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Around Ringwood


Situated on the river Avon, and at the top of the pretty valley that runs down to Christchurch, Ringwood is an excellent centre for exploring the nearby New Forest.


Many years ago, Sir Maurice Berkeley slew a dragon near Ringwood, and the town’s history is recorded from before the conquest, when it was held by one Earl Tostig. History seems largely to have passed Ringwood by, and it has been spared most of the blood and suffering that characterises most Wessex towns.


Ringwood has buildings from all periods, with some good thatch, but the church is not particularly old, although it looks it; built in the 19th century, it has some 15th century brass. Take time to walk out of the centre of Ringwood, along the Christchurch road, where some really interesting shops, galleries and restaurants are to be found.


the year including Santa Specials – please contact 01425 471415 for further details.


Continuing west and you soon reach Verwood, which stands at a Crossroads where the River Crane runs central to the ancient market towns of Ringwood and Cranborne. Roads ran north and south towards the established towns of Fordingbridge, Salisbury, Wimborne and Poole and even today the Crossroads is considered the focal point of the town.


Just a mile north is the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park, set amongst splendid countryside this friendly park prides itself on providing an award-winning day out for all ages!


Soak up the splendid scenery with a Wagon or Tractor trailer ride around the park. Listen and learn, join in the fascinating


Moors Valley Railway


Just a few miles west of Ringwood is Moors Valley Country Park, which is run as a joint venture between East Dorset District Council and the Forestry Commission. Situated at the edge of Ringwood Forest, which in turn borders the New Forest, it covers 750 acres of the Moors River Valley,.Entrance to the Park is free, but there are charges for parking.


Facilities at the Park include a tearoom, country shop, adventure play areas for the children and a visitor centre where you can pick up a map. Additional attractions include: a Cycle Hire centre, a Golf Course, the Go Ape! high wire adventure course and one of the best narrow-gauge steam railways in the country, Moors Valley Railway.


Home to 18 locomotives, 40 coaches and numerous other rolling stock, Moors Valley Railway is 71/4” gauge and provides passengers with a ride of one mile in length. The railway runs with


traditional signalling


and has two signal boxes in operation. There is a model and gift shop at Kingsmere, along with the Station Buffet. The second station, Lakeside, is located at the opposite end of the railway – an ideal stop for the picnic area and playgrounds.


Moors Valley Railway runs every weekend and during all school holidays. It runs daily from June to mid September. There are numerous Special Events during


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Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park


talks and tours throughout the day (history with humour). Grab the chance to ‘Drive’ a real tractor in the off-road arena! Meet Iona the Percheron heavy horse featured in the BBC Two television series Wartime Farm and join in feeding the Heavy Horses in their courtyard stables and their friendly farmyard friends in the paddocks.


You can keep the children happy for hours with pony rides, Go-Cart arena, giant bouncy castle, mega drop slide, new adventure play park and exciting play areas for tots to teens. If its peace and quiet you’re looking for, then wander around exhibits from days gone by or admire the Romany and Showmans caravans. For a little relaxation you will find a homely café serving tasty home cooked food at great prices.


Come and cuddle the new baby lambs, bunnies and piglets and if the weathers not so kind you can find lots to do undercover. All in all, this is a great value, memorable day out for the whole family to enjoy and by visiting you are helping provide a permanent home to over 20 rescued Heavy Horses.


Continue a little further north and at the junction follow the sign to pretty Alderholt and the lovely Churchill Arms (SP6 3AA). Perfectly placed after such a hectic day, this traditional public house is known for homemade country fayre and a warm welcome at any time of the year.


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