Over the Christmas holidays, the family and I took a winter’s walk in the New Forest. The Forest isn’t far from my folks’ house (they are very lucky!) and so we drove up towards Brockenhurst, passing heathland and ponies (much to the kiddo’s delight) to Rinefield ornamental drive. It’s a gorgeous spot and the Blackwater car park is hidden under trees and a place where a number of walks start from, open grass to run around in and when the weather is a bit better, space for a barbecue too.

In the springtime, Rinefield is famous for the numerous rhododendrons in full bloom, but in winter, it is a quieter affair with the trees taking centre court. The area has some of the tallest and oldest Douglas firs in the country, plus a couple of redwoods to gaze upwards at. There’s a majestic quality to it all and even on a walk as popular as this, there are still moments of quiet and a feel of otherworldliness. Especially, when you light like this:

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

We were terribly lucky with the weather. That mid-winter light was flipping magical.

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

The tall trees trail is an easy walk, easily signposted and with a good footpath and is about a mile to and from the car park. There’s an ornamental arboretum too, which is beautiful, but sadly we didn’t make it this time round and the kiddos were far too cold too have a look by the time we got there! (We’ll be back in the autumn though, that’s when it shines). It’s the perfect walk for kids, lots and lots to see including craters from the second world war where German planes would dump their bombs after failing to find Southampton and Portsmouth. There are also signs around the pathway giving information about some of the trees and cut up logs and trunks to climb on.

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Counting the rings to discover the age. That tree is as old as me!

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Love the days where there are still patches of fog here and there.

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Walking the Rinefield Ornamental Drive

Looking up (and up) at one of the redwoods. You don’t realise just how massive it is until you’re up close to it.

When we’re visiting my folks we usually visit the sea for a walk, but sometimes I think we forget just how easy it is for get to the New Forest and explore there. It is SO beautiful and for Arthur especially this was his first proper explore of the area. We’re going to have to go back in the spring and spend some more time in this gorgeous area.

9 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge