HELLO! It’s 2015! Welcome, pull up a chair, grab yourself a cuppa. Isn’t it nice to be here? I feel like 2014 was an absolute whirlwind, but I’ve already reflected on eight and a bit months of the year in my #25at25 lookback, so I wanted to blog about my most recent adventure instead. Let’s face it, if you’ve been following my blog for the last few months, you’ve had it rammed down your face anyway…
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll probably have noticed that I spent last weekend over in the New Forest. Chris’ birthday falls in early January, so there are rarely many people around for celebrating. As a result, we started going away for a couple of days as a way to celebrate his birthday and start the new year right. Last year, we went to Bath, this year, after a lot of deliberation, we opted for the New Forest.
As a pair of Northerners, that part of the world has always seemed a really long way to travel, but it is in fact, just a short journey from London Waterloo. After the morning climbing the O2 (more on that later) we hopped on a train at around 2.30pm and made it to Ashurst New Forest just over two hours later.
I can easily say that the New Forest is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to in the UK. It’s an incredibly long time since I’ve found myself surrounded by woodland and I loved it. Love London as I do, it’s always nice to get away. Usually when I flee the city, it’s the seaside that I flock to so it was pretty glorious to spend some time clambering in amongst the trees, the deer and the wild horses.
We’d been anticipating good weather all week, so when I awoke on Saturday morning to grey skies and drizzle, I couldn’t help but being disappointed. Regardless, after a delicious breakfast at the Woodland Lodge Hotel, I pulled on my new favourite bobble hat, my walking boots and we set out across the boggy marshes of the New Forest. We stayed in Ashurst, but nearby village Lyndhurst is in walking distance and Brockenhurst which is often described as “the heart of the New Forest” is just 10 minutes away on the train.
I spend so much time daydreaming about travelling the world, it’s easy to forget about the beauty that’s on the doorstep. I’m fairly well travelled in the North, but the South still remains pretty much unexplored. Having discovered the #Take12Trips challenge from Travel Hack via Stacey Fenton, I’m determined to travel as much as possible this year.
Before we headed to the New Forest, I decided to surprise Chris with a climb up the o2 on the morning of his birthday. It’s something we’d talked about doing for a while and sometimes, it takes a thing like a birthday to make it happen.
I never knew that the o2 (I still always want to call it the Millennium Dome) was modelled on time – it’s 52 metres tall to represent the weeks of the year, it has 12 spikes to represent the months, and it’s 365 metres in diameter to represent the days. When you reach the top after a pretty relaxing climb, you’re treated to panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the cable car, Canary Wharf and if you’ve got a super keen eye, you can just about see the Walkie Talkie and the Shard. We had a blissfully sunny and clear day for it, and I can 100% recommend it. Check us out in our adventurer suits below.