Ornamental Drive

by cobbies69

Sunday 3rd March 2013

Rhinefield or Ornamental Drive or Rhododendron Drive. (Locally known)

At the time of bloom this length of road is probably one of the most beautiful parts in the whole of the New Forest.  I have been along this road many times by car and by foot, and I cannot praise it’s beauty enough. It just has to be seen to be believed.

Rhododendrons on Rhinefield Ornamental Drive

Rhinefield! It’s an unusual name that is thought to derive from the Old English for ‘the open land where rye was grown’.

Rhinefield House, built in 1877 on the site of an even older New Forest lodge, the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive and the nearby Blackwater Arboretum are all on Rhinefield Road – the road leading from Brockenhurst towards the A35 Lyndhurst-Christchurch road.

Rhinefield house

Back in the years of 1972 -74 Rhinefield House, the hotel, was owned by a man called Oliver Cutts, and it use to have themed medieval nights. Dinner banquets. My mother used to work at the hotel as a cook and hotel attendant, and on the banquet nights she dressed the style and became a Wench. No knives and forks just fingers and mugs of mead. This she use to do this for the fun of it. She had a great reputation as a cook.

The house is now a hotel and apartments,  and health spa, whilst the Ornamental Drive and Arboretum are home to a wonderful collection of exotic trees, many of which were planted in the late 1850’s. Mature specimens line the road, whilst a way-marked trail has been created to take visitors on foot past many other notable specimens.

The Tall Trees Trail, a clearly marked circular 2.5 kilometers (1½ miles) walk, starts close to the Blackwater car park – go under the wooden arch on the edge of the car park, cross the road, continue for a short distance along the gravel track leading to the Arboretum, and turn right by the handrails. It also passes the Brock Hill car park which provides an alternative start point, and is on fairly level ground over a quite smooth, graveled track.

DSCF2877        DSCF2650

Look out in particular for the enormous coast redwoods, giant sequoia, black spruce, red spruce and Douglas firs, and also for the wide range of birds that find food and shelter in the trees – bramblings, siskins, redpolls, bullfinches, goldfinches, goldcrests, firecrests and hawfinches are all regularly seen.

The nearby Arboretum contains an impressive collection of often colourful trees from around the world, and is also well worth a visit.

There is no entrance charge for either the Tall Trees Trail or the Arboretum.

I had recently been on this trail and the tree pictures are mine as is the Rhinefield house. Many years ago before all these trails were done, I met up with some campers who were in to collecting bug and insects, and several warm days several of us would scour the ground, lifting rotting wood and leaves and trying find that elusive rare beetle or insect.  I believe he actually found one, have no idea what though.



thank you09

thank you87


16 Responses to “Ornamental Drive”

  1. Twice now tonight I have escaped my home in Oregon vicariously through your posts. The thought of escaping mentally is delightful but know I must be missing so much. Such as the fragrances that have to be abound. And the singing & chirping of the forest’s fine feathered friends.

    And more trees that feed me spiritually.You know how I love these trees. Stunning photography once again that takes me away.. which is good place to be on a Saturday evening.. .
    I like that you gave us the species, as you did with the birds. This is detailed information I crave about places I have only been in my mind and heart. Your New Forest& my Oregon have much in common.

    Thank you for this My Kind Sir, this has been another fine cyber holiday ~

    • I thought about this as I was writing and the trees that was being pictured and talked about.. it is a lovely place to walk and visit..thank you again my lady ;;)

  2. A lovely post, Gerry, and such a beautiful place! You did a great job on the photos. It’s just too bad that it’s so far away, and I can’t just drive over there and enjoy it in real life.

    • Thank you Sandra,, i have been these from my New Forest evry sunday as guest author watch this space and yes it is a really beautiful place..Thank you and honoured Sandra..;)

  3. Wow – I am sorry we weren’t there when that blooming blooming was going on! Interesting bits of more up-to-date history – and information on things we didn’t even know were there, like the tall trees.
    I posted on the history of Rhinefield House during a visit in 2011:

    • It is one of the most impressive visions,,I once had the pleasure of walking and driving through here many times in my past.. and would never get bored.. and as you mentioned many walks and parts have been opened up now for visitors… Thanks again for your support and comments.. welcome..;)

  4. This seems like such a peaceful and lovely place. I am getting a serious hankering to visit England…

  5. Ahhhhh, what a lovely mental vacation you have brought to us. Thank you for the visit to your beautiful New Forest, if only in my mind’s eye. Take care of yourself, Squish! *hug*

    • Thank you Carol, long time no hear,, always love to see your visits. thank you so much..more to follow…

      • I know. I have been stretched mighty thin these days, between work, the three of us being sick, chasing after Hallie, trying to get stuff done, and not doing a very good job of keeping up with any of my friends. I’m so sorry. I need to catch up with all my buddies. Hallie is going on Spring Break with her best friend, Huntleigh, and her family to their cabin by the lake, so maybe I can get back on track between this weekend and the upcoming week. She just had 9 weeks exams, so I’ve been helping her study and get prepared for those. Some teachers give her 9 weeks exams and some just wait and give her semester exams. It’s up to the individual instructors. Glad those are over, at least until May. I’m working on getting a business started at home, and not having much time to work on that with us being sick, which really stinks, since it’s keeping me at this dead end job with very little pay, no raises (although I was promised raises when I took the job), no benefits (I was promised insurance a year ago, also) and a long commute. I want to be able to pick up Hallie from school every day, and have more time with her in the evenings and during the summer, and this business from home would allow me to do that. Right now, her dad is picking her up, and he doesn’t want to be bothered. Sometimes, he can be nice. Other times, not so much. His child should not be a bother to him, and I do not want Hallie to have the disappointment of him to deal with, since he’s made it clear to her how he feels, the jerk, (he goes back and forth from nice to jerk to nice. You never know what you’ll get from one day to the next) so I need to just get this home business going. Hopefully sooner rather than later. I’ll be working on that this weekend and this upcoming week, every single day. I’m hoping we can get out in the yard today and prep the garden for planting. We really need the fresh air and some sunlight, and to work our muscles a little, and gain a little strength back. Perhaps that will help finish getting us well. Everyone at work has been sick. People at Mama’s work and Hallie’s school have been ill, also. Bronchitis, Sinus infections, Pneumonia, Flu. A lot of stuff is floating around. I’ll be so happy to hear when everyone is well. I hope you and your family are well. I so miss talking with you, brother. Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll try to do better at staying in touch. I’ve been pitiful at that, I know. *love and squishes*

        • Hey Carol thank you for such a long response.. I really wish you all the luck with your projects and that your family is getting better. Iwill if okay email you shortly. but basically basically I guest post here on Sundays, and enjoy it but now change my main Blogs for me, I have been doing Tales from my Forest etc.. please check them..
          However it is so good to hear from you..welcome as always.. always a squidge to me.. regards to your ladies…


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