The New Forest National Park History. Attractions. Events

The New Forest is home to the largest un-enclosed area in Southern England. 93,000 acres of wild open heathlands and ancient forests provide home and shelter to an incredible array of wildlife and plant life. From giant oak trees and impressive silver birches through to perfumed violets, tasty fungi and butchers broom, the fertile lands showcase mother nature at its finest.

Donkeys, pigs, cattle and over 3,000 New Forest ponies roam freely through the charming villages and towns here, and a wealth of stunning waterside and forest views set the scene just as it would have been centuries ago.

Granted National Park status in 2004, the New Forest provides a naturally abundant recreational area for walking, cycling, riding, sailing, fishing and bird watching to name only a few!

With stunning vistas in every direction, the rich and colourful tapestry of the coastal and country living that the New Forest offers makes this an unmissable destination at any time of the year.

New Forest Attractions

National Motor Museum
National Motor Museum
Beaulieu

Superb collection of over 250 vehicles of all ages and types. There are also many hundreds of associated motoring exhibits and displays. Home of the late Lord Montagu, Palace House and gardens, and Beaulieu Abbey are also open to the public.

beaulieu.co.uk
Exbury Gardens
Exbury Gardens
Exbury

Created by Lionel de Rothschild in the 1920s, and are renowned for their world-famous displays of rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. The vast range of exotic plants and trees in the 200 acre ground will inspire gardening enthusiasts and nature lovers.

exbury.co.uk
Longdown Activity Farm
Longdown Activity Farm
Ashurst

Meet lots of friendly farm animals and to try your hand at being a farmer for a day! Get an insight into how a modern farm is managed; Farm work - adults can be a farmer for a day. Children can bottle feed the lambs, calves and hold a chick and brush the miniature ponies.

longdownfarm.co.uk
New Forest Wildlife Park
New Forest Wildlife Park
Ashurst

Go Wild in the heart of the New Forest National Park. Follow the woodland trails to see animals in beautiful natural habitat. Children will love the adventure playgrounds, animal feeding and wildlife encounters. Woodlands restaurant on site.

newforestwildlifepark.co.uk
Lepe Country Park
Lepe Country Park
Lepe

Occupies a narrow stretch of land adjoining the Solent, just west of Southampton Water and south of the New Forest. Here you can enjoy superb views of the Solent and Isle of Wight. The shingle beach is home to cockles, whelks, slipper limpets and periwinkles.

hants.gov.uk/lepe
Burley Villa Riding Stables
Burley Villa
Bashley

offers fun days out for everyone - young or old, beginners or seasoned riders. New Forest Hacks are based on the riders' ability - with walk rides for the novice, through to trot and canter rides for the more experienced. Lessons for children or adults are available in the arena.

burleyvilla.co.uk
The New Forest
New Forest National Park
Lyndhurst

Let a ranger lead you on your very own New Forest expedition. Enjoy exclusive access to the deer platform; binoculars are provided as you search for three types of deer, reptiles, dragonflies, rare birds like crossbill, firecrest, hobby, Dartford warbler and more...

forestry.gov.uk/newforest
Bucklars Hard
Buckler's Hard
Buckler's Hard

On the banks of the Beaulieu River, is a unique and picturesque village. Warships were built here for almost a century including Nelson's favourite H.M.S. Agamemnon. The Museum tells the Buckler's Hard story - from its origins as a port for importing sugar cane.

bucklershard.co.uk
Solent Way Walk
The Solent Way
Coastal New Forest

Is a 60-mile long-distance coastal walking route from the seaside town of Milford-on-Sea past the hustle and bustle of seafronts, quiet yachting harbours, deserted marshland and saltings to finish at Emsworth Harbour. No other path is so awash with naval history.

solentway.co.uk
New Forest Water Park
New Forest Water Park
Fordingbridge

Is the South's first Cable Wakeboard System & the UK's first Wibit Inflatable Sports Aqua Park! Have fun wakeboarding or kneeboarding on their 2 cable systems, or
play on the 55 metre long, floating, inflatable Aqua Park which has 2 trampolines and much more...

newforestwaterpark.co.uk
New Forest Bus Tours
New Forest Tour
The New Forest

Take an open-top bus with views of the scenery, animals and villages of the New Forest National Park. Tours run daily from 25th June - 11th Sept 2016 with three routes: Red (the wild northwest), Green (the beautiful southeast) and Blue (the coastal southwest)...

thenewforesttour.info
New Forest Paddle Sports Co
New Forest Paddle Sports
Milford-on-Sea

Based in the beautiful village of Milford on Sea, The New Forest Paddle Sport Company offers you the chance to explore the scenic coast line of the New Forest by Kayak or Stand Up Paddle Board. Well maintained equipment for those aged from 6yrs...

newforestpaddlesportcompany.co.uk
Burley Wagon Rides
Burley Wagon Rides
Burley

Enjoy the New Forest at a leisurely pace. All rides begin by going past the village church and into woodland where you often catch glimpses of fallow deer. Shorter trails take you past pretty forest cottages, whilst longer trail allow more views of open forest.

wagonrides.co.uk
Go Ape
Go Ape!
Moors Valley

The classic Go Ape experience is a 2-3 hour tree top adventure, flying down zip-wires, leaping off Tarzan Swings and tackling the tree top crossings. Great fun for the whole family, for groups of friends, and a great way to enjoy nature and wildlife at its very best.

goape.co.uk
New Forest Activities
New Forest Activities
Beaulieu

New Forest Activities are the experts in delivering outdoor activities in the New Forest National Park. Choose from a wide range of activities including; family adventures, archery, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, bushcraft, raft building, walking trails and more.

newforestactivities.co.uk
Furzey Gardens
Furzey Gardens
Minstead

Set in Minstead, a few miles north of Lyndhurst, this delightful, informal garden was established in 1922 and is renowned for its all year round beauty. See extensive collections of azaleas and rhododendrons, the strange Bottle Brush tree and flaming Chilean Fire trees

furzey-gardens.org
Lymington Sea Water Baths
Sea Water Baths
Lymington

Fully staffed 110 meter outdoor sea water pool with: inflatable obstacle courses, water zorbs, stand up paddle boards, kayaks, aqua jousting, children's splash pool & sandpit, Confectionery kiosk/cafe, toilets, changing rooms & showers, disabled access & facilities.

lymingtonseawaterbaths.org.uk
Contryside Education Trust
Countryside Education
Beaulieu

The Countryside Education Trust connect people with the wonders of the British countryside. The general public is welcome for family days and a variety of events and courses throughout the year to introduce people to country living, rural crafts and wildlife.

cet.org.uk
Calshot
Calshot
Calshot

Calshot is one of the largest Outdoor Centres in Britain, offering a wide range of exciting water and landbased activities for all ages and abilities from skiing and climbing, to raft building. It also has the only indoor banked velodrome in the South of England.

hants.gov.uk/calshot.htm
Boldrewood Deer Sanctuary
Deer Sanctuary
Boldrewood

Boldrewood Deer Sanctuary is a great place to watch wild deer. There is a tiered viewing platform which gives uninterrupted views over the fields where the deer live. Located at the north end of Bolderwood Drive, accessible from A35 Lyndhurst-Christchurch road.

new-forest-national-park.com
Setley Ridge Vinyard
Water Gardens
Everton

New Forest Water Gardens can provide everything you need for installing a pond in your garden. The beautiful water gardens are open for visitors from March to October. Feed the enormous coy carp whilst the friendly ducks follow you around the garden.

newforestwatergardens.co.uk
St Barbe Museum
St. Barbe Museum
Lymington

Visit the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery and explore the history of Lymington and the New Forest coast, and enjoy one of the finest art galleries in the region. Enjoy the wonderful touring exhibitions, as well as the family days and events throughout the year.

stbarbe-museum.org.uk
SeaJay's Solent Sailing School
Solent Sailing School
Lymington

SeaJay's offer fun sailing experience days and yacht charters on Solent from Lymington. For those who would like to learn to sail or crew they also offer RYA sailing courses from beginner to advanced - from RYA Competent Crew through to RYA Yachtmaster.

seajayssolentsailingschool.co.uk
Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum
Motorcycle Museum
Bashley

The Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum has is over 300 machines! Some are the only surviving ones in the World! The Racing collection is exceptional and a great opportunity to see wonderful World Record Breaking Bikes and their history. Children's play area. Tea rooms.

sammymiller.co.uk
Vinegar Hill Pottery
Vinegar Hill Pottery
Milford-on-Sea

Try your hand at a spot of pottery in the beautiful coastal town of Milford-on-Sea. It doesn't matter how much potting experience you have. There are only seven places per pottery course meaning each course will be tailored to your level of skill and your creativity.

vinegarhillpottery.co.uk
Isle of Wight Ferry
Isle of Wight Ferry
Lymington

Take the 40 minute ferry ride linking the charming market town and yacht haven of Lymington in the New Forest, with historic Yarmouth, perfectly placed for beautiful West Wight. It's the most scenic IOW ferry crossing and a great day out from Lymington.

wightlink.co.uk
Art Sway
Art Sway
Sway

ArtSway is the contemporary visual arts venue in the New Forest. Presenting a high quality changing exhibition programme of contemporary visual art in a unique environment deep in the New Forest. In addition Art Sway offers a range of workshops and courses.

artsway.org.uk
New Forest Classic Car Tour
Classic Car Tours
Ower

New Forest Classic Car Tours offer a complete vintage car tour service across Hampshire and the New Forest, typically operating within a 25 mile radius of Fordingbridge. So why not explore the New Forest in style with your 'Gatsby' style chauffeur showing you the sights.

newforestweddingcars.co.uk
Slot Car Racing
Slot Car Racing
Ringwood

The UK's largest radio control and slot racing centre featuring two 8-lane Ogilvie Custom Tracks used for 1/24 scale Club Racing on Fridays & Saturdays, also the UK British Wing Car Championships as well as BSCRA British Open Championship Rounds.

millmc.com
Martin Down Nature Reserve
Martin Down Reserve
Martin

Martin Down Nature Reserve covers 336 hectare and is one of the largest areas of chalk downland in the United Kingdom. Supports a huge variety of flowers, butterflies, birds and wildlife. Access via A338 to Fordingbridge then down country roads to the village of Martin.

martin-pc.newforest.gov.uk
B and B near Breamore House
Breamore House
Breamore

An Elizabethan Manor House and a Countryside Museum and Family home with many fine works of art, period furniture, 17th century needlework and porcelain. The site also features an ancient Mizmaze. Open to visitors from April until the end of October.

breamorehouse.com
Hythe Ferry
Hythe Ferry & Pier Train
Hythe

Arriving at Hythe Pier, board the World's Oldest Pier Train and after the short ride of 640 meters you can set sail on the Hythe Ferry across Southampton Water and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling international trading port of Southampton.

hytheferry.co.uk
Netley Abbey
Netley Abbey
Netley

Netley is the most complete surviving abbey built by the Cistercian monks in southern England. Almost all of the walls of its 13th century church still stand today. Netley Abbey's ivy-clad remains and woodland setting area a perfect medieval ruin. Free Entry!

english-heritage.org.uk
Tall Tree Trail
Tall Tree Trail
Rhinefield

Between Brockenhurst and the A35 road is the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, a narrow road lined with rhododendrons, azaleas and some of the tallest and oldest trees in Britain. Wonder along the tall tree trail, beginning and ending at either Blackwater or Brock Hill car park.

new-forest-national-park.com
Sailability New Forest
Sailability New Forest
Ringwood

New Forest & District Sailability is based at Spinnaker Sailing Club, Ringwood and enables people with disabilities to enjoy the exciting sport of sailing. Fully supervised dinghy sailing takes place within the safe confines of a beautiful lake in the heart of the New Forest.

newforestsailability.co.uk
New Forest Cider
New Forest Cider
Burley

When driving into Burley, look for the cider barrel by the post office and follow the directions and you find the home of New Forest Cider. All products are made in the traditional way using English apples grown in the Burley orchards and the result is a delicious cider.

newforestcider.co.uk
Ringwood Brewery
Ringwood Brewery Tour
Ringwood

The Ringwood Brewery tour experience takes approximately an hour and a half and includes a complimentary drink in the Pin Room. Taste the malted barleys, have a sniff of the hops, and see the fermentations bubbling away in the TunRoom..

ringwoodbrewery.co.uk
Avon Valley Path
Avon Valley Path
Avon Valley

34 miles from Salisbury Cathedral to Christchurch Priory. Many people walk the route over two days with an overnight stop in Ringwood. The valley is a rare and special place and still supports a remarkable range of unspoiled habitats, rich in wildlife. A wonderful long walk.

hants.gov.uk/avon-valley-path
Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury

The Cathedral was built in just 38 years in a single architectural style, early English Gothic using 70,000 tons of stone, 28,000 tons of oak and 420 tons of lead – the spire is Britain's tallest and weighs 6,500 tons! Home to the original copy of the magna carta!

salisburycathedral.org.uk
Stonehenge
Stonehenge
Salisbury

Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors at Stonehenge - one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe! Explore the ancient landscape and visit the world-class exhibition of ancient objects and meet a 5,500 year-old man!

english-heritage.org.uk/stonehenge
Salisbury racecourse
Salisbury Race Course
Salisbury

Set in the middle of picturesque Wiltshire countryside, within view of the Cathedral, the Racecourse hosts 14 thoroughbred flat race meetings in 2006, plus a raceday for Arabian horses. Racedays are often highlighted with live music and family entertainment.

salisburyracecourse.co.uk
The New Forest Centre
The New Forest Centre
Lyndhurst

The New Forest Centre is packed full of displays and activities about the New Forest National Park. There's something here for all ages and you'll find out how to enjoy your time in the Forest. Enjoy the New Forest museum, gallery and gift shop - all free of charge.

newforestcentre.org.uk
Romsey Abbey
Romsey Abbey
Romsey

Inside Romsey's Norman Abbey you will find the tomb of Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the original bill of sale for the building to the townspeople of Romsey in 1544, and a carved stone crucifix dating from Saxon times. A magnificent piece of architecture!

romseyabbey.org.uk
King John's House
King John's House
Romsey

Located in one of Romsey's oldest thoroughfares, Romsey Heritage Centre encompasses three buildings that contain 750 years of history; King John's House, Tudor Cottage and the Victorian Heritage Centre with its beautiful gardens. Well worth a visit!

kingjohnshouse.org.uk
Paultons Park
Paultons Park
Ower

Family adventure park situated in a beautiful parkland setting of 140 acres with colourful gardens, sweeping lawns and a horseshoe-shaped lake. Over 40 different attractions and rides - fast and slow, wet and dry - including the much loved Pepper Pig World!

paultonspark.co.uk
Setley Ridge Vinyard
Setley Ridge Vineyard
Brockenhurst

The vineyard produces 5 wines and offers free tastings of these everyday in the Farm shop. They also stock a wide range of other locally made drinks, including Isle of Wight and Hampshire Beer, Burley Cider, Hill Farm Apple Juice and New Forest Spring Water.

setleyridgevineyard.co.uk
Hurst Castle
Hurst Castle
Hurst

Built by Henry VIII in 1544, was one of a chain of coastal fortresses, and is located at the end of a shingle spit which extends 1.5 miles from Milford-on-Sea. The end of the spit is only 0.75 miles from the Isle of Wight. Access is either on foot, or by ferry from Keyhaven.

hurstcastle.co.uk
Romsey Rapids
Romsey Rapids
Romsey

Romsey Rapids indoor swimming pool is a great day out for the whole family. Try to swim against the tide as you get sucked around the rapids, ride down the flume and play in the shallow waters where you will find numerous waterfalls and other water features.

valleyleisure.co.uk
Beaulieu Road Pony Sales
Beaulieu Road Sales
Beaulieu

New Forest Commoners have always sought to control the sale of their stock through sales in the forest. The New Forest Livestock Society in conjunction with Southern County Auctioneers organise the pony sales at Beaulieu Road. A great taste of the New Forest!

nfls.org.uk
New Forest pottery Courses
Pottery Courses
Lyndhurst

One day and residential weekend pottery courses at the pictureque Angels Farm House in Lyndhurst. Beginners and more experienced potters can learn new skills in throwing and handbuilding, in a relaxed and friendly environment in the heart of the New Forest...

angelsfarm.co.uk/courses

New Forest Events

Hampshire Country Show
Hampshire Country Fair
Netley Marsh

1-2nd May 2016

Four dedicated arenas with a whole variety of exciting displays, from exhilarating horseboarding, to the hilariously disobedient sheep that sheepdogs somehow have to get back into the pen. All day long, so bring a deck chair and make yourself comfortable.

livingheritagecountryshows.com
Beaulieu Auto Jumble
Beaulieu Auto Jumble
Beaulieu

21-22nd May 2016

Whether you need the smallest nut or washer or are seeking a complete vehicle, all autojumblers will be in their element. With thousands of stalls to browse, there is something for everyone and plenty of bargains to be had! Includes motor museum entry.

beaulieu.co.uk
Craft Fair
Craft & Garden Fair
Breamore House

28-30th May 2016

The Craft and Garden Fair takes place on the lawns of the House, forming a delightful "summer village" of marquees and outside stalls, where an amazing range of exhibitors offer a superb selection of crafts, artwork, plants and garden supplies.

craftcarnival.co.uk
Isle of Wight Festival
Isle of Wight Festival
Isle of Wight

9-12th June 2016

Whether you need the smallest nut or washer or are seeking a complete vehicle, all autojumblers will be in their element. With thousands of stalls to browse, there is something for everyone and plenty of bargains to be had! Includes motor museum entry.

isleofwightfestival.com
Hurst Dubfest
Hurst Dubfest
Lymington

10-12th June 2016

A family friendly weekend of campervaning and fun for all VW enthusiasts. 10am – 11pm Friday to Sunday. Attractions include trade area, children’s activities, dog show, bar and live music from the Plonkers, Zac and the Zeros, and the Riverside Blues Band...

www.hurstdubfest.co.uk
Around the Island Race
Around the Island Race
Isle of Wight

2nd July 2016

Don't miss the one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight that regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world! Enjoy spectacular views from all around the the New Forest coast line!

roundtheisland.org.uk
New Forest Folk Festival
New Forest Folk Festival
Plaitford

6-10th July 2016

2016 Line-Up includes; Show of Hands, Fotheringay, Feast of Fiddles, Ranagri with Tony Christie, 2016 BBC Radio2 Folk Award Winners "Best Duo" Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, TRADarrr, Urban Folk Quartet, Roving Crows and many more...

newforestfolkfestival.co.uk
Lymington Arts Festival
Lymington Arts Festival
Netley Marsh

7-9th July 2016

Four dedicated arenas with a whole variety of exciting displays, from exhilarating horseboarding, to the hilariously disobedient sheep that sheepdogs somehow have to get back into the pen. All day long, so bring a deck chair and make yourself comfortable.

lymingtonartsfestival.org.uk
Lymington Arts Festival
New Forest Arts Festival
Plaitford

7-9th July 2016

Exciting events all across the forest to celebrate the New Forest landscape, culture and arts community. Find art in unusual spaces - including a tree house, castle, beach hut and pub. See the arts festival programme for further information...

www.newforestnpa.gov.uk
Lymigton Giant Water Slide
Giant Water Slide
Lymington

10th July 2016

Don’t miss this one off, never seen before opportunity to ride a giant inflatable water slide down Lymington High Street! You will travel all the way from Costa Coffee down to the buffer zone that ends on Gosport Street. Pre-registered entry only. £15 adults, £10 children.

www.oakhavenhospice.co.uk
Fordingbridge Summer Festival
Fordingbridge Festival
Fordingbridge

16th July 2016

A guaranteed great day out for the whole family! Over 50 classic cars, model steam engines, flower displays, heavy horses and gun dog demonstration, duck racing on the River Avon, live music from local musicians and a steel band, as well as catering stands and stalls.

fordingbridgesummerfestival.org.uk
The New Forest Show
The New Forest Show
Brockenhurst

26-28th July 2016

The New Forest and Hampshire County Show is a famous annual agricultural show held for three days at the end of July at New Park, Brockenhurst in Hampshire. The incredible Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry will be our main ring attraction in 2016!

newforestshow.co.uk
Curious Arts Festival
Curious Arts Festival
Lymington

21-24th July 2016

"Eclectic mix of literature, music, comedy and unforgettable experiences for grown-ups and children alike". Enjoy music from Skinny Lister and Billy Bragg, comedy from Chris Martin and Lucy Porter, literature from Petina Gappah and Danny Fields.

www.curiousartsfestival.com
Waterside raft race
Waterside Raft Race
Hythe

21st August 2016

The Great Waterside Raft Race is in it's 30th year and is run to raise money for the RNLI. Last year it has raised just over £8,000! The course is set out between Hythe Marina and Hythe Pier between the 2 high tides. This year there will be 6 races. Great fun and a great cause!

watersideraftrace.wordpress.com
Hampshire open studios
Hampshire Open Studios
Hampshire

20 to 29th August 2016

Hampshire Open Studios is an annual art trail where the visiting public can meet artists in their studios and galleries. This year there are over 60 new spaces exhibiting - Why not take a day out and watch a work of art in progress. Entry is free.

hampshireopenstudios.org.uk/
Hampshire open studios
Romsey Show
Romsey

10th September 2016

The Romsey Show, one of the oldest and largest one day shows in England. Sure to capture the imagination of the whole family with thrilling displays, county standard livestock, equine and poultry competitions, Countryside Area, “have-a-go” experiences, live music and more...

romseyshow.co.uk/

The New Forest

William I (William the Conqueror), the Saxon King of England, created the New Forest in 1079 when he laid claim to thousands of acres of plentiful pastures and crofts, grouping them together to create a royal hunting ground ‘for pursuit of beasts of the chase’. Only privileged nobility and their chosen few would be invited to catch the wild deer and boar that roamed the land, making it a very prestigious place to be.

To preserve these bountiful pastures, William introduced Forest Law, and prohibited residents from freely using the land as they had done so before. Severe punishments were introduced, including the death sentence, if breached.

Although centuries have passed since its founding days, the New Forest remains fit for royalty, protected and nurtured with its magnificent scenery and old-world charm much as you would have found all of those centuries ago!

Verderers and their Agisters have played a vital role in helping to maintain the New Forest’s un-spoilt ancient woodlands, and have been holding court from the same Hall in Lyndhurst since 1388! 'Commoners’ have been grazing their livestock on the land-since the 16th Century.

In 2004 the New Forest was granted National Park status, and verderers still manage the forest together with the Forestry Commission today.

new forest bed and breakfast