large area to roam or drive and enjoy the fresh air and nature and wildlife
too much traffic in some parts, parking space limited
Great for a little holiday!
Bucklers Hard (sometimes also spelled Buckler's Hard) is a tiny hamlet on the Beaulieu River. Located close to the sea, but also in the middle of the New Forest, it made for an ideal place for ship-building. Using the timber from the New Forest, often sturdy oak wood and the like, many a ship was built here, including huge parts of Admiral Nelson's...more
This centre is the seat of the tourist information, there is a very nice shop and there is the New Forest Museum.The staff of the tourist information had helped me before we arrived there. I needed information brochures, books and a dvd, and they advised me. The shop is one of these shops where I could easily spend hundreds of pounds. Apart from...more
A walk in the New Forest had long been on my wishlist, so when we had the opportunity to go there I started preparing for it:I bought a dvd about the New Forest from the very helpful staff in the Lyndhurst tourist office, a book about walks there , a compass and on the morning of our walk the latest Ordnance Survey map of the area. That should be...more
During the summer months, in 2013 from 29 June to 15 September, it would be great to tour around the New Forest in an open topped bus!There are 3 routes to take in a wide range of what is on offer in this large area encompassing King Williams old hunting grounds, free roaming ponies and donkeys, large market towns and small villages, old parish...more
A regular stop for the National Express coaches between London and Bournemouth I had only seen Ringwood as a bus stop with a large carpark - this time after driving to see the heather in bloom in the New Forest we drove into the town centre of Ringwood and what a lovely little centre with cute little shops, a large thatched pub restaurant, norman...more
Walking!!The New Forest has over 143 miles of public footpath which take in woodlands, heaths, riversides and even the seashore. Walks can be as short or long as you wish and because there are no particularly steep gradients there's something to suit pretty much everyone (except masochists of course). As well as the regular trails there are now...more
It was the crazy ladies, the rather attractive crazy ladies, who I met in the Angel pub who endeared me to Lymington - both of whom insisted on giving me a kiss and I was supposed to judge who was best. OK they were both a little drunk but they WERE sexy. Unfortunately my discreet attempt at getting a photo of them didn't quite happen but they were...more
For what is effectively still a small village Brockenhurst manages to cram a plethora of shops, services and other useful things clustered around its main drag of Brookley Road. Here you'll find pretty much everything you need - banks with ATM's, a Post Office, convenience stores, gift shops, newsagents, a bookshop, a couple of bike hire places, a...more
The ideal way of getting around the New Forest is by bike. There is over 100 miles of off- and on-road cycle routes connecting just about everywhere. Because the terrain is relatively level this makes cycling a pleasure and there's almost always a pub at the end of any journey.South West Trains are very "bike-friendly" with ample racks on most...more
Cycling does not get better than this! We've chosen to cycle from Brockenhurst to Beaulieu, return via Bucklar's Hard. This route takes you through woodland to Hatchet Pond and back on open heathland with views of the Isle of Wight.Cycling through New Forest, you will see horses, cows, donkeys and deers! I was on a look out throughout my 23mile...more
Ashley Walk is a superb area for walking, with rolling hills, streams and if you're quiet, herds of deer. Most people do not realise just what they are walking through!In the second world war, Ashley Walk was a major bombing range covering some 5,000 acres. Many top secret tests were performed here, including the dropping of a 'Grand Slam'...more
Beaulieu, pronounced "Bjuli", is a very picturesque village in the New Forest. While there is not too much to do in the village itself, except taking pictures of the lovely houses and street scenes or relax at the lakeshore and watch some of the wild ponies of the national park, there is one sight which makes Beaulieu quite unique: The National...more
As the New Forest stretches all the way down to the sea, you can combine your visit with some swimming at one of the beaches. Most of the villages next to the sea seem to have at least a small strip of beach, although most of them are pebble or gravel beaches. We visited three beaches: Key Haven, Milford on Sea and Lepe.1. Key Haven: This is a...more
Lymington is one of the biggest towns in the New Forest. It is a pleasant place for a little shopping or walking along its quai and marina. Hundreds of yachts of all sizes are found in the marina, most of them gleaming white and looking as though their owner is about to go on a world-trip with it. Sometimes lazy captains can be seen relaxing on the...more
The first time we saw the Ponies down here, made us laugh our heads off; there was a beautiful orange/red Pony sauntering down the right hand side of the road and there were two cars following behind him. The Pony just gaily walked slap bang in the middle of the road as the two cars had to dawdle along; one was a newish car and the other was a...more
The animals that we most like, in The New Forest, are the Donkeys. Chris and I both love Donkeys, we think that they have very pretty faces. Whilst driving through The New Forest roads, we came upon a couple of Donkeys grazing by the roadside, so I got Chris to stop so that I coud take some photos. As soon as the car stopped and I openend the...more
The forest is managed by 10 verderers who meet 6 times a year at the Verderers court at Lyndhurst and appoint 4 Agisters who are responsible for managing the up to 5000 wild ponies and cattle that roam freely around the New Forest - annually these animals are rounded up by the Agisters.more
We stayed in Ormonde House hotel and they asked us if we wanted to have dinner there as well. We did, but were surprised when we had to decide what we wanted to eat several hourse before dinner. We also had to chose the time when we wanted to eat.In the reception area there is a blackboard on which the dishes are written which are offered that day....more
Drive through the New Forest to the northern fringe to a little village called Nomansland. On the village green is a wonderful old pub called The Lamb, with several tables out front and more in the garden to the rear, plus those inside. It overlooks the green and some beautiful very large old-growth trees, with ponies grazing on the green. It's...more
The service was excellent and the ambiance was cosy & luxurious. The food was simply sensational, with exciting new flavours. The menu starts with a sort of tapas list of seafood temptations like battered calamari, whole tails scampi, octopus in paprika oil; the list go one.The fish was cooked to perfection and the sauce was excellent, rich yet...more
Set in the beautiful New Forest, in a former hunting lodge built in the 18th century, the grounds are not as grandeur as I imagined. On the day we arrived the parking exhibited around 15 Rolls Royce 1907 cars; they were a beaut.As it was a beautiful English sunny day, we sat out side (sort of a courtyard) . The table were well spaced and nicely...more
Zaika might well be the only restaurant of interest in Milford on Sea. There is a pizza place which was almost empty, a fish restaurant that hardly anybody entered, some pubs and Zaika where the door opened every two minutes and the waiters welcomed just another guest... Oh, and there's is an apparently very popular fish-and-chips shop just around...more
All over the New Forest, as throughout England, every village and town has pubs. They are also dotted around the countryside, standing on their own away from the villages, and most of them offer very good food. The atmosphere is friendly because they're the local meeting places, the food can vary from plain to exotic and the pubs are often very,...more
For an interesting day out the town of Lymington, on the coast, is well worth a visit. This is also where the ferries to the Isle of Wight sail to and from. To get there trains run half-hourly from Brockenhurst Station and stop at both Lymington Town and Pier. The journey only takes 10 minutes and a day return ticket costs (Oct 2012) £3.50.more
The New Forest has a couple of railway stations with Brockenhurst being the busiest and the most centrally located. This is on the mainline between London Waterloo and Weymouth and has regular services provided by South West Trains and Crosscountry. From London the journey time is about 90 minutes.This is also the inland terminus of branch line...more
There are road signs to remind motorists to keep their speed downs - but its easy to forget that its not only more easily visible ponies on the road but also smaller animals such as the badger which tends to come out at dusk.One reason that feeding of the wild ponies is asked not to be done is that it attracts the ponies out onto the roads which of...more
When you visit the beach at Lepe and get hungry you do well NOT to visit the beach restaurant. The food we got there was probably the worst that I have ever had. We ordered a cheeseburger and got an ice-cold bun sprinkled with half-melted grated cheese and stuffed with a burger that was chewy as leather. I only ate half of it, then I had to gulp...more
Miscellaneous: If you come to the New Forest by car, you should definitely have a good supply of coins with you. Most of the parking lots in the towns or close to the beach are "pay and display", and for whatever reason none of the ticket machines gives change. In order not to lose your money rapidly bring a lot of coins of all kinds. None of the parking lots we parked at cost £1, they always cost like £1,20 or £0,80. Prices vary extremely.
The ponies that roam free in the New Forest are a native species, indigenous to the area and with a history going back thousands of years. All the ponies are owned by the "Commoners" who register them for grazing annually with the "Agisters". The registration requires a fee, payment of which is marked by cutting the pony's tail. Each "Agister" has his own particular mark - in fact they are sometimes referred to as markmen - which also indicates the area where the owner resides.
Most of the ponies are mares, along with a few geldings. Stallions are kept off-forest and only allowed back during the breeding season. The "Agisters" are responsible for the monitoring of the welfare of the animals and ensuring numbers are commensurate with what the forest can support. Surplus animals are sold by auction several times a year at the Beaulieu Road Pony Sales, just south of Lyndhurst.
As a breed the ponies are fit, healthy and versatile and are used as working animals and for riding. Every year, usually on Boxing Day, a Point-to-Point meeting is held where the start and finish locations are only revealed on the morning of the race. Riders then have to use their own judgement as to the best routes to take and according to the ability of their mounts. The Point-to-Point is run by the New Forest Pony Association and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011 with a March meeting which was highly contested.