Walk Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve

Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve is home to a series of beautiful lakes, with routes to viewpoints and fishing spots.

It’s a great short trail for walking or running and has transformed the ex-clay pit that was once used to supply the local brick works.

Walk Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve

I can’t help but feel that Hampshire is lucky to have so many nature reserves, green spaces and coastal beauty spots.

While I’ve lived in Hampshire for most of my life, I’ve always tended to travel further afield. I’ve not really spent a lot of time exploring my local area apart from the more obvious places to go.

Swanick Nature Reserve

Sopwith Way, Swanwick, Hampshire SO31 7AY

The Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve is located next to NATS -the UK’s leading provider of air traffic control service.

It’s a bizarre drive up to the reserve car park, because it looks like you’re driving into NATS!

At the last moment before the NATS gate you make a sharp turn right. The road goes down a steep hill to find the car park, study centre and the starting point for your walk.

The various routes around Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve are about two miles in length. While there are some steep sections you can avoid these with a bit of route planning. There’s a map in the website link at the bottom of this blog post that will help you with that.

Walk Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve

Swanick Lakes

Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve is a mixture of paths that run through the woodland and meadows surrounding the lakes.

I found the reserve to be very peaceful, you wouldn’t believe less than 10 minutes away you’d be in a much busier built up environment. It’s very tranquil.

Despite the car park being full when we visited we rarely came across other people and it felt like we had the reserve to ourselves.

The different landscapes really transform seasonally as well as attracting a wide range of wildlife including the rare marsh tit. I’m assured this will mean a lot to nature enthusiasts and bird watchers.

It’s worth nothing that the park has an exit point at the top which continues a route in the direction of Burridge. If you’re doing a much longer walk, this is a good way to navigate up from the coast without it all being through housing.

The woodland walk at Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve


It’s also very geared up for fishing with strategic areas dedicated to the sport with benches and space to lay out equipment. You, of course, need a permit to fish and no night fishing is permitted.

Swanick Lakes Education Centre

The study centre you see at the start hosts educational nature activities for children. There’s also public events hosted throughout the year too.

Find out more information and upcoming events visit Swanwick Lakes Education Centre

One of the biggest lakes at Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve


  • No toilets.
  • Study centre.
  • There’s a few restrictions and the reserve is regularly walked by its caretakers so make sure you know the rules. There’s no swimming, no dogs in lakes, no fires/BBQs, no fishing without permit and bicycles & horses are only permitted on Public Bridleway.
  • It’s a short walk to the coast where you’ll find some local pubs and other local trails.

Walk Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve

Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve is a very nice place to visit for an hour or two offering a different landscape to enjoy in Hampshire.

Visit the Swanick Lakes Nature Reserve website, part of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

If you liked this, take a look at these other great places to visit in Hampshire…

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