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    Why we love the New Forest

    Snuffle the hedgerows? Or the mix of wild Hampshire coastline and rolling countryside, criss-crossed with bike trails and hiking paths? Because this isn’t just a landscape for admiring, you know: it’s for paddling, pedalling, foraging and swimming; for action-packed days and star-gazing nights.

    The New Forest is one of Britain’s smallest national parks, at just 219 square miles (566 square km), but its diversity is staggering: from wildlife-rich woodlands and deer-dotted heath, to historic villages and long golden beaches. Roman ruins, Tudor castles, smugglers’ hideouts – you’ll find them all here.

    But don’t just take our word for it: here’s how to plan a New Forest adventure, and see this wild wonderland for yourself.

    Things to do in the New Forest

    With its free-roaming ponies, welcoming B&Bs and beautiful countryside, you won’t want to leave the village of Brockenhurst.

    Plan your Brockenhurst trip
    6Brockenhurst Village_Go New Forest
    Brockenhurst

    A glorious spot for walks and picnics, with a huge range of events too – such as outdoor concerts and wild cooking workshops.

    Enjoy the blooms at Exbury Gardens
    A woman carrying a child on her shoulders, looking at colourful plants in Exbury Gardens
    Exbury Gardens

    Get up-close with Bond cars, vintage classics and F1 machines: this museum has one of the world’s greatest motoring collections.

    Rev your engines for Beaulieu Motor Museum
    The National Motor Museum Beaulieu.
    Beaulieu Motor Museum

    Delve into the history and heritage of the New Forest at this fascinating local museum, art gallery and tea room.

    Discover the New Forest Heritage Centre
    A child looking at a figure of a horse in the New Forest Heritage Centre.
    New Forest Heritage Centre

    With its red deer, pine martens, otters and more, the New Forest is a wildlife haven – as these expert-led tours reveal.

    Find your Wild New Forest Tour
    A group of people on a tour of the New Forest.
    Wild New Forest Tours

    With its free-roaming ponies, welcoming B&Bs and beautiful countryside, you won’t want to leave the village of Brockenhurst.

    Plan your Brockenhurst trip
    6Brockenhurst Village_Go New Forest
    Brockenhurst

    A glorious spot for walks and picnics, with a huge range of events too – such as outdoor concerts and wild cooking workshops.

    Enjoy the blooms at Exbury Gardens
    A woman carrying a child on her shoulders, looking at colourful plants in Exbury Gardens
    Exbury Gardens

    Get up-close with Bond cars, vintage classics and F1 machines: this museum has one of the world’s greatest motoring collections.

    Rev your engines for Beaulieu Motor Museum
    The National Motor Museum Beaulieu.
    Beaulieu Motor Museum

    Delve into the history and heritage of the New Forest at this fascinating local museum, art gallery and tea room.

    Discover the New Forest Heritage Centre
    A child looking at a figure of a horse in the New Forest Heritage Centre.
    New Forest Heritage Centre

    With its red deer, pine martens, otters and more, the New Forest is a wildlife haven – as these expert-led tours reveal.

    Find your Wild New Forest Tour
    A group of people on a tour of the New Forest.
    Wild New Forest Tours

    Places to stay in the New Forest

    Woodland lodges

    For a wild escape with a few creature comforts, glamping lodges have tranquil scenery on their doorstep – and maybe even a hot tub too.

    Homely B&Bs

    Love local tips? Bed-and-breakfast guesthouses are usually run by local families, who happily share their insider knowledge.

    Country hotels

    Some of the New Forest’s grandest mansions have been transformed into lavish hotels – offering spas, swimming pools and more.

    Explore nearby

    Discover epic trails, rivers to kayak, castles to conquer and wild woods to explore.

    Two men on mountain bikes cycling at Devil's Dyke. Sunrise

    A quirky seaside city filled with diverse cuisine, vintage shopping and adrenaline fuelled adventure.

    Female yoga class taking place on the viewing platform of British Airways i360 Viewing Tower, Brighton, East Sussex, England

    Hugging the south-west, Devon is a playground for adventurers, explorers and foodie lovers.

    Couple carrying surfboards and wearing wet suits on beach

    Welcome to dinosaur territory, with beaches and rocks strewn with ancient fossils and footprints.

    People kayaking along the shores of coastline

    Getting to the New Forest

    Trains run from London Waterloo to various stations in the New Forest, such as Brockenhurst and Ashurst, with a journey time of around 90 minutes. Heathrow and Gatwick airports can be reached in around two hours by train, or 60–90 minutes by road. The airports at Bournemouth and Southampton are closer, around a 20-minute drive away.

    Getting around

    You don’t need a car to explore the New Forest: take your pick from trains, buses and ferries too. Public transport services are plentiful and well-connected, while there are over 100 miles (160km) of way-marked cycle tracks throughout the park – with bike hire available from various locations.

    By bus

    With the breeze in your hair and beautiful scenery in every direction, the open-top bus service is always a joy.

    By car

    While there’s no need to hire a car, it does give you more freedom and flexibility – though watch out for roaming New Forest ponies, which have right of way.

    By train

    There are several train stations in the New Forest, which link up with local bus services too.

    Want to know more?

    For all the latest news, travel tips and things to do, visit the New Forest’s official website.