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March 22nd 2024

Bloom Boom – Paw-some Spring Adventures with your Pups in the New Forest

Even though Dogstival isn’t until June, We’d suggest you head to the New Forest this spring to see newborn foals, baby donkeys, wildflower meadows, and bluebell woods. With over 220 square miles of heathlands, woods, ponds, and streams to explore, it’s the perfect place to bring your furry friend on holiday.

There’s something truly magical about witnessing the landscape transform with the arrival of spring. With the warmer weather, you can pack a picnic and find a grassy spot surrounded by butterflies and colourful swoons of dragonflies to relax for a couple of hours while Fido can sniff away at the zillions of smells and scents.

April into May are the months when the forest welcomes the arrival of knobbly-kneed foals, Bambi-like fawns, and dinky calves bouncing about and chasing butterflies. They are a joyful and fun sight to watch from a distance—and it would be wise to keep your pups on the lead because their mothers can be protective if they get too close. 

Don’t forget that this area has some stunningly pretty, year-round dog-friendly beaches. Highcliffe Beach, where you’ll find a mix of pebbles and soft sand, has a great beach hut café selling doggie ice cream, canine biscuits, and superb human food. The further east you head, the more pebbly the beach becomes, and with that comes lots of fossil hunting opportunities! At the little village of Milford-On-Sea, you can walk a pebble spit to King Henry VIII’s coastal fortress, Hurst Castle, where you can take your dog and see the views across The Solent to the Isle of Wight just over a mile away. And, if you don’t fancy the walk back, catch the little dog-friendly ferry boat back to the village.

The New Forest area also has some fantastic dog-friendly gardens to visit with your pooches on leads. They are incredibly vibrant in spring. Go to Beaulieu Gardens to see the pink blossoms of the peach and nectarine trees, magnolias, wisteria, and a beautiful laburnum tunnel in the Victorian Flower Garden. And you definitely head over to Exbury Gardens to see the world-famous collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, plus huge banks of flowers and botanical displays.

If you’re not lucky to be a local, you’ll find there’s too much to see and do in a day, so why not stay a couple of days? New Forest Cottages has over 90 dog-friendly cottages in and around the New Forest, from budget-busting apartments to grand holiday homes. Take a look at a few below.

Meadow View (sleeps 2) is a large and super luxurious studio apartment impeccably furnished with a beautiful hand-made wood kitchen, king-size bed, sofa, and dining area overlooking paddocks where horses graze. There’s also a big plus of an outdoor hot-wash shower for muddy paws! Find out more about Meadow View.

Corunna (sleeps 4) This timeless dog-friendly home is where peace and nature go hand in hand. Comfort reigns inside with two sitting rooms if you want some quiet time. Outside, you’ll find a picket-fenced garden to keep pups and little ones from escaping, and a gate at the bottom of the garden leads to a woodland garden that begs to be explored. Find out more about Corunna.

Dell Cottage (sleeps 6) is a large cottage for get-togethers and fun! Big, comfy sofas are on hand to watch TV or spy on the woodland wildlife outside the window. The fenced garden is where the fun is, with an outdoor pizza oven, gas-fired grill, open Argentinian cage fire, and a meat smoker for culinary adventures! Kids will enjoy the tree swing, a hammock and a tepee camp swing while waiting for the gelato machine to work its magic. And grown-ups can relax in a wood-fired hot tub with a glass of their favourite tipple in hand. Find out more about Dell Cottage.

Corner Cottage (sleeps 8) Enjoy this back-to-nature home at the end of a little lane with open forest for walks and bike rides from the front door. Expect lots of space, including a huge lounge/kitchen/diner for plenty of room to socialise and pups to sprawl. Plus, a very generous garden with views across the woods. Find out more about Corner Cottage.

Trees (sleeps 10) If you’re looking for a big, beautiful holiday home, this is it. Trees comes with a spa, a gated swimming pool (open from 29 March to 6 September), and a Pool House and games area! The garden is an enormous five acres and includes woodland and meadows. It’s a fantastic home for friends, families, and dogs wanting to holiday together. Find out more about Trees

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