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 Forest is all there for you. You can walk straight out of the back gate of Tiptoe Cottage into open National Park land or drive out for forest, hill or beach walks as you prefer. We have ordnance survey maps for you to use to plan your routes, bird books if you want to try bird watching and, if you ask, we can lend you 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 behind the cottage, so please ensure all gates are closed to preserve the garden.
Some of them kill! (Not these ones, they are ceps, as good as it gets). You may see people collecting the good ones – don’t do it yourself unless you know what you are doing. Professional foraging trips are run in the autumn, sign up for one. Or, if you are interested and there are fungi about, ask Robin and he may be able to fix a walk.
If the Forest isn’t enough, then further away, the hills, villages and woods of Cranborne Chase are gorgeous, especially in bluebell season. Or the Isle of Wight is a short ferry ride from Lymington.
If you want to make a whole day of it, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are stunning and one of our favourite trips. To walk there on a clear day is to appreciate why the Jurassic Coast is a world heritage site.
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.
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 metal shed in the garden has a bike rack for you if you need it. If you have brought your own bike, you’re ready to go.
Off road trails are plentiful. The bike shop in the middle of Burley has maps of local off road trails which cater for most appetites. They also rent bikes.
Road biking is excellent in the Forest. There are two Ordnance Survey maps at the cottage to plot routes from – one for the forest and one for Cranborne Chase if you want to go a long way and get some hills in. 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 (just round the corner from the Rising Sun) does Western riding (easier for a novice) and Flanders Farm (10 mins) which rides English style. Or you can book a hack from Burley Manor.