It’s taken me too long to write about lovely, lovely New Forest. In a nutshell, if the following sounds like heaven to you then you need to go:
- Endless forest
- Ponies for days
- Beautiful beaches and…
- A bloody good pub lunch.
You can find all of the above in one of my favourite places in the UK, New Forest.
How to get there:
From London, you can take a train to a few towns, like Brockenhurst or Lymington, or drive there. You can rent a car from either London, upon arriving in the New Forest OR take the South Western Train to Woking and rent a car there.
Why did we do it this way? Firstly, renting cars in New Forest are very expensive. Secondly, we were leaving on a Friday afternoon and the thought of taking our first rental and sitting in London traffic made us almost stay home. So the husband used his excellent Excel skills and determined that this was our best bet. Beat the London traffic with the train and rent your car one step closer to your destination….brilliant! Overall it took us about 3 hours door to door.
When to go:
I’ve been to New Forest in August (summer) and February (winter). Both have a unique beauty but I will recommend summer or autumn. Even though it was summer during our first visit it was still raining which is another good reason to have a rented car with you.
Where to stay:
The New Forest national park stretches over 571km. It was important for us to stay near the beach and have quick access to the forest. So the best option for us was to find accommodation in Lymington. The beautiful self-catering Studio by the Sea is ideally located and thanks to the lovely host, Annabelle, you’ll wake up with the best breakfast every morning.
What do do:
- Get in your car or on a bicycle in drive around the forest. Get out and explore one of the many walking routes to get really close to the ponies or horses. Even in a car, you can get super close to the animals.
- Head to one of many beaches in the areas or even take a ferry to The Isle of Wight
- Visit a spa. All throughout the district you can find top spas to spend a day and relax. Take a look here for recommendations.
- Make sure to use Tripadvisor to search for the best pub lunches in your area. New Forest doesn’t have a shortage of great meals, but the quality can vary. We found luck by speaking to our host and using the ‘Near me now’ and refining by rank to get the best spots.
Most of New Forest is super pooch friendly (just be aware of not letting your dog scare the horses) so make sure to take your furry friend along for a weekend in nature.
Can’t wait to go back soon!