Tuesday, 30 September 2008

To where the New Forest meets the sea


On Tuesday, I had to go to Lymington, but what I had to do there took less than 30 seconds, so I decided to take myself off on the day trip I threatened some time ago to Hythe in Hampshire where the New Forest meets the sea and, where one can find the oldest operating pier railway in the world (official).

"The ponies have been called the 'Architects' of the Forest, for it is through their browsing and grazing that the lawns and trees look as they do today. Without their 'work' and that of the cattle and deer the Forest would soon be overgrown with brambles, gorse and other coarse herbage." [Source]

Before we get to Hythe, potential tourists may like to know that the number 112 bus (PDF) from Lymington to Hythe, rattles through the New Forest and various sleepy villages, including Beaulieu on the way. In fact, the bus goes in the "tradesman's" entrance to Beaulieu and right up to the door of the National Motor Museum. Unbelievably, nobody wanted to get off there.


We passed through Beaulieu village, saw the rooftops of Palace House and the remains of Beaulieu Abbey.

It was a grey day, but along the way, we saw trees everywhere turning shades of orange and red, expanses of heathland, many ponies and donkeys grazing along the roadsides and one after another of impossibly beautiful thatched cottages (like this one), so quintessentially English you could only imagine them to exist in Miss Marple's village of St. Mary Mead.

A couple of times proper country folk at their gates with their hounds - the type who have Chelsea Tractors because they really need them and wear jodhpurs and riding boots because they actually own horses - nodded as we passed.

This is deepest rural England; one of the only bits left. It was, however, noticeable that there were only two small village post offices and stores along the whole route. Not even one in every village, because the majority of those places closed long ago, unable to make ends meet as everyone drove to the big supermarkets. Now everyone has to drive to the big supermarkets.

Getting Britain to take climate issues seriously, yer doing it wrong!

More pics: New Forest 1, New Forest 2, New Forest 3

To be continued ...

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