Welcome to our latest blog, courtesy of Goboony, a motorhome rental platform helping private motorhome owners to get in touch with those looking to enjoy the freedom of a motorhome holiday. Through their platform you can organise motorhome hire directly from an owner in the UK.
Can you name a better way to spend your weekend than sleeping beneath a vast starry sky? Than spotting deer and red squirrels, going for hikes and bike rides? Than pony trekking in the New Forest along gushing streams and under a canopy of leaves? No, you can’t! The New Forest is one of the biggest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in Southern England. It covers southwest Hampshire and southeast Wiltshire, and was named a royal forest by William the Conqueror and featured in the Domesday Book. I’m going to tell you exactly why your next camping trip should be to the New Forest, and all the great things to do when there!
#1 Pony Trekking
Pony trekking in the New Forest is certainly one of the best ways to emerge yourself in the natural beauty of the National Park. It will allow you to take routes you couldn’t have with any other form of transport, whilst seeing more than you could’ve on foot due to the increased pace. There are over 3,000 New Forest Ponies roaming the stunning landscapes, and numerous centres to choose from. So pick up the bridles, either map a route or let yourself be surprised, and start exploring this magical part of the country. Here are some riding centres in the New Forest:
#2 Walking Routes
You could easily spend a week just exploring the various New Forest walking routes. They scope across the entire national park and allow you to immerse yourself in the dense woodlands as well as view the picturesque villages dotted around. If we had to pick our personal favourites, it would have to be Avon Valley Path for a long distance trip, and Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary for a short stroll with the kids.
The Avon Valley Path is 34 miles in total, and takes you from Salisbury to Christchurch on the South Coast. You begin at the magnificent cathedral in Salisbury (which you should definitely explore first) and then south towards Downton, travelling through Woodgreen and Godshill before arriving at the lovely Hampshire town of Fordingbridge. You could stop here for a bite to eat or even rest and start again in the morning. The next section takes you along the River Avon to Ibsley, passing through the Blashford Lakes, where you should keep an eye out for gorgeous wildlife. Finally, you continue following the river into Christchurch, where you finish at Christchurch Harbour and Priory. What a journey!
The Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary walk is far, far shorter at 1 mile, and simply takes you around the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. You’ll find a huge herd of fallow deer here, with a viewing platform overlooking the meadow where the deer congregate. Given that the deer are fed daily by the Forestry Commission keeper so you’re sure to see a large number of them in the early afternoon. There are a number of graded walks starting here to follow after you’ve had enough time with Bambi and her crew. We’d recommend the Lyndhurst Circular Walk, so you can visit the Knightwood Oak – the largest oak tree in the New Forest and over 500 years old!
Here you can find more details on the New Forest walking routes.
#3 Red Shoot Camping Park
If you’re searching for family friend camping in the New Forest, then look no further than Red Shoot Camping Park. The park is family run, which only adds to their desire to create the perfect getaway for other families. Their modern and clean facilities contrast well with magnificent forest surrounding them, and allows families to enjoy rustic camping without the few disadvantages usually present – like being unable to shower for a week! They are situated behind the charming Red Shoot Inn, so a delicious pint is never far away. Their other facilities include an on-site shop and bakery, a children’s play area, laundry room and disabled access facilities! As winners of the Trip Advisor Award for Excellence in 2014-2018, the David Bellamy Gold Conversation Award and the Gold Loo of the Year Award, they are truly a delightful reason to pack up the car and drive over to the New Forest immediately! Did we mention that they’re dog-friendly as well as child-friendly?
#4 New Forest Lavender Farm
If you’re looking for a tranquil way to spend an afternoon, then a visit to the New Forest Lavender Farm is certainly in order. Enjoy a stroll through their gardens, with the delicious scent of lavender following you around. Dogs are welcome in the garden, as long as they’re kept on a lead. In their Lavender Nursery you’ll have the chance to purchase additions for your own garden from an immense variety of lavenders, herbs, perennials, roses and grasses. If the weather turns grey you can take shelter in the Tearoom, where their menu is entirely homemade, based only on available produce and local ingredients. Their scones are wildly scrumptious, and I guarantee you’ll be picking up a few more for the drive home!
Voted ‘Britain’s Most Beautiful Place to Live’ by Leaders Estate Agent, this is a village that you simply must visit. The area surrounding is home to ponies, deer, donkeys and cows, all of which are known to roam the main street. The village has the enchanting New Forest as their backyard, as well as Lymington River as the local swimming spot. It is the largest village by population in the New Forest, and dates back to the Saxons. A family camping trip to the New Forest simply must involve a day trip to Brockenhurst. Here are some of the things to do there:
- The Brockenhurst to Rhinefield 8 mile cycle route, along the Rhinefield Drive. You can rent a bike at Cyclexperience, which is located at the railway station car park and can offer a variety of cycle route suggestions suitable for varying cycling abilities.
- The most delicious walking route in all of Southern England. The South Taste Trail is a 7 mile route taking in a variety of pubs and tea rooms, as well as the New Forest Cider shop!
- Pick up groceries from one of the many independent shops on Brookley Road (the Brockenhurst High Street). You can also get a wide range of souvenirs here.
- Visit two of the village churches. The Church of St Saviour and the Church of St Nicholas. The latter is the only remaining church in New Forest that is mentioned in the Domesday Book and is the oldest church in the New Forest.
And so, your family camping trip to the New Forest awaits you! You’ll be kept busy and constantly breathing in the beautiful fresh air, a true escape from everyday bustle. Now you just need a motorhome to travel there and to pitch in, but Goboony can help you with that! As a motorhome rental platform, we’ll get you in touch with the private owner for a safe, reliable and fun trip. Time to get going!