phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
A Weekend Away in the New Forest
Image Credit: East Med Wanderer/ via Flickr

A Weekend Away in the New Forest

27 December 2017 | Helen Dalton

Covering a large swathe of rural Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset, the New Forest is a beautiful area populated by picturesque villages and wild ponies. The name is a bit of a misnomer - since the area is certainly not new (it was named by William the Conqueror) and is made up of a mixture of open moorland and small woods, rather than thick forest. However, it is an incredibly pretty landscape, and a weekend away here will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed.

Saturday Morning
Begin your New Forest adventure with a trip to Hurst Castle, found to the extreme South of the forest area. Built at the end of an exposed spit projecting into the sea towards the Isle of Wight, this English Heritage site can only be reached by a short ferry ride or by walking along the beach. Open from April to October each year, the castle is well worth a visit to discover local military history and take in some inspiring views and the fresh seaside air.


Hurst Castle. Image credit: Robin Crumby/ via Flickr

Saturday Lunchtime
Less than an hour's drive from Hurst Castle is Lyndhurst, a pretty village known as "the capital of The New Forest" where you'll find plenty of options for lunch. Enjoy a classic cream tea at Lyndhurst Tea House, or head to the Forage Deli & Eatery for a friendly welcome and tasty lunch. Be warned, Lyndhurst can get busy in the summer as it is a popular tourist destination – but if you can’t get a table you can always enjoy a picnic outside! Lyndhurst is also home to the New Forest Centre, an exhibition and tourist information centre where you can find answers to any questions you have about the area, and spend some time planning the rest of your weekend.
 
Saturday Afternoon
There are plenty of options for your Saturday afternoon activities. Head to Beaulieu where you’ll find a plethora of attractions to explore all on one estate. There’s the 13th century Beaulieu Palace House, historic Cistercian site Beaulieu Abbey and the National Motor Museum, where you can see hundreds of fascinating cars and an extensive collection of automobilia. Alternatively, why not visit Furzey Gardens, an informal woodland garden with lots of quirky touches. This is a gorgeous space to while away a few hours, with plenty of winding paths for children to explore.


Beaulieu Palace House. Image credit: Mike Smith/ via Flickr
 
Saturday Night
As a popular tourist destination, the New Forest is amply supplied with places to stay - including many campsites and glamping spots. There are also plenty of hotels, guesthouses and B&B options. Ideal spots to find accommodation include the picturesque villages of Brockenhurst, Burley, or Cadnam; all are well placed to give you access to the forest without being as busy as tourist-heavy Lyndhurst.
 
Sunday Morning
Of course, the main appeal of visiting the New Forest is exploring the beautiful countryside. And Sunday is a great day for a walk! You will find lovely walks suitable for all ages and abilities in every area of the forest, from an easy stroll around the Wilverley Inclosure to a hike along some of the popular Solent Way – which passes through the New Forest and offers a number of longer walking opportunities. The New Forest’s landscape is beautiful throughout the year, so there’s always something to see. Expect blankets of bluebell in the spring, gorgeous heather in the summer and brilliant, bright leaves in Autumn. In the winter, you’ve often got a better chance of spotting some wildlife, as there are less people to scare away animals and birds. If you don’t fancy walking, there are many places where you can hire bikes or even try out horseriding – both fantastic options for exploring the forest and enjoying some fresh air.


Horses in The New Forest. Image credit: Adam Tanner/ via Flickr

Sunday Lunchtime
Sunday lunchtime means roast dinner. And after all that walking in the morning, you deserve it! The New Forest has lots of lovely traditional pubs where you can enjoy a hearty Sunday lunch. The Oak Inn in Lyndhurst offers a classic English pub atmosphere and tasty, locally sourced food. The Monkey House in Lymington has a great reputation for friendly service and good quality meals, including many nice vegetarian options. On the other side of the National Park, the Rockingham Arms offers a hearty Sunday lunch menu with all the traditional trimmings.
 
Sunday Afternoon
After a late lunch its time to say goodbye to the New Forest! Drive slowly through the area for some last glimpses of the pretty scenery – if you’re lucky you’ll see some of the famous wild-roaming ponies wondering across the moorland or stopping to crop the grass is one of the quaint villages.
 

Tell us what you think

You may also like

A Weekend Away in Winchester

A Weekend Away in Winchester

There are few cities in the UK which have so much history packed into such a small space as Winchester. Did you know it was…

Not Your Average Cocktail: An Interview with Ben Alcock

Not Your Average Cocktail: An Interview with Ben Alcock

Infusing an array of unusual ingredients with uniquely flavoured spirits, ‘Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ (HMSS) serves some of Bristol’s most innovative cocktails. To celebrate the launch of…

Spotlight On: Turner Contemporary in Margate

Spotlight On: Turner Contemporary in Margate

Turner Contemporary gallery opened in 2011 in the seaside town of Margate in Kent. Designed by world-renowned architect, Sir David Chipperfield, the gallery is located…

Create Music Festival

Create Music Festival

Young local acts perform alongside established pros at this family friendly music festival

A Weekend on the Isle of Wight

A Weekend on the Isle of Wight

From dinosaur remains to beaches, with fine fresh fish served across the island and sunny sky's stretching on forever, the Isle of Wight is perfect…

Top 5 Roasts in and around Colchester

Top 5 Roasts in and around Colchester

While Britain’s oldest recorded town boasts a rich history, with a heritage stretching back over 2,000 years, it is also home to some seriously delicious Sunday…

Top 5 Veggie Restaurants in Liverpool

Top 5 Veggie Restaurants in Liverpool

Scousers, rejoice! We've compiled a list of Liverpool's tastiest vegetarian and vegan hideouts. From gallery-meets-café, The Egg Café, to sustainable, charity establishment, Meeting House, we've got…

Top 5: Brunches in Oxford

Top 5: Brunches in Oxford

Brunch is a millennial trend that looks like it’s here to stay, and for all the right reasons – who doesn’t love both sleep and food?!…

VIDEO: Get to Know the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.

VIDEO: Get to Know the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.

The Marlowe Theatre is a major 1,200-seat theatre based in Canterbury, Kent and is celebrated for the diverse range of productions it puts on throughout…

Review: Secret Garden Party 2017

Review: Secret Garden Party 2017

The last ever Secret Garden Party was not an event I wanted to attend. Not due to any fault in the festival itself – but because…

Most popular

The Cowboy Philosopher: An Interview with Wilson Dixon

The Cowboy Philosopher: An Interview with Wilson Dixon

We chat to “Cowboy Philosopher” Wilson Dixon ahead of his UK tour this summer!
Puppy Love: UK Dog Shows and Events

Puppy Love: UK Dog Shows and Events

This summer, every dog can have his day with our round up of shows and events dedicated to man’s best friend.
What to See at Oxford’s Offbeat Festival

What to See at Oxford’s Offbeat Festival

Try something out of your comfort zone at Oxford’s festival for brand new theatre, comedy and dance!
“Local, but of national quality”: An Interview with Vicki Hargreaves

“Local, but of national quality”: An Interview with Vicki Hargreaves

We chat with Creative Programme Producer Vicki Hargreaves ahead of Eastleigh Unwrapped Festival!
Hereford Cathedral: A Hotbed of Medieval History

Hereford Cathedral: A Hotbed of Medieval History

It’s Magna Carta Day! Head to Hereford Cathedral for a glance at a revised version of King John’s “Great Charter”.
Win £50 of National Theatre Tokens!

Society of London Theatre - Win £50 of National Theatre Tokens!

Fund your next theatrical experience by winning £50 of National Theatre Tokens!
Britten’s War Requiem at York Minster

Britten’s War Requiem at York Minster

York Minster’s final concert of the season simultaneously marks the centenary of the conclusion of World War I with Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.
Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Alternative places to watch the World Cup

Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Alternative places to watch the World Cup

Whether you’re a staunch supporter of your national team, or just fancy catching some of the action from the whopping 48 games on offer, here are our picks of some great spots to view the games in Bristol!
Win a Premium Wine Tasting!

Veeno The Italian Wine Café - Win a Premium Wine Tasting!

Win a premium wine tasting for two at Veeno The Italian Wine Café!
Win a Perfume Making Experience!

Virgin Experience Days - Win a Perfume Making Experience!

Win the chance to design your own signature scent at a perfume making class!

Your inbox deserves a little culture!