Discover over a thousand years of history in the The New Forest

The New Forest is a National Park covering around 220 square miles on the South Coast of England in between Southampton and Bournemouth. The New Forest enjoys a protected status in law and has for nearly a thousand years. Comprising of a rich variety of landscapes, you’ll find coastlines, heathlands, hills, valleys and forest all begging to be explored and enjoyed. National Park status puts the New Forest in what’s been called the ‘Premier League’ of protected landscapes and with the beautiful surroundings you’ll see at every turn it’s not hard to see why. With at least 10 campsites dotted amongst the trees, The New Forest is a perfect place to explore in a luxury motorhome from Priory.

 

The Wildlife

If you were expecting to see a few squirrels, then you’re in for a treat. The sheer size of the New Forest supports a hugely diverse array of wildlife. There are at least three species of snakes, keep an eye out for the common lizard and consider yourself fortunate if you spot the rare sand lizard. The birdlife is extremely diverse, from tiniest species all the way through to the largest birds of prey. Being quiet and careful might allow you to catch a glimpse of a badge, but rabbits are fairly ubiquitous and you’d struggle to miss them. There are five species of deer who call the New Forest their home. You might be surprised to find out that the New Forest is home to what you might consider to be ‘farm animals’. Most famously, the New Forest Ponies aren’t hard to find all over the Park, you might also spot cattle, pigs and donkeys roaming the woodland. With so many free roaming animals, it’s essential to stick to the speed limit and keep a watchful eye out at all times. Wild and semi-wild animals may cross the road at any time, so be prepared to slow down or stop should you spot any while you’re driving. Also, bear in mind that you shouldn’t feed the ponies, they are strictly protected and doing so could well see you fined and receiving a criminal record.

 

What to do in the New Forest

In addition to numerous walking and cycling routes, there are numerous places to arrange a horse riding expedition (if you forgot to bring your own horse!). If you’d like a more guided tour, then why not hop on one of several open-top bus safari tours and enjoy a commanding view of the scenery and wildlife. If you’d like to discover local wildlife at your own pace, there are numerous wildlife trails to follow and if you’re keen to see any creatures, in particular, it’s worthwhile speaking to local guides or rangers to point you in the right direction so you’ll have the best chance of spotting them.

 

Local Communities

The New Forest isn’t just a nature reserve, it’s home to over 34,000 people, many living in on of the 37 parishes and towns. Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst are the most prominent, but with so many pretty villages to discover, you could while away days exploring them all. As the New Forest has the seaside at its southern border, don’t expect all of them to be surrounded by trees.

 

Discover New Forest Legends

The New Forest is ancient woodland and as such has its fair share of local folklore. A little exploring will yield tales of witches, smugglers, ghosts, heroes and even dragons. With such magical surroundings, it’s hardly a surprise that so many myths and legends have found their way into its history.

 

 

We’d love to hear your stories of your motorhome adventure, of exploration and discovery in The New Forest. What wonders have you found? What’s the best picture you’ve taken?