To live in a National Park is a joy and surely none more pleasurable than living in the New Forest. One of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in Southern England, covering southwest Hampshire and southeast Wiltshire, it was proclaimed a royal forest by William the Conqueror, featuring in the Domesday Book. One of Britain’s newest and smallest national parks, designated in 2005, the New Forest has an area of 218 square miles that include 86 square miles of woodland, 61 square miles of heathland and grassland, 57 square miles of farmland, 26 miles of coastland and 141 miles of footpaths.
Famed for its beauty and carefully conserved, it remains a habitat for many rare animals and birds; is home to some 700 wild flower species, about a third of Britain’s total, and 2,700 different fungi. Deer, newts, bats, and all three native British snakes live here, including the adder, Britain’s only poisonous snake.
The humans that are lucky enough to share this beautiful and historic place have the choice of a number of picturesque towns and villages in which to settle and the ease of access to Southampton and the Coast at Bournemouth (both with airports) make it an ideal location in which to live. Also railway stations at Brockenhurst and Ashurst and good road connections, for the M27 make for easier commuting to the surrounding towns and Cities.
Offering a unique way of life, the Forest offers the chance to embrace country living, with outstanding walking and riding country. Classed as common land, about 6,500 animals owned by commoners, roam the forest freely, the most famous being the New Forest ponies. The beauty of the location ensures that all properties within the Forest are actively sought after, but with each village and town having its own community, there are many delightful options to choose from.
From the medieval Abbey village of Beaulieu, being amongst the most well known, with its highly regarded National Motor Museum; the Georgian trading port of Lymington where you can view luxury yachts and enjoy superb shopping and fine dining; Brockenhurst – officially named the most beautiful place to live in the UK, to the village of Burley, famed for its witch, smugglers and highwaymen, to name but a few lovely locations. Nearby villages, including Downton, Redlynch, Lover and Woodfalls, Landford and Nomansland and are all eternally popular, offering lovely options for enjoying the Forest life in friendly communities.