Wednesday, 23 July 2014

New Forest

When we set off last Friday for a long weekend (and a much needed break) in the New Forest, we thought we were in for a soaking.  The weather forecast was heavy bursts of rain, thunder storms, flash flooding, etc., but not a bit of it - it seemed to completely miss us so the cagoules stayed in the car and we walked and walked (our idea of chilling), stopping for uninterrupted sleep and large breakfasts here

The forest does not disappoint

Mighty oaks (this particular one, the Knightwood Oak, is at least 450 years old and has a girth of 7 meters close to the bottom of the tree)

Cool, soft mosses

Curious and strangely beautiful fungi

Pretty soft pink heathers

Skeletons (now home to a myriad little creatures, I wonder in which period of the forest's 900-year history this tree lived)

Lots of butterflies, which seemed very difficult to catch on camera, but I did get this rather raggedy little White Admiral


Cool cattle (literally)

Deer (think I've been spotted)

And, of course, New Forest ponies

At one point, while walking in amongst the trees wondering if we'd followed our map correctly, we heard the cry of what we knew must be a bird of prey.  Above us were a pair of Goshawks (we weren't sure at the time but confirmed it later when we found what we saw on the good old interweb), they were huge and we were mesmerised.  They were with us for a good five minutes.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures and nor did I want to, we just looked up and enjoyed the moment and the priviledge.

* * *

On one walk we took time out to visit Furzey Gardens and it's little 16th century cottage in Minstead.

It once housed a family of 15 children, which is hard to believe, it's so tiny inside

In 2012 Furzey Gardens entered a garden in the Chelsea Flower Show, which was returned piece by piece to Furzey Gardens after the show.  The garden was created by a designer and a team of young adults with learning disabilities.

It was lovely to be able to stand in a Chelsea garden, which included this wonderful thatched shelter

Complete with rickety staircase

And a roof of glass leaves

They won a gold medal.  What a fantastic achievement.

Minstead is also the final resting place of the creator of Mr. Sherlock Holmes.  I wonder who left the pipe.

* * *

I think this pony is waiting for the bank to open and where else would he hold an account?  We quietly suggested he might want to try online banking, but he just kept staring at the door ...

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x


  1. Oh that is so funny with the horse!! I wonder what he wanted and/or was thinking! The Chelsea garden is beautiful!! It must have been so wonderful to wander around and enjoy it in a more natural setting. I am so glad that you had such a great time and enjoyed yourself so much! xx

  2. What wonderful pics you've shared Jane; I've thoroughly enjoyed them and your narrative about your lovely break, thank you! I love the gardens and cottage and was entertained by your humour regarding the horse - I hope they gave him good service once he got through those doors :) xoJoy

  3. Lovely post - so many gorgeous photo's and your photo of the horse tops them all - brilliant !
    Kate x

  4. Oh Jane that looked fantastic. I've not been to the New Forest since I was about nine years old which is an awfully long time ago now but seeing your photo's I might just have to convince D it is a place to visit may be for a weekend.


  5. Lovely post Jane. It's years since I've been to the New Forest and you have me itching to go back now.

    Are you sure that wasn't a getaway pony ... maybe the bank was being burgled ;)

  6. What a wonderful post, I love the New Forest although I haven't been there for a while. You've reminded me how absolutely beautiful it is there. And lucky you seeing goshawks. My eldest is a keen birdwatcher, he would have been in heaven. CJ xx

  7. Looks like you had a great break Jane, and managed to pack in lots of walking and visits. Hope you are both feeling refreshed after it.
    The forest looks a wonderful place to walk, and the place you stayed looked idyllic. Love the photo of the "Lloyds" pony - how strange! The gardens, little cottage and Chelsea Garden looked a great visit, and it must have been pretty special being inside the show garden - it looked wonderful, and such an achievement for the gardeners.
    Look forward to seeing you soon Jane!
    Gill xx

  8. Beautiful photos. Glad that the weather held out for you. We haven't been to the New Forest for a while - I think we must remedy that. Best wishes, Pj x

  9. A lovely post, Jane! I enjoyed all your photos, especially the gorgeous cottages, and had forgotten how lovely the New Forest is! Must go and visit there soon.....Loved seeing all the animal pictures in this post, how amusing the horse outside the bank one is!
    Have a happy week!
    Helen xox