Much of the UK experienced some very hot weather in July, weeks of sunshine and muggy conditions bringing out the sandals and making it hard to sleep. That being the case, it’s typical that when my parents invited me on an open top bus tour of the New Forest, it absolutely poured down.
The New Forest Tours are really quite a good deal. £14 may seem a bit pricey to start with, but you can jump on and off any of the three routes at any time for a limited period. Upgrade your ticket and you can get weekend and week-long extensions, so if you’re holidaying in the area, it can be a good way to get round.
The central part of the tour, where two routes start, is Lyndhurst – a nice little village, although very busy. We managed to have a quick wander round before hopping on the bus, and despite it raining before-hand, we made our way to the top deck.
The precipitation held off for the start of the journey, although we experienced an interesting phenomenon. The bus whooshing past the wet trees, whilst not hitting them directly, provided enough movement for water to flick directly at us. It was like being on the water rides at a theme park. Thankfully, the weather was still in its muggy stage so despite the rain and the occasional dousing, it wasn’t cold.
Remaining decidedly British about the whole thing, we stuck it out, ending up the only people on the upper level.
We got off the bus at Hythe, where a quick glimpse across the water to the Southampton docks showed several cruise ships waiting to go out. The rain moved back in again so we stopped off for a quick cup of tea before hot footing it back on the bus.
We only planned to do the green route, but the sun came out as we were winding our way across the beautiful New Forest towards Lyndhurst. Briefly, we pondered extending our trip to include another route, but with the weather so changeable, we decided to call it quits. Even though it had been a damp day, it was still a lot of fun, I got a handful of pictures, and managed to notch up another open top bus tour for my Life List collection.