Dorset County is situated in the southwest of England, on the English Channel coast. Dorset is famous for its fabulous landscapes as well as variety of fashionable resorts. It is the setting of well-known Thomas Hardy novels. Dorset County is the place where everyone can find something interesting and captivating irrespective of age. The county has a long history best reflected in notable archaeology, including the hill forts of Maiden Castle and Hod Hill, an ancient town on the banks of the Stour - Wimborne Minster - that is the home for the Minster of St Cuthberga and many others.
But the topic of our conversation is outdoor holiday in New Forest - one more highlight of Dorset County.
Covering almost 300 square kilometers of southern England, the New Forest includes huge territories of open pasture, heathland and old-growth forest in the heavily populated south east of England. Providing a visually remarkable and historic landscape, the ecological value of the New Forest is particularly great. It is home for the relatively large number of lowland habitats that became lost elsewhere and have survived here.
The New Forest offers fantastic opportunities for outdoor leisure. An amazing coastline with protected bays and harbors provides great opportunity for various water-sports such as windsurfing, scuba diving, sailing and fishing. The inland areas are an ideal place for walking and cycling tours. Second to none walking and cycling trails offer a range of short and longer trails, from 'easy' to 'challenging'. In addition, here you will have the possibility to have a fascinating opportunity to try horse rider' tours well away from any built areas or busy roads. There are over 3000 miles of well-signed and way-marked footpaths, bridleways and byways to explore!
The extraordinary beauty of the New Forest landscapes is perfectly completed with wide variety of historic houses and gardens that are for sure worth visiting and seeing. Athelhampton House is a 15th century family home containing fine and exclusive furniture and extensive gardens with pavilions, fountains, a topiary, tollhouse and dovecote.
Founded in 1146, Forde Abbey was considered to be one of the most remarkable Cistercian monasteries in England. The Abbey is surrounded by the wonderful garden made by two generations of the Roper family. The garden amazes with its landscapes and rich variety of vegetation. It is indeed worth visiting as well as admiration. A beautiful Queen Anne family home - Chettle House - and adjacent gardens are situated a bit further to the north.
This region is famous for its Victorian Pleasure Gardens - the Larmer Tree Gardens - that contain a range of colonial and oriental buildings.
Located further to the east, Kingston Lacy House is known for its prominent paintings, exhibition of Egyptian artifacts, and its dramatic Spanish Room. The house is the property of the National Trust and being situated at the end of a splendid and at the same time, idyllic beech-lined avenue it has many outdoor nature events the most notable of them is the snowdrop walks.
Another one highlight of the New Forest is the Breamore House. It is an amazing Elizabethan family manor house that boasts of wonderful collections of pictures, furniture and needlework.
The number of the New Forest gardens is rather high. There are for about 10 of them (Kingston Maurward Gardens, Mapperton Gardens, Bennetts Water Gardens, Knoll Gardens, Stapehill Abbey Crafts and Gardens, etc.) occupying the territory at least of 5 acres. The biggest of them is Exbury Gardens (200-acre grounds) that offers world-famous displays, of rhododendrons and azaleas.
There's no excuse for being bored in this part of the world!