Bramshaw

This is surely New Forest life at its most accessible. Turn off the M27 at junction one and you are immediately plunged into the quiet backwaters of the Forest, gently weaving past donkeys and ponies grazing in front of Hanzel and Gretel-style woodland cottages. This is Bramshaw, an attractive and peaceful parish that encompasses the hamlets of Brook and Fritham. Bramshaw is strung out. Its handful of amenities include Bramshaw Golf Club (with two courses, including Hampshire’s oldest course), village hall, rustic garage and Bentley showroom. There’s also a selection of good inns including The Bell Inn and Green Dragon at Brook and the Royal Oak at Fritham (a Forest institution and part of a working farm). Local groups range from Bramshaw Bunnies for pre-school toddlers to the local cricket club. Back roads through the Forest lead to Romsey, a thriving market town with numerous facilities (including Waitrose). Property comprises big, individual houses, farms and small-holdings, and cottages tucked down country lanes, scattered around glades and greens. The National Trust owns tracts of land here including Bramshaw Commons, thousands of acres of some of the best surviving examples of lowland heath in Europe.

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