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New Forest coastal walk.

A walk with a difference today, I replaced the mud of the forest for the soft sand of low tide.

Starting at Highcliffe carpark on the outskirts of the New Forest, I walked the under cliff path taking in the high views of the sea stretching to Hengistbury head and Bournemouth in the distance. The views were beautifully clear against the moody, heavy clouds barely moving in the stillness of the breeze, with a Sun ray squeezing it's way through every now and then illuminating the grey sea into silver-lined waves.

Along the sheltered paths enough warmth and light is perfectly balanced for the hedgerows to still be flowering. Pinks and whites of bramble flower amongst the golden gorse flower and the teasel seed heads create a beautiful silhouette with the backdrop of neutral colours of sand, sea and sky.

Heading up the zigzag path to Highcliffe castle I am suddenly spoilt for choice for beautiful views as the beach takes on another depth of artistry from this even higher view, but I love reaching the top of the path to be presented with the magnificence of the castle glancing through the trees. My walk continues into Steamerpoint nature reserve, I stopped to admire the ducks, moorhens and reflections of the trees in the woodland pond before continuing along the path, which will always tease with glimpses of the sea through the trees. Leaving the reserve behind I was drawn to the promenade of Avon beach by the colourful beach huts as people enjoy the beach in their own unique ways. Paddle boarding, dog walking, sandcastle making or simply sitting with a coffee and just taking it all in, which seemed like a great idea and was exactly what I did before heading back along the beach. On my return, my view was the Isle of wight and the needles as I walked the edge of the receding sea on the powder soft sand imprinted with footprints and paws while listening to the melodic sound of the tide.

I never take for granted where I live and how lucky I am to have the sea on my doorstep as well as the beautiful forest. 🙏

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