- October 17th 2013
There is so much to explore in the New Forest, one of Britain’s great National Parks spanning approximately 220 sq miles of varying landscape, wildlife, flora and fauna.
The area lies in the county of Hampshire, between Southampton waters in the east and the Avon Valley in the west. The Forest then stretches from the edge of the Wiltshire Chalk downs in the north, to the Solent coast in the South.
We recently took a visit to Lymington, a beautiful Georgian market town situated on the southern edge of The New Forest and a very popular sailing resort with 2 large marinas. The town is surrounded by natural beauty, with ancient woodlands and the Solent and Isle of Wight just a ferry ride away.
On the way into the town we were held up, not by slow drivers or road works, but by six New Forest ponies wandering along the roadside. Animals have right of way in the Forest so all you can do is sit, watch and wait but it really is a fantastic sight.
When we eventually arrived in Lymington the town was bustling with activity, as a market is held every Saturday along the high street, which has origins dating back to the 13th Century. There were some fantastic local artisan food stalls selling their wares, including bread, cheese, patisserie, organic fruit and veggies, and some craft stalls.
If you like your gastronomy, then there are plenty of wonderful places to eat, many holding the coveted Michelin Star.
The Beautiful 5* Chewton Glen Hotel is in New Milton just 5 minutes drive from Lymington. One of the highlights are the Treehouses - set in a natural forest surrounding, they offer guests the opportunity to stay in luxury, whilst taking in the panoramic view from the canopy.
There are other 5* residences such as The Lime Wood Hotel in Lyndhurst, which is a 15 minute drive from Lymington. A wonderful setting in the middle of nature, with food overseen by Gordon Ramsey’s ex protégé Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder.
The Pig, (restaurant with rooms) in Brockenhurst can be reached in 10 minutes and this offers a more relaxed and homely environment.
Nearby is the famous Beaulieu, home to the National Motor Museum which was founded by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and is currently exhibiting The James Bond Collection. The largest original collection of Bond vehicles anywhere in the world, the exhibition is open until 5th January 2014.
There really is something for everyone in The New Forest. Why not rediscover this beautiful part of Britain, a haven for the great outdoors. To plan your visit and for more information visit www.thenewforest.co.uk