Dear Mummy, we discovered a great place in the New Forest recently called the Tall Trees Trail at Blackwater Arboretum. It’s a protected forest with trails leading through some of the oldest and tallest trees in the country. It’s just outside Lyndhurst in Hampshire and is one of the best places in the UK to see the majestic Douglas Firs and Redwoods trees.
We parked in nearby Blackwater Car Park which is a great location to picnic in the summer and walk by the ginormous trees which tower overhead. The location is managed by the Forestry Commission and they have great facilities on site like free parking and toilets. It’s located between the A35 and Brockenhurst on Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, the A35 is the main road which links Lyndhurst and the south coast at Christchurch.
We had a nice little walk and also planned to met up with family photographer Stephaine Warne to use the location as a cool backdrop. We wanted to have our family photographs updated ready for Christmas and Steph, who’s based in Portsmouth, was the perfect photographer to capture this.
As we strolled along the Tall Trees Trail, our necks creaked looking at the tree tops dart into the sky. Rain clouds threatened to ruin our winter walk but we still managed to get some posed photos in. The trail is a 1.5 mile loop and we didn’t get the opportunity to complete it due to the rain getting heavier and heavier. Thankfully we didn’t get too muddy as there is a gravel path winding among the giant conifers. We saw some of the tallest and oldest Douglas fir trees in Britain and even the tallest sequoia.
Across the road from the car park is Blackwater Arboretum where we spent most of our time and it was fun following the Sensory Trail. The trail encourages people to use their senses to discover the many different smells, textures and sounds of the trees. We played hide and seek and took time out to sit and gaze at the sky at Blackwater Arboretum. We found a timber yard nearby and my daddy explained the growth rings of the trees to me as a way to date how old they are and it’s known as Dendrochronology (or tree-ring dating).
The area of Rhinefield Ornamental Drive was created in the olden days when exotic gardens were very fashionable and desirable. Planting non-indigenous plants and trees was all the rage in Victorian Britain and during this time Rhinefield Ornamental Drive was created. We enjoyed spotting all the different types and climbing the ones that were accessible making sure not to damage their habitats.
Some of these trees have been measured at a dizzy 94.8 metres tall and a hefty 17 metres in diameter and are massive compared to our English Oak trees. The two largest specimens of giant sequoia in the Forest stand next to each other alongside the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. The highest stands 51 metres tall making it England’s tallest sequoia and the tallest tree in the New Forest.
Even though we were staring up at giants I was more focused on finding small fairies amongst their large roots. There was not a soul in the forest and it was kinda creepy walking around and seeing all the large shadows that the trees made.
We had a lovely afternoon and can’t wait to see how our family photographs come out. We’d definitely recommend a trip into the New Forest to see these amazing trees and take a relaxing walk anytime of year.
Love Bella x