The New Forest was made a National Park in 2005 and remains one of the largest wild woods in Western Europe, famous for its free roaming ponies, cattle, donkeys and pigs who amble alongside herds of Fallow, Roe, Red, Sika and Muntjac deer. Here, in 220 square miles of meadows, heathlands, woods and streams you’ll find vibrant wildlife and birds. It’s a beautiful part of the country, enjoying a coastline with award-winning sandy beaches nearby and easy transport links. The New Forest is relatively flat and is a popular walking area with hundreds of trails-many passing gorgeous pubs for refreshments and a lovely lunch. There are also over a hundred miles of designated cycle tracks. Bring your own bikes or hire one locally from one of the many cycle hire providers in the region.
Supplies are an easy woodland walk or quick zip in the car to the village of Wood green just ¾ of a mile away. There’s a wonderful community shop selling everything from home-baked goodies to artisan creations. The town of Fordingbridge – 3 miles away, has plenty of shops for everyday supplies and there’s a large Waitrose and Sainsbury’s in Ringwood.
The New Forest has become a real foodies destination with a bevvy of award-winning gastropubs, restaurants and pretty tea rooms. We can also suggest in-house private chefs to come to Undercastle Cottage to prepare and serve meals for you. Some of our favourite pubs include The Bat and Ball in Breamore, The Three Lions in Stuckton, The George and The Crown both in Fordingbridge. Fabulous fine dining restaurants include Les Mirabelles in Nomandsland, La Fosse in Cranborne, Howard’s House, Salisbury, Surma Valley and La Lambretta both in Fordingbridge and Chewton Glen, New Milton. Also consider a visit to the local vineyards-Danebury Vineyard, Setley Ridge and English Oak are good. And not forgetting ale and beer lovers, tours can be booked at Ringwood Brewery and Hall and Woodhouse plus tipples and tastings from fabulous microbreweries sprinkled over the region.
If you can tear yourself away from the comfort and relaxation of Undercastle Cottage you won’t be disappointed at the vast amount of outdoor activities on your doorstep. Horse riding is popular, the closest stables–Arniss Equestrian is just 3 miles away, they also provide stabling if you’d like to bring your own horse. Archery, dry ski slopes, golf, kayaking, canoeing, clay pigeon shooting, foraging and high ropes are all popular.
This region is packed with great attractions, day trip sand year-round events. Beaulieu Palace, Abbey and Motor museum has an impressive collection of historic, sports, TV and memorable cars from 1875 to the present day. Nearby Buckler’s Hard and Exbury Gardens make another good day. Blue flag award winning sandy beaches are close by, our favourite being Mudeford Spit near Christchurch, where pastel dinky painted beach huts are advertised for sale for £300,000!
The ancient Purbecks gems include Corfe Castle, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, a small detour can include Bovington Tank Museum and smiles aplenty from the residents of Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre. Children will love Paultons Park (the UK’s number 1 family theme park and home of Peppa Pig World), Adventure Wonderland and Longdown Activity Farm.As this is such a richly historic region you’ll find plenty of stately homes, houses and fascinating locations such as Salisbury, Stonehenge, Winchester, Poole Harbour and Portsmouth Dockyard.