- County: Hampshire
- Nearest Town(s): Sway
- National Park: New Forest
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time: 1 minute
- Height: 59m
- W3W: ///decoding.octopus.fidelity
- Map: OS Explorer OL22 New Forest
An exceedingly easy drive-by trig pillar, we highly recommend a gentle walk in the area around Sway, which showcases some of the best the New Forest has to offer.
Where to Park
There are a number of car parks in the area – the nearest is Longslade View, just a two-minute walk from the trig point.
The pillar is visible from the road, and if you’re not pairing with a walk, you can get away with stopping on the road itself – just be considerate of other road users, and use the car park instead if it is particularly busy.
We visited in the very early morning in winter when there were very few cars on the road.
If, like us, you were looking for an easy bag, the trig at Sway is ripe for the picking. We were driving past (on our way to a different walk elsewhere) when my dad piped up – “there’s a trig pillar at Sway you know! You can see it from the road.”
So slight diversion made, and sure enough, there sat the trig pillar amongst winter gorse, just 15 feet from the road.
After some quick cajoling to get our mum to stop on the side of the road, we slid out of the car and ran to the trig. A few quick snaps (and obligatory flush bracket photo) we ran back to the car and carried onto our destination.
Of course, there are plenty of walks to had around this area which can incorporate the trig and some highlights of the forest. Take in Hincheslea Moor, Wilverly Plain and Long Slade Bottom, and keep an eye out for the famous Sway Tower, a 220ft concrete tower built in the late 19th century – it’s the tallest structure around and visible from much of the New Forest.
The View from The Pillar
Given how flat the New Forest is, there isn’t much of a view from the trig pillar here, but there are good views around of the rolling moors and deciduous forests that personify the New Forest.
There is a free, gravel car park that is open to the public at Longslade View.
The New Forest has a temperate climate year round. Summer sees high levels of tourism in the National Park, but spring, autumn and winter all have their charms here as well.
Yes! The dogs can be walked on the majority of the New Forest, but owners should be aware of livestock, nesting birds and other dogs, and make sure they keep them under close control.