The New Forest

Wicked Camping

Our quiet little campsite.

Now you may remember from an earlier post of mine that Elese had won a Wicked Camper for a weekend when we were playing Bogan Bingo one night. So one weekend in October we picked up this van and we headed out of London to the New Forest where Elese had decided she wanted to go. The New Forest is large unenclosed pasture land in Southern England where all kinds of animals like horses, ponies, sheep, cows, and more roam free throughout the land, and even on the roads! It’s another very beautiful part of England which all of it seems to be once you get outside of London. Not that London isn’t nice in it’s own way, it is just very different to the other parts of England (from what I have seen anyway).

We got on the road about midday after picking up the van, then getting supplies from Tesco and headed to Dung’s to pick her and Greg up then it was out on to the motorway and time for some fun. It was so nice to be out on the road and in a car again as it is something that has become quite a rarity since moving to London. It didn’t take too long to drive out towards the New Forest and about 2 hours later we had driven past the caravan park/campsite we were staying seeing as it was a small road off the main road, kind of like a road down towards a farm. It basically was a farm as well with paddocks throughout the place and then even some donkeys in some of the paddocks which we found out later.

After setting up our campsite we went for a bit of an exploration around the place, and that’s when we found the donkeys which were making as much noise as possible with their ‘hee-haw-ing’. We stopped for a bit and fed them some long dry grass which they seemed to love, and then when we went to leave a couple of them followed us along the fence line. They couldn’t get enough of the grass, and we had fed them a lot of it! We kept going and found one of the lakes where you could fish for carp and then continued our exploring through the rest of the caravan park. Once getting back to our campsite we saw some deer out in one of the paddocks. There just seemed to be different animals throughout the place. We spent the night cooking some food on our little gas stove and having some drinks before it got cold and we had to move inside the van. Considering the time of year though, it wasn’t really too cold at all and not what we were expecting. People had told us we were crazy for going camping in October, but what do the English people know?

The next morning we were up fairly early and after cooking up some bacon and eggs for breakfast we got Greg’s fishing rods out and packed up some bags and the esky with the left over sausages, chips, lollies and beer and headed out to the lake that we had found the night before. Greg used to do a lot of fishing when he was younger so he had all of the gear and even a little stand for his rods which when there was a bite and pull on the fishing line, it would start beeping so you knew you had a bite. It was quite excessive for what we were doing but it did mean that would could sit back on the picnic table and enjoy our food and drinks we had brought. It also gave us the opportunity to mess with Greg and when he wasn’t looking make them beep so he would start to run back because he thought he had a bite. It wasn’t too long before we got a few little nibbles though and then Greg managed to catch the first fish. It was a decent sized carp (as that was all that was in the lake) and then we had to throw it back as you aren’t allowed to actually keep them, so back into the water it went.

It was so good just to be sitting out in the fresh air and enjoying the sun coming down on us while we ate, drank and fished. It was so peaceful and relaxing that we probably could have fallen asleep, that’s if it wasn’t for Greg’s rod holder beeping all the time. By mid afternoon we had all caught a fish and thrown them back, as well as run out of beer so it was time to head back to the van. We stopped off at the other lake and Greg setup the rods again while we got some more drinks and spent another hour or so there, but alas the fish weren’t biting so we packed it all up and decided to head to the local town for dinner.

We were told that it wasn’t too far into the closest town, called Nomansland, and that we could walk there. So that we did. It actually turned out to be a bit further than expected, and took about half an hour, of which a lot of it was along narrow roads and in the dark, which wasn’t so great when cars were coming past. We made it there though and found the pub that had been recommended to us called the Lamb Inn. The food was just great! So much better than any pub food I had had in London. I had a steak and ale pie which was handmade and the portion was huge as I struggled to get through it all. All the food looked great and I guess it has to be in a small town like that or people won’t be coming back. I can highly recommend it though if anyone happens to be in Nomansland someday.

The next morning after we packed everything up we went for a bit of a drive through some of the New Forest. It wasn’t long before we came across some sheep walking along the road and had to come to a stop to wait for them to move out of the way. Eventually they did and we kept driving and we came upon some horses and donkeys just roaming around along the road and where ever they pleased. We parked the van and got out so we could get a bit of a closer look. Elese took some apples out to feed to them as well. It was quite odd with the animals just roaming free and they were quite tame as well which was surprising. After while of patting and feeding them we got back in the van and continued our drive through the New Forest before starting the trek back to the reality that is London.

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