Wednesday, 1 July 2015

New Forest Fun

As you’ve likely read if you’re a regular follower of this blog, me and my other half have recently been in a need of a little break away.

 We were due to be seeing one of our favourite bands, the Foo Fighters, at Wembley and had both got the day booked off. It was one of those things we’d been looking forward to anyway, but given recent events we had even more reason to want some fun. 


If you read the news or ever go on Twitter or social media, you’ll have seen frontman Dave Grohl broke his leg whilst on tour in Gothenburg and so since this was mere days before Wembley, it got cancelled. You can imagine how disappointed we were and I’ll admit it felt yet another real kick in the teeth.


However, thankfully, rather than dwell on our upset and situation, we decided randomly late on Wednesday evening, literally a few days before, to do something good with our time off and not waste it.


Learning my fiancé was off work for 2 days (he works shifts) and at around 1am Thursday morning, we made the impromptu decision to book an overnight stay in one of our favourite places in the UK, the New Forest.


We first visited the New Forest in 2013, just for a few days. This time being so last minute most places to stay were booked up and we didn’t even think about where we’d like to visit or what the weather was like.


I’m quite an organised person, my fiancĂ© is super laid back. Most times it frustrates me I admit, but it’s a good balance to have and every so often his approach ends with us having a better time and I learn to try and be a bit more relaxed.


Thankfully, this time around the disorganised, quick decision worked in our favour.


We booked a little country farmhouse B&B in an area called Dibden, on the outskirts of the New Forest. It looked idyllic on the site and various reviews and images we saw, but you never know.


So instead of getting boozed up and rocking out to the Foos, we found ourselves in beautiful countryside, peace and quiet and some quality time the two of us. Perfect.


We made the 2 ½-3 hour drive and when we arrived at the B&B we were not disappointed, just as quaint and pretty as it had looked online. After checking out the lovely country style room, the flagstone floor and beautiful gardens we made our way sightseeing .


There is something about the New Forest, we’ve stopped off there on the way home from my fiance’s brother and his wife’s new home in Bournemouth before now too, in fact earlier this year.


I’m a big lover of animals so I never seem to tire of spotting the horses and ponies on narrow roads or grazing on places such as Emery Downs. We always have fantastic food wherever we go there and tend to find the people are always friendly too.


The good thing about the New Forest is you really can see and do things whether it’s sunny or cold, wet or dry. Although, admittedly, we might time it a little later in future so we can sample the gorgeous New Forest ice cream from the van at Bolderwood and also try the new tour buses – it seems we were little a early/out of season for those!


So my tips? Places I would recommend are:


As above, the ice cream from the van in the Bolderwood parking area - where you can also view the deer at the Deer Sanctuary - is a must!


New Forest Inn – a lovely country pub where you can choose traditional pub grub or try more gastropub fare – delicious


New Forest Wildlife Park – small but fun, great for families (or for couples like us where one of you gets nicknamed Dr Doolittle!)


Any of the walking paths around the forest area in general – beautiful surroundings and you can often spot all sorts of wildlife – ponies or deers running ahead across your path. 


Seashells restaurant in Hythe – beautiful seafood meal with a nice view


Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door (about an hour or so drive from New Forest area but well worth it, stunning!)


We didn’t go there this time, but as it’s all so close I am a huge fan of Monkey World in Wareham and of course you can travel to the sea in Bournemouth, I loved Boscombe as it was bit quieter. Lovely beaches! Or if you did fancy more hustle and bustle and a drink, there is a cocktail bar by the pier in Bournemouth that had great views. There are some fab pubs and restaurants round there too in the smaller areas, such as Indis in Westbourne.


Other places we’d been before and I’d recommend are Beaulieu Motor Museum, Burley village and Bucklers Hard.


All in all we had a lovely time, a good mix of great food, relaxing, walking and sightseeing. I’d try and stay in the adorable B&B again and next time make sure we can stay for more than one night! It was two wonderful days, but next time we’ll aim for more, there are just too many lovely things to see and do!

Ponies in the New Forest

Country house dining room at the B&B we stayed at 

Pretty common to see one animal or another crossing your path whilst you're in the New Forest!

The New Forest is famous for its deer, this is a little one we met at the Wildlife Park

One of the many walks/paths in the forest 

Hythe Marina

The New Forest Inn

Lovely pub near Lulworth Cove, great Ploughmans and famous for its cider

Lulworth Cove/Durdle Door