If you have been to the #New Forest in Hampshire, UK you will know what a unique place it is. I was fortunate enough to grow up there and I am able to trace my family history back through several generations in the area.
I took for granted running in the woods and living with the rhythm of the seasons. I thought it was normal to everyone’s life. When my family moved to a small town, aged 9 it was a shock.
The school was a two-mile walk and so was church every Sunday. When I had a bike it made such a difference. Children riding were safe in the early ’50s as there was no traffic around. When I look back we were an odd family.
Wildflowers were a big pleasure on walks. In spring small daffodils carpeted the forest floor, huge bluebell woods and primroses grew everywhere. Later in the year briar roses clambered over bushes.
We knew where the snakes lived, where the newt pond was, how to find the badger sets and mix with the wild ponies. Flocks of birds were a daily occurrence.
I drive to the forest now, but it is difficult to find the abundance of flora and fauna I remember, although there are pockets to be found.
The New Forest is by the South Coast. Lymington and Beaulieu Rivers are must see places and to walk by.
There are wonderful villages like Lyndhurst and Burley and Beaulieu. Exbury Gardens are between the Beaulieu River and Lepe Beach.
Find out more by visiting https://tinyurl.com/yydkegjh Find other sites by searching Google and explore the New Forest, Hampshire, UK.
Come to the New Forest in search of Alice in Wonderland – Alice Liddle is buried in the Lyndhurst churchyard. Jane Austen is buried in nearby Winchester Cathedral and Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey isn’t far away along the A34. Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat is a favourite read and a film. There are literary connections all over Hampshire, which is not surprising.
A short blog on the New Forest hasn’t space for a history of smuggling. The sea and the forest were the perfect settings. My ancestors were a part of it all. They were smugglers who became coastguards.
You might like The Trinket Wife recently published on Amazon and set in the New Forest.