Remember family holidays? The rain hammering down on the caravan roof; the endless games of cards, and interminable bickering? All that can be a thing of the past.
The secret to a good trip is simple - keep everyone active! And the New Forest is just the place to do it. Created as a hunting forest by William the Conqueror way back in 1079, the New Forest is an ideal setting for outdoor activities guaranteed to keep the whole family happy. And the best thing is that they are all easily accessible putting an end to the oh-so annoying chants of “Are we there yet?”
The New Forest is choc-full of routes with rides for all ages and abilities and free parking nearby. Head to the unspoilt village of Burley, and pick up some wheels at the New Forest cycle hire centre. Try out kayaking on the Beaulieu River where an experienced instructor will take you through the basic techniques before leading you out into the river for a guided tour. The single-seater kayaks are surprisingly comfortable, super stable and easy to paddle so there’s no excuse for splashing unless, of course someone, splashes you first.
Back on dry land, it’s time to test your metal by attempting to climb one of the forest’s humongous trees at the New Forest Outdoor Centre in Lyndhurst. Everyone has to pull together as fixed ropes are used to ascend a giant tree. Knowing that your family made it possible makes the feeling of reaching the summit all the more special.
A trip to Milestones in Basingstoke brings the past to life. The museum is home to over 20,000 objects that were either made or used in Hampshire, and is a record of the county's social, industrial and transport history.