Tuesday was a special day.
My mum had her 70th birthday.
We couldn't let the day pass by in some ordinary way so my sister's and I hatched a plan to all go out together.
We had a couple of ideas of places to go and things to do and asked mum to choose which she preferred.
A trip round The New Forest on a open top bus is what she plumped for.
We all set off from mum's just after presenting her with a big bouquet of flowers and the first of her gifts.
She loves the Willow Tree figurines and we gave her this one to add to her collection.
My sister T then drove us all out to Lyndhurst, this is where we started and ended our day.
The first stop we made was Burley. The one place in Burley which was buzzing with people was the cycle hire shop, clearly a very popular thing to do when visiting the Forest.
I have to say that overall I wasn't that impressed with Burley. When we arrived it was just before 11 and we were gasping for a cuppa.
We headed to the pub which was just across the road from the bus stop and which we could see had lots of outdoor seating. There seemed to be a lot of people outside, who may have been working there we weren't really sure, but no-one could tell us if it opened at 11 or 12.
We walked on by and found a little tea shop and sat outside there instead. The rest of my family ordered coffees but I really fancied a mug of tea. The menu showed pot of tea for one. When we placed our order I asked if I could have a mug instead. Oh no can't do that our prices are fixed for what's on the menu. I'm quite happy to pay the same price I said I just didn't want a pot of tea. I'll get into trouble for doing that we were then told. I certainly didn't want this simple request to get anyone in trouble so said ok I'll just have the pot of tea.
When the drinks arrived at our table my tea was in a mug!
Later on as we were waiting for our bus my sister T decided she wanted to buy a bottle of water but the sweet shop next to the stop was closed.
For somewhere which is so tiny and must obviously be very dependent on the tourist trade it wasn't the most welcoming.
Burley has gained a reputation for witchcraft because of a former resident who opened a a shop called A Coven of Witches. All of the photos below are features on the outside of this shop. In my opinion the best thing about Burley the day we went was seeing the moon gazing hare stretching out over the doorway.
Our next stop off was Ringwood.
We enjoyed a mini mooch around the handful of shops and had lunch in a very nice pub called The Original White Hart. We would definitely recommend it for grabbing a bite to eat.
It was here we gave mum her silver Pandora ring which she was thrilled with.
Exploring the little town centre and riverside walk further would have been lovely but we had one eye on the time and had to be ready to hop back on the bus and head towards
Fordingbridge. A place not one of us had visited before.
I'd say it's somewhere to go to enjoy a picnic by the river and just relax with a book. The free museum looked interesting, the silver fish is on the wall outside, but this isn't everyone's idea of fun and we passed it by.
From here we stayed on the bus until it reached Lyndhurst. We passed through Bartley, Brook, Cadnam, Godshill and Ashurst and the views from the top of the bus were stunning. Lush greens as far as the eye could see with patches of purple from the heather.
All in all it was a really lovely day out and mum said she had thoroughly enjoyed herself, which after all is what it was all about.