Last week I celebrated my birthday with drinks & dancing with the girls followed swiftly (and gratefully) by a restful staycation with Marc in the New Forest.
We had left it until the last minute to decide where to go but I’m so happy that we settled on the New Forest as it was so incredibly beautiful and completely beat my expectations.
Predominantly lying in Hampshire, the New Forest is a National Park made up of wild woodland, vast heaths, cute villages and my favourite part:
The Wild Horses
It took us about 2.5 hours to drive from our home in South East London to our hotel in Lyndhurst and we got very excited when we spotted our first sightings of two wild ponies (and a couple of cows) happily munching the grass on a village green.
Little did we know that this was just the start of it and as the weekend went on we saw so many wild horses and ponies in parks, gardens and hidden amongst the yellow and purple heathland – one was even trying his best to get into a shop. Not only was it amazing to see them like this but also, because they were so confident around humans, they would happily let you pet them.
I didn’t think that I would find anywhere in England quite as beautiful as when we went to Loch Lomond in Scotland but I was wrong. The New Forest has everything. From the wide sandy beach at Highcliffe to the vast bluebell woods and wild heathland in the National Park, the nature here is beautiful. For an area so close to London, it couldn’t have felt further from city life.
The Cute Villages
We stayed at the Crown Manor House hotel in Lyndhurst on a cute little high street filled with tea rooms, independent shops and a popular Ferrari showroom. At the end of the high street was a pretty park (complete with wild ponies) that offered some great views across the countryside. Other areas we enjoyed visiting were Brockenhurst and Beaulieu.
Sadly we were too late to make a reservation at the acclaimed The Pig (next time for sure) but we did have a delicious meal at The Fox and Hound pub in Lyndhurst. I loved that so many of the restaurants in the New Forest prided themselves on serving locally sourced food and supporting the local farms.
We stayed at the Crown Manor House hotel in Lydnhurst as it was the only hotel that had a room left when we booked the night before. It ended up being a great base right on the high street with a comfortable room, good breakast included and pretty interiors, although as it was an old building you could hear people moving around and talking in some of the other rooms.
If your budget can stretch to it though, I have heard amazing things about The Pig Hotel, Limewood and the one I would most love to visit – the Chewton Glen treehouses.
Is there anywhere else worth visiting in The New Forest? Let me know below – I’m desperate to go back!
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