    • Route
    • Temporarily closed
    • Restricted use


Start at Hollands Wood campsite and walk towards the Balmer Lawn Hotel. Turn left up the Balmer Lawn Road keeping the hotel on your left.

Bear left at the cycle way-marker post ‘31’ (Beaulieu/Lyndhurst). Continue up the gravel track to the “Standing Hat” Forestry Commission car park. Keep left at the fork towards the car park up a slight incline.

From Standing Hat car park enter Pignal inclosure by the five-barred gate.

Take the left hand north easterly gravel track.

Take the third right hand track and proceed in an easterly direction.  Turn right at junction and walk along the gravel track crossing over the cross track to the inclosure boundary. Keep within the inclosure.

Take the sharp right hand track (south westerly), and walk back to the Standing Hat car park crossing Etherise Gutter.