Enjoying the Surroundings
First things first - Mobile Phones
Expect bad reception and you won’t be disappointed. Disconnect and reconnect!
Health and Spa
To recover from the stress of poor mobile signal, pamper yourself. For therapeutic or sports massage, we have two friends who can be booked by request and will visit the cottage provided they are free. Ask Jane for their numbers. Local spas include Lime Wood – very exclusive feel – and Sen Spa in Brockenhurst. They have the facilities you’d expect and need booking.
The open Forest is all there for you just cross the road outside Spindle Cottage, or you can drive out for hill or beach walks as you prefer. We have bike maps for you to use to plan your routes, bird books if you want to try bird watching and binoculars. Some forest etiquette is worth knowing:
New Forest Ponies and Cattle
Don’t feed the ponies as they may become aggressive when you stop! You may find both cows and horses roaming around the cottage, so please ensure all gates are closed to preserve the garden.
Some of them kill! And local Forestry Policy is now that no picking is allowed. Best left alone all round.
Try Friar’s Cliff in Christchurch – the Beach Hut Café serves the best value breakfast for miles around. Or go to Mudeford. You can go crabbing off the quay or get the little ferry from Mudeford Quay (or from Christchurch) to Hengistbury Head. There is a very good sandy beach and the world’s most expensive beach huts. Plus you can walk over the head and all the way into Bournemouth without too much difficulty. Worth doing if you like a long walk. Or try Milford. The beach is stony with great views of the Isle of Wight and a level walk to Hurst Castle.
If you want to make a whole day of it, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are stunning and one of our favourite trips further afield. To walk there on a clear day is to appreciate why the Jurassic Coast is a world heritage site.
Mackerel fishing trips go from Mudeford Quay in the season. Book ahead.
Local gardens include Exbury on the other side of Beaulieu (including a small gauge railway which kids enjoy), and Furzey in Minstead (also good for kids with fairy houses to explore).
Isle of Wight
Ferry to the Isle of Wight runs from Lymington. It’s very expensive to take the car, we sometimes take a day trip as a foot passenger. If you’ve never been there it’s worth it for walking, cycling or sightseeing.
The long wooden shed in the garden is long enough to store bikes. If you have brought your own bike, you’re ready to go.
Off road trails are plentiful. The bike shops in the middle of Brokenhurst or Burley rent bikes and are both great places to start. You will find a selection of maps and directions to the off road trails in the leaflets provided in the hall cupboard.
Road biking is excellent in the Forest. If you don’t want to plot your own route, Robin can share different circular routes starting from the cottage, from 10km all the way up to 160km.
There are two stables nearby which do riding lessons: Burley Villa near Tiptoe that does Western riding (easier for a novice) and Flanders Farm (10 mins) which rides English style. Or you can also book a hack from Burley Manor.