“And into the Forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” - John Muir
If you have been following our adventures for a while now, you will know that we love the New Forest. We have lots of ‘second homes’; those special places which have claimed our hearts. But out of those many places, the New Forest was our first, and you know what they say about first loves.
This summer we were invited to stay at Hollands Wood campsite which lies in the heart of the New forest. We have stayed at this wonderful site many times before. In fact, it was the first campsite that Laurie and I ever camped at many years ago. This particular part of the Forest is very special to us, so much so we actually chose to get married right around the corner from here.
Run by Camping in the Forest, Hollands Wood campsite is a direct gateway to the Great Outdoors. Simply park up, set up camp and soak it all in. The site offers 600 grass pitches but you would never know as the trees and layout means there are lots of hideaway spaces and tree covered pitches to create your own little forest space. For wild campers like us, it’s a real treat to feel like we are camped in the wild but with the luxury of toilets and showers.
Our stay at Hollands Wood followed our usual camping theme; food and adventure. After a picnic at camp amongst the trees we set off with Bear for an explore out and around the campsite. Wandering through the ancient woodlands and big open moorlands filled with New Forest ponies reminded us just how special the New Forest is. No trip to this area can be without a trip to Lymington river, a perfect picnic and paddling spot just a short walk away. Bear wasted no time launching himself into the water to chase his favourite thing about forests, sticks!
Laurie and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to choose our very own trail which takes in the local experiences that can be found just a short walk away from Hollands Wood. The Local Experience Trail is an easy 2.5 miles which follows 5 simple points in and around Brockenhurst village. The trail takes in all the delights that Brockenhurst has to offer including some fantastic options of pitstops. With plenty of pubs and local eateries to choose from you can’t go wrong. Naturally, Laurie and I could not resist the Thatched Cottage Gin Bar. As the only Gin Bar in the New Forest, it would be rude to walk by and not go in! Brockenhurst has plenty of stores to browse en route and if you’re like us you’ll want to stop by the butchers and greengrocers to pick up some local produce to cook up for dinner back at camp.
Our Local Experience Trail can be downloaded from the Camping in the Forest website where you can also watch our video which follows our trail and adventures in the Forest.