If you’re looking to do some exploring slightly further afield, or for ways to entertain your little ones, the New Forest won’t disappoint. Whether you’re looking for culturally rich attractions, action packed activities or just a leisurely stroll to enjoy the views, this glorious location really does have it all. Located just a stone’s throw away are a variety of award winning beaches, meaning there’s no end to the natural wonders Hampshire has to offer its visitors.
Offering unparalleled views of the Isle of Wight and the Needles, Highcliffe Castle is arguably the most important surviving house of the Romantic and Picturesque style of architecture. Flourishing at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century, this castle is a must for history lovers, and fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge, alike!
If you’ve got little explorers in tow, Peppa Pig World is rated as one of the best days out in the New Forest for babies, toddlers and young children and is an absolute must. With themed rides, such as a Daddy Pig Car Ride, Windy Castle or Miss Rabbit’s helicopter, your little ones will be entertained for hours. There’s even the chance to meet the real Peppa Pig and her family while playing in her house.
As well as Peppa Pig World, there is a whole host of rides and games for all of the family to enjoy. Paulton’s newest spectacle, The Lost Kingdom Dinosaur Theme Park, features two large roller coasters, animatronic dinosaurs, prehistoric-style family rides and a Jurassic period-inspired adventure playground.
For thrill seekers, the New Forest Water Park offers a range of adrenaline-inducing water-based activities. From wakeboarding, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, to inflatable floating obstacle courses and more, this is a fantastic any-weather day out for all. Located close to Ringwood and Fordingbridge, the New Forest Water Park is easily accessed from anywhere in the New Forest National Park area.
This fascinating village, which is located on the banks of the Beaulieu River, is steeped with a rich history and has remained untouched by time. During the Second World War, Bucklers Hard was home to a motor torpedo base and, in preparation for the D-Day landings, sections of the Mulberry harbours were constructed further downstream.
For those interested in the wartime years, the Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum should be top of your list of places to explore. Opened in 1963 in what had been the New Inn, the museum serves as a memorial to the men of Bucklers Hard who lost their lives at war.
This award-winning family visitor attraction, which is situated at the heart of the New Forest National Park, has over 800 years of heritage to be seen. The Beaulieu Estate, which has been in the ownership of the Montagu family for over four centuries, is one of the leading visitor attractions in the UK. Now a natural and sheltered yacht haven, the Beaulieu River offers permanent and short-term berths and moorings in its marina.
To see some of the earliest motor carriages, classic family saloons and the finest collections of motorcycle memorabilia, pay a visit to the world-famous National Motor Museum. You’ll see legendary F1 cars and amazing examples of pioneering motoring for the history lovers. There are even daily tours for those looking for more insight into the range of displayed vehicles at this fascinating museum.
If you’re looking for somewhere beautifully tranquil to spend a few hours of your day, Exbury Gardens is the place to be. With 20 miles of wonderfully colourful blooms, which includes a vast collection of Rothschild plants and flowers, you could even stop by during your visit to Beaulieu.
With three separate woods to explore, and a collection of ponds home carp and water insects too, these stunning gardens are a nature and flower lovers paradise. The 12-gauge steam train is the perfect way to take five and admire the park’s glorious grounds. Offering an array of cakes, light bites and refreshments, Mr Eddy’s tea rooms is one to visit.
There are a variety of great lakes located close to the New Forest which is ideal for fishing. With a reputation as one of the country’s top carp fisheries, and producing 50lb+ carp in previous years, Rockford is not one to miss.
Spanning across approximately 55 acres, and with depths of up to 12 feet, Rockford has some 30lb and 40lb carp within its crystal clear waters, as well as Specimen Bream, Tench, Pike and huge Perch. For avid fishers, Rockford is one to add to your New Forest itinerary.
As well as a plethora of walks, cycle routes and adventurous activities, the New Forest is located just a stone’s throw away from some stunning beaches. With some even holding Blue Flag awards, you won’t be disappointed with what this fantastic location has to offer to its visitors.
Highcliffe (5 miles), Avon Beach (7 miles), Mudeford (7.5 miles), Hengistbury Head (8 miles), Southbourne beach (8 miles), Boscombe beach (10 miles), Bournemouth beach (12 miles), Christchurch Quay (6 miles), Poole Quay (19 miles), Lymington Pier (12.5 miles), Ocean Village Marina, Southampton (20 miles)
AFC Bournemouth formed in 1890 as Boscombe St. John’s Institute F.C. and reformed in 1899 as Boscombe F.C. Now playing in the Premier League, the top tier in English football, they changed to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic F.C. in 1923, before settling on their current name in 1972.
Nicknamed the “Cherries,” AFC Bournemouth play their home games at Dean Court, with home colours of red and black striped shirts, with black shorts and socks.
This professional association football club, which is based in Southampton and plays in the Premier League, is the perfect place to visit for avid football fans. The grounds have been the football club’s home since their move from The Dell in 2001.
Founded as St. Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association, and playing in red and white shirts, Southampton Football Club has been nicknamed “The Saints” since its inception in 1885.