IT is often regarded as the jewel in Hampshire’s crown and now it has been given a glowing endorsement from one of the country’s most loved stars.

Actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry, famous for his roles in Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster, and for presenting QI, has been out and about exploring the New Forest and he documented his trip by uploading photographs of his journeys using his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Daily Echo:

Both social media platforms allow users to take photos using smart phones and share them with millions of people across the world.

Mr Fry, who has more than six million followers on Twitter, took the images and uploaded them to his 42,000 Instagram followers.

His photo of a white pony grazing was ‘liked’ more than 3,000 times.

Daily Echo:

On his caption of the photo he said: “A walk in the New Forest is one of the greatest pleasures England can bestow.

“The ponies are habituated and shyly tolerant but wholly independent and undomesticated.”

Another photo captured a pony peering round a tree and staring straight into the camera, to which he described: “I was very lucky that this grey was so forbearing.”

But it seems his pleasant stroll around the Forest’s miles of paths didn’t go to plan.

Daily Echo:

He later tweeted: “Somewhat embarrassingly got lost on yesterday’s evening walk. Ended up 7 miles from where I’m staying. All New Forest paths look the same....”

Mr Fry later finished his visit watching Mark Selby win the World Snooker Championship final at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Cllr Di Brooks, health and leisure portfolio holder on New Forest District Council, said Mr Fry’s ringing endorsement would boost tourism in the area.

She said: “I agree with him. A lot of people don’t realise how beautiful the Forest is, how varied it is and the attractions that are on offer.

“It is a good thing that anyone describes the New Forest in that way, especially someone as well known as Stephen Fry.”