Discover the New Forest

The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate W on 5th October 2020

In our Great British Outdoors series, we are getting to know all the top holiday destinations across the UK and the latest location that has caught our eye is the spectacular New Forest. Spend your holiday in this enchanting region where ponies roam through charming towns, over 140 miles of footpath wind through meadow and woodland, and fishing boats float in and out of ancient harbours.

Please enable cookies via the cookie preference centre to view this content.

Originally named by William the Conqueror who claimed this landscape as his personal royal hunting grounds, the New Forest has retained its status as a wildlife haven and in 2005, finally became recognised as a national park. Its beauty has been enjoyed for centuries and it holds a special place in the hearts of many travellers who return year after year to this unforgettable region. Plot your escape to the New Forest for a relaxing and rejuvenating break with all your favourite people.

Top 10 places to stay

New Forest

Activities in the New Forest

Wildlife, rides and history awaits

Brimming with things to do and places to visit, the New Forest is home to exquisite gardens, thrilling activities, and a wealth of wildlife to uncover. Take to the trails and there are many lesser-known natural places you might come across along your route, from ancient woodlands made up of gnarled and twisted trees to hidden coves with crystal-clear waters perfect for cooling off with a morning’s paddling.

Those of you keen on travelling on two wheels can cycle your way around the many trails that wind through the national park, with everything from family-friendly pathways to off-road routes providing a real challenge.

If you’re bringing the whole family along to this magical part of the world, take a quick look at our guide to the best kids’ days out in the New Forest, where you’ll find a waterpark, a deer sanctuary and a zoo home to magnificent creatures to meet during a day out.

Don’t forget to visit one of the unique historical sites scattered throughout this ancient, wild land. Bucklers Hard, Hurst Castle and Bronze Age barrows all provide insights into the New Forest’s remarkable heritage. Begin your adventures in this ancient and exhilarating holiday destination.

Days out in the New Forest

Activities Wildlife, rides and history awaits

Food and drink in the New Forest

Dine out in style

Scattered throughout the characterful market towns and sleepy villages of the New Forest, a range of eateries provide respite for weary walkers and hungry families who’ve already filled up on days of activity and exploration.

Seek out a restaurant for fine dining in the stylish towns that provide hubs of commerce for this otherwise rural landscape, where local produce is transformed into creative dishes sure to delight the palate.

For a laid-back vibe and warming atmosphere, a pub is the place to be with hearty grub and crackling fires to ensure evenings of relaxation. Hide out in a country inn set in remote New Forest farmland or set amongst the bustle of a vibrant high street – perhaps see if you can find a pub within walking distance of your cottage escape.

And if you love to cook up your own supper, stop by one of the farmers' markets that take place across the county and pick out fresh local delicacies to enjoy at your leisure.

Best New Forest pubs

Food and drink Dine out in style

Where to stay in the New Forest

From country houses to seaside hideaways

In a county that’s so full of beauty, you’re sure to find exquisite cottages bursting with charm and character. Discover archaic stone houses, trendy contemporary retreats and everything in between all across our portfolio of homestays.

Begin your hunt for your perfect property in the historic port town of coastal Lymington, the charming village of Beaulieu where the popular motor museum is based, or the busy and beautiful village destination of Brockenhurst.

Families can relax in cottages offering up gardens for playtime and wood burners so evenings can be spent snuggled up on the sofa. Large properties provide spaces to entertain a range of guests including games rooms for rowdy teenagers, reading rooms for the working professional to keep up to date, and BBQs for outdoor soirees with the entire party. Meanwhile, couples searching for a place to get away from it all will soon find a romantic retreat for two in our wide range of New Forest accommodation; Lyndhurst is always a favourite for couples planning a walking break.

Even discerning hounds will have no trouble finding a pet-friendly cottage that satisfies all their needs – from accessible retreats to rustic lodges, the New Forest offers up holiday escapes within fantastic settings where you’ll immediately feel all your worries wash away.

If you’re hoping to truly treat yourself during your next getaway, why not indulge in one of our retreats with special extras? Imagine sinking into the bubbles of a hot tub on your escape, wandering the grounds and meeting fluffy sheep during a farm stay, or waking up to fresh sea air and an unbeatable view from your own coastal holiday let. Then, discover all this and more within our collection of cottages in the New Forest.

Cottages in the New Forest

Where to stay From country houses to seaside hideaways

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.