es, yes, yes, June may have only just have got going. But that means it’s only 11weeks to September.
That’s ten weeks until the kids go back to school and just ten weeks to do all those wild and wonderful things you’ve always promised yourself (or the kids) that you’d treat them to.
So, because summer’s lease hath all too short a date (thank-you, Mr Shakespeare) we’ve taken the liberty of compiling your Ultimate New Forest Summer Bucket List; ten tremendous things to do before you look up and it’s all over for another year.
1. Attend a festival. So what if you can’t get tickets to Glasto? Smoked and Uncut will welcome you with open arms. Check out the Noisettes and Alex Vargas at Lime Wood, or King Charles and the CC Smugglers at The Pig. Enjoy the day in style with a Chase cocktail or a glass of English Sparkling wine. Feeling peckish? Enjoy a bite to eat from one of their food stalls, washed down with a local ale.
2. Ride a miniature railway. Well, if it’s good enough for Her Majesty (who enjoyed the very same trip in 2008) it’s good enough for you, trundling around by steam through one of the world’s most beautiful gardens at Exbury.
3. Take a trip on the Hythe Ferry. What do you mean you’ve never done it? Chug out on the world’s longest pier railway before steaming to Southampton, maybe to catch the Seacity Titanic Museum or for a bit of retail therapy. Then come straight back to this gem of a town which was not only home to Hovercraft inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell AND Lawrence of Arabia, but has also just been declared The Daily Telegraph’s ‘Favourite Isolated Seaside Resort’.
4. Spend a night under the stars (or at least, canvas). We have more than 20 holiday parks and campsites for you to rest your airbed and fire up your Primus.
5. Forage for wild food. Leave the mushrooms to the experts (you really should) but take your basket out to gather wild blackberries, hazelnuts or even sloes. You could even join a Bushcraft Course or Summer Foraging Walk with New Forest Activities to get the best out of your visit.
6. Treat yourself to afternoon tea. Selection of sandwiches? Tick. Pot of tea or even a bit of bubbly? Tick. Melt-in-the-mouth cakes? Tick and tick again. Find out what the fuss is all about at the Montagu Arms at Beaulieu. Why there? Because they have been rated as serving Britain’s top tea outside of London and the chef has a Michelin star. Just saying….
7. Swim in the sea. (Or at least go for a paddle.) From gentle family resorts such as Milford-on-Sea, to the wild coast of Lepe, to the tiny, secret scraps of sand and shingle near Lymington where you’ll be the only ones there, we have 40 miles of coastline for you to enjoy. And, if you’re very, very lucky, there are a few places where you may just get to enjoy the day with the New Forest ponies as they like a dip, too.
8. Ride the UK’s newest rollercoasters. Get thee to Paultons Park where they have just opened The Lost Kingdom, their dinosaur-ridden, thrill-infested Jurassic adventure which features a slew of new ways to have fun, including two, brand new rollercoasters.
9. Splash through a ford. Make sure the way is clear of ponies, people and vehicles. Make sure, too, that you’ve checked the depth and don’t attempt it if you can’t or if there’s been heavy rain. But if it looks safe, strap the kids in and drive. They’ll love it! And remember – the New Forest has nine of these wonderful, watery little adventures for you to enjoy.
10. Climb a tree. Nothing compares to clambering into the deep, green canopy and feeling like a kid again. Do it in safety and fun with the tree-climbing courses run by New Forest Activities.