The New Forest in October

It’s time to get back in the van and head for the New Forest. This time we are spending a few days at Long Meadow campsite with ‘Team GT’, our fellow motor-homing friends. Long Meadow is  a short walk from  Brockenhurst which is easily reached via forest paths from the campsite. We chose to park in the large grass meadow rather than the more cramped hard-standing pitches. Of the 72 grass pitches only 2 were occupied, and those were by ‘Team GT’ and ourselves so it was going to be a nice peaceful few days.

Camped at Long Meadow, Brockenhurst

The weather on arrival was sunny and bright, but not warm. Dinner for four at our place was a lamb tagine served with rice after spending an afternoon enjoying conversation, sunshine and wine.

It got colder the next day but the lack of sunshine didn’t spoil the gentle cycle journey to Brockenhurst where we enjoyed a wander around the village followed by a relaxing hot drink together before we set off back to the campsite. Despite the cold we were snug in Team GT’s van for scrabble, rummikub, a delicious curry and an uninterrupted flow of fermented grape juice.

The New Forest is such a magical place; a mix of animal grazing, heath land and forest land with a variety of wildlife; buzzards, kestrels, owls and more in the air and very many ponies, cattle, donkeys and deer allowed to roam freely.

The sun came out on the following day but Team GT had to depart early leaving us to our own devices. Fiona and I headed onto the forest tracks on our bikes and enjoyed a splendid autumn day in the New Forest before heading home the following morning.

Sadly, we were only there for 3 nights although I could have easily stayed longer. Long Meadow along with most of the other New Forest campsites closes soon for the winter and doesn’t open again until March or April.

Click on the photo below to see a selection of the photos we took while at Long Meadow

In the wild of the New Forest, May ’18

Ah, the New Forest. Created sometime between 1066 and 1087 on the orders of William the Conqueror. 36 parishes were destroyed in its creation and  many people left homeless and destitute just so that William and his pals could enjoy this extensive yet private hunting ground.

The New Forest extends to around 200 sq miles and it’s not just trees; there are numerous glades, ancient woodlands, open moors, heathlands and boggy streams, and it is criss-crossed with roads, walking trails and unpaved cycling paths. There is an abundance of wild life freely wandering the forest including horses, cattle, deer, donkeys and pigs. The forest is home to a wide variety of birdlife  including buzzards, cuckoo, wood-peckers, swallows and swifts.

For our May break this year we decided to take the ‘van to the forest and stay at Long Meadow campsite which is just outside Brockenhurst. From Long Meadow it’s a 20 minutes cycle ride on forest trails and minor roads into Brockenhurst, although it’s probably much quicker along the busy A337.

Long Meadow campsite was pretty much empty, out of its 100 pitches less than 20 were occupied so we were able to park far away from everyone else is our usual sociable way. The weekend started off very hot and sunny and this continued into Monday afternoon. Rain was forecast for 3pm on Monday and it delivered in spades bang on cue, chucking it down in torrents. After an hour or so, the rain stopped as suddenly as it had started leaving us with a bright and sunny late afternoon and evening but had soaked our picnic furniture so no BBQ that evening.

Cycling in the forest was easy going on unpaved tracks, no hills, just a few slopes, very few people around and next to no traffic, even on the roads. It’s the sort of countryside you can cycle on all day without getting bored or too tired.

Brockenhurst is a nice village with a number of small shops and tea rooms. There is a butcher, a baker, a green-grocer, but don’t use the Tesco Express where they charge 29p per onion!. Fruit and veg is much cheaper in the green-grocer on Brookley road.

Click on the photo below to see a selection of the photos we took while out and about in the New Forest.

A shaded glade in the New Forest, somewhere near Brockenhurst