New Chapter, New Forest

Well hello you lovely people, hope you’ve had a great weekend, especially as it would seem the Summer has finally arrived. Not before time I hear you cry!

As most of you know, due to a change in our circumstances, our immediate travel plans have been put on hold. As it’s far more expensive to Motorhome in the UK during Peak Season, we have decided we need to do a bit of work to earn an extra few quid and keep us afloat. This has taken us to Hampshire and into the heart of the New Forest. I can think of worse places to earn a crust. We are wardenning for now here at Roundhill Campsite just outside the pretty town of Brockenhurst. Our friends, whom we met whilst travelling over Winter, Liz and Henry, put us forward for the post for which we are very grateful. They work just down the road at HollandsWood site. It’s a beautiful part of the Country for sure. We have visited before but never this site. It’s all very back to nature. A wonderful experience for kids and adults alike. I am sitting outside the van as I write, by a small lake watching rabbits hopping around to one side of me and the ponies having a splash fest in the water to the other. All I can hear is birdsong. The Cuckoo is calling and last night we even got to hear a Nightjar. It’s a truly magical corner of Britain.

Coming here was all very last minute. Thankfully Timberland pulled the stops out and got the van fixed before we left. We still only have half the stuff we need. Luckily we can get parcels delivered and contrary to what we heard, we have a phone signal and internet, albeit a little flaky.

If you haven’t been to the New Forest yet then you simply must. There’s so much to see from the chocolate box towns and villages to the wonderfully scenic and unspoilt coastline. We particularly love the quaint little Ancient Port of Lymington. It’s only 5 miles out of Brockenhurst, about a 15 minute drive from our site. We plan to go there next week when Matt comes to visit. I would have been in heaven had my parents brought me here camping as a child. The wild ponies and donkeys are mesmerising. No PlayStation or other electronic device required! The stallions have been released this week so there has been much cantering around and frivolity! Wonderful to watch.

It only takes us ten minutes to cycle into Brockenhurst from here. There is a fabulous Butchers, a good little Bakery and two small Supermarkets along with several nice looking pubs and much to Lord W’s delight, an Indian Restaurant which does takeaway! You can even hop on a train in Brock to London or Lymington! In the opposite direction from the site is the charming town of Beaulieu. It sits on the banks of a tidal river. Fab for a picturesque picnic by the water or a visit to the National Motor Museum to see the Bluebird! Cheryl Rogers, your hubby would be in his element here! The ponies comically wander up and down the high street. There is an interesting variety of shops to browse around. A little further down the road is Bucklers Hard, a pretty 18th century shipbuilding village also alongside the Beaulieu River. You can take a scenic river cruise or visit the Maritime Musuem. The ships for Nelsons Navy were built here. All good stuff.

This morning we had a smashing sunny walk through the forest to a nearby farm which sells fresh eggs and their own beef. We were lucky enough to spot a herd of wild deer hiding in the bracken en route. Quite a special moment. Dylan was ecstatic to be off the lead for a while. Of course, he found the nearest bog to wade through, no change there then, filthy beast! Thankfully this site has a dog shower. At last, a bit of common sense on a campsite!

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I would highly recommend Roundhill. Motorhomes, tents, whatever. It’s tranquil and idyllic and only 5 minutes stroll away from a great foodie haven ‘The Pig in the Forest’. Bonus! It’s all about local produce, homegrown food and foraging. I will let you have my review shortly!

With that, I may have to love you and leave you folks as the cocktail hour is fast approaching. What? Just because I’m in the middle of a forest and get to wear a green uniform doesn’t mean I’m turning into a total tree hugger just yet! Monday is our day off and thus, the new Saturday! I have a couple of rather splendid local ribeye steaks for the grill and a bottle of mighty fine rhubarb gin to be served over ice with a splash of Kings Ginger. Cheers – Do feel free to come and join us!

Cheerio for now then chums. Hope it’s a good week for you and yours. I’ll just share a last photo, totally irrelevant, but I think it’s quite lovely. It’s my Father in Law on his birthday yesterday with his great Grandson. A proud man with a mission who refuses to be defeated by a mere triviality like Cancer without a fight. Much love to you all.

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