Destination: New Forest


National Park region on South Coast of England

New Forest

New Forest Tours with Great British Trips

Introducing New Forest

The New Forest was only designated a National Park in 2005, but the forest is far from new. As far back as 1079 William the Conqueror designated the area as a Royal Forest for private hunting, and at the time people were forced to leave their settlements. As well as taller trees, there are large areas of lowland habitats, including bogs and heath land which provide for a wealth of flora and fauna. Today ponies graze on wild heaths speckled with purple heather and wild deer flit beneath gnarled oak and beech trees. Streams flow to the wide expanse of the Solent where forest meets shining sea. But there's more to the New Forest than natural beauty – thatched villages, inviting pubs and a real sense of history combine with watersports, scenic walking and cycling to make one of Britain's most enchanting and varied destinations. There are also some charming villages lying in or bordering the New Forest. Lyndhurst, the largest village is a popular tourist location with many interesting shops, cafes, pubs and hotels. Bucklers Hard became an important ship building village, using timber from the New Forest.

New Forest

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Region: South West England

Time to spend here: 1/2 - 1 day

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What's nearby? Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester, South Coast, Isle of Wight

What transport do you recommend? A sightseeing bus is a great way to get around if you don't have your own transport.

Did you know? The New Forest has its own section in the Domesday Book, first recorded in 1086.

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What can I see in and around New Forest?

Horse Riding

Horse riding in The New Forest is one of the best ways to really experience its natural beauty. A number of stables offer horse riding with various durations.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information


Cycling is one of the best ways to see and experience the New Forest which has over one hundred miles of sign-posted cycle routes.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

Sightseeing Bus

A hop-on hop-off bus will give you a tour of the forest stopping at all the main locations.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information


Beaulieu is set in the heart of the New Forest, the UK's newest National Park. Beaulieu is home to the world famous National Motor Museum – which houses many historic vehicles including the world landspeed record breaking 'Bluebird'. The estate also includes Palace House - home of the Montagu family, and historic Beaulieu Abbey.
Time to spend here: 4 hours   More information

Exbury Gardens

Exbury Gardens are a spectacular 200-acre site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. The gardens are ablaze with colour in spring, while the summer sees some more tranquil colours followed by a splendid show as the leaves change in the autumn. There is also a narrow-gauge steam railway which goes around the gardens which is very popular with families.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

Bucklers Hard

Bucklers Hard is a small village set in the heart of the New Forest National Park. The Maritime Museum and Buckler's Hard Story give an insight into the history of the village, and you can enter a number of the houses in the village which show what life was like during the 18th and 19th centuries when many of the ships (including many in Lord Nelson's fleet) were being built there. You can also enjoy a trip on the river or a walk beside the riverbank which provides an opportunity to see some of its abundant wildlife.
Time to spend here: 3 hours   More information

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