Newest Review: ... seriously lucky break to see the rare smooth snake. Things to do As with many of the National Parks, the primary strength of the New Fore... more
New Forest (Hampshire)
Member Name: tanyatigerlily
New Forest (Hampshire)
Advantages: Range of activities
Disadvantages: Didn't see any deer
My husband and I have just returned from a spur-of-the-moment mini-holiday in the New Forest. We were fortunate to experience nearly perfect weather conditions: slightly chilly with beautiful blue skies. What a lovely place for a holiday, with plenty of places to stay (catering for every budget) and oodles of activities to do.
The new Forest is located along Britain's south coast spanning parts of Hampshire and Dorset. It consists of 145 square miles of heath and woodland and is teeming with New Forest Ponies who wander about at leisure.
We made reservations at a lovely little B&B called the White House in Christchurch (will write a separate review for the accommodation). We selected Christchurch as it is a sea-side town on the edge of the New Forest, and we had access to the beach as well as being able to explore the forest.
The New Forest has plenty of quaint little villages to explore as well as being home to Beaulieu where the British Motor Museum is situated (yet another review waiting to be written!).
I decided to be very brave and suggested we spend a day hiring bicycles in the picturesque village of Burley. We got our bicycles at Forest Leisure Cycling for £13,50 each and paid another £1 for a cycling map. We chose the 12 mile 'deer sanctuary' route. I have not ridden a bicycle for 17 years and should maybe have selected a less challenging route! The whole purpose of the route was to see some deer, but alas we didn't even catch a glimpse of a single deer (and there are supposed to be 1500 fallow deer in the forest). Apart from the lack of deer, being out in the forest was spectacular. I huffed and puffed my way around the route (being very unfit) but I made it eventually - I have decided that perhaps I will stick to horse-riding in future!
When we got back to Burley we spent some time mooching about the interesting gift shops and then had the most marvellous meal at the Queen's Head (I strongly recommend the food . . . we made use of their Monday - Friday 2 meals for £9,95 deal and my Steak & Ale pie was the best I have ever eaten!)
Our short break didn't allow us to explore any more of the forest and the activities on offer, but I will definitely be returning there and there are plenty of suggested activities on the numerous websites dedicated to the New Forest.
Summary: A fantastic place for a holiday for the whole family
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