Exploring Dorset and Hampshire – part 3

Day 2 – New Forest, Ringwood and Poole

I woke up to silence.

I can’t remember the last time that’s happened.

Usually I hear ambulances, planes, motorbikes starting, people vomiting, people fighting.

It was bliss.

And so was the bed Alysha and I were sharing.

Egyptian cotton? Memory foam mattress? It was heaven!

We head down for breakfast with our AirBnb hosts Terry and Clare. Terry loved a chat and enjoyed providing good advice to anyone who’d listen. I had learnt this the night before, when I drove Jane the Jazz up the unsealed pebble driveway. Unfortunately my virgin experience of knowing what speed to hit the pebbles led me to make some embarrassing skid marks and gravel exposure on their beloved driveway. Terry provided insider knowledge as to what angle I should approach, the speed at which I should be going and the gear I should be in for next time. He also text this to me while out at dinner, in case I forgot the conversation. To avoid all issues, we decided to park on the road from that point on. My driving ability was the hot topic at the breakfast table that morning.

Clare served us a standard breakfast of cereals, but wowed us with her homemade bread and jams.

We made it to the car an hour later and set off.

Destination unknown.

We considered heading to the Isle of Wight but our lack of preparation and the extreme traffic jam toward Southampton led us to find a walking trail close by in New Forest instead.

Ashley’s walk near Godshill sounded good. I read that it could be described as a nice mix of open healthland, forested enclosure and woodland.

I thought I’d typed in the wrong directions when we arrived.

I’ll let the pictures explain my confusion.

Forest? Maybe it was beyond the hill.

Alysha and I excitedly bound ahead like puppies, while we dragged our owner Maddie along for the ride.

The landscape was sparse, and as the minutes ticked by and step count increase, our sightings of forest decreased.

We spent an hour and a half on Ashley’s Walk and although beautiful in it’s own right, lacked the forest element. I was anticipating secret garden, but the reality was more like Lawrence of Arabia.

Jane the Jazz zipped us off to Ringwood, where we stopped and had a delicious lunch (well I had brunch!) at Boston Tea Party cafe.

We had nailed many destinations the day before, so we picked Poole as the last stop on day two.

Some of the quality towns and locations we passed along the way included; Lover, Godshill, Sandy Balls and the Moot.

What can I say, it’s the small things in life that amuse me.

Poole had adopted the English seaside blueprint, although had upgraded slightly with a number of spectacular beachfront mansions and more water sports.

We got back to Salisbury and had a drink at the Market Inn. Met a lovely publican who gave a history lesson on the Salisbury Cathedral and cider. He used to work in an apple orchard and recommends cyder, as opposed to cider in pubs, as cyder is less common and is usually made with love by smaller, family owned businesses.

We chose The Giggling Squid, a Thai restaurant highly rated my travellers on Trip Advisor for dinner.

One exciting day left ahead of us before driving back to the big smoke.

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