We visited Swanwick Lakes, a new local spot we only just discovered. A nice image popped up on my feed from the BBC News South feed and one photo in particular of a turquoise lake in the sun surrounded by greenery caught my eye.

Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve

It’s a nature reserve near Bursledon brickworks in Swanwick, not too far from the start of another regular walk we do along the river Hamble, Swanwick to Warsash.

It’s a large area with a series of circular walks around a number of different-sized manmade lakes which were created previously for clay for the nearby brickworks. In the 70’s it ceased operation for that and since then nature has taken over.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

We parked up in the free car park where they also have an education centre run by Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust with lots of info and even hosting nature workshops for families and adults throughout the year. Open on certain days. There were lots of info boards about the history of the reserve, along with a helpful map with various circular routes you can take of different lengths.

It was pretty muddy underfoot at this time of year, so luckily I had chosen the right footwear of walking boots. This is one for the baby carrier rather than the buggy.

The reserve is a haven for birds and this time of year in particular means the birdsong as you walk through is filling the air, along with the slight hum of the nearby motorway.

Fishing is in, swimming is out

We did a longer 3k route which was easy to follow with the coloured wooden markers to signify which route you were on and our highlight was the impressive new lake which was the turquoise waters lake. It looks inviting for a swim but no swimming signs up and it’s a fishing lake, with a few spotted around the edge of the water.

🅿️ Swanwick lakes car park – Southampton SO31 7AY – note that the car park closes at dusk.
ℹ️ Trail guide here

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