Sun is up (mmmm! Delicious vitamin D, here I come...), summer time is here, there is warmth in the air, and I don't want to waste a single bright day staying indoors... So what do I do on a lovely sunday like this? Walk 4 miles from Brockenhurst train station to Lyndhurst town via the off road footpath at New Forest. Yes, that's right! On 10th August, I had a very fun sunday trek from Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst prowling via the natural scenic greenery of New Forest, encountering the little wonders like the New Forest ponies, wild horses, herd of deers, pretty butterflies and some mighty cows. And while in New Forest the famous New Forest ice cream is a must! What a lovely day! Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling my best (health suddenly acted up) but I went ahead anyway with a skip in my feet and a smile on my face :)
We started off at about 9 in the morning, starting from Southampton central station, taking a train from Soton to Brockenhurst, New Forest. It takes about 25 mins from the central station or about 40 mins from the Soton Airport parkway station. Once there, we initially decided to hire rental bikes to tour the forest all the way to Lyndhurst, but due to the popularity and high demand of bikes, they were all out by the time we got there. So we decided to walk it instead.
Here is a map and estimated time for the trek, however because we were actually off road, wandering into the wild, cutting through the forest, chasing ponies and stopping for our mandatory photo stops, we actually took double the time of about 3 hours between the two points.
Before we get to the trek, I must add that Brockenhurst is a lovely town with really pretty thatched cottages and beautifully maintained floral gardens in full bloom especially at this time of the year.
The town around the train station is worth a walk. We were quite impressed to see such lovely neighbourhood. But first, breakfast! I of course ordered the king's meal. Oh yeah! Full english for me please... A girl's gotta eat to keep up with recreational hobbies :)!
After such a hearty brunch, into the forest off we went...
New Forest is a lovely place for day trips and picnics out in the open. Now, if there are two things that New Forest is famous for they are the audaciously cute ponies and ice cream, ooh the ice cream. It is also a resting place for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at Minstead, something on my bucket list to visit :) And finally, the biggest revelation to me was the fact that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson a.k.a Lewis Carroll found his inspiration for Alice from "Alice in Wonderland" while on a boat trip in Oxford when he met a charming little girl called Alice riding on the same boat as him. Now isn't that a cool story? No wonder Lyndhurst village is so heavily influenced by the "Alice in Wonderland" theme.
Anyway, the way to Lyndhurst slightly felt longer than it really is all because of the off road route that we took that serpentines through all the terrains, valleys, and even a few tunnels in the forest.
|New Forest route|
As I mentioned earlier, a New Forest trip is not complete without viewing some ponies and horses. But our good luck didn't end just there, we also encountered massive herds (yes, we saw two different herds) of wild deers crossing our pathway, some cows bathing in the Lymington river, and some wild horses grazing in the field, or casually walking around the campsites, in and out of tents like nobody's businuess. Here is one such showstopper who was the highlight of the day...
|My little pony|
We carried on from there for few more miles till we finally reached the beautiful town of:
|Lyndhurst village centre|
Now Lyndhurst is the capital of New Forest. It is a lovely village in the New Forest national park with a very popular and well visited enclosed pasture land for New Forest ponies, horses, donkeys and picnicers alike, many independent shops, art galleries, cafés, museums, pubs and hotels. It has rich culture and appeal of the old fancy and quaint english villages. I quite like the village shopping centre filled with quirky, vintage stores with intriguing items, and mad hatter tearooms just at the end of the road. It also has a church just up the hill from Lyndhurt pasture ground.
After about 3 hours hike to the village, we were quite hungry and arrived right on time for lunch. So we headed up to one of the best pubs at the village, Fox and hounds, they sure can make some mean sunday roast worth every delicioius penny!
|Fox and hounds|
Anyway, here are a few highlights from the day:
Now, when in New Forest, an ice cream is a must ;)
|Chocolate, berries and cream|
After dinner and ice cream we took a bus back to Brockenhurst and then a train back to Soton. And that is the end of the wonderful sunday at the lovely wilderness and cozy village of New Forest... I know this is not the last time for me here, but until next time,
With love and ponies,