Walking Holidays in the New Forest
The New Forest in the South-East of England is one of the least spoiled areas of woodland in the United Kingdom and remains a favourite for family holidays. Dating back to 1079 as a royal forest, the area benefits from significant funding and preservation, as well as planned routes which make it easy for hikers and as 90% of the land remains in the possession of the crown, you can be guaranteed of a pleasant stay here. Choosing a holiday home or holiday cottage in the New Forest is the best way to experience this unique area of England.
While you would naturally expect the primary attraction of the region to be its extensive woodlands, the New Forest also features some heathlands which are often home to grazing New Forest ponies. Home to a huge variety of different species, walking through the dense woodlands, you will come across wild pigs, deer, otters and a menagerie of birdlife too. If you prefer a mixture of terrain, then visiting the North-West may be best for you as it is more open. Perhaps consider staying in Ringwood if you are looking for a peaceful town to stay in. The Long Slade Bottom area is among the best for walking with children and dogs as it is expansive and open, as is Abbots Well.
Marshes and coastline, plenty to explore during your walking holiday
To the South of the region, Solent way and the Keyhaven Marshes offer a different environment to explore. Along Keyhaven you will encounter shingle beaches before you reach the salt marshes which used to sustain the locals in centuries gone by with a livelihood. Now a recognized area of outstanding natural beauty, along the walk you will notice old salt boiling houses that are a reminder of the past of this quiet seaside village. Solent Way is a 60 mile stretch that follows the Hampshire coastline and will take you down to Bournemouth.
Lose yourself in a Forest full of mystery and intrigue
After a day on the coastline, venturing into the woods is the best thing to do in order to experience the region. Minstead is one of the prettiest parts of the forest area and features another village worth passing through. Lyndhurst is known as the capital of the New Forest and is a classic feeling English countryside village. Said to be the site of a dragon slaying and the burial place of Alice Liddell who served as the inspiration for the protagonist of Alice in Wonderland, the village is full of museums and the Bolderwood Deer sanctuary on the outskirts is perfect for families with plenty of routes to follow.