If you every come to the South Of England on a vacation then you simply must not miss a trip to the New Forest , the newest national park in the UK and One of the Worlds Heritage national park sites.
The idea for national parks first started in the United States and one of the first world national parks was Yosemite of course.
Since that time many other countries have adopted this way of protecting and preserving the un-spoilt habitats of the world for future generations and for the preservation of endangered species as well.
The New Forest has a few endangered species itself but nothing like the American bald eagle that is now increasing in numbers due thankfully. The New Forests most wildly known species are of course the deer and the lovable little roguish New Forest ponies.
Centuries and centuries ago the New Forest was to all intents and purposes open land but then one of the kings on of the day decided to make it a royal forest only to be used for the royal pursuit of hunting, and local folk who had lived off the land for centuries found themselves unable to hunt the land for food to feed their family, penalties for contravening the law were severe and in later time fatal.
Fortunately over time sanity prevailed and today you will find many animals wandering the forest grazing as the local “commoners” exercise their right to graze their live stock on the common ground.
The New Forest has in the places that have survived deforestation due to the needs of the early ship builders and raw material requirements from the 2nd world war, some of the oldest forest in England. One mighty oak is reported to be around 400 years old.
Visitors to the forest can take part in all manner of recreational activities ranging from the ever popular cycle routes which are available both on and off road depending on your passion, walks in the tranquil areas or even open forest pony trekking, where real riding enthusiasts will bring there own ponies and horses.
If you are having a family holiday the Park has a number of really olde worlde New Forest cottages you can rent and if you have a penchant for the quaint then you will just love the old thatched roofs and if your lucky gardens that literally take you out into the forest from your back door.
If you prefer the outdoor lifestyle then the forest has a number of designated campsites with and without facilities so you can enjoy New Forest campsites the easy way or the hard way , the choice is up to you.
One of the most popular areas of the New Forest has to be the picturesque Village of Beaulieu which is actually part of a massive 7000 acre estate (by UK standards) estate belonging to the Montagu family who’s ancestors have owned the land and property since the early 1500 after the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII.
Part of the estate is used for the National Motor Museum which must rank as one of the best museums of automotive history in the world with exhibits that span motoring history not only by age but also by achievement as a number of land speed record breakers are exhibited here.
There is also the Abbey to visit which whilst not to much to see these days still gives you an idea of the grandeur and power of the church in early British history.
The now Beaulieu Palace house itself was originally the gatehouse to the abbey here although it has been subsequently extended.
As well as the New Forest , which can keep you captivated for your whole visit, it is well worth broadening your horizons if you are in the area. Only a short drive away you can find some simply outstanding and very clean beaches. They are even building the northern hemisphere’s first artificial ref here as well for the local surfing community so if you like to surf you can try it out UK style.
Poole in the County of Dorset is not only famous for having one of the worlds largest harbours, but also for the number of famous people who live here, and one particular area has the most expensive house prices in the whole of England, still. That is simply one of theh crosses.
To sum up, the south coast makes an excellent holiday destination for families and couples alike of all age groups, so make sure it is on your short list