Well, what a little find this was, well hardly a find. But for us, nomadic travellers were a real coo. All we did was type in ‘things to do in the New Forest’ into the internet god that is Google, and after a few hopeless websites searches later came across one which led to most of our ‘to do’ hit list.
The first thing was trying to find the place, you go to god (Google) and type in Boscombe Chine Gardens, and it gives you a postcode for the café. Which the satnav in our French car (Peugeot) just merely said NO IT DOES NOT EXIST. So after some swearing and putting out foot down it decided to give us the way.
Not knowing what parking was going to be like or indeed how much it would be we set off for the somewhat 30-minute drive to Boscombe.
We had needn’t worried about parking because if you drive past so, the gardens are on your left, you can turn left at the lights and head up to Manor Road. Here you can find plenty of pay and display parking (well we did during the week, but I can imagine weekends are a nightmare). It was fairly reasonably priced as well if memory serves.
We started walking to the beach and then down the path you see in the image above, it wouldn’t be the place to walk down in the dead of night that’s for sure.
Your then met with a tough (well not so tough) decision. Head left and up into the wilderness of the garden or right and to wind swept pier. We opted for the pier first as we had read up about its musical features. You honestly cannot get lost at this point its all signposted and your even greeted with a Harvester by the roundabout at the Pier itself.
We warn you now; I can say this with some certainty that even in the lovely summer day this place will be cold enough to turn your face red! I guess you could easily spend all day down here at the beach, paddling in the cold English Channel, but this wasn’t for us. Like us though if you came down to only visit the Pier (we shall discuss the gardens shortly), then we wouldn’t allocate half a day. Yes, you could waste a few hours propping up the chains coffers, but just a quick walk around the pier and back to the gardens was enough for us.
All joking aside, the pier itself was a simple yet extraordinary piece. You have around seven different musical instruments beautifully created from metal for you to test and play to your heart’s content (even if in our case not very well).
On a day like it was, or even any other day you will probably walk around it at a plodding pace in about 5 minutes. But for us non-locals, we will just not just walk by. We will take in that 5 minutes and savour every
last step. But depending on the way around you go you are greeted with some nice sand boulders to look at briefly.
So after squeezing that out for 20 minutes, we headed back to the wilderness. I must admit from a personal point of view, the way the path was dug out of the landscape was very Spanish. I shall explain, the tall trees, and the straw-like grass with the scorched dirt was very reminiscent of the south of Spain and heading through the mountains.
Now back to the cold chilly south coast for a minute, the walk up and towards the top of the gardens was quite lovely. You had a nice play area for the kids (or adults) to teach you a bit about irrigation, and then you walk under the bridge to the central park itself. To one side you had a little mini-golf course (appeared closed which is a shame as we would have done that), and at the other you had a hard court fenced basketball/football court. However, when we walked past it was being used by two guys drinking cheap alcohol slopped against the fence.
As you can see from the picture below it is very well kept, and I was surprised to see no graffiti or vandalism in the slightest. We could have very easily taken our food parked up on the green below and sat for hours watching the world go by.