Living in the New Forest

To describe it as ‘stunning’ would be an inordinate understatement.

Each winding path, the view from any window – everywhere you look is like a scene from a picture-perfect postcard. With beauty in abundance the New Forest is nothing short of breathtaking. As one of the UK’s finest unspoiled wonders it is the perfect place to call home…

This idyllic setting provides the ultimate motivation to press pause and explore a new lease of life. Whilst the rush of the city can provide certain exhilaration, in time it can accrue a disheartening sense of gloom. With all that haste and angst, daily living becomes less of about the expedition and more about endurance. When looking for a better quality of life, look no further than the glorious green plains and mysterious copses of the New Forest.

Local Haunts

The Pig

Frequented by many Londoners for business lunches away from the office, is the foodie haven ‘The Pig’. Located a mere 10 minutes (walk) from Brokenhurst station you’ll find this enchanting manor hidden between looming shrubberies and creeping vines. Famed for its signature ‘country-chic’ style, The Pig is one of the UK’s top boutique hotels, boasting an incredible array of culinary delights. Taxidermy, antique furniture and quirky glassware are at home here.

Their 25-mile menu is truly a one of a kind experience; stunning, locally sourced produce (often from their very own back-garden) in a snug yet lavish setting. Stick your wellies on and explore their grounds; where their resident pigs can be found wondering the estate and prized vegetable patches await your perusal (be quick – you never know what will be on the menu next).

Chewton Glen

Or perhaps you’d prefer the height of luxury at the world famous ‘Chewton Glen’. A stunning hotel, located at the edge of the forest, home to a multi award-winning spa frequented by the rich and famous. A privately owned, quintessentially English country house, the Chewton Glen is an idyllic escape, surrounded by exquisite countryside, with costal adventures just moments away.

Burley & Buck

There’s nothing like the charm of a classic country pub and the New Forest is teaming with them. Take Burley for instance and its magnificent ‘White Buck’. Though part of a chain, this lovely pub is packed with character and stocked full with plenty of local swills. If you love roaring fireplaces, floral china, hearty meals and sofas that could swallow you whole, then this is the place to be. Originally built in the early 1900’s as a grand getaway home for a wealthy Englishmen, this Tudor tavern makes for a picturesque drinking spot.

…Of course, this is just one of many quaint country pubs. There really are numerous amounts of places to explore, each with their very own unique charm and allure.

Landmarks & History

Nova Foresta

Hunting has always been a popular pastime amongst nobles and the New Forest played an enormous part in their escapades. At the height of his reign, ruler William The Conqueror dubbed the area his very own tracking playground; he couldn’t know that nearly a millennium on his concourse would still retain its grandeur and would become somewhat of an animal sanctuary to the local wildlife.

Literary Relishes

Fall down the rabbit hole and indulge your fictitious fancies by visiting the very spot where Alice Liddell (Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for Alice in Wonderland) is buried – inside the St Michaels & All Angels churchyard in Lyndhurst.

The teeny village of Sway is said to be the setting for the novel ‘The Children of The New Forest’, written by famed author Captain Frederick Marryat. The book was also transformed into a series on the BBC in the late 80’s, complete with a start-studded cast, filmed entirely in and around the very same area.

Hythe (a town on the out-skirts of the forest) reached soaring heights, when the brilliant if not slightly eccentric, inventor of the Hovercraft ‘Sir Christopher Cockerell’, settled down to live here in the 1930’s. Not forgetting the eminent TE Lawrence A.K.A Lawrence of Arabia, who also resided in the picturesque village.

To The Battle

Pay a visit to Bucklers Hard, situated on the banks of the Beaulieu River and see where ships for Nelson’s fleet were built; made solely from the mighty oak trees of the forest.

Lets not forget how vital a role the New Forest played during the war, when city children were evacuated out to the countryside. Those who lived out there at the time would open their homes to children fleeing the warfare. Whilst it’s a terrible time to remise on, even to this day people seek refuge from all kinds of things, safe in the solace and serenity of the New Forest.

Growing up in the Wilds

The Local Schools

The New Forest offers an abundance of top-quality teaching. Centres of academic excellence nestled in the heart of the region include Walhampton, a day and boarding school for children aged 2-13. Walhampton, based just outside the quaint port town of Lymington, nurtures the academic, creative and sporting talents of its students, before sending them off into adolescence with confidence and strength of character. Equally as impressive is Ballard, New Milton’s non- selective private, offering pupils a prestigious, well-rounded education in state of the art facilities.

Amongst these prestigious options are smaller, alternative schools with their own unique educational approach. Ringwood’s Waldorf School offers the holistic ‘Steiner’ approach to learning, whilst Moyles Court gives students quality education in an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’.

At Home in The New Forest

The Lifestyle

There’s something to be said for the New Forest regime. Everyday, even fulfilling the most ordinary doings, seems to have a kind of rose-tinted filter about it. The commute to work is picturesque, solitude isn’t frightening and the numerous backdrops to ones day are equally as spectacular as the next. It begs the question; what kept you away so long?

Part Of The Furniture

Community, next to the pony, is one of the most coveted treasures here. All are made to feel welcome. Perhaps it’s the quality of life, the garden-fresh air, or the splendor of the setting, but wherever you go in the New Forest, the people are endlessly pleasant. The perfect location for making new friends, an ideal place to raise a family, somewhere to watch the sunset hand in hand – All in all and idyllic locale.

Never A Dull Moment

Whilst known for it’s ‘take it easy’ attitude, by no means is the New Forest dull. There is always something to do; all you need do is step outside. Horse riding, sailing, leisurely strolls and trips to the local hangouts are just the start.

If trawling the resident farmers markets is your thing, then you have the pick of many here. Most occur on a weekly basis, occupied by local agrarians, homegrown groceries, handmade condiments, art and other such treats.

If you crave the rush of adrenalin, the region has plenty in store. Thalassic enthusiast? How about rip-roaring RIB rides, chartered yachting, watersports and a long list of other such aquatic activities.

Running with the Wild Ones

Ditch the Hobby-Horse

Whether you’ve just partaken in your first lesson or are a seasoned rider, the New Forest the ultimate place to cultivate your equine pastime.

Take a hack through the forest with, well, pretty much anyone. ‘Ford Farm Stables’ in Brockenhurst, Burley Manor Riding Stables and Bagnum Equestrian are the tip of the iceberg in terms of stables offerings. Each boast a range of comprehensive services and a truly unique opportunity to properly acquaint oneself with the resident wildlife.

If that wasn’t enough, may we suggest paying a visit to the New Forest Polo School, to experience a traditional sport unlike any other. You needn’t mount a horse to fully enjoy their magnificence, simply take a walk through the natural park itself, where over 3,000 New Forest Ponies roam freely. The opportunities are truly endless.

The Coast With The Most

Christchurch

This hub of activity brings the best of nautical living along with a wealth of bars, food-havens and chic hotels. Hire a sail boat from the quay and drift along to the exquisite ‘Captains Club’, where you can enjoy cocktails, fine food, all whilst marveling at those who managed to make it further upstream.

Barton-on-Sea

Panoramic views of the golden coast, the muted sound of waves crashing against the shore; all of this and more can be found in the seaside town of Barton-on-Sea. Leisurely afternoons spent in front of a towering afternoon tea are a must here.

Lymington

Yet to part with the Georgian era, this buzzing harbor town provides the best of both worlds. Spend your days wondering through endearing cobbled streets, the sea air whistling by and watch boats sail away from the comfort of one of the many quayside saloons.