The New Forest
The New Forest is a National Park allowing ponies, cattle, donkeys and deer to roam free.
The New Forest pony represents a major part of the forest’s heritage – they are not wild as some people think – they are all owned by somebody.
Apart from the ‘natural’ attraction of the New Forest there is an abundance of things to do.
After a long walk in the forest what better way to end is at one of the many pubs. There are plenty to choose from and range from small independent pubs serving home cooked food to large family orientated chains. For true tastes of the forest the Red Shoot Inn at Linwood is very popular as is the High Corner Inn, both of these pubs are dog friendly and have great children’s play areas.
Known as the ‘capital’ of the New Forest is Lyndhurst which is a great place to visit. The New Forest Museum in Lyndhurst gives a unique guide into the forest’s history and heritage. In the pre-raphaelite church of St Michael and All Angels is the grave of former Lyndhurst resident Alice Liddell, who was Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. Lyndhurst has an abundance of tea shops, restaurants and pubs.
Brockenhurst has the main bus/train interchange for the forest and many walks and cycle trails start here.
Burley is a picturesque village with thatched cottages and ponies and cattle roaming freely through the village. Visit the 16th century Queens Head pub which was notorious for smugglers and highwaymen. The village also has a history of witchcraft!
The tiny village of Beaulieu situated in the south east corner of the forest is a must to see particularly because of the Beaulieu estate and the world renowned National Motor Museum which houses over 250 vehicles and you can also visit Palace House and the Abbey.
A couple of miles away from Beaulieu is Bucklers Hard. Here you can learn about its maritime history and take a boat cruise along the Beaulieu river. If feeling energetic you can walk from Bucklers Hard along the river to Beaulieu village which is two miles.
Lymington is a pretty coastal town on the southern edge of the forest famous for smugglers and sailing. It’s Georgian High Street is well known for its Saturday morning street market. There is also a ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight which takes only 35 minutes and caters for foot passengers and cars.
Stretching across 200 acres of woodland, Exbury Gardens are home to an extraordinary collection of plants and trees from all over the world. As well as the narrow gauge Exbury Steam Railway.
For children Paulton’s Park is a must. Included is entry to Peppa Pig’s World. The park has a wide variety of children’s rides, family rides and thrill rides to enjoy including roller coasters, water rides and a 4D cinema.