24 Hours in the New Forest

Sian Brett

Home to the beautiful national park as well as the many country villages and towns surrounding it, The New Forest is famous for its wild ponies, rambling walks and country pubs. It’s the perfect way to spend a wholesome day trip.

Morning
The village of Burley should be the first stop on your New Forest trip. With a rich history of witches, magic and smuggling, English folklore suggests that Burley is the location of a dragon’s lair. Whilst we’ve never spotted any fire breathing reptiles roaming the village, there are plenty of shops full of witchy treats to get your fix of magic. There’s also plenty of cafes from Burley-licious to The Burley Stores if you get peckish, and you can get some of the famed New Forest ice cream from Karen’s Cornets.
 
Down the road from Burley you can find Beaulieu Motor Museum. Beaulieu was one of the first stately homes to admit visitors to in the 1950s and since then thousands of people have come to see the gardens, the house, and the prestigious car collection. The museum was founded by Edward Douglas-Scott Montagu, as a tribute to his father who introduced King Edward VII to motoring in the 1980s and there are around 250 vehicles on display, as well as a monorail and Beaulieu Abbey.


Image Credit: Beaulieu via Twitter
 
Beaulieu’s sister attraction Buckler’s Hard sits on Beaulieu river and once upon a time it was key to the building of Admiral Nelson's ships as well as the D-Day landings. There are worker’s cottage recreations, a maritime museum, and visitors can also enjoy a river cruise around the picturesque hamlet where you can see all the Georgian cottages.
 
Midday
After all that exploring you’re going to want something to eat, so why not head to Lymington, sit by the port and enjoy some fresh fish at The Ship Inn. While you’re there you should be sure to do some crabbing too, but remember to throw them back in when you’re done! If that doesn’t float your boat (pun very much intended) just down the road from Lymington you can find The Mill at Gordleton, a gorgeous restaurant which makes everything in-house and is dedicated to sustainable environment practices.


Image Credit: The Ship Inn
 
Afternoon
There’s not much better than a post lunch walk and where better to get the blood pumping than in the New Forest itself? There are over 140 miles of tracks in the New Forest, and you can find lots of trails recommendations online. Our favourite is the Whitefield Moor walk, which has two routes of varying lengths, and a view of Rhinefield House Hotel across the heathland.
 
Whilst you’re walking through the New Forest you should be sure to check out the Rufus Stone which marks the spot where King ‘Rufus’ William was supposedly killed by an arrow in 1100 and is located just off the A31 near the village of Minstead.
 
Evening
You’re going to want to end your day of fresh countryside air with some well-earned drinks and there’s nowhere better than Framptons in Ringwood. With jazz on Sunday afternoons and cocktails expertly crafted by the hipster bar staff every day of the week, it’s an arty stop off in a beautiful market town.


Image Credit: Framptons Bar & Cafe
 
While you’re having a drink in Ringwood you’re not going to want to miss a tour of Ringwood Brewery. Ringwood Brewery beers are stocked all over Hampshire and Dorset and on their tours you can taste the malted barleys, have a sniff of the hops and see the fermentations bubbling away.

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