Area Guides

Eat, Play And Explore Like A Local

Today on the blog we welcome New Forest local, Andrew Parry-Norton, to share his favourite things about our beautiful national park and a few recommendations for visitors too!

Andrew is a Farmer and a Commoner, running Storm’s Farm with his wife Sarah Parry-Norton; a traditional family run Commoning farm in the heart of the New Forest in Cadnam.

Thank you for joining us on the blog Andrew, to give our guests an insight into life as a local in the New Forest!


Q: Have you always lived in the New Forest or did you decide to relocate here?

A: I have lived here all my life, as has my family. The Forest has always been my home, a place of work and a strong sense of community. There is nothing that can compare or draw me away from it.


Q: As a farmer and commoner, what animals do you keep, and what makes the New Forest great for farming?

A: We run cattle, pigs and sheep, all of which we turn out on the Forest. The Forest isn’t great for farming, the soil is poor and thin, it’s why there is a Forest here. But, the Forest does give our stock complete freedom and the ability to graze how nature intended. This creates incredible flavour and texture to our produce, absolutely unique.

Q: The New Forest ponies are famous for their free-roaming status. Where can you recommend visitors to go if they hope to see some ponies or wildlife?

A: Stoney Cross is good for spotting ponies, cattle and donkeys, which all roam free, and Bolderwood is often the best place to see Fallow deer, with the Deer Sanctuary offering a purpose-built platform overlooking the large meadow for spotting.

Please remember, when visiting the forest, to keep your distance from grazing animals for both their safety and your own – especially mothers and their young. Although owned and cared for by Commoners like myself, all animals are unpredictable and are best treated as wild. Familiarise yourself with the New Forest code ahead of your visit.


Q: With such wonderful landscapes here, a day out in summer definitely calls for a picnic! Do you have a favourite picnic spot?

A: Rockford Common is a great place, you can sit at the top of the sand hills and look over the Avon valley.


Q: Do you have a favourite walking route or cycle trail that you like to do when you have some time off?

A: Unfortunately, time off is very rare, but if we do have an hour to spare a walk along Lymington sea walls with the amazing bird life is a treat; park in Normandy Road and follow the sign posted footpath.


Q: When it comes to dining out, there are plenty of great options in the towns and villages around the New Forest. Is there a local pub or restaurant that stands out to you, that you tend to re-visit when dining out?

A: The Haven Restaurant at Lymington is incredible. Lovely food, especially seafood, with amazing views over the Solent.

The Rockingham Arms at Canada Common, Wellow, is great for pub food.


Q: As a local, do you or your family partake in any local activities, like horse riding, sailing or similar? Are there any local activity organisers you would recommend to our guests looking for a fun experience?

A: Our 14-year-old son loves the New Forest Water Park near Ringwood. The Sea Water Baths at Lymington are also fun for the family in the summer months.


Q: Finally, if you could describe the New Forest in 3 words, what would they be?

A: Ancient / unspoilt / beautiful.


To discover more about Andrew & his farm, visit: