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Photo spots

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The New Forest is not a theme park. Indeed for some local residents the mere suggestion that it ought to welcome tourists gets them hot under the collar. Yet many thousands visit each year and it is principally the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage that bring them here. So the top photo opportunities include the landscape, the historic villages and, of course, the famous New Forest ponies.

Make it snappy - five top photo spots
1. The Ornamental Drive: light through the trees; misty mornings
2. Keyhaven: boats, saltmarshes, wading birds, views of the Isle of Wight, a lighthouse and a castle
3. Wilverley Plain: often a haunt for ponies; like a creche for foals in the spring
4. Rockford Common: rolling heathland; good at heather-time
5. Beaulieu: chocolate-box village with historic abbey and National Motor Museum attached
15 photos to find in the Forest

As a visitor to this website - hello, thank you - you will be interested in the New Forest or photographs or photographs of the New Forest, or all three.

If you want to take some pictures of your own, here are my top tips for subjects, locations and times.

1. Knobbly-kneed, wobbly-legged foals - photos with the 'aah' factor in the late spring and summer.

2. Autumn colour - 'leaf-peeping UK' any time from September to December with orange, yellow, scarlet, bronze and toffee-brown leaves and bracken in the ancient and ornamental woodland.

3. Views of the iconic Needles and the Isle of Wight from many places on the New Forest coastline.

4. Deer - you have a better-than-average chance of spotting these shy creatures in the New Forest, especially if you get up early.

5. Bolton's Bench - a landmark clump of yew trees on top of a small hill in Lyndhurst which provides a focal point from many angles in any weather conditions, often with ponies or cattle in the foreground.

6. Fungi - the Forest has 2,700 species (allegedly) so try to seek out interesting shapes, colours and compositions.

7. Events - the Beaulieu Road pony sales, farmers' markets, the Lymington bathtub race, for example.

8. Beaulieu - the village or the historic house or the picturesque river.

9. Donkeys - less common than the better-known ponies so you may need to look longer and harder to find them, but worth it because they are friendlier and even more photogenic.

10. Heather-covered expanses of rolling heathland - in the high summer the pinks and purples of bell heather, cross-leaved heath and ling carpet the landscape.

11. Visitors - walkers, cyclists or horseriders make a useful feature in photographs of the New Forest.

12. The coast - lighthouses, saltmarshes, boats, wading birds, sunrises and sunsets.

13. Damselflies and dragonflies - electric blue, honey-yellow, postbox-red: look closely to find these eye-catching insects near rivers and ponds in the boggy parts of the Forest in the summer.

14. Misty mornings - capture the magic of morning mist rolling across the heath or shafts of sunlight piercing the tangled woodland.

15. Thatched cottages - chocolate-box, yes, but most people like chocolate.