Aldridge Hill Campsite

off Rhinefield Road, Brockenhurst, SO42 7QD, United Kingdom
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Forum Posts

The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by christine.j

I don't have any definite plans yet, but I'm thinking of going to the New Forest. There is a good train connection from London to Brockenhurst, but how easy is it to get around in the forest without a car? From what I've read so far, there is a visitor bus. These buses usually operate in the summer months only, and I'd be there either October or February.
Or would you say it's a bad idea to go in these months because of the weather?
I was in South Wales last October and apart from a few rain showers I had good weather. But February can be a different affair.
Thank you for any help.

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by colin_bramso

My favourite part of the world!
The weather obviously could be cold & wet, especially in February but with the British weather you can never be certain.
It's obviously much easier to get around with a car, to go where and when you want to, including out-of-the-way places, although there are local buses and some trains to the main towns and villages.

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by leics

There are four stations in the area: Ashurst, Brockenhurst, Sway and New Milton, but how frequent the trains are is something you'll have to investigate on www.nationalrail.co.uk

Local buses are run by http://www.wdbus.co.uk/ Their site will give you ideas about routes/times etc. Solent Blue buses cover some of the coastal towns (e.g. Lymington, Hythe)as well as Winchester/Southampton etc.
http://www.solentblueline.com/

A car would allow you to see more of this area than public transport will, even if you are a good walker.

As for February, it might be snowy and frosty and cold, or damp and miserable and chilly, or rainy and grey, or chilly with sunshine, or mild and cloudy, and any/all of these........layers, waterproofs, hat/scarf/gloves/good waterproof shoes/boots etc etc!

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by Sjalen

The one thing I can say about February is that whatever the weather, trees will almost certainly not be green if that's something to consider in a forest :) I'm hopping into this thread as I've got the same question but no concrete plans yet.

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by colin_bramso

Charlotta that's true, but actually the New Forest is mainly open heathland, not actually forest at all. It's very beautiful though, with huge open public areas you can just walk around.

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by Sjalen

Yes I gather a lot of the forest was used for ship building and being a pony girl once, I've seen plenty of pictures of ponies on heathland. I just meant that being a nature experience it is always nicer when green :) It must be gorgeous in August?

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by colin_bramso

I love to see the ponies wandering around there too - plenty of other animals live there freely too.

Yes, it was a shipbuilding area in the days of wooden ships and a lot of the trees went to the shipyard at Bucklers Hard near Beaulieu. The treed areas are new plantations or, my favourites, the old-growth areas called Ancient & Ornamental woodlands.

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by colin_bramso

By the way, not just August but all Spring, Summer and Autumn are beautiful, with the new green coming in Spring, then the full green of Summer and the changing colours of Autumn.

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by Sjalen

Yes the spring green is special. With August I was just thinking of blooming heather. But maybe that's too much of a Yorkshire vision :)))

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by colin_bramso

No not at all - I'm sure I have photos of the heather in the New Forest section of my UK Travelogue.

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by christine.j

Thanks a lot for the tips. Just reading about the heather in bloom makes me want to there in August/September. But unfortunately if I go by myself it has to be either October or February. I'm not so much concerned about the weather, but I was afraid there'd be fewer buses off season.

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by Sjalen

Then I'd pick October simply because my UK experience tells me that more sights are open longer. In February we're all still on winter time.

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by icowden

Another alternative to car is to hire a bike. The New Forest isn't that huge that well planned cycling isn't manageable if you are happy to cycle 5 or 10 miles in a day. Weather could be very variable, just bear in mind that most of what there is to see is outdoors. There are lots of walks, the Longdown Activity Farm, the otter and owl sanctuary. DOn't forget that a couple of the towns are coastal or by water which can make them feel colder. Beaulieu and Lymington spring to mind.

IMHO best place to base yourself is Lyndhurst (My wife and I have stayed at the Rufus House Hotel a couple of times, which is a lovely B&B on the outskirts). If you like wine, check out the shop by the car park in the centre. The chap there will let you sample the various fruit wines to your heart's content!

Re: The New Forest without a car, can this be done?

by christine.j

Thanks again for all yout help. Just today I received some information from the tourist information there, very friendly!

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