The New Forest
This weekend we headed south and to ‘The New Forest’ in the South of England. We don’t often head this way, as we tend to head for the mountains due to the mountain biking. However as we were without the bikes this weekend, we thought we would try somewhere new.
The New Forest is known for its heathland, forest trails and wild horses and native ponies. We were told to expect horses, but I think we were all truly shocked by the shear amount of them. It was great to see and get up close to them, even hand feeding a few of them an apple of two (which they absolutely loved). We found some great spots to park up at and appreciate the scenery and wildlife on offer. All of the spots we found used can be found on ‘Park4Night’, but I will link to them below.
Not Too Far For A Weekend
At 150 miles from door to forest, it is not the most energy sapping drives we have had to endure on a Friday evening. For that it will be going down as a great place for those weekend getaways. There are miles upon miles of walking trails, and we only touched a small percentage. Due to the floor being saturated in places, and we did get a bit wet and muddy crossing streams. For us it was all part of the experience and always has been. Not a single other person around in some of the places which meant we could enjoy the peaceful surroundings with the sound of birds and even the occasional woodpecker.
Got To Love A Hammock
None of us yet have had a real chance to use the hammocks, whether that is through weather, or the inability to find a suitable spot with appropriate tree placement. This weekend though saw many spots to hang up and enjoy the surroundings; we just set up one end on the roof rack and then sling the other side around a tree. We purchased our ones on amazon for around £16, and for that money are made really well. We have hung them and then sat on just the very edge with no signs of ripping or fatigue. I would highly recommend one for those days of chilling out in the summer time with a cold beer or a beverage of your choice. Here is a link to the ones we purchased. CUNXIA Hammock
Respect The Enviroment
When living ‘vanlife’, we are always respectful of the environment we use. So when pitching up at spots with the van, we ensure a few things. The first being making sure we leave the space around us how we found it, The second is being respectful of others around us, and finally collecting all litter and deposing of it correctly. There are some rules that we think all vanlifers bend, the main one being ‘No overnight camping’. Providing you are respecting the area and leaving it clean and tidy, one night camping and moving on we feel is acceptable. It is often only for the one night and we never normally get any issues, however if we were ever told to move on, we are very understanding. And that brings me to a situation we encountered this weekend…
The second location we found was again in a parking area surrounded by woods, however it seemed to be used quite frequently by dog walkers. Not too busy, but enough to see people frequently in the afternoon. We had pitched up in a quiet spot, pulled the awning out and hung up a hammock. You could clearly see we were causing no issues, nonetheless someone felt the need to snitch and call the forestry commission. We did have a small fire going which was contained and not left unattended, but we take fires very seriously and understand the horrific consequences they can potentially have. We can appreciate the ruling on this even though the floor was damp. Up comes ‘Mr Forest Man’ and politely tells is to put the fire out, we obliged, but was then told he had had phone calls and if we were camping overnight to be gone before the dog walkers arrive. It seems as though some people feel like they own the land they live in or near, but in fact it is for everyone to enjoy. Why people feel the need to report campers is beyond us, but we moved on from this location to save us any grief. Even ‘Mr Forest Man’ was understanding and was accepting of the rule bending allowing us to stay overnight if we wished.
All in all a great weekend once more! Here are some more photos and more importantly the locations…