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There are many more spectacular walks that this, but this one has two things going for it; It's easy to follow, and it's usually dry underfoot.

This is helped by the fact that the first part of the walk is along the track-bed of the old Brockenhurst to Ringwood railway line.

This was built as part of the Southampton & Dorchester Railway, which first opened for traffic in 1847.

You can take a short diversion to Whitten Pond by turning south off the railway line at point (13), but it can get very boggy down there making further progress in that direction difficult.

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Shappen Crossing


New_forest Map

At point (4), Under the yew trees you can make out the foundations of quite a substantial building.

It seems strange to think that this was once known as Shappen Crossing and there must have been a crossing-keeper, stationed out here in the wilds. Particularly as there is no obvious path to the south.

Like many of the crossings on this stretch of line, it was there mainly for the stock (the ponies, pigs and cattle) and not for the humans.