History made fun

New Forest Activities

September, 2016

Smuggling Tales with a Packhorse…

Looking for inspiration for exciting things to do with family or friends on your weekends? The New Forest Packhorse Company offers hosted walking experiences in the north of the National Park, accompanied by one of Britain’s rarest native pony breeds.

The route follows one of the busiest smuggling trails in the Forest. During the 18th century, New Forest ponies laden with contraband carried the goods from the coast to Fordingbridge. The contraband generally included brandy, tobacco, tea and lace which were subject to the highest taxes.

According to local folklore, a cave near Lymington known as Ambrose Hole was used as a storage depot by a violent gang who dabbled in smuggling.  The many secluded coves along the Dorset and Hampshire coast provided ideal landing points for smugglers and the maze of criss-crossing tracks through the New Forest provided the perfect cover to move the contraband safely.

Discover more and take turns in leading a pack pony on a trip that transports you back in time! After your adventures join us for lunch in one of our hotel’s award winning restaurants or even just a spot of tea and cake for a post walking treat.


Date:  Saturday 22 October, Location: Abbots Well car park (SP6 2JD), Time: 10 – 11am,

Length: 1 hour / 1.5 miles, Price: £5 per person

Book walk now


To book a table with us please call our friendly reservations team on 0800 44 44 41 or email reservations@newforesthotels.co.uk.


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