Buckler’s Hard, the Hobler and a bit of horsing around.

A romantic winter weekend in the New Forest had us face to face with a group of wandering ponies, finding a historical ship yard (the 18th century Buckler’s Hard) and eating spicy food by a cozy fireplace at the Hobler.

That, in my book, is a bit of glorious escapism.

New Forest

Driving around the villages and woodland roads of the New Forest we came across a little group of donkeys.

They looked a little damp and muddy, but were clearly well cared for and turned out to be the sweetest natured donkeys we have ever come across.

New Forest

New Forest

I wanted to kiss them on the snout, like I do my Chocolate Labrador, but resisted incase they took offence.

New Forest donkey

New Forest donkey

Pretty cute, hey.

New Forest donkey

We thought we’d have a stroll through Beaulieu village. The first glance of the famous house was across the lake.

Beaulieu village

The ancient village sitting pretty as a chocolate box picture.

Beaulieu village

Friendly but soggy looking New Forest ponies grazed lazily on some grass.

New Forest ponies

New Forest ponies

The village was tiny and dates back to the 13th century, when it grew up around an abbey.

Beaulieu village

Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, however, in the 1530s, passed Beaulieu into ownership of present Lord Montagu’s ancestors and has remained with the family ever since.

Beaulieu village

Today’s Lord Montagu of Beaulieu houses Britain’s National Motor Museum, where more than 250 vehicles reside. It includes legendary motor vehicles from all over the world, including the record-braking Bluebird.

This car may have come from the big house. It had run out of petrol. Hubby took great delight in giving it a push, as men do.

Beaulieu village

When he was done, he found me picking out chocolate bars for the family in the villages handmade chocolate shop. Some great flavours here! I started inventing people to buy for in the end…

Beaulieu village

The rest of the village comprised of craft and gift shops and tea rooms.

Beaulieu village

Just along Beaulieu river we found Buckler’s Hard. We had never heard of it, but wow, we were so glad we investigated!

Buckler's Hard

Starting off with the substantial cafe, we still wasn’t quite sure what we were paying to see.

Buckler's Hard

The entrance to the museum is through a small gift shop containing a ships figurehead.

Buckler's Hard

Once in the museum we came across this model. It perfectly explained what we were here to see: a small village built on the bank of the river Beaulieu for the purpose of building the 18th and 19th century Royal Navy fleets from the wood of the New Forest.

There.

This is so cool!

Buckler's Hard

Nelson’s fleet used at Trafalgar were built here among other famous ships.

Buckler's Hard

You get to walk along side lifelike models in a scene from the past. You can listen to their amusing mutterings.

Buckler's Hard

Strolling through the pub was fun.

Buckler's Hard

This was our favourite. The tired mutterings of a husband and wife after a full day.

“Awww, my feet. They are sore, they are.”
“Your feet are sore! I been working in that big house all day, and now I be here working some more.”
“It’s my toe. Sore it is.”

Buckler's Hard

The museum was great and we stepped out into the river bank village with big grins. We couldn’t believe how well preserved it all was.

Buckler's Hard

You can imagine vast wooden ships being built on the waters edge.

Buckler's Hard

You can enter through any front door except from the ones with ‘resident’ on them.

Buckler's Hard

Buckler's Hard

It was the still functioning pub, the ‘New Inn’, that caught hubby’s attention.

Buckler's Hard

Buckler's Hard

A few doors down, this tiny chapel.

Buckler's Hard

Buckler's Hard

I can just see the villagers and sailors praying together here.

Buckler's Hard

Buckler's Hard

These are scenes from a family home. Families used to make extra money by letting sailors lodge in every nook and cranny, before the new ship set sail.

Buckler's Hard

Buckler's Hard

Buckler's Hard

In more recent history, hundreds of craft sailed from this section of the Beaulieu river in the D-Day landings during WW2.

This has been such a great morning. We were transported to another time and it was brilliant.

Buckler’s Hard
Beaulieu
Hampshire
SO42 7XB
Tel: 01590 616203

We took a quick drive through the pretty village of Brockenhurst and out the other side,

Brockenhurst

Brockenhurst

where ponies munched their lunch at the side of the road.

New Forest

Lunch for us is a cozy fireside table for 2 at the cute sounding ‘Hobler’.

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the Hobler, New Forest

the Hobler, New Forest

Warming spicy food is exactly what we need on this chilly and damp day.

the Hobler, New Forest

the Hobler, New Forest

In no time at all we were settled in with a bowl of colourful popadom-like twists and a glass of something soothing.

the Hobler, New Forest

the Hobler, New Forest

A heady Cinnamon Bellini for me.

the Hobler, New Forest

We greedily ordered too much food and chatted happily about our day.

the Hobler, New Forest

The food came with a friendly service. First to come, Spicy tiger prawns.

the Hobler, New Forest

Gunpowder potatoes (you should order these!)

the Hobler, New Forest

Their signature rice dish, a delicious dish with an unpronounceable name, a ‘Zereshk Polow Morg’.

the Hobler, New Forest

We filled our plate with these along with the spicy lamb chops. Munching hungrily and enjoying the warmth of the food and the little fire.

the Hobler, New Forest

With time on our hands and a settled feeling, we decide we weren’t quite ready for the cold and damp outside so ordered some desserts, including some homemade mince pies (disguised as eccles cakes) and a comforting crumble.

the Hobler, New Forest

the Hobler, New Forest

the Hobler
Southampton Road,
Battramsley Nr Lymington
Hampshire, SO41 8PT
Tel: 01590 623944

Time to brave the chill, we struck lucky and came across a little family of ponies strolling by. Where else can you experience such a thing!

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As animal lovers we delight in this friendly greeting from these sweet ponies.

new forest

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If you haven’t visited the New Forest yet, what are you waiting for? We stayed at The Mill at Gordleton. It’s the perfect place to horse around.

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