New Forest – an area of outstanding natural beauty in Southern England
The New Forest is located close to the south coast of England in Hampshire, close to the Dorset border. Famous for its new forest ponies which have grazed the land for hundreds of years, it is a very popular tourist area and an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is unique as it includes the largest stretch of lowland heath and woodland in Europe.
Walks and Bike Rides
It is a great location for country walks, mountain biking and horse riding. The New Forest is steeped in history as the site has evidence of both Neolithic man and Mesolithic man occupying the area. It is thought that they probably were responsible for starting the process of creating the forest as it is now.
A royal history
William the Conquer created laws to protect the forest, or rather his hunting ground, which helped ensure that the new forest has been able to evolve in to the beautiful area that it is now. Breaking the law around royal forests was extremely harsh. However, punishments were not often imposed. The New Forest is thought to have been especially important as the punishments for breaking the law protecting it were even harsher than the norm. It is thought that the ‘New Forest’ was given its name during this time around In 1079. William the Conquers son William the second or ‘Rufus the Red’ was killed in suspicious circumstances in the forest in 1100.
Holiday Lodges in the New Forest
Arguably the perfect way of enjoying the new forest is to book a holiday lodge close to the area. The map below shows details of lodges and log cabins in Dorset and Hampshire that are close to the New Forest.
The forest has so much to offer all year round with miles of lovely walks and off road cycle ways. You will see a great deal of nature while in the forest including the famous new forest ponies.
New forest ponies
The new forest ponies roam freely over the area, they are not wild ponies as they are owned by the ‘commoners’ who are allowed to graze them in the forest. The ponies have grazed the forest for centuries living on a diet of the gorse, bracken and brambles that grow freely in the area. Since Victorian times, when the ponies were interbred with Arabian Stallions they have mainly eaten the grass.
Driving through the New Forest
If you drive through the new forest there are speed limits in place throughout the area where there are ponies and other animals grazing e.g. cattle and deer. The slower you drive the better, for two reasons. Firstly, your passengers will be able to enjoy this lovely area better. There are plenty of places to stop to enjoy the area. Secondly, you are less likely to hit and kill an animal which is a harrowing end to a day as well as leaving you with potentially a very damaged vehicle.
Staying in and near the new forest
As you would expect in such a beautiful area there is plenty of holiday accommodation available in the area. The map below shows a selection of the holiday lodges that can be booked near the new forest which is also shown on the map. Other holiday options include holiday cottages in Hampshire or Dorset or for a cheaper option why not consider a caravan park in Hampshire or Dorset.
The south coast of England has plenty of other attractions in this area to visit giving you and your group plenty to do such as fabulous beaches, theme parks and many other locations.