This guide is part of the Bradt series that embraces the Slow Tourism movement, and encourages visitors to slow down and discover the often hidden and unsung delights of one of the most unspoiled and varied of English counties.
The New Forest, where free-roaming ponies and cows regularly halt traffic and donkeys peer in shop windows, is ideally suited to a Slow guide. Despite the name 'New Forest' the landscape varies with towering conifers lining the Bolderwood and Rhinefield Ornamental Drives, dense broad-leaved trees in the ancient and ornamental woodlands and miles of open heath. Just beyond the heart of the Forest, are riverside and coastal roads by Buckler's Hard and East End, the water meadows of the Avon Valley and the yachting town of Lymington. The villages in and around the New Forest have distinct characters. In Brockenhurst animals regularly walk on main roads. Burley is known for its link to witchcraft and Fordingbridge is a charming small town on the banks of the Avon.
Author Emily Laurence Baker outlines the 'working Forest,' including how various organisations manage the land, how grazing animals have shaped its outline for centuries, and how the commoning system functions. Interviews with an Agister, local butchers, conservationists, commoners and other locals bring the book to life. The guide also features a wide range of activities, including walking, horse-riding and cycling, and explores accommodation and food options, from camping to luxury hotels and from simple pubs to the more gourmet variety. All venues are the author's personal selection.
The New Forest is easily accessible to overseas visitors - about two hours from central London by train, bus or car.
Emily Laurence Baker has written guides and travel articles on numerous destinations for more than 20 years. She divides her time between London and the New Forest.
Contents Going Slow in the New Forest v The Slow mindset v, The New Forest National Park vii, A New Forest miscellany ix, How this book is arranged xxii, Getting around xxiii 1. The north and west 1 Accommodation 2, North Forest: the Northern Commons, Fritham and Fordingbridge 4, North and west borders: weaving in and out of the New Forest 28 2. The southwest Brockenhurst and the Lymington coast 41 Accommodation 42, Ringwood and Burley 45, Brockenhurst and around 56, Lymington and its coast 75 3. Lyndhurst, Beaulieu and the east 91 Accommodation 93, Lyndhurst and surrounding areas 95, Beaulieu Estate, Buckler's Hard and East End 111, Southampton Coast: Exbury, Lepe and Eling 136 Index 149