Area Guides

Best Places To Propose In The New Forest

You could wait for the perfect moment to propose or you could create one. Proposals are nerve-racking wonderful things and of course you want it to be perfect. So, make it a New Forest proposal and a celebration you’ll talk about forever.

Picture yourself in a peaceful ancient woodland, there may even be a blanket hidden in a bag and a ring box is tucked safely in your jacket pocket. A New Forest proposal, although simple in its organisation is wholly romantic and thoughtful in its actuality, and they will never forget it.

Especially if, after such a beautiful moment between the two of you and the trees, you whisk them off to a beautiful country manor hotel where you can relax together and take it all in and before you must return to reality (work). Because after weeks and months of your own anticipation and excitement, finally, you can share it, and you will welcome the chance to tell the tales of your romantic planning without the distraction of everyday life. So, leave the laptop at home and switch off your phone, this is your moment and you deserve a little time for yourselves so you can cherish the excitement for as long as possible.

The New Forest National Park makes for the ideal proposal because not only does it have beauty and romance all wrapped up, but you can fine tune it to fit you both perfectly. Would they love a walk and a flask of something hot, a cycle through the trees and a spontaneous stop for lunch or an afternoon drive through the New Forest National Park with a stop here and there for photos?

Once you’ve decided how to do it, it’s time to think about where, and we have a few suggestions of places right on our doorstep that they will adore.

Blackwater Arboretum

French poet Victor Hugo once said: “Love is like a tree, it grows of its own accord, it puts down deep roots into our whole being.” So, what could make for a more enchanting New Forest engagement than a proposal under magnificent ancient trees.

Just a 10-minute drive or a 20-minute cycle from Careys Manor Hotel is the beautiful Rhinefield Ornamental Drive and the Blackwater Arboretum where you can walk amongst the New Forest’s giants.

The spectacular collection of enormous redwoods, sequoia, and Douglas fir trees are breathe-taking all year round, whilst spring brings out the best of the azaleas and rhododendrons, so no matter when you decide to visit, it’s guaranteed to be a beautiful backdrop to your special moment.

Begin from the Blackwater car park, where these is a beautifully romantic circular 1.5-mile walk lined with wooden benches that would make for ideal spots to stop, take in the fresh forest air and ask that all important question. There are even a few charming wooden bridges that lead you across babbling brooks – perhaps one of these could offer an idyllic place to rest your knee?

The Knightwood Oak

“Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees.” ― unknown

The Queen of the Forest, or the Knightwood Oak, can also be found along the beautiful Ornamental Drive and is our National Park’s oldest and largest (7.4m girth) oak tree. She has been growing for over 500 years and still is. Now, it is not known how many proposals she may have witnessed over the years, but it is surely a magical spot and would be a New Forest proposal to remember.

We will help you with a picnic for your cycle ride or walk if you like? Or you can venture to find the Knightwood Oak car park on Ornamental Drive and enjoy the short walk to visit the great Queen of the Forest.

Bolderwood Deer sanctuary

“Trees give peace to the souls of men.” ― Nora Waln

Ornamental Drive boasts endless spots for you to plan the perfect New Forest proposal, and the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is no exception. Walk amongst the trees on your way to the purpose-built platform and hopefully you will catch sight of the herd of fallow deer in the meadow. There is no guarantee that you will see them, however over the years the deer have become accustomed to a human presence after being fed daily by the New Forest keeper, usually between April and September. So, if you plan it right you may just be in luck.

A tranquil place and a great spot for a romantic picnic – don’t forget the blanket and the flask of something warm to enjoy whilst you watch the majestic deer roam.

Bolton’s Bench

“Nature is pleased with simplicity.” ― Isaac Newton

Just a short distance from the beloved Ornamental Drive is the quaint village of Lyndhurst and one of its best-known landmarks, the picture-postcard natural knoll that is, quite unromantically, named Bolton’s Bench. Named after the 18th century Duke of Bolton, Lord Warden of the New Forest, we can assure you that despite its name, it is a truly special spot.

For a more relaxed New Forest proposal, why not wander through Lyndhurst village towards Bolton’s Bench and sit atop the hillock to enjoy views overlooking open heathland whilst New Forest ponies, donkeys and cattle roam freely. Particularly beautiful on a sunny afternoon or as the sun sets, with long shadows and a warm glow surrounding this unique tree-topped spot – it could just be your perfect place for a ‘spontaneous’ question.

With endless trails winding through moss-carpeted woodland, picturesque bridges escorting you across rivers and miles of heather-covered heathland, there is no doubt that you can find the perfect spot for your New Forest proposal.

You may even decide to wait until you’re back at the hotel to ask the big question, and there are plenty of romantic opportunities for that. Over a candlelit dinner in one of our three wonderful restaurants, whilst sipping Prosecco in SenSpa’s Relaxation Room or during breakfast in bed in your sumptuous bedroom.

At Careys Manor Hotel we know how important it is that you do find the perfect proposal, which is why we are happy to assist you as much or as little as you like, from recommending walks, cycle routes and romantic places to picnic to arranging the finer details so when you do surprise the one you love to a country manor hotel stay it will be a celebration to remember.

Whether that means Champagne awaiting your arrival, mouth-watering dining in our New Forest-inspired Cambium Restaurant or time in our award-winning Thai spa and treatments for two, at Careys Manor Hotel we are on hand to help you to organise the perfect proposal so you can relax and enjoy every moment of the surprise also – after all, this is a celebration for two.

Are you planning a proposal in the near future? Let us take the worry and stress out of it to make it an memorable experience for the both of you.


Start planning your proposal in the New Forest