The New Forest is such a beautiful place. It makes you want to get out and get into the woods! Even though when we arrived the weather was absolutely abysmal (see photo below), we went out for a walk from our amazing hotel in Brockenhurst (The Pig) and were soon spotting deer and horses and looking out for deer tracks and clamboring over fences when the path we were on was washed out. The sun was out for almost the entire walk, but all of the walkways were soaked through and at parts it was quite marshy, so we had to stick to the cycle path.
Seeing that it had just started raining again and the path ahead of us was unpassable (well, not without getting up to our ankles in mud), we turned to our right to see if we could get up on to the forest bank and right in front of us, about 10 feet away, was a HUGE stag with 7 does and a little baby deer! It was amazing. We stood still for 3 or 4 minutes just watching them watch us until they decided to leave us to it.
At one point, right as we were about to get back to the hotel after an 8 or 9 mile circular walk, the tunnel we needed to pass through to get back was completely flooded out. Peter was trying to convince me that we needed to turn around and I was trying to convince him that there must be a way around it (my feet hurt by this point – I did NOT want to have to do another 2 miles when our hotel was JUST THERE), when a man who happened to be there (working out what to do with his car, I think), said that he had managed to walk through it by clinging to one of the ledges that runs along either side of the tunnel. It was really fun.
The hotel. The food at this hotel was just incredible. And it was a beautiful setting and the people were REALLY nice. Highly recommended.
After we checked out, we headed to Lymington for some fish and chips and a walk through the nature reserve and marsh that is just a short walk outside of the little town. I went once before with my friend Louise (who also recommended a top notch fish and chips place) and it was just as lovely as I remembered.