Hi lovelies! How lovely was the weather at the weekend? You may have seen in a few tweets that I was feeling quite blue and anxious towards the end of last week. However, as soon as the sun came out on Friday, it instantly lifted my spirits and added the vitamin D that I’ve been lacking for the past few weeks. Luckily, the lovely weather continued on Saturday when Dave and I decided to have a day out in the New Forest to spend some time together in a peaceful setting. For our sunny day out, we first chose to visit the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary near Lyndhurst, where we hoped to catch a glimpse of these lovely forest creatures. We actually first came here with Dave’s family at the end of December when his cousin visited from the Philippines, but I was wearing my new boots that day and it was quite muddy so I stayed in the car while they briefly looked around. It was really lovely to return in much warmer weather and with appropriate shoes this time!
Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
The Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is a beautiful reserve in the heart of the New Forest with a viewing platform over the meadow where the deer hang out. Since the deer are fed between April and September, spring and summer is probably the best chance of spotting them! However, there are also three trails looping around the park where you can spot some other wildlife and enjoy a peaceful forest walk, which is exactly what we did. I have to admit that I am not really an outdoors person at all – I hate being cold, I’m terrified of creepy crawlies and I don’t like getting mud on my clothes haha – but for some reason, when the sun comes out, I love getting outside for a break from everyday life, whether it’s to the beach or to the countryside. The New Forest is full of these wonderful spots to visit and reconnect with nature, and what’s even more amazing is that you could have an entire day out without spending a penny.
Experimenting with photography
The nature reserve is obviously very picturesque and we found a wonderful spot in a clearing between the trees with this beautiful ethereal lighting. Photography is a recent hobby that Dave and I have both taken an interest in so it was really nice to experiment with the different lighting here. Since starting blogging, I’ve picked up a few photography tips along the way and one of those was to shoot against the light for that really dreamy effect. I really like this natural look of photos and it’s also much more flattering as imperfections tend to not show up as much, which is always a plus! However, it does sometimes make the photos a little washed out so I know that I’ve still got a long way to go before mastering this trick. It’s quite sweet as whenever Dave or I manage to get that perfect shot, we excitedly show each other, so you can probably tell that we are still very new to photography!
Photography tip: Shoot against the sun, or where the light is coming from, for a dreamy effect and that ethereal glow around the subject. When editing, up the contrast only a little to avoid harsh lines and increase the shadows and definition subtly for a little more clarity.
Perfect place for a picnic
The woodland area around the reserve is huge and you could easily spend a day wandering around, taking in its natural beauty. I really wish that we had packed a picnic as it would have made a perfect break from all of that walking! We did actually see a group having one and we were a little disappointed for not thinking to bring one. I feel like a picnic is a staple of a forest adventure, and just thinking about it is making me really excited for more of this warm weather to come. My dreamy picnic would definitely include some gourmet sandwiches like brie and red onion chutney with some fresh salad leaves on granary bread, or salmon and cream cheese with a squeeze of lemon – all cut into cute triangles, of course. Some fancy crisps from M&S, lemon-topped shortbread biscuits, fresh strawberries and rose lemonade would complete this perfect picnic. If only we had thought of it before leaving the house!
The White Buck
After lots of walking around and not bringing any snacks, we were feeling quite peckish. Since it was such a beautiful day and felt like the beginning of spring, we decided to continue our little adventure with a trip to our favourite pub in Burley, because what could be more British than sitting in a beer garden, soaking up the sun! The White Buck is a huge characterful pub with a cosy and sophisticated interior, as well as a lovely patio and lawn with outside tables. Unfortunately, by the time we returned from Bolderwood and got dropped off at the pub, the sun had moved behind the trees so it wasn’t quite warm enough to sit in the garden. Inside, it was very lively but we managed to find a spot by the window in the Gun Room, our favourite area of the pub, so we still had some of the sun without getting too cold! I really love how typically British this pub is and its relaxed atmosphere. You can sit pretty much wherever you like, whether you’re having food or just drinks, and it’s just a really nice place to chill out in on a weekend afternoon.
Wandering around Burley
Following a drink at our favourite pub, we decided to have our second walk of the day and wander down to the centre of Burley. Before, we always assumed that The White Buck was just a tiny bit too far on foot from the rest of the pubs in Burley, but it ended up being only a fifteen minute walk along a footpath behind the golf course. At this point, it literally felt like summer and reminded us of the first few months we spent together after graduating, when we had lots of forest adventures and walks in the countryside by Dave’s old house. It was such a perfect summer and made us both look forward to this summer! Burley is a cute little village in the New Forest with just a handful of shops and cafes. However, it’s a very tourist-central spot and is usually packed on weekends, this day being no exception. There’s quite a whimsy feel to it thanks to village’s history of witchcraft and all the stores dedicated to it. We stopped at the quaint Burley-licious cafe for a cream tea and panini before wandering around some stores, including a fudge shop, and a couple of little ones selling gifts and small home accessories. We finished our perfect early spring Saturday with a drink at The Queen’s Head, another lovely pub that’s perfect to sit back in and chat over some drinks.
We had such a lovely and relaxing day out in the sun. It was nice to take a step back, be silly together and just enjoy each other’s company! Burley is such a quaint and adorable village so I would definitely recommend spending an afternoon here, as well as a visit to the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary for a tranquil day out in the New Forest.
Have you been to Burley or Bolderwood in the New Forest before? How did you spend your weekend?