“Nobody told us it was a National Park”
“Come any closer with that camera and I'll rip your fucking head off”
“Are we nearly there yet?”
The New Forest is a notorious patch of wasteland next to the popular car park for imported Japanese vehicles, known as Southampton. In 2006 it was voted the Unlovliest National Park in Europe by an international panel of experts as it had nothing of any interest at all. Not even a hill. Their report stated that the most remarkable thing about the area was that it was neither new, nor a forest, the trees having been largely chopped down in the 16th Century. Despite not having any hills, trees, interesting geology, or unusual wildlife it does have a rather lovely Exxon Mobil oil refinery and a distinguished power station, which scores of misled Londoners try to omit from their holiday snaps. A dome of pollution ensures a mild yet shady climate. In recent years, it has become one of the best places in Southern England to form part of a crowd, and is home to over a hundred of shops selling equipment for use in the 'Great Outdoors' to people who have never been there..
Henry VIII's Bridge
The New Forest was planted by wedding-enthusiast, Henry VIII to provide the wood to build a great bridge to link the Island of Great Britian to mainland Europe. The bridge still stands, but the Sneaky French have been painting it greyish-blue for years so you can't see it. After the Death of Henry VIII, his daughter, the notoriously heterosexual Queen Elizabeth I was crowned. Not sharing her fathers passion for marrying foreign girls, Liz, ordered the Forest and its cross-channel bridge to be boarded up. It was promptly forgotten by the English and on the orders of the xenophobic Queen, it was omitted from maps.
The Dark Ages of the New Forest
During this period, the sneaky French, who had already eaten every horse in their own country, organised raiding parties over the bridge, before establishing a permanent pony-rustling colony at Beaulieu. Ponies proliferated behind Elizabeths enormous fence, and for centuries, the immigrant settlers had a good life, occasionaly stealing new breeding stock and living off young foals. To aid in their pony-deportation trips, enterprising french established a patisserie (see picture) which was established in 1940 to celebrate France's surrender over Communist Germany.
Into the present
In 1961, much to the surprise of the people of Hampshire, the New Forest was rediscovered by the Caravan club of Great Britain, who claimed it as the Independant Republic of Caravania, before having a surprised group of French people burned on a big campfire. The last of the forests trees were burned as kindling, and at last, those Sneaky French were eradicated from British Soil. Unchecked, the ponies were free multiply further, and ran amok behind the fence causing widespread destruction wherever they went. In 1970, speculating Oil Tycoons from the USA were delighted to have found such a large un-used patch of land in South East England and had the monsterous Fawley Oil refinery built. Twenty seven Certified Caravan Club sites were destroyed to make way for the development. Only one such campsite, known locally as Hythe survived the shock and awe tactics employed by Esso to rid the waterside of happy campers forever. The New Forest was designated a National Park in 2006 for no other reason than that there wasn't one yet in the South East and 99% of Southerners have an inherent fear of going through The Midlands. The reason for this particular area being selected as "The New Forest" was because nothing of use could possibly be grown on it. The name "New Forest" may seem bizarre since it is neither a 'forest' a 'wood' or even a 'tree', nor is it 'new' since the land itself is either 13.7 billion years old or 5000 years old depending on your personal views or proximity to Cranborne. The name is, however a hopeful statement that by prevent Esso from building another refinery, the land may finally become lush, verdant and wild once more (by growing a sodding birch tree at the very least).
Walking past a stream of stationary vehicles on any given bank holiday you can hear the familiar 'Laverly ain'it!' call emitting from within. Well, yes, in comparisson to the rest of the South East, maybe it is. Compared to the rest of England however, it is at best, average. So what is it that brings so many unimaginitive, travel-shy southern types to the New Forest? A number of leisure pusuits are available for the Visitor to enjoy.
Pony Bashing Tours are operated from Southampton. As there are no trees in the New Forest, there was never any wood to build fences, hence, the descendants of centuries of rustled ponies are free to stand in the middle of busy roads with hilarious consequences.
Participants choose the imported Japanese vehicle of their choice at Southampton docks and drive it into the New Forest, whereupon, they aim it into crowds of ponies in the hope one or more of them will die. Points are awarded for style, damage and agression. Some insist this is a cruel bloodsport, and should be outlawed, but ponybashers maintain that it is a necessary form of population control, citing evidence that only the old or sick ponies are unable to outrun a pack of Mitsubishi's. The Pro-Bashing lobby reamins defiant of new legislation curbing the bashing of ponies with mistubishi's and have decreed that cityfolk should stop meddling in rural affairs.
The second most popular leisure activity in the New Forest is of course, queuing. As the rest of South East England is made of concrete, greenery-thirsty Southerners flock to the New Forest and make themselves feel right at home by overpopulating it.
Since its rediscovery, and subsequent declaration as an Independant Nation for Caravan Enthusiasts, Caravanning has become one of the New Forests most practiced arts. This masochistic activity, which traces it's origins to an archaic form of torture, involves leaving your perfectly adequate house on a crowded estate in Woking, attatching a white box on to the back of your volvo, and then parking it six feet from another white box in a crowded field in Hampshire. Whilst caravaning, you can also enjoy the thrills of shitting in a bucket, getting damp, and not being able to stand up properly.
This may sound like another cruel pastime, however, harm to the ponies is rare. Essentialy you have to drive along a New Forest road as slowly as possible until a long stream of traffic builds behind you. Then, upon seeing a pony doing something hilarious or amazing, like having a poo or eating grass - you know - pony stuff, you brake as sharply and suddenly as possible, causing a multiple car pile up behind. Leaning out of your window, ignoring the carnage you have caused, you point a camera at the pony, and take a picture. Be quick though, because it will bite your head off if you linger too long. New Forest ponies have exceedingly sharp teeth and a taste for blood.
There are a number of towns in the New Forest, but none are any good.
As there was nothing much there until 1961, Lyndhurst, like most New Forest towns, is a New Town. It grew up around a particularly popular campsite shop, selling bottles of suncream, rubber dingies and calor gas to optimistic caravanners. It was built in the victorian reproduction style with a road layout cleverly masterminded in order to trap caravans and other motorists, often for decades at a time. Originally called 'The New Forest Camping Shop' It was renamed in honour of Nicholas Lyndhurst, the british actor who disappeared here during a particularly nasty tailback in the mid 1990's. Hopes that this once-great stalwart of british comedy may one day emerge from the chaos onto the A35 near Southamtpon have been dismissed as sentimental and unrealistic. If he ever got out of the traffic queue and wandered off onto the heath, he was more than likely eaten by ponies soon afterwards.
“Ha ha ha. No thanks.”
Totton fights very hard to be recognised as being part of the New Forest as it has no other redeeming features. Sadly for the Tottonians, it just isn't. Listed in the Domesday book as 'Tottyton' it's name is derived from the Anglo Saxon word 'Totty' - meaning attractive young lady, and the suffix '-ton' meaning a settlement. It is thought that the town may have been used as a camp for young European noblewomen, marched over the bridge to satisfy Henry VIII's legendary Libido (see section on history), and is in no way related to the attractiveness of today's locals, who are generally as hideous as the town they inhabit.
Being a Lymingtonian is not always a fun past time. These people have the look on their faces as if the sky's about to fall in. This could be in part to the bleak future that appears before their eyes: scavenging a job working for 41p a month in a touristy shop for only half the year and finding time to look after seventeen children and the extended family. A typical Lymington extended family consists of most of Lower Buckland Road and the Marsh Lane estate with a few cousins scattered around the shanty-town of Pennington. As the saying goes: "everyone knows everyone around here".
However, if you are so fortunate as to be able to afford a mansion on the southside of the steepy-inclined high street, be very warned. The land around Lymington is marshy and, due to climate change, your property might just sink. Either that or you will have your tree stumps nicked by some forest folk who will prompty sell it as a designer table to some retarded tourist.
Despite its high proportion of white chavs, ethnic groups in Lymington never suffer from racial attacks. This is because when a Lymingtonian encounters someone of a different nationality, they will pester them with a load of incomprehensible questions then have a panic attack, go cross-eyed and get a nosebleed.
A typical night out in Lymington consists of being thrown out of every pub you go to because you're not a tourist, you don't have much money, you're under eight and looking to buy alcohol for your younger siblings, you go to Priestlands school (officially named second worst school in existence after Jihad Primary in Baghdad - the Priestlanders, annoyed at this, would've obliterated their rivals if they knew that anything existed beyond Southampton) and/or your surname is Sanger. Hence some Lymingtonians have began to branch out into the wider world, discovering new places like Winchester and New Milton. They view the world with a child-like wonder and also with a child-like fear. Places like Bournemouth scare them and, added to the lack of decent public transport, you will often find herds of bewildered Lymingtonians staggering around fields near Highcliffe, trying to find the Dorset boarder as if it were a line on the ground.
Translation into Lymingtonian:
Bin a'Lymin'onyan's no' alwwayz a'fun pas toime. Theez par' gridders'ave looks on them faices as'if the sky's abou' a'fallin. This cud bin par' to the bleak fu'ure tha'ppears beforre theirr eyeses: scavengin themselves a job workin ferr eigh' bob 'n' unpunce a monf in a grockle shop ferr ownly 'alf the yurr 'n' findin time a'look af'err seven'een li'luns 'n' theirrs stended famly. A typicalw Lym'non stended famly consiss ov mos' ov Lowrr Bucklan Roaw 'n' Marrsh Lane estae wiv a couppla couzurrns sca'ered rouwn the shan'y-town ov Penn'on. As the sayin goews: "evr'one knowz evr'one round ere".
'owever, if you be so forr'una'e to be able to ford a prroperr job goo' 'ouse on sahfside ov the bi' skew-whiff 'igh stree', be vrrey warrned. The land round Lym'non's marrshy 'n', due to tha' fing them therre peoples gurrn on 'bout on the 'aunted fishtank, yourr prroperrty migh' jus' sink. Ivvor tha urr yourl 'ave yourr tree stumps nabbed by surm cacker ooll prerrmly pass i' erff as a prroperr job table to surm narky grockle.
Despi' them 'igh prroporrssions ov whi' townies/chavs/them lot frerm Bournemouff, effnic groups in Lym'non nerr sufferr frerm racialw tacks. Thisus coz when a Lymin'onyan coun'errs sermwone ov a diffren' nashnali'y, them'ull pesterr him or she wiv a shed-loa' ov misunnerrstannin quessions then 'ave a funny five minz, go cross-eye n get a jippy nowse.
A typ'calw nigh' ou' in Lym'non consiss ov bin frowwn owt arff evry wa'rin 'ole you go to coz yerr no'a grockle, yerr don't 'ave much nickerr 'lastic, yerr knee tallw to'a grarrs-'opperr 'n' lookin to buy zliderr ferr yerr lil'luns, yerr go to Priestlands prisurn (offishly named second wors' schoolw in sisurnce af'urr Ji'ad Prim'ry in tha'urn place - the pikeys, 'noyed a' this, would've 'bli'erra'ed thems rivalws theirselves if they knew tha' anyfink sis'sed beyon' So'urrn) 'n'/urr yurr tha' diddicai Sanger urr 'is misses. 'ence surm Lymin'onyans 'ave begurn to brranch ou' innur the widerr worwl, 'scovering new places likes ov Winchy 'n' New Mil'on. They looks a' the worwl wiv lil'lun wonderrs 'n' 'so wiva kiddly fearr. Places like Burrnemouff scareum 'n', added to the lack ov decen' public transpor', yerrll offern find 'erds ov bewilderred Lymin'onyans stagg'rin round fielws nerr 'ighcliffe, trryinerr find the Dahrrse' boarerr as if i' werr a line on the grouwn'.
“THAT'S NOT HOW YOU PRONOUNCE IT!! BLOODY ENGLISH!”
The Oldest town in the New Forest, and the biggest in the UK not to have anywhere to go after 5pm, still bears it's French name from the time of the Pony Rustlers. At low tide it smells of rotting seaweed, and is home to the National Duck Collection (closes daily at 1700h). At the last count they had forty seven different ducks. Quite an achievement, considering that, less than half a century ago, French people were force feeding them until their livers exploded to make tasty Pâté to complement their diet of horseflesh and bracken croissants.
New Milton is barely a town. It is more of a concentration camp for the elderly. Surrounded by forest and sea, it is the ideal location for the Forest Elderly Concentration Klan (FECK). It is not without its flaws. In 1956 Willie Anis set up the Willie Anis Nocturnal Klan Endorsing Retrospective Treatment In Towns For Ugly Child Killings (WANKERTITFUCK) where Willie and a group of several New Miltonors would snipe children who were out later than 7pm without there mummys and blame it on yob hoody people. New Milton still hosts the largest amount of OAPASBOS in the UK and the town has set up the Government Initiative Viewing Encouraging Measures Ending Aspects For Ugly Child Killings (GIVEMEAFUCK)
Reports state that the more militant and able-bodied New Miltonians, desperate for an escape route from the rural hell of the retirement ghetto flats and bungalow stalags of New Milton, have cunningly managed to alter the route of the E9 footpath from Portugal to Estonia by bribing officials with Real Ale and venison steaks from culled New Forest deer. The deviated E9 footpath now runs over the camouflaged New Forest Link Bridge from France, through a maximum security New Milton bungalow settlement, linking up with the Coastal Path running the width of Southern England, back through an underground tunnel to the Isle of Wight thus avoiding the watch towers, and thereafter across Europe to Estonia. Leaked Police Reports state that escapee OAP's form strings of electric invalid buggies driving in all roads at 0.5 mph thus creating diversions by blocking police car pursuit. This effectively cuts New Milton off from outside traffic, causing gridlock throughout the town. Other teams of geriatric hoodies drive their turbo-powered hot-rod buggies along the E9 Footpath and smuggle back erotic Estonian knitted shawl patterns which are circulated and then exchanged for weapons to further the covert activities of the Ugly Child Killers. Tourists are strongly advised to avoid the entire area.
Tiptoe is what many have deemed to have been built upon a shortcut between New Milton and Sway. This being said the small Hamlet does not disappoint. Its sheer lack of magnitude is bested only by the lack of interesting things to do there. There was once a post office, but it was demolished in order to make a heap of rubble which was, by all accounts, more interesting. The current buisness total stands at a Pub, a Garage and several churches. Its residents have a glazed look, as if they have lost the will to live long ago and many of the older residents hark back to Tiptoes only exciting day: Known lovingly as 'The Day of the Traffic Jam". Currently the only day in the history of Tiptoe that more than six cars were consecutively queuing.