I just returned from a 9 day trip to England. The predominant part of the trip was spent in the South. We did spend a day in London, but being that I had been to this magnificent city before, my partner, who is British, decided to take us on a southern journey instead. I was blown away by how beautiful it was in the South. Rolling farmlands, roaming wild ponies (The New Forest) mixed with an occasional grand estate was quite pleasing to our eyes. Here is a little photo diary of my travels.
We started by driving to the Beaulieu National Motor Museum in the New Forest – pronounced bew-ley. Founded in 1952 by Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, the museum is housed on his estate. Pictured below was the familiy living quarters (nice living quarters at that!) now turned into a historical museum parent to the auto museum.
I was very excited to see on display the original 1968 Chitty Chitty bang bang car. One of my favorite movies and written by Ian Fleming who was also the author of James Bond.
We lodged that evening in the quaint village town of Burley, New Forest, Hampshire, better known as “The Village of Witches”, in the heart of the New Forest. This began in the 1950’s when witch Sybil Leek moved to the area and opened a shop called ‘A Coven of Witches’ at the Cross, Burley, Ringwood, Hampshire which is still there today.
We stayed at a lovely B & B that night called the Wayside Cottage. We had the best experience here and highly recommend this place. Our proprietors, Trish and Ian were so accommodating to us and our children (ages 9, 12, and 16). They had fresh baked pastries and oat bars waiting in the family lounge area (which we all devored :)) and had our breakfast table properly set for five for the next morning. Here I tried blood pudding for the first time and actually really liked it! (Shhhh! Just don’t tell what it is).
The next morning we drove through the New Forest, which I have to say is quite magical. I particularly loved the sea village of Lymington. It was also really cool to see the wild ponies everywhere.
Another one of my favorite day trips was to the sea town of Brighton in East Sussex, England. Brighton is quite large and very lively. I had no idea that the Brits flock here year round to indulge in its fun and games. It has a casino type boardwalk, tons of shops, rides including a ferris wheel, and a plethora of pubs and clubs. It was in Brighton that I finally experienced a proper portion of fish and chips! And my new favorite, an English cider to go with.
Lastly, another one of my favorite day trips was to the village of Petworth in West Sussex county for a cream tea for breakfast. A cream tea is not only your traditional English tea, but fresh baked scones, jam, butter and, another new favorite, clotted cream to put on top (I acquired lots of these favorites on this trip). Followed by this, we drove to Arundel Castle, and although it is closed till April, just seeing it from the outside was incredible.
As I had mentioned earlier, we did spend some time in London which of course I fell in love with. England on a a whole, deserves more attention than it gets. It may not be as exotic as Spain or as flamboyant as Italy but there is a charm that prevails in England that makes one feel instantly at home and comfortable in this beautiful country. Not only that, the Brits are as funny as hell, are charming beyond measure, know how to enjoy life quite well and are wonderful hosts to us foreigners… I always felt so welcome.