A Trip To New Forest and Southampton

Gareth and Nicole New Forest

This year I set a goal of visiting 7 National Parks in the UK. So far, Nicole and I have visited two of them. The first being Peak District and the second, New Forest.

As it was leading up to Nicole’s birthday and my original surprise didn’t go to plan, I instead booked a stay at The Crown Manor Hotel situated in the heart of New Forest.

That wasn’t all though…there was another surprise waiting of which Nicole had no idea.

After we arrived at The Crown, we parked the car up and took a short walk to a local bike hire business, ran by a friendly guy called Billy. He’s been lending out bikes for over 10 years in his spare time and has so many stories to entertain you before setting off.

Once we picked our bicycles we set off heading towards New Forest.

We arrived at the first set of gates to enter the cycling route. During our cycling, we came across lots of wild horses. Despite the signs mentioning about deers, we sadly didn’t spot any, but the route was fantastic.

After cycling for a few hours, we decided it was time for a break and visited the stunning Rhinefield House Hotel where we had a bite to eat and fuelled up on some warm hot chocolate and lattes.

Shortly after, we decided to head back and finish our cycling experience. The journey back was much more relaxing and not so challenging against the harsh winds from the “Storm Gareth”.

Upon arrival to the hotel after dropping our bicycles back to Billy, we ordered a pot of tea and sat by the fire relaxing – it was great!

As the evening started to draw closer to an end, we got ready and went out for some food and bought back some wine to finish the evening.

The next morning…

On Monday 11th March, it was Nicole’s birthday, she woke up to me singing happy birthday followed by opening some cards and presents. A little while after, we got ready and went down for a delicious cooked breakfast.

We then decided to make most of our time in New Forest by visiting the Wild Life park which was awesome. We got to see otters, wolfs, deers and so much more pretty close up.

As it was approaching mid-day we stopped off to get a quick bite and a warm drink before heading to Southampton for Nicole’s main birthday surprise.

It wasn’t much of a drive, we were already fairly close.

As we started to approach the area of Nicole’s surprise, she was still trying to figure out where we were going and what it was.

The clue “It’s not always there” really threw her off. She had no idea.

“How can a building just disappear?”

Hahahaha! I knew by that answer she hadn’t a clue.

We entered the private gates to the Ocean Quay Marina located close to the football stadium and then parked up.

By this point, Nicole thought I was lost and just checking to see where we were, until I said, right close your eyes and I’ll walk us there.

She started to think we were going on a boat, which isn’t far off, I guess you could say…

A short walk and then we were there.

I asked her to open her eyes and the reaction was priceless, I loved every moment.

She opened her eyes and saw the Super Yacht I hired for our stay – it was incredible.

A 60-foot luxurious super yacht with a master cabin with en-suite, super king bed, a 50″ smart TV and a fantastic hot tub on the top deck. We had everything to ourselves.

Nicole and I had a lovely relaxing afternoon on the Yacht before heading out for a delicious steak at Simon’s Bar Kitchen.


After our dinner, we boarded the Yacht and enjoyed a lovely time in the hot-tub to end our evening.

I think it was fair to say, Nicole loved her surprise and we had an incredible time away.

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