In July myself, my boyfriend Ben, my sister Mia and her boyfriend Harry spent 3 nights camping in the New Forest to celebrate Mia’s birthday. Our campsite was lovely and the whole trip was brilliant – read my full post on our trip to the New Forest here!
After our trip to Lymington we were ready to explore somewhere new on our final full day in the forest. After much debating we decided to take the ferry to the Isle of Wight to explore and pay a visit to Osborn house. Unfortunately things didn’t really go to plan… We arrived at the port in Lymington (there are others but as this was the nearest we thought it would be easier) around 12 and were told that whilst we could get out there coming back was going to be more of a problem, the only ferries back with space were at 3pm or 10pm, with the campsite car gates closing at 10:30pm we thought this would pushing it a bit, and 3 hours not offering us enough time. Lesson learnt, next time book in advance because trips involving ferries are not made for spontaneity.
We got back in the car slightly dejected but I suggested we go to Christchurch instead, we were dressed, I had some vague memory of it from my childhood trip to New Forest, and thought it would be fun.
The first thing we did when we got to Christchurch was go to lunch, after the disappointment earlier we decided to treat ourselves to proper Sunday lunch. Picking the first pub we came across we stumbled inside the welcoming Thomas Tripp. The pub itself is lovely, and me and Mia couldn’t help but think of how it would have been a great student pub. The staff were friendly and there was a good choice of drinks available – making it an instant hit with Ben and Harry.
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. Mia nearly changed her mind when she saw someone’s burger go past, tempting all of us to stay in Christchurch for dinner!
The meat was wonderful, cooked perfectly and so tasty. The mixed veg bowls are seasonal, and as well as peas and broccoli we were treated to roasted sweet potatoes, aubergine, pepper and courgette. The Yorkshire puddings were huge and tasted amazing, my only critique would be not enough gravy – but then I’d drink the stuff if Ben wouldn’t judge me. It was great to sit, eat and talk without feeling rushed. A must visit when in Christchurch – delicious food and beautiful pub!
After lunch we walked down to the river. Me and Ben decided, after our trip to Lymington, it was time to achieve our dream of becoming boat people. Of course, we couldn’t actually buy a boat and retire to Christchurch to do nothing but drive on the river and eat at Thomas Trpp. Instead we hired a self-drive boat for a trip down the river. It cost £20 for half an hour or £30 for an hour and they gave you instructions on how to drive (very simple to do, so you too can achieve your dream of being boat people!) and a route to follow. We decided to do he 30 minute tour as we didn’t want Mia and Harry to think we’d abandoned them for good.
The boat trip was lovely, driving along the river was great, and we went past so many lovely houses and little shores with dogs and people swimming just off of them. There were lots of other boats, paddleboarders and kayakers around, which tested my rather limited driving skills and led to Ben taking over multiple times as I squeaked in fear. As this was my first time driving anything (Ben’s official title is Boyfriend and Chauffeur) I didn’t think I did too badly.
We found Mia and Harry in the park eating ice cream and joined them – there is definitely nothing that beats New Forest ice cream.
You can’t come to Christchurch without a visit to the church. It was beautiful, the stained-glass windows were stunning, the internal architecture was breath-taking, and to add to it all there was a 24 hour music event to raise money. It really was an amazing trip!
On our way back from Christchurch to our camp at Brockenhurst we drove through some unbelievable landscapes, with truly wild horses grazing on moors as the sun beat down and no other cars around it was difficult to find a reason to leave the New Forest behind.