UK: Brockenhurst + New Forest
I don't believe Kieran and I could have picked a busier time to move to London. We landed on the weekend of the Queen's Jubilee, a week later people making their way to the Wimbledon occupied the streets, and now we are smack-bang in the middle of the London Olympics. It means there are always things to do, people to see, places to be — but if you are like me and relish in the stillness that the wilderness has to offer, it becomes quite important to escape every once in a while from the hussle and bustle. Kieran asked me what I wanted to do for our first weekend away from London and I said ‘Take me to a cottage in the middle of nowhere, where I can play in riverbanks and pick flowers’. And so we went to Brockenhurst.
We jumped on a steam train to take us far far away from the city, when we arrived, you can instantly feel the disparity of the country air. Not long after this, we found our cottage. It had a paddock in the backyard that was surrounded by gravel paths leading to unknown places. During our first full day in Brockenhurst, we hired bikes and rode through the woodland chasing wild horses roaming freely. Along the way we found a riverbank with a swing rope on a hanging tree. We stayed awhile to skim rocks and make little paper boats to sail down the stream. Every now and then, we would come across other hidden cottages, with big fruit trees in their backyard and white daises growing in the gardens. When it was time to turn around and make our way back, we were met with some afternoon rain that came thundering down. We pedaled our hearts away, wiping the raindrops of our smiling faces, as we knew what we were looking forward to back in our cozy cottage - hot showers and hot chocolates by the fireplace. I was convinced that Brokenhurst was magical when I took myself to bed that night.
We travelled by foot on our second day, walking around exploring the streets of this peculiar town. Wild horses walked along the streets just as humans do and when I asked a local man who owned the beautiful creatures he casually told me ‘the Queen’ does. By accident we found the most dreamy café I have ever laid my eyes on called The Secret Garden. We followed signs from the main street, from there we found a hedge maze you had to follow and rustic steel gates you had to open. Once you had found your way there, the most charming cafe greeted you. We had coffee, scones with jam and a homemade Shepard’s pie.
Before I knew it, time flew by me and it was time to leave. Brockenhurst stirred some inspirations in me on how I wish to lead my life in the years to come. A quite life by a riverbank and a fruit tree in my backyard. No more, no less. I have no doubt in my mind that I will be back here in no time.