Horseriding in The New Forest

Posted on November 30, 2013

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Last weekend I fell in love with the English countryside all over again. When I was a child I used to love visiting the New Forest there as a child with my family and loved seeing the wild ponies roaming through villages. In my mid thirties, my feelings haven’t changed.

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Near to Southampton Airport, The New Forest is easy to get to with a car, and even by public transport the village of Brockenhurst is less than 25mins by train. En route, we stopped off to see an old school friend at the wonderful Jolly Sailor in the quaint area of Old Buseldon. The pub is right on the waterfront by a harbour, full of people coming in by boat or from country walks. The food is good gastro pub grub and serves a good selection of ales. When I was there we tried the trio of ales on special – I couldn’t resist the ‘Hopeful Hop’.

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Straight from the lovely lunch by a roasting fire we braved the cold and headed to Ford Farm Stables for a two hour hack in the park. We hadn’t ridden at the stables before but had done some research on TripAdvisor (which I am starting to like more and more). Ratings are accurate, the stables are fantastic. We went out as a small group of four, including the instructor who was chatty and knowledgeable about the area. We both felt that the horses had been chosen perfectly for us: they were behaved but a touch frisky and loved the long canters across the park. At £50 each it was amazing value.

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After all the fresh air Hotel Terravina was welcoming. Its an old manor house with comfy  well appointed rooms. The stand alone bath in the enormous warm bathroom was perfect to ease aching muscles, especially with a glass of champagne in hand. In summer we would have made use of the private terrace too.

Dinner at Terravina was heavenly. Locally sourced where possible we tried the venison which was cooked to perfection and I think I may dream about the whit echolocate parfait for weeks to come. One of the things I liked best was the welcome in the morning: we borrowed wellies (available in all sizes), were directed on an hours circular walk and they kept the restaurant open for breakfast until we got back. We couldn’t have asked for better service.

For more on the New Forest visit: www.newforestnpa.gov.uk

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Posted in: Destinations, UK