Amongst the 220 square miles of ancient woods, meadows and heathlands to explore in this National Park, are more than 9000 free roaming ponies, donkeys and cattle who don’t bat an eyelid as you pass by. Filled with wild-flowers, chocolate box villages and vibrant wildlife, the New Forest is a location in the south west like no other. Walking and cycling are relatively easy along this largely level part of the world, with many routes passing historic pubs for a bite to eat. This is a year-round destination and probably one of the most dog-friendly holiday hot spots in the UK.
Great days never leave you, so make some new memories and pack a picnic - you won’t need to look far for a quiet spot with a beautiful view. Planning your next day trip is easy with our recommendations and our journey planner.
The New Forest is all about keeping active - with such a large area to explore, you can take your pick of transport mode.
New Forest Activities offer escorted tours on sturdy 2-4 seat Canadian canoes (suitable from 18 months) or one man Kayaks. Learn all about the regions history and spot riverbank wildlife and birds. You can hire bikes from Cyclexperience, located in Brockenhurst station car park. To make it a full day out, hire a bike, try archery, woodland laser battle, high and low ropes courses or bushcraft. Prices at New Forest Activities start at £14 and they're open all year.
Explore Brockenhurst for the unusual sight of ponies, donkeys and cattle wandering around the high streets’ quaint and interesting shops. The busy town of Lyndhurst is “capital” of the New Forest and Attic Station is a wonderfully quirky highlight.
Make sure you visit the nautical, Georgian town of Lymington with its high street of independent boutique shops and popular Saturday charter market.
The New Forest offers a stunning variety of places to eat as well.
Beresford’s holds two rosettes for a very good reason and almost everything is made in-house.
The Elderflower Chef/owner Andrew Du Bourg (formerly Head Chef at the 5* Chewton Glen Hotel and Michelin-starred Club Gascon), creates modern British/French-inspired food.
Places to stay in the New Forest are in plentiful stay as well.
Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa, a 4* boutique hotel is surrounded by open forest. Yet it's only a 10 minute walk from Brockenhurst station. It has a spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna, gym, squash courts and on-site bike hire. There are 54 Individually designed bedrooms, sun terraces and cosy bar selling bitter from their own microbrewery.
New Forest Cottages have more than 150 cottages sleeping 2–15+ for all budgets. You can try a thatched cob cottage, house with a swimming pool or a private beach, or your own romantic bolt hole. Many have direct forest access with ponies grazing outside your window.