White New Forest Pony in the rain almost hidden by heather

The New Forest National Park

Staying at our hotel and self-catering resort on the Solent Coast on the outer fringes of New Forest National Park sees you enjoy the best of both worlds in this scenic corner of Southern England.

Ancient woodland, open moors and clifftop walks await as you venture into this popular natural spot that has been a favoured holiday and activity destination for almost 1,000 years.

History of the New Forest

Dating back to the Bronze Age, humans originally used New Forest to set up communities sustained from the area’s thriving hunting grounds, until William the Conqueror declared ownership of the Forest and forbade anyone else from using the forest for livestock or foraging.

After his death, the 1217 Charter of the Forest reinstated that the rights of the common people (Magna Carta) were to be enforced and protected so that the forest could once again be used as normal.           

Arguably Britain’s most notorious monarch, King Henry VII commissioned the builds of Hurst and Calshot Castles, which were designed to defend the Solent from potential sea invasion, while Breamore House added to the Tudor and Elizabethan influence on New Forest.

The historic Calshot Castle built on Calshot Spit on the edge of the Solent near Fawley to guard the entrance to Southampton Water.

Tactical Military Base

The New Forest also played an active role in WW1 and WW2, with its south coast location ideal for communications during pivotal missions such as the D-Day invasion.

Elmers Court Hotel & Resort was occupied during this time on behalf of the War Office, with American and Canadian Forces given regular updates from the temporary electronics base.  After the Allied forces were established in France, Elmers Court became a rest and recuperation centre for American and Canadian troops.

Elmers Court exterior

Geological Importance

The fascinating geology of the area, characterised by soft earth underfoot made possible by the Forest area’s previous life as a large river estuary, has given rise to fertile vegetation including numerous pine and birch trees plus beech, holly, oak and yew more common as you journey through the wooded sections of the Forest.

Moss and cotton grass on the forest floor helps form a region of distinct geological significance that adds to the intrigue of a day or more of exploration during your stay with us.

Red male stag with antlers, photographed between the trees in rutting season in a forest near Lyndhurst, New Forest, Hampshire UK.