As we had such a lovely time in the New Forest a couple of weeks ago we thought we would come back for a few days this week, this time venturing to the East, closer to Brockenhurst.
With a quest to sniff out all the interesting/unusual little CL’s this one (Setley Ridge Vineyard, Lymington Rd, Brockenhurst, SO42 7UF, £16 per night) looked promising, set in a vineyard, unsuitable for children, farm shop, a mile outside Brockenhurst and lots of walking…. unfortunately it forgot to tell us that it was going to rain this week…but I guess we can’t really blame them for that!
When we arrived on Monday, memories of all the vineyards we have stayed in across Europe came flooding back …. Mika was very happy in her surroundings and despite the increasingly grey clouds as the week progressed, we could have been anywhere!
The location was good but interestingly we preferred where we stayed a couple of weeks ago as it was far more tranquil with more small villages and wildlife rather than large houses and slightly bigger towns. That said, we still managed to explore and get some good walking in.
We have bought a new toy (Satmap Active 20) and are doing our best to see whether it is worth keeping so putting it to its paces, on Tuesday we headed off cross country ….. literally through the nettles, thorns and overgrown hedges to Lymington which is a beautiful seaside town on the edge of the New Forest. Once we got to the outskirts of Lymington we happened to pass a sign to the local Dancing Cows Gin Distillery, so we took a little detour to find out more….. three gins and a rye later we purchased a bottle of the Gin to add to the collection and set off, weaving our way along the coastal path into Lymington rather than our previous route. Naturally, as we had opted for the slightly longer route the skies opened and the views of the Isle of Wight became a distant blur …. it was still quite pretty though!
Lymington was lovely, but after a quick refreshment and catching up on email, ordering a new fridge freezer ….. for those of you who believe that we don’t do any work at all…. we set off back through the woods to be enchanted.
Trees are such beautiful things and walking through the New Forest it is so easy to see where the idea came for the Ents in the Lord of the Rings … so much character and personality. The forest is far denser this side of the New Forest than it was closer to Ringwood with a huge variety of trees, young, old and very old!
Still wanting to put the toy through its paces, after a very wet run on Wednesday morning while Keith did his exercises inside we set off to find Lyndhurst in the rain. We stuck to main bridlepaths instead of footpaths as it was pretty wet and the walk took us winding through the dense forest, arriving at Lyndhurst just in time for the clouds to lift for us to have a cuppa before they opened again for the walk home….. very timely!!
With everything smelling a little bit damp (mostly my sports clothes and shoes to be fair to Keith), thankfully on Thursday morning the rain stopped and enabled us to dry out and get some walking in without having to be enclosed inside waterproofs! We did a circular walk through the forest in a different direction, again sticking to the main bridlepaths and happened to come across a group of young deer who were very inquisitive before we came back through Brockenhust on the way home.
A good few days away, a lot of miles under the belt, a bottle of gin heavier and a year older, now we have to work out where to next….