Tuesday 18 October 2016

Beautiful Britain - The New Forest

We are not long back from a two week break in The New Forest.

It is somewhere that neither of us have ever visited before and came very highly recommended by everyone we spoke to who has ever been. We had high expectations and were looking forward to ticking off another national park from our list.

We were staying in Border Cottage in a small village called Sway, between Brockenhurst and Lymington, which was ideally situated for plenty of exploring.

Sway's main claim to fame, much to Martin's excitement, is Sway Tower, which is 66 metres tall and a Grade II listed building. It is also known as 'Peterson's Folly'.

It was built by Andrew Thomas Turton Peterson on his private estate from 1879-1885, both the design and use of concrete (no steel reinforcing apparently) were influenced by the follies he had seen during his time in India.

It is constructed entirely of concrete made with Portland cement, with only the windows having iron supports. It is the tallest non-reinforced concrete structure in the World.

The tower is visible from much of The New Forest and most of the Western Solent, and we can vouch for this, as you can see in the 4th photo, on a very long zoom!
At first glance Border Cottage looked very pretty ...

The interior was nice enough too, it had a lovely back garden still showing a nice bit of Autumn colour, which Martin found very photogenic ...

... and we were definitely going to be making new friends ...
The only real problem was that the place was in need of a serious Spring clean. We were quite disappointed with the standard of cleanliness of the cottage and consequently I didn't feel inspired enough to write a full review.

This, coupled with fairly bad weather and seemingly, to us anyway, nothing of much note to inspire or excite us, whilst the weather was as it was, we did start to feel a little despondent.

We'd arrived on Friday and by the following Wednesday, other than my initial shots of Border Cottage, I hadn't taken a single photo, which is seriously not like me at all.

Maybe it was the weather, I don't know. Normally we find something to love and wonder at everywhere we go. Everyone said The New Forest is beautiful and that we would love it but, for whatever reason we just weren't feeling it.

At least on that first Wednesday the weather picked up a bit and we decided to head into Christchurch for a mooch about.

It was good to get out and about and enjoy our first bit of sunshine. Christchurch was ok and we did have a nice wander, finding an old ducking stool along our way.

It didn't have the wow factor of lots of other places that we've visited on our travels, but we spent a pleasant afternoon exploring.

From the ducking stool we had a wander along the river, which took us past the old castle and around the back of the abbey.
We ended up at the very luxurious looking apartments on the quay, which was a lovely spot, where we took our first holiday selfie and just imagined ...
We finished off our walk with a look round the abbey, which is just huge and definitely worth a look before chilling out with a quick pub lunch.
Though we would say that yes we had a nice day, it had been lovely to have a break from the rain and be able to get out and about, Christchurch isn't somewhere that either of us felt we would be rushing back to visit again.

I am so sorry everyone, for the tone of this post, especially to all those of you that absolutely love this part of the country. If you follow my blog regularly you will know that Martin and I just love our home turf and all it is has to offer. I don't know why our first impressions of the New Forest were not of our normal excitement and wonder at exploring somewhere new, it does get better I promise, so please keep reading!

1 comment:

Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.