These days, many visitors staying in Bournemouth venture into the New Forest for a day's exploration as part of their holiday. Other holidaymakers decide to make their base away from the hustle and bustle of the town, visiting Bournemouth either daily or whenever it suits. Who is to say which is the better?
The New Forest National Park, straddling the Dorset and Hampshire borders, offers peace, tranquility, beauty and the magnificance you would expect of the newest National Park.
Many of the ancient features and traditions of the New Forest have remained unaltered since mediaeval times - woodlands and wild heathland is largely intact.
Ringwood is an ancient market town with excellent shops and historic hostelries on the banks of the River Avon which runs down to the sea at Christchurch. The weekly market is very popular and there is a huge public car park. In fact, parking throughout the New Forest is convenient so it is a great place to tour, stopping almost whenever you fancy.
Burley is a small and picturesque village not far from Ringwood. It is situated in "Western horse riding country" and is famous for witchcraft - no need to be scared, there are some quaint little shops. It is a cycling centre and wagon rides through the leafy glades are popular.
Donkeys and ponies are almost guaranteed to be found right in the centre of Burley village, and you will encounter them throughout the New Forest. Look carefully, particularly towards dusk and you will see wild deer and even wild pigs or boar, and cattle too. The New Forest is a paradise for nature lovers.
Thrilling tourist attractions with so much to see and do ...
... riding, cycling, fishing, golf, water sports or walking, and down to the coast for swimming and boating, or just lazing in the summer sunshine. Bournemouth and Ringwood are linked by fast dual carriageway, and there are also quiet byways which give alternative reminders of how driving used to be! Within most of the New Forest proper you must adhere to a strict 40 miles per hour - and we will all be the better for it!
Not far from Ringwood: Christchurch