Day 148: Brockenhurst England, Thursday September 14th
A great day for a hike: sunny and in the teens. We took our host Kathryn’s advice and headed mostly north from Brockenhurst.
The New Forest was made a royal forest in about 1079, by William the Conqueror. Some landowners, called Commoners, were granted permission to let their animals graze in the woods, and some of those original agreements still stand. We set out hoping very much that we would see pigs, though apparently that’s getting pretty rare.
We stopped to eat our lunch at a picnic table next to a car park. From there we followed the Tall Trees walking trail, and saw some amazing red woods and giant sequoia.
Going a little off trail, we cut our way west. I wanted to see Burley, a town with a long connection with witches. While trying to make our way to another cycle path, we saw a large herd of deer.
We were just entering Burley when I startled what I thought was a big dog. We’d stumbled into a group of cute piggies, all chowing down on acorns.
With tired legs we walked around the old town, and then we stopped for a pint at the Burley Inn. Deb checked to see if there was a bus back to Brockenhurst. Nope. It was a 10 km hike back, which ended up being longer as we didn’t follow the Google route.
Some of the walk now was in heathland, and after a brief rain shower we were treated to a rainbow over the fields of heather. With that and the (sort-of) wild horses around, the place felt very magical.
We felt we deserved a pub dinner, so we managed to stumble to the Foresters Arms. It was worth going over budget.
Distance: (maybe a 30 km walk)