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Happy Cheese to Beaulieu Road Station
A lovely day today for this varied ramble through Churchplace Inclosure at Ashurst and then across open green plains to Beaulieu Road Station. As ever, parking is a problem and we had permission from the Happy Cheese pub at Ashurst to use their car park, but due to the high number of those attending and the large vehicles we have to use, we completely filled the car park. The landlady came over and was absolutely lovely about it but asked if we could “shuffle” up a bit so her lunch time clients would have some space. In the circumstances, we thought she was so completely nice and understanding and we were very grateful to her and did our best to do as requested, making much more space available. I think I may have an alternative place to park another time, but that means another reccy!
We went through Churchplace Inclosure which, like most in the NF, is planted with a huge variety of trees – oaks, beech, sweet chestnut, various varieties of pine, making very lovely and varied woodland along the way. We were accompanied by the blaring of the train occasionally, which gave everyone a fright – the main line skirts the inclosure but once you get used to the sound of the trains’ horn it is quite atmospheric, like a monster trying to get in! Up onto the open forest to a lovely spot for coffee and then onwards to Beaulieu Rd Station and lunch, under a stand of huge pines. At this point are the NF pony sales auction site and pens which is interesting to see and even more interesting to attend with great atmosphere and stalls and a great variety of people attending, well worth a visit.
Some went to the Drift Inn for nourishment until the allotted time of departure, then we made our return back to the Happy Cheese pub, again through Churchplace Inclosure but on a different path. Some 12 of us went into the Happy Cheese for a meal, and they were very helpful and understanding. A good day and lovely weather.