With September now being classed as the new New Year, what better place to kickstart your wellbeing overhaul than in the New Forest?
We’re home to a number of world-class spas, from the Thai-inspired serenity of SenSpa at Careys Manor, to The Herb House at Lime Wood (yoga on the roof garden, anyone?), to the five star luxury of the spa at Chewton Glen. Each spa has its own unique personality and can help with specific fitness or wellbeing issues.
If you prefer the great outdoors book one of the walks on offer at the New Forest Walking Festival, from October 14-29.
The festival boasts 75 guided walks led by knowledgeable local experts who will take you behind the scenes to discover more about the Forest.
Join one of the ‘healthy walks’, rambling over our landscape, or get to grips with Nordic Walking. You can walk and learn about the Forest’s wild foods, the preparations for the D-Day landings at Lepe or try a ‘Nature Connection’ walk to put you back in touch with the natural world.
Not a joiner? Then try Forest Bathing, the Japanese art of simply being in a forest. Wander into the woodland. Touch the trunks of trees that are 300 years old. Walk barefoot on the mossy ground. Listen to the bird-song as you breathe in the fresh air. Research has shown that just being in woodland reduces stress and taking time to connect physically with your surroundings provides even more benefit to your wellbeing.
One of the forest’s biggest attractions are our roaming ponies but did you know that just being close to horses can improve your state of mind?
New Forest ponies must not be touched or approached, as they may kick or bite, but if you want to experience real horse power, join a session at The Horse Raft, where Sally Bennetts supervises one-to-one horse contact sessions as well as wellbeing walks into the forest.
*For more information visit thenewforest.co.uk