The New Forest looks like something out of a fairy tale. Kind horses that graze in little villages and happily greet you on the heather paths, donkeys and cows that play tricks on tourists and wild, beautiful deer that run away skittishly out of low shrubberies when you get near.
The glowing hills are covered in breath-taking purple and yellow flowers, harbouring little birds, foxes and even two Eurasian lynxes!
I have always found that – ever since my first trip down to visit my parents in law, The New Forest has recharged my batteries, emptied my head and totally stole my heart.
Here are 5 reasons why the New Forest is the perfect getaway!
The Incredible views
I have always been in awe of the hills in The New Forest. I don’t know it’s the colours or if it’s the animals grazing and roaming around or if it is just because the views are absolutely breath-taking… every time I go to the New Forest I HAVE to take a walk. I cannot leave without a hike of at least one hour – no matter what clothes I am wearing. Last time I ruined my stockings on low bushes of spikey flowers and I almost drowned my feet in the marshes: But it was worth it.
There is no way I can describe the beauty of this national park. I have stood on a hill in winter while I saw the fog creeping op in the valleys, I saw the snow magically transform the whole area into a winter wonder land and I absolutely loved picnicking in the middle of the wild flowers while the foals and their mothers came to greet us.
It is insane how much I love the New forest and its views and I always feel like pictures and words will not do the region justice.
Like I already said: This place seems like something out of a fairy tale. Horses and donkeys roam around freely, there are big cows and when you stay really still you can see the deer. There are foxes and owls and other birds and there are lynxes and pigs and… and.
All you have to do is break out into song and it would seem as if you wandered off into a Walt Disney feature! I honestly have never ever had a bad experience with the animals in the new forest. You just should be careful not to come too close to the horses in the spring, when they have their foals. But outside of foaling season, most of the horses are extremely nice and would not think twice to come and say hallo. In the autumn, when the trees are losing both fruits and leaves, big pink pigs are put onto the forest to clean up pine cones since they are poisonous for the horses. It is an incredible sight to see them run around the valleys, trees and hilltops, grunting and puffing to find food and fruit.
At night, you can hear the screams of the foxes and if you sit outside on a nice summer night, you cannot be surprised to see an owl or two!
There is history all over the UK. You cannot drive five miles without seeing landmarks pointing you to museums, old buildings or excavation sites. This is not different in the New Forest. There is loads of local and national history that has been written here. The new forest for instance, had been the personal hunting ground for William the Conqueror and stories of witches and covens are never far away in the lovely town of Burley. Queen Victoria II let build the first concrete tower ever in Sway – still the highest building in the new forest, almost an earie testament to a time long forgotten – a time, we often forget did not only occur in London.
I absolutely love the little shops that bear testament to the history in the region and although I have never ever bought anything of the tourist nicnacs, I love browsing.
Another great landmark is Rhinefield house. Although the afternoon tea we had here was not the best we ever had, the hotel is incredibly beautiful. The hotel stands on the place where William The Conqueror had his first castle in the new forest and the current building was built there in the 1880’s. The buildings combined Tudor with Gothic elements and stands incredibly beautiful in the Forest. Definitely worth a visit!
Have I mentioned how cute the cottages are? You can find them all over the south side of the new forest, both in the little villages as in the larger ones like Brockenhurst. It looks like you stepped back into the past.
I especially love the cottages in Brockenhurst and Burley as they are almost immaculate!
The New Forest has his own Ice Cream called New Forest Ice Cream. I think it is made in Beaulieu or Lymington … but you can eat it almost everywhere in The New Forest, including by the Ice Cream Trucks on the car stops and in the ice cream parlours in the little villages. I absolutely LOVE their flavours and their Salted Caramel is to kill for.
Other notable things I love about the new forest
– The cider. My parents in law live in Burley. I absolutely love the Cider Pantry. It has a small little shop in the back where you can buy about anything local. From Jams and Custards to beers and ciders. Although I would normally pass for a sour cider, I do greatly enjoy the ones they sell!
– The Pubs. I love the pubs. I frequent The Queen’s Head when I am in Burley and when in Brockenhurst I go to the one close to the station. I love sipping the reasonably priced pints and sitting in the beer garden.
– The Stars. Because there are so little villages and cities in the new forest, there is no or little light polution. Seeing milky way is quite easy on a clear night and if you love skygazing, I strongly recommend!
Have you ever been to the New Forest? What did you like best?
What other regions of the UK would you recommend?
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