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A Journey to Happiness: Our Local Hotspots

20th Mar 2024

What is it about a place that brings joy and happiness? Is it the atmosphere, the connection to nature, the company you’re with or the way in which you experience all of those elements together? There are many favourite local spots in and around our New Forest National Park, so to mark the International Day of Happiness 2024 we’re sharing some of the hotspots that bring happiness to the lives of our guests, with the hope that when you plan your short countryside break you’ll leave filled with joy that you found a slice for yourself. 

The theme this year is ‘Happier Together’, reminding us that feeling connected and being part of something bigger can make us feel happier. Our hotel, in the heart of the New Forest, connects us and you with this beautiful place that brings happiness to those who walk its paths, ride its trails, photograph its animals and support its communities. Being a National Park, the New Forest has the highest level of landscape protection, recognised not only as a beautiful location but one rich in ancient tradition, wildlife, and breathtaking stretches of coastline, woodland and open heathland. 

You could start your journey to happiness at our very hotel.

The perfect base for your New Forest explorations, a sanctuary for rest and relaxation or a hotspot for foodies and friends to gather, catch up, celebrate and reconnect. 

Sitting down to dine in our hotel restaurant The Terrace with newly appointed Executive Head Chef Alistair Craig at the helm will certainly bring you joy. ‘Alistair believes the enjoyment of food should engage all of your senses and be a journey through taste and flavour’, and with the New Forest as his larder and locally sourced, seasonal ingredients at his fingertips, an experience at The Terrace is sure to enlighten.


MA Terrace Sunday Roast


Where to next on your journey to happiness?

No matter whether it’s the sound of a perfectly tuned engine or a walk around a medieval abbey that makes your heart sing, visitors to our very own village of Beaulieu always enjoy a visit to The National Motor Museum. With over 285 vehicles on display, the Victorian Palace House to explore, the Monorail to ride, and the grounds and gardens to wander around, there’s something for everyone, and it’s just a short walk from our front door. 

If, however, you’ve escaped to the Hampshire countryside for the contentment that only a short break surrounded by nature can bring, there are endless walks and ways to connect you with our ancient woodland. Cycle the trails or walk the waymarked paths; head to the nearby Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary where you can walk and wander among the trees and view the herd of fallow deer being fed by a local New Forest keeper, or the Tall Trees Arboretum at Blackwater, where you can walk under the canopies of giant redwoods and ancient oaks. 




The green-fingered garden-lovers among you won’t want to miss a visit to Exbury Gardens. With their commitment to the natural environment, Exbury brings great pleasure to so many who walk through its gates with its collection of wildflowers, woodlands and thoughtfully created gardens. It's an attraction that’s been in the making for more than 100 years; designed and curated by the de Rothschild family. 

Perhaps it’s history that brings a smile to your face… Plan a visit to the tranquil riverside attraction of Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum with its well-preserved 18th century shipbuilding village and idyllic location next to the Beaulieu River. Or venture to the coast at Milford on Sea where you can delve into English heritage at Hurst Castle; built by Henry VIII in the 1500s, this ancient artillery fortress welcomes visitors to explore its dungeons and take in the spectacular views from its prominent position at the end of Hurst Spit. 


Bucklers Hard


It may well be that it is simply the act of getting away that brings you contentment, but whatever makes you feel happy, we hope that with a little help to organise your upcoming break away, that you can find joy in everything you experience here at our New Forest hotel, and in keeping with the theme of International Day of Happiness, continue to spread that joy upon your onward journey.


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