When you’ve been couped up for too long and consumed too many chocolate Santas and glasses of Baileys, nothing blows the cobwebs away like a walk on a crisp, sunny December day.
Our favourite haunts in the New Forest can get pretty crowded during the school holidays. Today we fancied escaping for a while and drove down the A35 between Holmsley and Rhinefield to find a secluded spot to stretch our legs.
Jumping in icy puddles, squelching through mud and splashing through streams were all refreshing ways to pass an afternoon, in the beautiful backdrop of the New Forest and under the silent observation of grazing ponies (who, even after nearly three years of living here, still excite me).
Most people visit the New Forest in the summer, with good reason, but as you can see the national park is just as alive and adventure-filled during the winter.
The landscape offers up a multitude of greens from emerald to olive and all shades in between. As we drove through the heart of the forest, a subtle mist hung among the naked trees and we were blinded by winter’s brazen sunlight. A beautiful place at any time of year, the New Forest really comes into its own during the long winter months.