A weekend in the New Forest

Weekend Adventures in the New Forest

Proving he can be a romantic when he wants to, Mr Ayla surprised me last month with a weekend in the New Forest, a beautiful area of natural woodland and wildlife and a part of the UK that we had not yet explored. An easy 2.5 hour drive from London, the busy roads gradually turned into quiet country lanes with high trees stretching into the distance and wild ponies munching grass by the side of the road.  Every now and then we would pass a quaint little village or country pub – the sort of place where you can imagine everyone knowing each other. It was so peaceful and serene and we knew straight away that we would love it here.

Our first night we stayed at Eastclose Country House Hotel, a beautiful place that is said to have been the inspiration behind Alice in Wonderland. Waking up in the pretty white Georgian building and looking outside, I could just imagine the White Rabbit dashing behind the giant tree and down a hole in the grassy garden!

Where to stay in the New Forest

The next night was spent at the rustic and charming Cottage Lodge which you can read more about here.

Where to stay in New Forest

We didn’t have anything planned for the weekend (highly unusual for me, I know) but as we had our car we just drove around with no direction in mind, stopped off and hopped out of the car whenever we came across a lovely view or something that caught our eye.

Road trip to the New Forest

We wandered deep into the forest below giant trees and past trickling streams, across rickety bridges and through grassy meadows. Whenever we passed other people – hiking, walking their dog, or riding a horse – they would always say hello and give us a smile.  It was full of friendliness that you’d never find in London!

A weekend in the New Forest

Even though it was the end of November and the trees were bare and brown leaves littered the ground, it was all still so pretty and natural that I’ll just let the photos do the talking…

What do to in the New Forest

What do to in the New Forest

What do to in the New Forest

A weekend in the New Forest

Apart from outdoor activities there isn’t a huge amount to do in the New Forest and, as it was almost winter and we didn’t fancy getting blown off a bicycle, we decided to have a relaxed weekend and filled our days just wandering around exploring the countryside.  It’s a nature lovers paradise!

What to do in the New Forest

What to do in the New Forest

Despite the time of year and the chilly weather, the sun was still shining and the sky was blue which made for a wonderful day exploring outside.

What do to in the New Forest

What do to in the New Forest

Whenever we needed to warm ourselves up we found a cosy little tea room for a mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course) or a country pub for a bite to eat.

Wildlife spotting in England might not be quite as wild as an African safari but we still kept a look out for any animals wherever we went (as I always do when we travel because you know I love making friends with the furry locals).

Exploring the New Forest

Exploring the New Forest

We spotted some rather glamorous looking ponies and majestic deer wandering about along the paths and roads, free to go wherever they pleased and not at all bothered about people milling about nearby or the cars on the roads.

New Forest wildlife

This New Forest pony is totally pulling off the windswept hair look

New Forest wildlife

At one point we had difficulty finding a parking space as there were a few ponies lazing around in all the free spots and they often caused traffic jams standing in the middle of the road!

Wildlife in the New Forest

Our weekend was full of cosy cottages, open fireplaces, hot chocolates with marshmallows, country pub lunches, and woodland walks, all wrapped up nicely in woolly hats and fluffy scarves. It was the perfect autumn/winter getaway and it was still so pretty and natural despite the time of year. We’re already planning on making a return trip to this lovely part of the UK next year when the weather is a bit warmer, the trees will be bursting with green leaves and the ground will be full of colourful flowers.

A weekend in the New Forest

Exploring the New Forest

Have you ever visited the New Forest? Did you love it as much as we did? Let me know in the comments below or at:

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23 thoughts on “Weekend Adventures in the New Forest

  1. Virginia says:

    This is my part of the world! It was a beautiful place to grow up and when you go back next summer make sure you go to Lymington and Beaulieu too. Also you can go horseriding in the New Forest and there are beaches a bit further south near Christchurch, and there are some fantastic spas too.

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Ayla says:

      We didn’t go that far down south but we will definitely be returning next year so I’ll make sure we visit these places too. It’s so beautiful there!

  2. thegrownupgapyear says:

    Sounds like the perfect weekend! I love going for walks in winter and then warming up in a cosy pub, especially if there’s a nice open fire 🙂 The ponies in the New Forest are the best aren’t they? They just do not care what anyone else is doing. If they want to lie in the road, they’ll lie in it!

  3. ladies what travel says:

    I adore the New Forest it’s such a beautiful part of the UK! I’m heading back in January and cannot wait. I think winter is a brilliant time to visit too, we went last January as well and when we visited places like Beaulieu we pretty much had them all to ourselves!

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