The New Forest landscape has changed little over the 900 years when William the Conqueror originally established the area as his royal hunting preserve.
The ancient system of woodland and hearth management still works today and many local properties own the right to graze their stock on the forest. These are the ponies, cattle, pigs, and donkeys that you see wondering around as you drive between the local towns and villages. Now a National Park the 220 square miles of beautiful countryside is ideal for easy walking, picnicking and has many tracks suitable for family cycling.
Just outside the New Forest boundary are the villages of Everton and Milford-on-Sea, both of which make an ideal base to explore the Hampshire/Dorset coast and the New Forest area. Nearby is the market town of Lymington which has a regular ferry service to the Isle of Wight. Beaulieu Palace and Motor museum, Butlers Hard and Exbury Gardens are all close by whilst for day trips Salisbury, Stonehenge, Winchester, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Corfe Castle and the Purbeck Hills are all within easy driving distance.