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Sarah Frost | Girl About Hampshire

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Short breaks in England - my New Forest foodie itinerary

As far as beautiful short breaks in England go, there aren’t many that are more quintessentially English than the New Forest. There’s many reasons why the New Forest National Park deserves its title of Number One National Park in Europe in Trip Advisor’s 2022 awards. Despite the name, there’s more than forest here. Think heathland dotted with yellow gorse bushes and New Forest ponies roaming free. Ancient woodland; eerie with deep greenery and giant trees. There’s even a coastline, with views over the Solent to the Isle of Wight where you can easily see The Needles on a clear day.

And the main reason I’m recommending the New Forest as one of the best short breaks in England? It’s a food lover's dream come true! If you know your venison from your velouté or you love to spot a celebrity chef then you’ve come to the right place. I’ll take you on a culinary journey through the forest, sampling the finest local produce. From fine dining to farm shops, here’s your New Forest itinerary for foodies.

My first recommendation is actually to time your visit to align with one of the fantastic foodie festivals. There’s Smoked and Uncut, which takes place at Lime Wood and The Pig at Brockenhurst, where you can listen to live music and also have dinner cooked for you by top chefs. In July there's the Lymington Seafood festival where you’ll find the top seafood producers in Hampshire. Or come for the New Forest County Show, also in July and eat your way around the 40+ stalls in the Festival of Food. There’s even Dogstival in June if you plan to bring your four-legged friends on your break.

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