New Forest Staycation ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ

Where better to have a chilled few days than the New Forest?

285 miles of beautiful national park with idyllic glades, cliff top walks and ancient woodland and we can’t forget those gorgeous ponies, donkeys, cattle and deer all roaming free. Keep an eye out for any foals, they’re so cute!

With different types of accommodation in the cute villages and lots to do, its the perfect place to spend a few days.

What to do

Wild Ponies

This is the main reason that I like to visit the New Forest! The ponies roam freely (they don’t seem to mind the cars) and are beautiful to watch.

There are about 5000 altogether and they have grazed in the forest for about 2000 years.

Even though they are ‘wild’ as in they can wander where they like, they are owned by New Forest Commoners. This means that they have the right to graze their ponies in the forest all year round and this in turn helps to keep the landscape looking great.

Commoning is an ancient tradition that dates back to William the Conquerer. He made the land into his private hunting area and enforced strict laws upon the local people. In return for his private area, the locals were allowed to graze their cattle and other animals on the common, hence the term ‘commoners’.

Pony Facts:

  1. Each year the ponies are rounded up in what is called a ‘drift’ so they can have health checks and so the foals can be handled and weaned.
  2. Agisters, were employed by the New Forest Verders and their job is to monitor the day-to-day condition of the animals
  3. Groups of ponies tend to stay in the same area, which is known as their haunt

Top Tip: Stay a safe distance from the ponies and don’t feed them. Even discarded fruit and veg can be deadly.

Ponies
New Forest
Ponies
New Forest
Checking the route….
New Forest

Brockenhurst

This beautiful village is the largest village by population in the New Forest and is just 13 miles from Southampton. During the summer months head down to the stretch of river with a little beach that is perfect for cooling off on a hot day. This stream, known as The Splash, is located in Brookley Road.

There are several great places to eat here:

  • The Retreat – yummy smoothies and try the baked camembert!
New Forest
Beautiful village houses

Janesmoor Pond

This is a great place for a picnic and a short walk around the pond, or, if you’re feeling energetic, a longer walk through the forest and up the gentle incline of Long Beech Hill

New Forest

Walks

There are lots of great loops walks through the New Forest and the one we did was a loop from Lyndhurst that went through Brockenhurst. Its about 10 miles but an easy walk (no hills!). Have a pit stop at the pub in Brockenhurst, swim in the river and admire the beautiful scenery and the ponies.

Top Tip: Wear good walking shoes and take a raincoat

Walks

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Grave

Here’s one for all you Sherlock Holmes fans! The author (and physician) lived his life to the full and died on 7th July 1930 surrounded by his family. His views on departing from this world was that it was ‘the greatest and most glorious gift of all’.

He was laid to rest with his wife at All Saints Church in Minstead.

Originally he was buried in Windlesham Rose Garden, because as he had seen himself as a spiritualist there was some disagreement about using a Christian Church.

Top Tip: The gravestone ID is 1524 and it is located behind the church, close to the boundary fence and near a bench.

New Forest

Lyndhurst

This gorgeous village is known as the capital of the New Forest since William the Conquerer visited it in 1079. Over the centuries lots of Kings and Queens have visited and today it remains the administrative centre of the Forest.

The high street has several cafes, pubs and some lovely independent shops and at the end of the high street you can find more of the national park. It is lovely to walk through and to catch a glimpse of the herds of ponies. Check out the Ferrari showroom!

  • The Mailmans Arms – an awesome selection of gins including cherry bakewell, strawberry and lime, orange and passionfruit, mixed fruits and more
  • The Crown Stirrup – set on the outskirts of Lyndhurst near Foxlease activity centre, this pub has a great beer garden and a nice indoor dining area as well. The portions are large and taste good and there is a wide selection of drinks. What’s not to like?!
Lyndhurst
Lyndhurst
New Forest
New Forest
Dessert at The Crown Stirrup

Tour Bus

There are 3 different routes for the hop-on hop-off tour bus, which will take you on a stunning tour around the New Forest. Tickets can be booked here

Choose from the

  1. Red route (Lyndhurst – Burley – Ringwood – Fordingbridge – Sandy Balls Holiday Centre – New Forest Wildlife Park – Ashurst)
  2. Blue Route (Lymington – Brockenhurst – Burley – New Milton – Barton-on-sea – Milford-on-sea)
  3. Green Route (Lyndhurst – Brockenhurst – Lymington – Beaulieu – Exbury Gardens – Hythe Ferry)

New Forest Water Park

Lots of exciting water based activities in a beautiful setting. There is also a campsite there if you want to carry on the fun!

The activities offered are kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, wakeboarding and an aqua park, which is the UK’s first outdoor floating inflatable park.

All activities are properly supervised with lifeguards and each session is an hour long.

Necessary equipment is given out for each activity such as lifejackets and helmets and it is possible to hire wetsuits for ยฃ5 each.

Top Tip: Pre booking is the only available option

New Forest
New Forest

– Go Ape

Fancy a day of strenuous (or not so strenuous) activities? The head on over to Go Ape for tree top adventures, zip wires, seg ways and more!

There are different courses for different abilities, you are safely harnessed in at all times and there are instructors on hand in case you get scared or stuck.

Have a go, it’s great fun!

New Forest
Go Ape

– Lymington

This pretty little town is located on the coast by the English Channel, overlooking the Isle of Wight.

Take a stroll down the high street admiring the colourful buildings with their pretty shop fronts. Once you have made you way to the end you will reach the harbour for views of the boats. The dock is popular for crabbing from and there are cafes and pubs with outdoor seating so you can enjoy the views with a relaxing cold drink.

Lymington
New Forest
Lymington
  • Lounges of Lymington – If you’re in the mood for coffee and a snack (or maybe more!), then pop into this lovely independent coffee shop. The menu is extensive: coffees, teas, milkshakes, smoothies, brunch, panini, jacket potatoes and salads. This cafe is also very good at catering for dietary requirements
Lymington
New Forest
  • Toots Sweets Ice cream Parlour – If you’re after ice cream then head to this cute little ice cream parlour for something a little bit different; dishes of ice cream with harribo, bubblegum, twix, Oreo and Reece’s Pieces! Don’t worry, there’s also regular ice cream!

– Keyhaven Nature Reserve

This is a lovely place to take a walk with the English Channel on one side with views across to The Needles and the Isle of Wight and on the other the Solent where boats are moored. Walk along the spit to reach Hurst Castle (very uncastle like) and to enjoy some great views!

New Forest
New Forest

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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