A cold winter's day is great for getting out in the New Forest, away from the tourist hot spots of Beaulieau, Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst you can pretty much have the place to yourself.
We took the path leading out of Minstead towards Acres Down, which was fortunately well sign posted.
I find these woodland streams a source of endless fascination, especially in winter when the reflected light and gentle movement are such a counter point to the still bare trees and dead leaves.
All Saints church in Minstead is lovely but something of a curiosity, it's the resting place of sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of that most famous consulting detective Sherlock Holmes. Dating back to Norman times the church looks more like a cottage which has slowly morphed into a church as additional parts such as the tower, have been added over the years.
Inside the list of the current and past rectors dates back to 1279.
My American boss asked me recently why it's called the New Forest which is a good question since it was created or rather claimed as a hunting area by William the Conqueror in 1079.
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