Discover the New ForestEstablished in 1079, it’s not a ‘new’ forest as such, but since it was created as a royal forest by William the Conqueror, and entitled a Nova Foresta, the name has stuck. It covers some 145 square miles and William’s system for maintaining the area is still largely intact today. Optimal time to visit? The autumn when the kaleidoscopic autumn colours create a wonderful display.
Best known are the New Forest ponies, which are wild, but still owned by New Forest Commoners. There are about 3,000 of them at any one time, and they roam free. They’re pretty placid animals but shouldn’t be taken for granted. Also remember, it is illegal to feed them. Near the centre of the Forest is the town of Lyndhurst. The grave of the real Alice in Wonderland, Alice Hargreaves née Liddell, is in the churchyard of St Michael & All Angels church.