The New Forest
Visit the New Forest and discover much more than an ancient woodland. It’s also unenclosed pasture where ponies, cattle and donkeys roam freely around the charming rural villages. There are idyllic open moors, heathland, cliff tops, rivers, valley mires and a dramatic coastline that includes mudflats and saltmarshes. It was proclaimed a royal forest by William the Conqueror and is featured in the Domesday Book. Today, it’s one of the best areas in the UK for walking and hiking, cycling and also offers a range of water sports both on the coast and also at the nearby New Forest Water Park. There is a huge range of things to do and places to explore from award-winning gardens like Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway, to the National Motor Museum and Palace House at Beaulieu. Apart from Fordingbridge itself, there are many attractive and interesting towns and villages also worth visiting. Burley is full of old-world charm with pretty thatched cottages, a wealth of independent shops and tea rooms. It’s famous for witchcraft, which started in the 1950s when a ‘white’ witch called Sybil Leek lived in the village. Lymington is a colourful coastal town on the edge of the Solent with a rich maritime history. It’s now a major yachting centre with three marinas.