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It may have been the wettest of  the new year starts with mud and puddles both left and right. For our sodden under foot walk around our hotel at Beaulieu Road. However, the New Forest still had an amazing beauty to enjoy.  In the quiet of an early spring break in one of Britain’s newest National Parks.

New Forest view

Winter wonderland…a covering of frost still makes a stunning view and experience for visitors out of season.

Once the hunting preserve of William The Conqueror.  The New Forest is now a popular hunting area for tourists. With the park offering so many options to enjoy the great outdoors of Southern England. Granted national park status in 2005 its popularity has grown significantly with its new tag line Go New Forest.

Activities go New Forest

New Forest Activities provide many outdoor adventures some aimed at larger organised groups and others suitable for families.

Walking, cycling, horse and pony riding, bird watching, kayaking, archery and golf just a few things to do in the vast expanse of this park.  Which runs from almost the edge of Southampton in the east to the edge of Bournemouth on the west.

Go New Forest Spring Summer Autumn And Winter

From dense ancient forested woodland to wide open heath, scrubland and marsh the New Forest is a mix of great scenery.

Ponies around the New Forest all owned by someone and are rounded up twice a year in what they call a ‘Drift’.

Around the forest you can visit places like Palace House Beaulieu and its National Motor Museum. Buckler’s Hard also part of the large estate. Which is nearby and where some of the ships of Lord Nelson’s fleet were built on the side of the river.

Beaulieu Palace New Forest

Palace House Beaulieu the home of Lord Ralph Montagu of Beaulieu

The principle village of Lyndhurst is where the ancient Verderers Court are based. This historical administration court style body is responsible for looking after the interests of its many commoners, who have special rights granted through property ownership within the park.

A New Forest Agister one of four that patrol the forest park looking after the welfare of the wild and tamer animals.

Plus the court through its Agisters, are responsible for the welfare of the ponies, pigs, cows, sheep and donkeys that are allowed to graze there by right. All animals are owned by commoners and they pay to for the privilege of letting their stock roam in the forest.

Many Options For A Stay

Throughout the park you will find an excellent collection of places to stay many top class hotels and numerous small but very smart bed and breakfast style accommodation. Self-catering caravan and lodge style breaks are possible with Shorefield Company offering several sites around the forest.

Beaulieu Hotel

Beaulieu Hotel with next door The Drift Inn and where meals are taken.

The five star Chewton Glen is one of the best known hotels.  Other excellent places to stay like the Balmer Lawn , Rhinefield House, Bell Inn, Beaulieu Hotel all offer modern stylish stays.  Along with amazing tasty food much of which comes from producers in and around the park.

Sausages from Go New Forest

Fine quality meat products ready for your BBQ.

Fine meats and cheeses lead the way.  Followed with excellent and  ‘stiff fresh’ seafood coming from the English Channel. Plus landed in the nearby park’s ports. There are producers of biscuits, preserves and drinks all there to tempt the tourist!

The Forest Is Full of Wartime History Too

On a history trail around the forest.  Then you could see where the Secret Service or SOE once trained their agents for World War II.  At places like Beaulieu.  Or visit some of the ten former wartime airfield sites that were scattered around the forest in the 1940’s.

Go New Forest biscuits

Burley Rails biscuits home made for you to take home.

Although the summer is the busiest period for New Forest.  Breaks or holidays spring and autumn are times when the park can be enjoyed in a different way. In spring with the forest coming to life the trees and plants bursting into fresh green growth.  And in autumn with the red and yellow riot of foliage dressing the trees.  Just before the winter sets in.

Go New Forest colour

Autumn colour in the forest to match the leaves on the trees.

Even then in winter, clear frosty days with blue skies around the forest will leave you with lovely memories.  Seeing white frost-laden plants or frozen ponds also have their beauty too in this magical place.

No matter the season you have a reason!


Geoff Moore

Award winning blogger and travel writer/photographer, I have travelled the world in one way or another for 30 years. I am a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers for over 13 years. In the ever-changing world of publishing and online media it now requires that I have media skills across all areas. That now also includes video production. My travel images appear in magazines, newspapers and publications all over the world I am now blogging about all aspects of travel.

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