We are officially in Autumn, but the weather refuses to be autumnal in fact it's quite balmy and will remain so for at least another week.
Only the Chestnuts and Beech trees give any hint that the summer is over as we slowy walk into this very magical season
Out riding on my horse Perry I noticed the fallow buck have separated from the herd, a sign that the Rut is just a couple of weeks away and the forest enters its most energy driven period with clouds of testosterone in the air.
The New Forest Bus closed for the season last week with a record number of tourist taking the buses to all areas of the forest and leaving their cars behind.
The New Forest National Park are proposing to build a cycle route from Ashurst to Brockenhurst via Lyndhurst avoiding some of the heavy traffic.They have the money all they need to do is build it!
We still have rooms available at the end of October for our 4 day midweek breaks with rates starting from £423 room 2 course dinner and breakfast.
Our 3 for 2 breaks start from Sunday the 2nd November, excluding New Year and Valentine weekend till the end of February and include weekends and midweek.
Paul and the gang.
The weather forecast is looking good until the end of September.It is looking like we will be in for a fantastic autumn at the end of October begining of November, it is a wonderful time to see all the falling leaves. It is a beautiful time of year in the forest.
So why not take advantage of one of our four day midweek breaks
The Forest is entering a long warm Autumn and with Autumn comes Fungi
On the platter are six different wild fungi I collected on a single day last thursday.
They are left to right
All are simply fried in olive oil and butter, well seasoned and fried on a high heat till cooked but still a little nutty in the centre, don't over cooked. Great with risotto.
The New Forest Ponies have Strangles, a respiratory virus that can seriously damage the lungs if the ponies over exert.
So for the moment some pony drifts have been cancelled and also the first ponies sales at Beaulieu Rd.
Our 4 day Autumn midweek breaks are selling fast but we still have room available from £330 room and breakfast or £434 with a 2 course dinner and come and enjoy the New Forest in Autumn
Paul and gang
Last week the weather was so cool we had to have the central heating on and this coming week we have temperatues forcast to be in the mid twenties.
The New Forest Bus is in its final three weeks and has been a great success.The addition of the Blue Bus with it's beach route has made many realise that the New Forest is also a beach resort.
August is the time for the heather to" wow" us and this year it did not disappoint. The place to see this was at Yew Tree Heath, near the Beaulieu Rd Hotel. With the green and yellow of the gorse in the background it has to be one of the must sees of the summer
Last time I mentioned our special discounts for the Autumn
but we are also offering from the 3rd November 3 nights for the price of 2 or a Free bottle of House Wine with dinner when taking a 2 night weekend or midweek break , and remember the Autumn colours are at the best in early November.
Paul and gang
Autumn Breaks 21st September to 4th November
With cooler weather forcasted for this week I immediately think of Autumn.
My wife and I have already been blackberry picking with Molly the lab, who complains she can't reach the fattest but the real crop is weeks away.
Wild mushrooms and Chicken of the Wood have shown themselves after last week heavy rain
Chicken of the wood is a fungi that grows on fallen beech trees and is fan like in shape, bright orange and when shallowed fried in olive oil tastes like chicken.
The two together can make a really delicious risotto.
Our Autumn 3 and 4 day midweek breaks offer discounts of 10% to 15%
with 4 day Room , 2 course dinner and breakfast rates starting from £410
Superior rooms are available with a supplement of £15 a day
Paul and gang
FREE accomodation For Kids
for the next two weeks we are able to offer free accommodation for children in the midweek starting 3rd August
and if you're wondering what to do with kid, here are some ideas.
Peppa Pig World is just 20 minutes away
Water sports on the Beaulieu River
Surf School at Highcliffe www.crazywatersurfschool.co.uk
Countryside education trust for learning about our woodlands
denbuilding plus more.
So much to do
The hot weather is here to stay till the end of the month
This is serious picnic time !!, just order your picnic from reception the night before, and take a walk into the shady forest with a cool running stream close by and read that book you keep promising to read.
The middle of the forest around the Boldrewood Deer sanctuary is a great place to start and walk a circular route either east or west. The carpark at Boldrewood has loos and an icecream van, what more do you want!
The Beach Bus will return to the New Forest this summer. Operated by More bus in partnership with the New Forest National Park Authority the service runs the 26th July till the 31st August departing from Lymington or Hythe and visits Beaulieu,Bucklers Hard,Exbury Gardens,Hythe Ferry with a free ice cream at Lepe beach. Thebus runs from 8.45, 8 times a day 7 fays a week .visit www.thebeach-bus.info
The Burley Deer Safari offers half hour rides through Burley Park. visit www.newforestsafari.co.uk
More next week
Paul and the gang
There is plenty to do here in the New Forest for the school holidays, below are just a few examples.
The New Forest show on 29th, 30th and 31st of July it is a great family day out with plenty to do and see including international show jumping, livestock, flower show, displays and 600 trade stands.
Beaulieu river set in the heart of the new forest a pituresque river and harbour with banks which play host to a habitat of varied flora and fauna.Boats trips up the beaulieu river are available and it gives you a little sneak into the life styles of the rich and famous
Paultons park is wonderful for familys featuring peppa pig world, a water kingdom, a 4d cinema and a wide variety of rides for all ages.
Ford Farm stables which is situated on the outskirts of brockenhurst, catering for both novice and experienced riders, riding from Ford farm is totaly off road in open heathland and woodland.
We have these special rates available for a minimum of 2 nights at the weekend and 3 nights midweek. The rates are per night for room and breakfast children under 8 included in rate children 8-16 will have a £10 supplement per night.
Midweek rooms from £99 including one child £120 including 2 children.
Weekend rooms from £129 including one child £140 including 2 children.
June 22nd 2014
Cooler Spots for hot days
There couldn't be a better time to visit the Forest.
The weather is wonderful with temperatures around 22/26c with cloudy periods .
Coastal beaches beckon.
The three coastal beeches I recommend are Calshot, Lepe and Keyhaven.
All three have spectulars views of the Isle of Wight and the first two are good for watching the liners leaving Southampton docks around 5 pm.
Keyhaven has a gravel spit that leads to the Hurst Castle, and there is also a boat to take you there and back.
Plus the a great pub called The Gun to requires serious attention
In the Forest there is Puttles bridge on the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive where the young and old can play Pooh sticks
Also many enclosures, such as Holly Hatch , Alderhill , Ashley Walk and many more have streams that meander towards the coast.
We have available free easy walk maps and can arrange a forest picnic which allows you to make the most of your day.
See you all soon
Paul , molly the dog and pups and gang
June 8th 2014
The Forest Tour Bus starts on 28th June. There are three routes to choose from this year
Red, which covers the north of the forest including Fordingbridge
Green, Brockenhurst , Beaulieu and Hythe Ferry
Blue , Brockenhurst , Keyhaven and Holmsley
The cost is £14 for one day, £19 for 2 days and £28 for 5 days . Prices are per.person
The New Forest Live wild nestcam is live and featuring goshawks
Search New Forest Live Wild Life nestcam .Last year they also featured Hobby Hawks.
Do remember to take your Brand New Forest discount card with you when enjoying the forest
Over 75% of business's display the card exceptance, and discount are between 15 to 25 %.
The weather forcast for the next 10 days shows a warm period with occasional showers.
All 9 of Mollys puppies are doing extremely well and all have got future owners.
Graduation week is the first week of July.!
Paul and the gang
Summers is knocking on the door and that Ormonde House Cuckoo must be shattered as he seems to call all day!
Saw two New Forest Pony foals on Busketts Lawns last Thursday looking a little damp. So far all they've experienced is heavy rain with occasional thunder and bright sunshine.
Rode out on Tuesday and noted the Tadpoles have gone or eaten! Tough life! The woods have their full summer foliage and the bird song is just magical. The further you enter the Forest the more you'll hear so take an Ormonde House Picnic and relax.
Like you we have experienced terrential rain with almost instant flooding causing traffic chaos followed by bright sunshine.
I suggest you bring some stout walking boots with you as some of our gravels are loose with all this recent rain but at least it's warm when the suns out
The coming weekend we have reduced our rates to room and breakfast from £89 a night and Superior from £99, so bag a bargain and head to the Ormonde House.
Paul and gang
Ps hope you like the photos
Molly the lab has had 9 puppies, born last Wednesday. She has had three black labs and six chocolate. Four bitches and five dogs.
All are doing well apart from Chris and I ,as we seem to get very little sleep!
The Ormonde House Cuckoo is back and can be heard every morning to the delight of our many guests.
At present we are serving breakfast outside as the weather is so warm. This warm slot will continue but with showers and slightly lower temperatures into the weekend
Tomorrow I'll have an opportunity to catch up with our tadpoles when I ride out on Perry over Acres Down and check for more foals.
Paul and gang
Our headline photo is of Molly our pregnant lab with just approx 7 days to go poor girl. She is starting to find life tiresome and she is permantly hungry and restless.Our next picture wiil be of her puppies
The Forest is now totally spring green and the first New Forest Pony foals have been born but beware of the their mothers they kick and bite!.
I mentioned last year that the numbers of foals born has been restricted so as to hold their value , an issue that the Princess Royal has brought into the debate regarding unwanted horses.
The bluebell woods are at their best but not for much longer, so book a few days with us before they go over.
Our hotel garden is being prepared for summer and the Morning Glory is already in flower. This the second year we have sown wild flowers and the results last year were spectacular. For those interested we sow Miracle Grow " Flower Magic "
See you all soon
Paul and his gang
I took my horse Perry for walk over Acres Down on Tuesday and heard my first Cuckoo although friends have said that the bird has been heard since the beginning of this month.
Riding a horse gives you access to views you don't get when in a car or on foot. I had such a view of blue bells and wood anemones in a private beech wood as I trotted from the stables to the open forest last tuesday.
The highlight though was a huge puddle of water filled with tadpoles. I just hope the puddle doesn't dry out before they grow into frogs or the birds gobble them up
The hotel garden is still in its spring plumage so it'll be a few weeks before we engage in summer planting with geraniums begonias and hanging baskets. As last year we will be scattering wild flower seeds as they were so successful last year.
Exbury Gardens is looking fab and remember booking 4 days midweek gains you Free Tickets
4 day midweek stays start at £264 for a standard room and breakfast or £354 for room breakfast and two course dinner. Don't forget to quote molly to receive 10% discount making the rates £237 for room and breakfast and £318 for dinner bed and breakfast, or we have 3 day breaks from £229 standard room and breakfast and £307 for room, breakfast and two course dinner, the rates after 10% molly discount are £206 for room and brakfast or £277 for room, breakfast and two course dinner.
The hotel is now relaxing after the Easter rush of 10 days, so it's a good time to pick a bargain and book a 3 for 2. As the number of rooms available are limited we advise booking now to avoid disappointment. The offer ends Thurs1st May
The weather forecast for the next 10 days is sun with occasional showers and temperatures up in the high teens.
Spring has arrived much earlier than last year. The Silver Birch trees are fully in leaf and even the Beech Trees are in leaf followed more cautiously by the Oaks.
My wife and I live in an old gardners cottage in Ashurst. We have a stream that flows through the garden and it is here we are entertained by Mr & Mrs Mallard parading around the garden and also a Kingfisher who has taken a liking to our minnows.
Back at the hotel we have maps and Brand New Forest discount cards available and also for those who are staying 4 or more nights Free Exbury Garden Tickets.
New this year are our picnic rucksacks which help you have a longer day in the Forest
I must also remind you to mention " Molly "for your midweek 10% discount.when you book a 4 for 3
As for Molly we have been told she is pregnant and we await the arrivals in the middle to late May
I look forward to you booking soon
Paul and the gang
The hotel is full for this coming weekend but we have a few rooms available leading upto Good Friday starting from Sunday 13th April. We are still offering 3 nights for the price 2 right up to Good Friday and with early spring and the blue bells in flower bag yourself a late minute bargain.
The weather forcast for the next days in The New Forest shows sunny periods with no rain. Now that would be nice if it's true!
Easter Breaks 18th to 25th April
I believe that some schools go back after the Easter weekend so we are offering mid week breakls with 15% off 3 day stays and 25% off 4 day stays .
We have introduced the Picnic Hamper.
For those of you who want to spend the day walking the Forest perhaps you might want to take a picnic with you.We can also pack biscuits and water for your dog!
We have picnic rucksacks for ease of carrying and fill them with your chosen food and drink. Just book the day before.
The weather forcast is warm with occasional showers until Easter
So why not takes advantage of our 3 for 2's or 4 for 3's
Prices from £158 room and breakfast or £238 with a 2 course dinner
The clocks went forward this weekend giving us longer days but 1 hour less in bed on Sunday but with a warm week ahead and the blossom on the Hawthorne it's a great time to take a stroll in the Forest.
We have available at reception 8 planned walks that last approx 2/3 hours and if you wish we can set up a picnic allowing you to spend the whole day out. We can even make up a picnic for your dog!
With Easter just round the corner we have discount 3 and 4 day midweek breaks available with Free Exbury Gardens when staying 4 nights.
The Forest is waking up to Spring. My wife and I with Molly took a walk in Milkam Inclosure last weekend and were delighted to see the primroses in flower along the many small gushing forest streams. After 3 weeks of virtually no rain the forest is drying up, so walking has been so much easier .
Exbury Gardens opened up last week and guests tell me that the gardens are looking amazing.
Don't forget that we offer Free Exbury Garden Tickets with our 4 nights for the price 3 upto Easter plus a bottle of house
We are also offering 3 nights for the price of 2 up till Easter
Just ring us on 02380 282806 to reserve your room
What a fabulous weekend we are having with temperatures hitting 18c .Our weekend guests are off to Keyhaven for sunday lunch. There's a pub there called the Gun which serves fabulous food, but you have to get there early. After lunch you can take a boat to Hurst Castle and get a great view of the Solent. Hurst Castle is a Tudor fortification, built by Henry viii.
Easter is fast approaching, 5 weeks away so look on our Specials page for rates for 3 and 4 day midweek breaks.
4 day midweek breaks include FREE Exbury Garden Tickets
We are still offering 3 nights for 2 right upto Easter.
Have you taken a look at our new photos. In the last few weeks we have added many new ones, such as our " Love Seat " in the hall and the bar orchids and many more.
The forest is wakening up too spring. Willow trees are in leaf and there are carpets of primroses to be seen amongst the hedgerows. Exbury Gardens opens tomorrow and I should imagine the rhododendrons and azaleas are well advanced.
Spring seems to have sprung early here in the New Forest and the ten day forecast is wonderful for this time of year.
The weather is so good we have decided to extend our 3 nights for the price of 2 until the end of march along side our 4 nights for the price of 3 with a free room upgrade on the 4 nights. Just mention molly the dog to get these special rates.
Introduce a friend to stay at Ormonde House and we will give you a bottle of house champagne on your next stay.
Don't forget to check out our facebook page.
A big thank you to all of you that have written such fabulous reviews on Tripadvisor. All the staff love to read your very positive reports . Thank you.
There's a rumour that our gardner will return to work next week after 4 weeks away.
He chose the right time to escape!!
If it's any consolation it has been a very mild winter and the bird population seems a little confused about which month it is.
Robins and Blackbirds seem to be nesting already and we could have early chicks.
Catkins are on show and the branches of the willow trees show the signs of rising sap.
Our builder has just one more bedroom to decorate and we'll be ready for spring.
Despite the recent wet weather there is plenty to enjoy here in the New Forest. Our gravel tracks provide mud free walking and cycling for strolls or longer walks or rides. We have maps to help plan your day and can recommend a good forest pub for your lunch. Book a four night break for the price of three or three for two and receive a Brand New Forest loyalty card which many forest businesses participate in offering great discounts, and don't forget on these breaks your four legged 'best friend' stays for free!
Free room upgrade for the first 2 weeks in march
March and April 3 Day Breaks breaks
Receive a 15 % discount when staying any 3 days in March and April except Easter Weekend
3 days room and breakfast in a standard ensuite is reduced from £237 to £206 and with a 2course dinner from £297 to £258 Supplements apply for Superior room and Weekend stays
March and April 4 Day Breaks
In March and April we are offering 4 night midweek breaks from £267 room and breakfast or £359 with dinner , that's the total price for 2 for 4 days . There's a £20 supplement over weekends .These rates do not apply over Easter.
When booking your midweek accommodation don't forget to mention "Molly" for your 10% discount
7th February 2014
Despite the horrendous weather that has been thrown at us the New Forest is still open for business and all gravel tracks are wet but walkable.
My walk this month is from the Turfcutters Pub Boldre near Hatchet Pond which lies on the Beaulieu , Lymington Rd
Walking across Bagshot Moor you might come accross the remains of a gypsy camp and site of the first commercial airport in the country.Last year the New Forest Archaeological Society exposed the chalk letters BEAULIEU allowing aircraft to find the landing strip.
Across the road onto beaulieu heath you can still see the remains of the world war 2 airstrips. There were 8 airstrips in the forest during world war 2, beaulieu being one of them.
Cross the Beaulieu Brockenhurst road at Stockley Cottage and enter Hawkhill and here you will come across where the Sika Deer live. The Bucks look like Red Deer with short legs and the call is a long and loud bark.
Work you way back to the Turfcutters for a well deserved rest and a beer.
So much rain has fallen this winter I've found myself wearing wellies 24x 7!
As January closes for another year we all look forward to a dryer month.The recent high winds have brought many oaks and beeches , their sodden roots unable to substain the buffeting of the high winds , such a shame to see them laying dead
In the Forest snowdropps and daffs are in bloom and I heard the woodpecker hammering away over the weekend.
For you walkers all the gravel tracks are open as are the pubs. The best place to walk at the moment is in the north of the Forest with lunch and a beer at the Royal Oak Fritham. Maps are available plus Free Brand New Forest Discount cards.
29th December 2013
Rain, rain and more rain plus no electricicity
The forest hasn't suffered as much as the east of england but I know of many parts of the forest have had no electricty for upto 3 days.
The New Forest Boxing Day Point 2 Point was held despite the floods in glorious sunshine with a huge turnout of over 4,000
The hotel reservation system has been hit by a virus , what fun ! and it might be 2 weeks before the auto system is up and running.
but you can still ring or email as usual for reservations
So its officially Winter , but all the seasons this year have been a month late and hence Autumn is still with us and is its best for a decade and beyond. There's still time to come down and kick up the dry leaves with our 3 for 2 and 2 nights with free dinner offers.
The forest is settling down after the Rutt and Pony drifts and is going into winter mode. Quiet colours of browns and greys dominate the landscape but the oaks are still hanging onto their leaves , but one gust of wind and they're gon
Our New Year 2/3 day break is still available with an aptional sumptious 4 course dinner with a glass of house champagne
We look forward to hearing from by email or phone..
Sunday 17th Nov
After a beautiful sunny weekend it looks as if Winter will arrive on Tuesday , but only till Thursday when temperatures will rise to normal for this time of year . The beeches and oaks are looking fantastic and riding through the woods over a carpet of fallen coloured leaves is a joy.Once again Perry ( my horse ) and I bumped into some pigs on the Anderwood / Burley Rd but this time I managed to stay aboard
For the first time in 35 years we had a close encounter with a white fallow buck .The actual colour was cream on white , and I believe they are called white harts as from childrens books and many pubs throughout the country name their pubs after the White Hart.
The Forest is starting to dress up for Christmas. Lyndhurst has been adorned with new lights and has a reputation of being the best lit village in the forest. I believe the lights are switched on Saturday 7th December.
Have thought of a New Year break , Ormonde House is ready to welcome with a list of great walks and free chocs when staying three days . See Specials
Sunday 10th November
Autumn has arrived and providing the wind eases the Forest will look at its most colourful especially as the weather forcast is set dry and sunny for the next 7 days. Try and get a way for a few days and marvel at the beauty of the New Forest at its best , are 3 day breaks are fantastic value.
Down in the forest we still await a frost and are enjoying one of the mildest and longest Autumns for many years. I rode right up to two rutting red stags on Tuesday at Hinchelsea near Brockenhurst , I don't know who was the more startled ! Riding alongside us were two Americans from Virginia , who were having their first experience of England but not their first experience of an English riding saddle , which they find more comfortable . Their next stop was Dorest.
The Holly Trees are groaning with berries and soon the birds will be tucking in for the winter. Is this an omen of a hard winter!. Sows are still be seen in great numbers around Brockenhurst , Burley and Fritham and many with their little ones and I reckon they will be out till the end of the month eating the vast amounts of fallen acorns.