This vast National Park, which offers miles of countryside and forest, is the perfect place for those seeking an adventurous day trip, or to relax and recharge. From beaches, boutique shopping and action-packed activities, to cycling, walks and more, this glorious forest is a haven for those seeking an idyllic, yet enriching, forest experience.
Whether you’re looking to explore the quintessential English countryside, or for more hustle and bustle in the nearby towns and cities, the New Forest can cater to all. Better yet, most towns and cities are located merely an hour’s drive away, allowing you more time to explore and enjoy your time at the beautiful New Forest.
Christchurch is only around five miles to the south-west of the New Forest’s boundaries and has an array of entertainment, activities and attractions in and around the town. Close to the border of Hampshire, this lovely town is home to several beautiful beaches, including Highcliffe, Avon, Mudeford, Friars Cliff, Gundimore and Highcliffe Castle. Offering watersport activities and coastal walks alike, and views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and the Needles, Christchurch is the perfect family day out.
Home to two breathtaking castles, Christchurch is the ideal spot for lovers of history and sightseeing. You’ll see Christchurch Castle, an 11th-century stronghold built within a Saxon fort, and Highcliffe Castle, a Grade I-listed mansion built in the 1830s. If you’ve got extra time to explore, more history can be found at the medieval Priory Church, as well as at the Red House Museum and Garden.
With history dating as far back as the Anglo-Saxon times, this historic market town is a must for lovers of independent shops and artisan food. Located on the River Avon, close to the New Forest and northeast of Bournemouth, a visit to Ringwood is perfect for history lovers and shoppers alike.
As the county’s largest town, and with seven miles of golden sandy beaches to enjoy, Bournemouth offers all of the features of a traditional seaside town and so much more. With the town’s famous pier, which houses a range of amusements and attractions for all to enjoy, such as arcades, crazy golf, the Oceanarium and even a zip wire.
For nature lovers or those just after a leisurely stroll, Bournemouth also offers over 2000 acres of gorgeous gardens, with even more nature and scenery to take in at the coastal nature reserve. Whatever the weather, there is plenty to see and do for all. From pottery and ceramics cafes, to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum and more, all budding artists will be spoilt for choice in this beautiful coastal town.
With strong maritime associations, and as host to some of the country’s biggest waterside events, this charming port city can be found just to the east of the New Forest. For boat lovers, the SeaCity Museum is a fantastic day out, which examines Southampton’s connections with the sea, and is set in the heart of the city’s Cultural Quarter.
For art and culture lovers, the Tudor House Museum and City Art Gallery are not ones to miss. You could also catch one of the many exciting Premier league football matches at St Mary’s stadium home to Southampton Football Club.
This historic city, which was once the heart of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, is still well-preserved and reflects this changing location over the centuries. History lovers will enjoy exploring the thousand-year-old Cathedral, the ruins of Wolvesey Castle, once the home of Anglo-Saxon bishops, and the City Mill, the oldest working watermill in the UK. You’ll also get to visit The Great Hall, which is said to contain King Arthur’s Round Table.
For those not wanting to miss a single thing, the best ways to enjoy this lovely city is to follow one of its many fascinating trails. Follow in the footsteps of King Alfred on the City Walk, learn more about the famous writer Jane Austen, discover the Military Trail and explore the city’s restored historic railway.