Blackwood Forest Unites a Truly Idyllic Escape in Hampshire, England

The Blackwood Forest Lodges are tucked away deep within 270 hectares of towering beech trees, with the Blackwood Forest uniting a truly idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday living with the ultimate in a luxury lodge. The lodges are a superb, unique retreat located in blissful harmony with nature, perfect for family holidays and short breaks away at any time of year. At the Blackwood Forest Lodges, you'll find excellent opportunities for enjoying outdoor pursuits and the New Forest, Beaulieu Motor Museum, wildlife parks, Portsmouth, and Highclere Castle (televisions Downton). London is only about an hour away by train. At this location, you'll find peace, tranquillity and an abundance of flora and fauna that awaits you in this beautiful park, which sits within the Forestry Commission Estate, perfect for exploring by foot or bike. Some of the things to enjoy during your stay include the restaurant/bar and coffee shop, forest walks, cycling trails, nature trails, mountain bike rentals, ranger-led walks and activities, and archery.

Winchester is embedded in the rolling chalk hills of the South Downs, it is an ancient cathedral city and the former royal capital. When in Winchester you'll want to visit the longest Gothic cathedral in the world, a Gothic and Norman masterpiece. Some of the country’s oldest institutions can be found in Winchester. You can see the Hospital of St. Cross, which is the oldest charitable foundation in England, and take a guided tour of Winchester College, the oldest continuously running school. Monuments like the Great Hall of Winchester Castle and the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace which are proof of the power of Winchester in times past, when it was home to kings and hosted the wedding of Queen Mary and Philip II of Spain. The following are just a couple of things to do in Winchester.

Winchester Cathedral. The Cathedral is more than 170 meters long, which makes it the longest Gothic cathedral in Europe. The cathedral was founded in 642 and work began on a new structure in 1079 following the Norman Conquest. This survives in the basic dimensions of the nave, the crypt, and the transepts, while the tower had to be replaced in the early 12th century after it collapsed. At the turn of the 15th-century, the nave was given the Perpendicular Gothic casing by using Caen stone and the wooden ceiling beams were replaced with stone vaults. At the High Altar, you can see the beautifully detailed 15th-century stone screen, which shows the crucifixion and is rich with quatrefoil crockets, arches, and images of saints.

Winchester College. The college was established in 1382, and maybe the oldest continuously running school in the United Kingdom and is the oldest of England’s seven Public Schools. The college has been located at its present site for over 600 years, so you'll want to take the chance to see inside an institution with so much history. As a functioning school, there are visits by guided tour only, and these tours take place all year round at set times from Monday to Sunday.

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