Who wouldn’t want to escape from it all to somewhere named most beautiful place to live in the UK? Brockenhurst – with its quaint charm brought largely by its roaving ponies, donkeys and deer – is a fairy-tale world found in the heart of the New Forest.
Located between Lyndhurst and Lymington and easily accessible by rail, bus or car, the New Forest’s largest and most attractive village offers a slice of rural village life that’s sure to delight holiday-makers of all ages and persuasions.
Whether you fancy a pint of real ale and a hearty meal at one of the many surrounding pubs, some pampering “you-time” at Balmer Lawn’s Spa or a few rounds at Manor Golf Club, there’s enough Brockenhurst magic to go around. And foodies won’t want to miss a pilgrimage to The Pig where the menu is all about good, clean, fresh produce that the chefs either source from their own kitchen garden or from local fields and shores.
With views of the surrounding heathlands and ancient woodlands at every turn, there’s no surprise that this is a destination popular with walkers, cyclists and golfers alike. The winding roads not only offer frequent chances to spot wildlife but the fords are also great fun to cross by bike, car or on horseback. The Rhinefield Ornamental Drive is a must-see, both in spring when the rhododendrons blossom and later in the year when autumnal hues highlight the skyline.
While Beaulieu’s National Motor Museum, Palace House and gardens provide year-round entertainment for the whole family and a brimming calendar of special events, the area’s annual highlight is the New Forest and Hampshire County Show that takes place at Brockenhurst’s Show Ground. One of the best agricultural shows in the UK, each July there’s plenty of family fun from the world famous Heavy Horse Musical Drive to the tractor tug of war.
When you next visit Hampshire, book a charming Brockenhurst holiday cottage and explore the New Forest from your doorstep.