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New Forest Walks/Driven Tours
Since the business was established in 2005 we have taken over two thousand five hundred people
on guided walks in the New Forest. We are insured, licensed, first aid trained and professional walk leaders and have generated 35000 walk miles. All walks are risk assessed and cater for all levels of ability. The walks are gentle ambles with intelligent commentary and typically last about 2.5 hours, approx. 4.5 miles with a break for lunch at a country inn that can cater for the numbers we deal with.
Driven tours take about two hours, where we drive through the forest with Phil Howe who explains the landscape and the habitats we visit, an ideal introduction to the New Forest especially for people who want to see a lot more in limited time or cannot walk any distance.
New Forest Coach Guides
Hidden Britain Tours can also offer coach guides for group tour operators. This offer again enhances visitor perception of the New Forest. We tailor our tours to meet any itinerary using our knowledge and expertise of both coach accessibility and what visitors most enjoy seeing and experiencing in any particular part of the New Forest.
The Jane Austen Dancing Years Tour
This is a wonderful exploration of north Hampshire in a people carrier. We drive from village to village seeing the houses where she danced and fell in love, visit ancient churches tracing the people she mentions in her letters, and tell the stories and gossip of the late 1700’s that evidently informed her as a girl, young woman and young author. It’s an ideal way to connect with several parts of Hampshire that are impossible to access using public transport and difficult to locate if unfamiliar with our tiny country lanes.
We visit the site of her birthplace and the church where her father was Rector and where the family worshipped, and explain the social and cultural history of the area as we travel through many small hamlets with Jane Austen links. We lunch in a country inn and then go to the Jane Austen House Museum in the afternoon. On this tour one can experience the places where she spent her first twenty six years which inspired her to write her early novels, and then visit Chawton and the cottage where she lived her later years. Please note this is not a walking tour!
We have a deserved reputation for offering specialist Jane Austen weekend or one day itineraries and can create packages for coach operators for group travel.
Downton Abbey Tour
This driven tour operates around the opening times of Highclere Castle. Typically I pick up clients at Basingstoke Station, and we drive to Kingsclere, a pretty Hampshire market town, drive up the hill to see the view from the top of Watership Down, descend the hill to pass Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s estate at Sydmonton and stop at Old Burghclere to explore the redundant church there that has generations of the Carnarvon family buried there. Here I tell the real stories of the Carnarvon family that are so closely echoed in Julian Fellowes’ fictional series, Downton Abbey.
We then take a short drive to Highclere Castle, where clients can see the venue for the series and walk in the rooms there and ask questions of the knowledgeable guides in the rooms. We then have lunch at either Highclere or Kingsclere and return to Basingstoke via the site of Jane Austen’s birthplace, time allowing (an alternative stop at The National Trust’s Sandham Memorial Chapel may be offered subject to opening times).
On this tour we drive through the stunning but modest Candover Valley to Alresford, stopping to explain the landscape, visit secret Medieval churches, indeed, one hidden underground, see magnificent neo classical ruins, watercress beds, the pretty market town of Alresford, have tea on the Watercress Line steam train station that is so evocative of the forties and fifties, drive a short way to visit a small family owned watercress bed, take a drive up the Itchen valley, stopping to look over a bridge at one of the world’s best trout streams, and return.
Sue Howe, with other expert members of the Hampshire Fungus Recording Group, offers fungi forays in the late summer and autumn. These forays are very popular and typically last two or three hours with expert guides in the New Forest which is world famous as an excellent fungi habitat. We follow the British Mycological Society’s guidelines as well as the Forestry Commission’s and the emphasis is identification, conservation and education. We meet at a pre-arranged site, have a morning identifying fungi, edible or not, then adjourn for lunch in a local pub. These are booked through the Visitor Information Centre at Lyndhurst.
|Open All Year|
|2013 (01/01/2013 - 31/12/2013)|
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
|Groups guided tour per head||from £15.00 to £40.00 per ticket|
|Jane Austen Guided driven tour||from £30.00 to £80.00 per ticket|
Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.
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