The New Forest is a national park that runs from Hampshire to southeast Wiltshire and is famous for its wonderful landscapes, with a diverse range of wildlife and stunning views.
Follow one of the many walks and cycle paths that wind through the New Forest to discover the sights, sounds and smells of this wonderful destination, and hire a guide to find out more about the history, folklore and wildlife of the forest.
The New Forest isn't restricted to walkers, there are miles of off-road tracks and few hills, so cycling is popular. Another fun way to explore is on horseback, with plenty of stables providing excursions. To catch The New Forest at its most thriving, visit in July during the annual New Forest and Hampshire County Show.
The New Forest is strewn with lovely towns and villages that you can either explore or simply relax in at the end of a busy day. Our favourites include Brockenhurst, where it's not unusual to see pigs and ponies wandering by. Pretty Fordingbridge has a riverside playground for kids; New Milton hosts an excellent market every Wednesday and nearby Barton-on-Sea has a lovely family beach.
If you love a stunning garden, you are spoilt for choice in The New Forest. Exbury Gardens is a great place to begin. With over 200 acres of natural beauty, these award-winning gardens are the home of Magnolias in the spring and Japanese maples in the autumn. You can even take a twenty-minute trip around the gardens on a steam railway.
To learn more about the history of The New Forest head to one of several museums in the surrounding areas. The New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst has lots of interesting and interactive exhibits and activities including bark rubbing, creepy crawly exhibitions and animal detection games. Best of all, kids get in for free!
Another favourite of the area is the Beaulieu National Motor Museum, which is home to a massive range of unique and historic vehicles, from tractors to F1 racing cars. Your ticket also gives you entrance to Palace House, which dates back to the 16th century. Seek out the Secret Army exhibition that tells the story of Britain's Special Operations Executive who trained at Beaulieu during the second World War.