Tranquil Tourism - Outer Calm for Inner peace
Silence is good for you.
In the Daily Telegraph this Sat (8 Oct) there was a giant two pager on Silence. How rare it is to find it and how good it is for us. The elusive quiet they say is best found in 10 places that don't include The New Forest.
So I feel duty bound to respond. I think they've missed 5 places, and I'll get a decibel'omter in there soon and write up the results here.
1. Pitts Deep Beach.
2. Gins jetty.
3. Sowley beach walk.
4. Walking in the forest
5. Walking on the heathland.
These were there reasons.
Silence is calming. (Hardly a breakthrough but I guess it's nice to have it proven).
Apparently, the most calming part of calming music is the silence between the music, rather than the music itself.
Silence is good for the brain and may even help grow it.
"In a 2013 study, biologist Imke Kirst, found that mice grew new brain cells in the parts of the brain associated to memory, emotion and learning. The results are yet to be corroborated but scientists hope that one day offer hope for those suffering dementia"
There is even proof that silence increases productivity. "This could be because sitting in quiet, without noise or stimuli to distract us, helps to activate the brains "default mode", scientists say. In this mode we are able to think and reflect more deeply, tapping into emotions and ideas otherwise unavailable to us."
So getting a bit of 'peace and quiet' is perhaps a little bit more than just a good idea. And if you're the kind of person who needs a bit of outer calm to help you find your inner peace then let us help you with some ideas.
Pitts Deep is a pretty quiet place most of the time. The odd and buzzy power boat crossing the Solent isn't rare, but noise pollution here is unusual. There are no roads close by. The neighbours are very quiet and other nearby houses are quite a way away. The nearest agricultural field is back toward the nearest road. The Solent has a shallow shelf out from the beach which forces all boats to keep their distance. The Island is about 1/2 a mile away or more and parties there can't be heard and there are few houses "opposite" anyway. There is a smart new wooden deck at the cottage, (and my favourite, a white wooden bench beside the house) which is perfect for sitting and watching and getting in some high class quiet.
The beach walk from Sowley toward Thorns beach. It's accessible by footpath and aside from the wind, the odd moo or neigh, don't expect to be hearing much except seabirds, herons coming into their roosts on the brackish lake, and waves. It's a delightful place to recharge and mostly forgotten.
Get into the heathland. Seek out a dip or hollow in the ground, a little spot of privacy behind some gorse or heather and stop. Get out your blanket, picnic, binoculars and book and enjoy the quiet. If you have kids with you, take a magnifying glass and a bug book and get hunting, dissect leaves and flowers to find seeds and play 'sleeping rabbits'. It's free and it's just the best.
Little tip, if you're a purist, and want to avoid dog-walkers, the quietest times are midweek, and the best time during the day is after 10 and before 5, or after 7 in the summer. Dog walkers choose walks near car parks.
Gins is down a dirt track and very far from the noisy and maddening crowds that might bump you about in the rest of your life. The only neighbours here are the owners (who are mostly quiet and don't mow the lawn at weekends), the migrating seabirds (who can be a bit noisy when they come in to roost), the sound of taught wires clinking on sailing boats masts. Surrounding the barn on 2 sides is a mile or so of RSPB managed bird reserve, most of it has no public access. The other side is the Beaulieu River. And finally there is a width of salty, badly drained fields which also hold the access road.
Get into the woods. There are masses of places to walk into and disappear in the forest. The National Park public area is included in the Right to Roam legislation and the best choice you can make when out walking is to get off the beaten track. Choices are endless. Dappled glades, leafy hollows, mounds of tufty grass under the boughs, bracken filled gullies. Why not climb up a tree and enjoy the view.