By Regina Motalib, Local Democracy Reporter
The New Forest is the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of London life – with its ancient woodland, free-roaming animals and stunning coastlines.
Only a couple of hours away by car or by train, the majestic surroundings of this idyllic part of England, provides an ideal backdrop for a memorable ‘staycation’.
Beaulieu is set in the heart of the New Forest National Park and makes a great base.
It perfectly epitomises the beauty and magic of New Forest life.
Whether it’s the cosy pubs and quaint tearooms or the native ponies, there is so much to do and see and something for everyone. Activities to try include canoeing, kayaking, bushcraft and archery.
Put on your walking boots or hire a bicycle and explore the surrounding natural beauty.
Pack a picnic and be prepared to meet horses, deer, donkeys, pigs and cattle.
Although these beautiful creatures roam freely – they are not wild.
Visitors are advised to drive carefully and be respectful.
So if a herd of deer decide to stop and take a breather and block your path, don’t fret, enjoy the moment!
Our stay there was so magical, it made us want to go and live there.
WHERE TO STAY:
The Beaulieu Inn Hotel
This gem of a hotel was a former coaching Inn. Surrounded by scenic open heathland and minutes away from the pretty village of Beaulieu and buzzy Lyndhurst.
The rooms are a good size and children and dogs are warmly welcomed.
The decor is modern country-style and there are plenty of cosy nooks where you can enjoy a cocktail, read a book and totally disconnect from the stresses of everyday life.
Breakfast is served at the pub next door and the small swimming pool adds a touch of luxury.
It is easy to get to the neighbouring chocolate box villages and also to Lyndhurst for a nice meal. The nearby sister hotel, The Bartley Lodge is a good choice for some fine dining.
A stay at the Beaulieu Inn will provide the perfect digital detox. Picture playing board games while the open fire warms your face.
Step outside and meet horses on the doorstep.
If you want a much-needed respite from city life or a slice of countryside heaven, the Beaulieu Inn with its friendly staff and great service, will deliver just that.
HOW TO GET THERE:
By car – the journey is just under two hours and parking is available at the hotel.
By train – From London Waterloo to Beaulieu Road railway station. The journey time is just over two hours and Beaulieu Road railway station is a two minute walk to the Beaulieu Inn Hotel.
WHAT TO DO:
The Beaulieu Motor Museum
Beaulieu is home to the National Motor Museum.
Boasting one of the world’s best collections of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia, it is a real treat for motoring enthusiasts.
As well as classic cars, F1 cars and stylish Vespa’s, look out for the World of Top Gear experience and the Bond in Motion exhibition – Featuring iconic cars, gadgets and costumes from the latest 007 film, No Time To Die.
The fabulous section featuring on-screen cars is sure to delight visitors of all ages.
Featured cars include Mr Bean’s Mini, Del Boy’s Reliant Robin and the Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
There is also a veteran bus and monorail which will take you to the other splendours of this great attraction.
Marvel at The Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey and the breath-grounds and gardens – complete with tree carvings and Victorian flower and kitchen gardens.
You can also venture along Mill Pond Walk and see the Rufus Memorial Cairn – commemorating the death of King William Rufus who was killed while hunting near Beaulieu in 1100.
When it’s time to refuel, bring a picnic or feast on fresh, homemade produce at the on-site restaurant and coffee shop – with some ingredients sourced from Beaulieu’s gardens.
Go to www.beaulieu.co.uk for full details.
A Trip To Burley, The New Forest
A visit to the enchanting village of Burley is a must. Also known as The Village of Witches, Burley was home to Britain’s most famous witch, Sybil Leek.
In the late 1950s she could be seen walking around the village with her pet jackdaw on her shoulder.
Before she moved to America, she named one of the shops in the village, A Coven of Witches – it is still around today and sells a variety of magic and witchcraft-related items.
There is a great selection of crystals, spell books and incense sticks as well as model witches.
Children will love the pocket money toys and also the Harry Potter-themed merchandise.
A portrait of the great white witch herself takes pride in place above the Jacobean fireplace.
Burley is also renowned for its famous fudge shop.
Burley Fudge has been attracting visitors from all over the globe since it opened 23 years ago.
Owners Chris and Jenny Tabb are fudge connoisseurs and will help you find the right fudge to delight your taste buds.
They offer 49 varieties of fudge, ranging from the classic clotted cream to hard and crumbly butter tablets.
If Willy Wonka had a fudge section – this store would have been his inspiration.
There’s the ‘weird and wonderful selection including, Marmite, chilly chocolate, peanut butter and Oreo flavours.
Burley Fudge also stocks a range of sweets, biscuits, jams and chutneys.
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