This new, thoroughly updated and expanded second edition of Bradt's New Forest - part of the award-winning Slow Travel series of guides to UK regions - focuses on this peaceful, enchanting area in Hampshire. Walkers, cyclists, wildlife lovers, families and foodies are all catered for, with coverage of a wide range of attractions. The only comprehensive travel guidebook to this compact, increasingly popular national park barely 90 minutes from London, it contains all the practical information you need to enjoy time here, including accommodation options ranging from fine hotels to campsites where grazing ponies may nose at your tent flap.
Such free-roaming animals are integral to both the New Forest's charm and its suitability for a Slow guide. Here ponies and cows routinely halt traffic, while donkeys peer into shop windows. In a region named one of the world's top 10 destinations for outdoors enthusiasts in the 2022 TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice Awards, truly wild creatures abound too.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest cover over half the national park. All the UK's six native reptile species occur, alongside its largest population of Dartford warblers. Given the region's name, the landscape varies surprisingly.
Wander through ancient, broad-leaved woodlands originally established as hunting grounds for King William I (William the Conqueror), or marvel at towering conifers at Rhinefield Arboretum. Explore miles of heathland, the yachting town of Lymington or the great coastal spit leading to Hurst Castle (where the ghost of King Charles I is said to wander by night). Alternatively, visit distinctive villages from 13th-century Beaulieu, with its abbey, palace and National Motor Museum, to Burley, infamous for witchcraft.
Alongside providing practical information with a personal touch, experienced travel writer and local resident Emily Laurence Baker leads visitors behind the scenes to explain the 'working Forest', outlining how various organisations manage the land, how grazing animals have shaped it for centuries, and how the 'commons' system functions. She further brings the New Forest to life through interviews with local people, from butchers to conservationists, and agisters to verderers, making Bradt's New Forest the must-have guide for all visitors to this beguiling region.