Introducing New Forest
The only thing new about this ancient swathe of wild heath and woodland is its status of national park, finalised in 2005. It’s a unique place, with an even more singular history and archaic traditions that date back almost 1000 years, but more than that it’s a joy to explore. Wild ponies mooch around its picturesque scrubland, paying no attention to the walkers and cyclists that pant past. Deer flicker in the distance and rare birds flit among the foliage. A scattering of genteel villages dot the landscape and a web of walking and cycling trails connects them.
The park is also a hugely popular destination for campers, and Lyndhurst’s tourist office has a free brochure detailing its many designated camping areas. For more information, go to www.thenewforest.co.uk.