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UK Tourist & Leisure Attractions - New Forest

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

New Forest break in Hampshire October 2007 - page 2

On the second part of our New Forest short break we took a tour round the old shipbuilding base of Buckler's Hard and the enchanting Otter, Owl & Wildlife Park.  In Brockenhurst we enjoyed some excellent meals at the local Indian and pub and ended with a cracking country walk around the town's outskirts in a car-free day.
This is page two of two.
New Forest 1 | New Forest 2

Cooking in the Brockenhurst holiday cottage kitchen
Here's a peek inside our Brockenhurst holiday cottage (well, the kitchen at least) and one of us was hard at work preparing a lip-smacking evening meal...

New Forest holiday cottage meal
...which was rather spicy hot!  Never mind, at least we could tame it with lashings of that lovely Snake-Catcher New Forest cider we bought the other day.

Buckler's Hard cottages, Hampshire
Day 3 and off to Buckler's Hard to find out about 18th century shipbuilding.  The Buckler's Hard cottages run down to the Beaulieu River from where the ships were built and launched, including Nelson's 'Agamemnon'.

A picnic by the Beaulieu River in the New Forest
We like our picnics, and enjoyed ours by the Beaulieu River at the point where the ships of old were launched.  Just up the river is the famous Beaulieu Motor Museum, previously visited back in 2001.

Looking round the Buckler's Hard Story & Maritime Museum
Inside the Buckler's Hard Story & Maritime Museum we studied the many interesting displays bringing the village story to life and some fascinating reconstructions - a Labourer's cottage from 1790, the Master Shipbuilder's office and...

The New Inn reconstruction at Buckler's Hard
...the 'New Inn' from 1792.  The locals would have consisted of shipbuilding labourers chewing over the issues of the day and the Inn also served as a shop and business centre.  However, we were a little disappointed with Buckler's Hard which cost 5.70.

Otter, Owl & Wildlife Park in the New Forest, Hampshire
Next up was a visit to the wonderful Otter, Owl & Wildlife Park near Ashurst.  The park is home to many species, including wallabies, badgers, polecats, deer, foxes and wild boar... oh, and owls and otters of course!  Entrance was a reasonable 6.95.

Owls at the New Forest wildlife park near Ashurst
The owls didn't seem to do much except just sit there.

New Forest: a wallaby in Wallaby Wood
As we arrived at Wallaby Wood the wallabies were having a scratching session, in the process showing just how floppy their fur was!

Me and my shadow - followed by a deer on the nature trail
Oh dear!  Belinda found a Deer friend who insisted on following us all around the charming ancient wooded nature trail at the New Forest wildlife park.

Duelling Deer at the Otter, Owl & Wildlife Park in the New Forest
In the Deer Meadow these two were having a bit of a barney and locking antlers!  Probably just a minor skirmish caused by one pinching the other's wife!

New Forest Otter, Owl & Wildlife Park: the otters enjoying their food
We hit the Otter Pens at feeding time - those noisy little guys seemed to sense the Keeper's arrival and ferociously enjoyed their feast.

Brockenhurst village in the New Forest, Hampshire
The small village of Brockenhurst was only a short walk from our holiday cottage and we'd imagine it's pretty 'buzzing' during peak season.  We enjoyed several evening meals out there, including a culinary curry at the excellent Dynasty Indian Restaurant and a magnificent meal at...

The Foresters Arms pub in Brockenhurst
...the Foresters Arms pub.  Brockenhurst is well located for New Forest travel; it's a rail/bus interchange and The New Forest Tour Bus calls there (but only runs May-Sept, maybe they don't expect 'green' tourists outside these times?).  Oh, there's also several cycle hire shops.

A New Forest walk near Brockenhurst
On our final day in the New Forest, with the weather still holding up, we left the car at the cottage and took a short six mile walk around Brockenhurst.

Footbridge over the river in the New Forest
The stunning scenery was enhanced by the autumn colours and quaint bridges crossing small rivers - just perfect for playing Pooh Sticks!

Stroking a New Forest pony
We came across this friendly New Forest pony and a little later some wild pigs having a snooze in the warm autumn sunshine.  Eeek, mind your hand!

An enchanted New Forest wood
After yet another picnic we headed through this enchanted wood back towards civilisation - and the pub, for an 'end of short break' drink.

New Forest ponies and cattle stating their right-of-way on the road!
The ponies and cattle have priority in the New Forest and think nothing of ambling down the middle of the road - a fitting end to our New Forest short break!


Our conclusions?  Well, we had a grand time in the New Forest and, with so much wonderful countryside to see and things to do, next time we'll undoubtedly visit for longer.  Cycle hire is well provided for and an enjoyable 'green' way to tour, but we just didn't have time to check it out.

Fellow tourists - you may be interested in our tourist product reviews.

Want to find out more about the New Forest?  Then please take a look at our UK tourist resources where you can benefit from our research.

We've also visited Amazon World Zoo Park on Isle of Wight, Longleat Safari Park, the Skomer Island puffins and Monkey World.