The New Forest is the perfect weekend escape from London. It’s one of the smallest national parks in England but nowhere near the one to dismiss! It’s a stunning landscape filled with trekking paths, wild horses and donkeys free walking their way across the park. It’s beautiful in all seasons, but my favourite is undoubted during the Autumn when the leaves have turned brown, yellow and orange. The area is also home to outstanding thatched cottages where you can stay for the Weekend. I have mainly stayed in the new Forest Fordingbridge and Woodgreen areas. Perfect for walks, as there are no mountains to walk up and it’s easily accessible for everyone.
Walking your way around the area
Woodgreen is a village with a population of 540 in North-West of the New Forest. The walk from Woodgreen will take you through the woods, to Hatchett Green and back to Woodfalls. However, don’t limit yourself just to one walk. There’s an option of 12 hikes in this one small corner of the New Forest, where you can learn more about here.
First, we just took a tour of the village, which is a 1.8 miles long trail across the forest and the nooks and crannies of Woodgreen. It’s a great way to start getting familiar with the area and an afternoon walk after you’ve just arrived at your accommodation for the Weekend. You will get a picturesque painting of the area, with red painted phones boxes, thatched-roof cottages, cricket grounds and friendly pubs. Walking in the New Forest is always an experience. Especially if most of your time you’re stuck in a big of a city where you only see a bit of greenery once in a while. During Autumn, you will be taken by the beautiful colours of the leaves, and the yellow-tinged leaves on the floor that look like you’re walking on a golden path. This is quite a short walk but a great taster to get you on a long walk the next day and the perfect excuse to have lunch or dinner at a traditional country, the Horse and Groom Pub nearby.
The next day we planned a much longer trek starting from Woodgreen across to Frogham and back about 7miles (10km) if you walk up to Ashley Walk car park where we stopped to be picked up.
Woodgreen High Steet to Frogham via Southampton Road/ B3708, a 4.3 miles walk about an hour.
Frogham to Ashley Walk Carpark 2.9 miles about 59 minutes.
We encountered wild horses, families, horse riders, and various landscapes with water gorged terrains during the walk. Make sure to have waterproof shoes as you might have to cross some small puddles of water. Walking around in wet socks is not a nice experience in cold weather. However, you will be taken by its wilderness, the wild vegetation and the hidden gems that you will uncover during your walk.
Staying in the New Forest felt like a great escape from the Big Smoke, to spend the Weekend walking and be rewarded with scenic landscapes of centuries-old woodland. Finish with a great meal in a country pub to feel like a proper English country lad.
Fordingbridge is just one area to uncover. There is so many more, choose the one that feels the most appealing to you. Whatever you choose, you will find the perfect places in the countryside and so close to London with an array to choose from between boutique hotels, self-catering holidays, bed and breakfast, glamping, camping and gorgeous Tchacthed roofed cottages.