For more adventures go to Now Boarding All Rows (I’ll also be posting individual posts on Lymington and Christchurch here!)
Myself, my boyfriend Ben, my sister Mia and her boyfriend Harry decided to celebrate Mia’s birthday with a trip to the New Forest. I was probably about 6 when I last went to the New Forest, so I didn’t really remember it and wasn’t sure what to expect – well apart from trees and horses!
Instead of opting for a hotel or renting a holiday home we decided to camp with Camping In The Forest. I’m not a massive fan of camping but the campsite (we stayed at Brockenhurst) was beautiful – loads of trees for shade and a large open field at one end and a wooded area for cycling next to that. The campsite has three large blocks for toilets, showering, drinking water, dog washing, laundry and plate washing, making the stay very comfortable.
We left early on Friday for the 3 hour journey, crammed into one car and singing along to the Mamma Mia soundtrack. We stopped at a service station for food once we were near, making it feel like a real roadtrip.
On arrival you can pitch pretty much wherever you want, although it was relatively busy as the school holidays have just started and the weather is pretty perfect for camping! As we were unpacking a very friendly horse came to say hello, he visited all of the camps in our part of the site in the mornings looking for food but they do warn you to keep food in cars as the horses are cheeky! One of our neighbours did attempt to rescue their bread from him but it was a lost cause.
We did a quick tour of the campsite and went into Brockenhurst to grab some food for a BBQ – BBQs and coal fires are allowed most of the time. Me and Ben then went for a walk to the field and came across plenty of horses, ponies and foals. The horses are semi-wild here, as most are happy to be stroked and weren’t bothered by a group playing football nearby. After our BBQ we played a few rounds of top trumps and went to bed early, exhausted from our early start.
The second day of our visit started early, around 6am, as it’s hard to sleep with the sun rising so early and pouring into the tent. Me and Ben had also found ourselves nearly on the floor in the morning after our inflatable mattress decided to deflate overnight! Waking up in the forest and being able to walk around in the early hours perfectly safe was incredibly relaxing. Kids were lounging in camping chairs and riding bikes whilst waiting for their parents to wake up – it was great to see so many kids happy in the natural world!
Mia opened her birthday cards over breakfast, and of course the horse from the day before came for a nosey!
For our first full day we made our way to Lymington, a charming little harbour town. It was also market day and there was an array of delicious foods to buy! Walking around the town I was reminded of Whitstable, both lovely places to visit in their own right! We went to The New Forest Ice Cream Parlour and remembered what real ice cream tastes like – I’d recommend the honeycomb!
We also paid a visit to Lymington’s adventure golf course. This is one of the best adventure gold courses I’ve done! Most of the holes include both uphill and downhill parts, making it ‘harder’ than most courses. Even Harry, who plays traditional golf, found it a fun challenge! There is also a ‘ferry trip’ over the water, and a hole the requires you to get your ball uphill and cross the river. It took us around an hour and was incredibly fun!
We headed back to camp to relax for the rest of the day, a little sunburnt but happy. It was amazing how relaxing it was, and without Wi-Fi and 4g we weren’t burying ourselves in our phones. It was great to get some time to relax and catch up on reading – find my book reviews here.
The next day we had a slight mishap with our original plan (read about this in my post about Christchurch – coming soon!) so we headed to Christchurch instead. We stopped in the first pub we came across, the Thomas Tripp, and thank god we did! We all had the roast (choice of beef, pork and lamb on the day) and agreed it was probably the best roast we had ever had. The mixed veg bowls are seasonal, and as well as peas and broccoli we were treated to roasted sweet potatoes, aubergine, pepper and courgette. Delicious food and beautiful pub! Me and Ben decided to take a self-drive boat trip down the river (£20 for 30 minutes or £30 for an hour) – even though driving terrified me it was great fun!
After laying in the park with more ice cream and visiting the church we headed back to camp, driving through some beautiful landscapes, for another BBQ. Me and Ben went to explore the far side of the field and found an impressive den made by someone, as well as a rope swing. The campsite really does offer everything and provides great entertainment for all.
The next morning we woke early and left after one final trip to the field to watch the horses graze peacefully. All in all it was a beautiful, relaxing trip.