The New Forest

One of our new year's resolutions for 2017 is to go out and see more of the UK. England really is beautiful (and often free!). You just need to take a moment to stop and look around. And I am a firm believer that you don't need to wait for summer to do it.

Some of my favourite days out are in the midst of winter. There are fewer people crowding and there's always a table at those perfect little cafes and tea rooms to quench your thirst when you get cold.

So last weekend we headed to The New Forest!

Lepe Country Park

We've been to The New Forest a few times now and have visited a lot of the main towns you find when searching things to do there. On this occasion we opted for a location much further south that we'd never been to before. We wanted a good old walk - I feel like I have been a bit of a hermit since December.

Coffee, road trip tunes & breakfast to go. We headed south for some January air....

Once we arrived, I knew we'd made the right choice coming here. Lepe country park is free to visit (Pay & Display car park) and there is a great 2 hour loop walk on their website that you can print off with a map. So of course we did that.

The walk offered a lot of photo opportunities.

The Solent was beautiful and the weather couldn't have been better for January. Cold and crisp but sunny. We dressed in our proper winter gear and didn't feel a tad cold at all. Walking in the winter is fine if you are prepared. If you're worried about looking stylish, you're going wrong already!

We scoured the beaches for treasure of course. There was so much sea glass here. I've brought some home for an art project :P

Mr B approved of the scenery.

The views really were special. A great view of the Isle of Wight over the water with boats casually passing through.

Lepe Country Park offers a very pretty lighthouse. I love all that is nautical and beachy.

We decided what better spot for a bite to eat than by a lighthouse watching the boats pass.

We rolled out our packed lunch (I know, so old fashioned but so cute! And much CHEAPER!) And poured some coffees as we snuggled down on the boardwalk.

Mr B made the sandwiches - he's a good catch.

We even had the odd visitor while we relaxed.

Once lunch was done, we continued our journey along the beach - seeking treasure, chatting about random life events and acting silly on the groynes.

Mr B can be pretty chivalrous - always there to help me when I climb. That's probably best as I'm as clumsy as they get!

If you ever want to just go out for a walk but want some sort of purpose, other than looking at the beautul planet we live on, I  really recommend geo-caching. It's good fun and there are lots of treasures to swap and relocate! There is a great one hidden along the beach. We dropped off a previously collected travelbug, signed the log and continued on our way.

We had company for a short while...

As the cloud rolled in and the sun started to go down, we lingered for a final view of the solent before we departed.

The journey back through The New Forest is always a pleasure.


We always make a stop in Lyndhurst on a trip to the new forest. It's fairly central and we tend to be passing nearby from one location to another. It has a lovely hill to walk up with a great view and it's super easy to park (though I'd imagine it's more difficult in summer).

There are lots of wild ponies and horses roaming around and they are incredibly tame. The town itself is a little chocolate box village filled with coffee shops, tea rooms and ice cream parlours. We opted for a quick pop in at sunset but you can certainly dream away an afternoon here, sipping tea and eating cake.

As we approached, I looked at the sky and the sunset was just starting to unfold in all of its glory. We pulled into a layby and I hopped out of the car. Before Mr B could blink I was gone. I darted to the top of the hill and snapped away. Sometimes that photo moment just grabs you and it had grabbed me with all its might.

By the time Mr B arrived, he found me laying on my belly, rolling in the mud trying to snap a shot of a horse (when you're wrapped up in your winter gear like a human duvet, it doesn't feel as bad as it sounds haha).

It was totally worth the effort and the wet bum patches :P

You could easily head back to London after this and keep this an inexpensive day out. Or, like us, you could treat yourselves to a sneaky little hotel bargain from the January sales.

So after a few shots and a lovely stroll watching the sunset - my absolute favourite colour <3 - we tottered back to the car to head off to our hotel for an evening swim and a well deserved glass of wine.

- MTWP xxx

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