Over the last few months I have come to realise that we live in the most beautiful country, we just fail to see it most of the time. The UK gets quite a bad rep with having changeable weather but it is that weather that gives it the beauty isn’t it? Last weekend we were invited down to explore The New Forest, somewhere we have never been before, and we loved it! What a gorgeous gorgeous place! Having good weather helps of course but I actually said to Mr F that even had it rained, it would have still been a beautiful place as everywhere is so green and luscious.
We left home really early Saturday morning and had a 2 hour drive to get down there, not too bad when you miss all of the traffic. We arrived at around 10am and had a little explore of Lyndhurst, known as the capital of the New Forest, before heading to have lunch.
The town itself is quite small but there is a lovely park just at the edge, which contains Bolton’s Bench – a lovely hilltop bench with a view for miles and miles. The girls raced to the top and then tried to spot all of the horses and cows in the surrounding fields.
Just look at that view!
Lunch was in a lovely little inn, just the sort of place you would imagine with leaded windows and solid oak beams. The Drift Inn is the perfect little stop off as you drive through the national park.
The food was lovely and the staff were so welcoming, with colouring packs for the children and plenty of smiles for Wills. We left feeling stuffed but ready for our next stop – bike hire!
We have really found a love of cycling this year and really want to get properly kitted out so that we can go on more outings as a family. Wills looked so cute in the seat and although I was a little nervous about having him on the back at first (normally I pull the trailer), it was so much fun and he loved it! The staff at Cyclexperience were so helpful and amended our order slightly as I had ordered the wrong trailer for the girls. Once we were all set up it was time to go!
There are various cycle routes but we decided to do the 10 mile ride to and from a pub (The Oak Inn I believe) – that way we could enjoy a cold drink in the afternoon sun! It was a lovely route, with a stream to paddle in and plenty of horses to say hello to. I could have quite happily hired the bikes for a whole day and explored even more, I don’t feel like we even scratched the surface. We will definitely go back for more!
The thing I really loved about it was the fact that horses and cattle just roam free. It was so funny to be driving along and a horse step out into the road and to see driveways with cattle grids at the entrance to stop any unwanted visitors. I joked that every town should have it as a traffic calming measure!!
Once we’d given the bikes back it was time to head to our hotel for the night. I will write more about the hotel in detail but if you saw my IG stories you’ll have already seen the bathroom – that deserves a write-up of its own! What a gorgeous gorgeous place!
Passford House Hotel is an old country house, once owned by Queen Victoria’s private secretary Lord Arthur Cecil. It is set in 10 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and has plenty to keep you occupied with pools, a sauna and even a croquet lawn. So many country homes have been modernised inside but here, each room still feels as stately as it would have always been. – our suite was just so lovely!
Sunday was a trip for the girls as we’d been given tickets to go to Paulton’s Park, more specifically Peppa Pig World. They were both so excited, particularly Lils though who is very much a George Pig fan. We went a couple of years ago but she was only 18 months so didn’t really appreciate it.
This time though, with both of them being that bit older and taller, they were able to go on most things. We went on the log flume in the main park and well, you should have seen Lil’s face – it was a picture I can tell you!
I vlogged the whole weekend if you want to have a look at what we got up to…
If you are looking for a mini break then The New Forest is stunning, it really is! You could easily spend a week there – why go abroad when you have so much beauty on your doorstep?
We were invited down for the weekend by Visit Hampshire but all words and thoughts are my own.