Take a tour of the New Forest for spectacular scenery alongside mouthwatering local treats.
The New Forest has many events, restaurants and great local produce which it is showcasing this Autumn. It’s very own seal of quality, the ‘New Forest Marque’ is renowned throughout the UK, and with lots of choice when it comes to good food in the area, it would be rude not to! Autumn is a great time to go for a ‘foodie’ tour.
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With many caravan and camping sites in the area, and stunning surroundings, a New Forest getaway might be just what is needed to get away from those post-summer blues. So why not enjoy the Autumn colours, local delicacies and fresh air?
Right now, you could even win a free visit and a chance to try the Michelin Star restaurants, real ale pubs and indulgent tea rooms for yourself. The online campaign ‘My Perfect New Forest Day’ has a step-by-step guide to choosing a hotel, B&B or self-catering accommodation, restaurants for lunch and dinner, and morning and afternoon activities. Enter your dream break ‘recipe’ of all the ingredients for your perfect stay by liking the New Forest Facebook page and following the instructions for a chance to win.
Perhaps one of your key ‘ingredients’ is chocolate? If so, be sure to visit the New Forest during Chocolate Week from 8-14 October. New Forest Marque member, the Beaulieu Chocolate Studio is hand-crafting confectionary pigs and praline acorns in celebration of the commoners’ centuries-old tradition of turning their pigs out to pannage for acorns. These will be on sale alongside delicious dark chocolate New Forest ‘bark’ with roasted almonds, and hot chocolate ‘rocket-shaped’ dippers with marshmallows.
The local produce from rich autumn harvests will be featured in many of the New Forest’s Great British menus, including the hearty menus of New Forest pubs where you can cozy up next to a roaring fire.
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You can also sample home-grown produce at local markets and farm shops, such as the Setley Ridge Vineyard. Here, they also hold wine tastings and wedding celebrations, and at this time of year they will be harvesting their grapes ready to bottle for another New Forest fine vintage. The farm shop has everything from New Forest cider, fruit juice and spring water to cheeses, meat, eggs, chutney and jam.
If you are going to visit farm shops, restaurants and local attractions, you would be wise to invest in a Brand New Forest Card, which costs just £5 and gives you rewards, discounts and special offers on many local businesses.
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After enjoying the scrumptious New Forest Treats, you may need to work off some extra energy, in which case you might enjoy following a New Forest Taste Trail on foot, horseback or bike. A variety of walks can be downloaded, all of which are designed by New Forest rangers to suit every mood.
You can also download podcasts to provide a Ranger’s commentary on many walks with lots of local information.
If you would rather have some company while roaming the New Forest, you can join a guided walk, foraging for fungi and other wild foods, herbs and natural remedies that the Forest is home to.
Fuzzhacker Tours and Hidden Britain Tours have both organized seasonal events throughout September and October. The New Forest Autumn Breakfast Walk, for example, takes you around Exbury Gardens, led by Head Gardner John Anderson. This hour and a half-long walk is followed by a 3-course breakfast in Mr Eddy’s Restaurant which sources all of its food from local producers. To book this tour visit The New Forest Autumn Breakfast Walk.