New Forest guides: A day in the life of a Travel ConciergePUBLISHED ON: 15 AUGUST 2016
The New Forest Travel Concierge team at Brockenhurst rail station help visitors see the best of the National Park by bus, bike, train, on foot or on horseback. Here Travel Concierge Dan Pape talks about a typical day and how you can travel around the Forest sustainably this summer.
Where does it all begin? With a coffee and breakfast in the morning, of course. I imagine many people can relate to this. Once prepared for the working day the first thing to consider is how I will be getting to work. If I’m travelling from Winchester, the best method is to cycle to the station and catch the train as it takes me right to my office.
On arrival in Brockenhurst rail station the first job is to set up shop. For anyone who has visited us, you will know that we are based around a very large green bike called a Cargo Bike. This is an unmissable pedal powered machine that we park right outside the front of the station every day – packed with leaflets, maps, cycle guides, ticket machines for the open-top New Forest Tour and stickers for kids. It has everything we need to do our job, helping you!
We are fully set up by 9.15am at the latest to be ready for the arrival of the first New Forest Tour bus at 9.25am. This first bus, on the blue route, is crucial to our day. The driver provides us with valuable information on anything we may have to anticipate through the day and keeps us in the loop with the buses.
Not only do we talk to the first driver, but also the early morning bus travellers. You know the ones, up and motivated, ready for a full day in the Forest, planned and organised. It’s really great to see people early in the morning full of enthusiasm. These first travellers know that to really maximise the benefit of the New Forest Tour an early start is key and it may even make a tri-route journey possible, experiencing the green, red and blue routes. To plan your route check out www.thenewforesttour.info.
After the departure of this first bus things begin to move quickly as lots of people arrive by train before noon. We get asked a whole host of questions by people, from where they can walk from Brockenhurst, how to cycle to Burley, to what the kids can do for the day, or where the best lunch can be found. Perhaps they will want to know how much the bus costs, when the next bus is, or even which one is our favourite. To this last question we try to remain impartial, but if you want stunning open landscapes check out the red route, for the classic Forest feel hop on the green route or see great sea views from the blue route. There really are so many things to see and do in the Forest.
Come mid-afternoon the atmosphere changes and now we find ourselves greeting people that have been on the Tour bus, and asking how their day was and what they enjoyed the most. On certain afternoons a member of the team may be found at a Camping in the Forest campsite, helping campers make informed decisions on what to see and do during their stay. We can also show them how they can leave their car at the campsite and explore the Forest car-free.
Back at Brockenhurst station, the later risers are still beginning their adventures in the Forest. We stay busy right the way through to 4.30pm, helping anyone who wants to know the best ways to explore the New Forest.
As the day draws to a close, it’s time to pack up and temporarily say goodbye to the Forest until the next day, where it all begins again!
If you need advice about visiting the New Forest, then get in touch with the team by calling 07920 562 755, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet them a question @newforesttravel. You can even post a query to www.facebook.com/newforesttravel.