The New Forest is a former royal hunting area located about 10 minutes from the city of Southampton. It was created in 1079 by William I (known as William the Conqueror) as a hunting area, principally of deer.
It is a unique area of historical, ecological and agricultural significance, and retains many of the rural practices conceded by the Crown in historical times to local people. Principal of these is the pasturing of ponies, cattle, pigs and donkeys in the open Forest by local inhabitants known as commoners. The New Forest has also been an important source of timber for the Crown.
It is an outstanding recreational area for walking and riding. It is now designated as a National Park.
Ideal for a scenic drive around rural woodland and open heather clad open forest. we can take a circular route taking in most of the attractions adapting your tour to your particular interests.
After 10 to 15 minutes we will leave the main roads and city traffic entering open forest roads that are frequented by forest animals like horses, ponies, donkeys and cattle. If we are lucky a deer or two may appear. The night times bring out the fox, badger and owl.
30 minutes from Southampton is the lovely village of Beaulieu with Bucklers hard, an 18th-century village where Nelson's fleet was built with a maritime museum and shipwright's cottage. Then onto the market town of Lymington which was mentioned in the Doomsday Book with an active High Street and cobble street leading down to the quay and marina. After stopping for either a cream tea, lunch or snack we can drive on to the coastal village of Milford-on-Sea. Stopping at a cliff-top car park you can see over the Solent to the Isle of Wight and Needles.
A leisurely drive through the village of Burley to the the town of Lyndhurst where the New Forest Museum is located. Culminating in a 20 minute drive to return to your cruise ship terminal.
Consider the National Motor Museum, Palace House and grounds owned by Lord Montague on the Beaulieu estate.
During April and May Exbury Gardens are spectacular with sweet scented azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. Follow the link on the side bar to find out more.