Some of the few memories I have from my childhood are of the car being packed up in the summer and our family driving off on holiday. We’d travel from home in Essex up to Skegness one year and Blackpool the next. Even as a child I remember feeling so happy being on the road, traveling, excited about where we would end up as well as enjoying looking at all those places we traveled through as well. As an adult I have not lost this love of traveling and when I heard about this Road Trip Challenge from MoneySupermarket.com I just had to get involved and share with you all something that is an important part of my life. Luckily for me, they accepted my application to be a part of this and provided me with £50 to put some petrol in our car!
Since I’ve been with Dave we’ve taken many trips, some for a holiday, to visit family or friends and sometimes to go to an event but the ones we do most often is to just go for a drive with no real destination in mind, just to get out of the house and see whats there and so it’s one of my favourite trips we take like that which I am going to share with you. We are very lucky where we live, there are so many interesting places to visit within an hour or two’s drive but the one we keep going back to is this one through the New Forest which takes in a lot of the attractions where we can (and do) stop at for a while and also a lot of the breathtaking scenery as well as the inhabitants too!
Like all good road trips ours starts out like this:
Oh the joys (not) of motorway travel! but at least it’s not for long on this trip and soon enough we’re off the end of the M27 and headed South on the A337. As you can see from the above picture it was not one of the blisteringly hot days we have had recently when we did this trip but it was still very warm so I enjoyed the pleasure of winding down my window and feeling the breeze on my face as we drive through the tree’s.
One place that you really have to visit when you go into the New Forest is Lyndhurst, not only because it is a pretty little village but also because it’s kind of a hub for most of the roads you would want to take to get anywhere, this also means the traffic is generally quite bad so we’ve learned to plan our outings here to try and avoid the worst times (rush hour and lunch time mainly) but even with the traffic issues it’s well worth stopping and having a wander around, there’s a reasonable car park but the time’s we’ve stopped there we have noticed it gets full quickly so again, I really recommend, go early and outside times when it gets really busy 🙂
Upon leaving Lyndhurst we traveled further south on the A337 and then turned left onto the B3055 and drove a little longer through the trees but after a short while they start to thin out and you enter the almost treeless part of the New Forest National Park. I know this sounds strange, for a forest to be treeless but there are some, just not that many and it makes it so much easier to spot the animals roaming about freely.
We did have a destination in mind, we were headed to Hatchet Pond, here you can fish if you care to (and have the appropriate licenses/permissions), have a nice walk, make use of the facilities (this is one of the few parking area’s that have toilets, they’ve always been clean when we’ve visited but I would advise making sure you have some tissues with you!) you could even try to have a picnic here and I do mean try! There have always been horses here when we have visited, they’re very friendly but you have to follow the rules posted about them on the signs there (and they will try to enjoy your picnic with you I promise!lol) There are also a lot of wild birds there to watch and it’s just a really nice place to have a walk, and get out in the fresh air.
After leaving Hatchet Pond we continued along the B3055 to Beaulieu and here I have to mention something else you really need to be aware of when driving in the New Forest. The horses, cows, donkeys and many other animals that live there do not have much road sense so you have to be prepared for them, they also have a habit of causing traffic problems when they decide to have a run about, today for example, we saw a horse decide to cross the road just as a car was going past it and then just stand around in the road watching the cars having to edge round it
We also saw a cow in the road on the other side causing a tailback, it then decided to run down the middle of the road in the opposite direction (the way we were traveling) to meet up with it’s friends who were causing a jam on our side of the road too!
You really have to have a sense of humor when you’re traveling around here and try to not be in a rush to get anywhere, other than the danger to you and the animals, you’d miss out on so many things as you speed past them!
Anyway back to our trip, after going past Beaulieu (we decided not to go in this time but we will head back over there again soon!) we were headed North on the B3056 for a while but turned left on to North Lane and then made our way further North until we were on Deerleap Lane and headed in to the New Forest Wildlife Park (Formerly New Forest Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park) where we made another stop and went in. The website lists all the various entry fees but please remember to take with you your Ikea Family card as they discount entry by 30% when you show it which is a great saving (and covers the cost of a slice of cake in the tea room after you’ve been to visit all the animals!)
After spending most of the day visiting with the animals (some you can see above but most were difficult to photograph well due to the cages they are kept in, my camera kept focusing on the wire or glass instead of the animal!) there we decided it was about time to head home and so back on the motorway it is again!
So thanks to MoneySupermarket.com we had a fantastic day out, got to see some of the wonderful countryside around here and the lovely animals who live there too!