One of the wonderful things about travelling afar is that it gives you a deep and true appreciation of what you’ve left behind. While I explored the majesty of the Peruvian coast or drank in the pure magic that is the Brazilian landscape this spring, I realised that there is so much to discover on home turf, too. So, as part of our plan to see more of the UK this year, it was with childlike excitement that my girlfriend and I boarded the Saturday morning train with our bicycles to the tiny town of Brockenhurst in the New Forest.
It was a brisk grey day, and we arrived at Brockenhurst’s surprisingly large train station just as our stomachs rumbled for a countryside lunch. Later, full of gravy, roast potatoes, Engliah breakfast tea and shortbread biscuits, we cycled south of Brockenhurst for our main challenge: to get to the coast.
The journey took about an hour and led us down through another charming small town, Lymington. We sweated up difficult hills beside grazing New Forest ponies and felt the relieving swoosh down the other side, past acres of barren land scattered with hardy foliage. It was all very Wuthering Heights.
We eventually made it to the sweeping flat marshland that borders the sea, and walked along its edge.