The New Forest, at times, looks like it could be a scene straight out of Lord of The Rings. Fortunately, it's much easier to get to than Middle-earth, and can be easily reached by train or via a 20-minute ferry that sails from Southampton to Hythe. If the sun’s out, you could even hit the cycle tracks and pedal your way to the ponies.
Why the ponies, you ask? Once you visit the New Forest you’ll realise that the horses own the land. They roam free and trot wherever they please. Whatever you do, don’t take your eyes off your picnic hamper as they do enjoy the odd pork pie. However, offering up your lunch to the horses is very much frowned upon by the locals.
Want to see some medieval jousting? In the New Forest, you can. You can meet Merlin, talk to the Knights, ‘lol’ with the jesters and ride a real jousting horse. After the tournament you could take a detour on your way home for the region's favourite poison: New Forest Cider. See the apples, see the pressing, see the cider, sample the cider. However, it is very much recommended that you try the jousting before the cider, definitely not the other way around.
Beaulieu, located in the New Forest, is home to the National Motor Museum. Beaulieu is a treat for car lovers and monorail enthusiasts alike, but Beaulieu has more to offer than just transportation. You can meet people who dress up as Victorians and drive around in fancy old vehicles; there are concerts in the summer and a fantastic fireworks display for Bonfire Night. Did we mention there’s a monorail?
If you're feeling adventurous, pay a trip to Moors Valley Country Park, a family favourite beauty spot which is also home to the fantastic Go Ape! aerial assault course, and the Segway experience.
With pubs and tea rooms galore, the New Forest allows you to discover all sorts of dainty, scenic eateries. From the cobbled streets of Lymington to the wild animals of Lyndhurst, the New Forest encompasses everything the British countryside should.
Back to top