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Destination: New Forest Tours

New Forest
National Park region on South Coast of England
Region: Central English South Coast
Pronounced: noo for-ist
Time to spend here: 1/2 - 1 day
In the countryNature loverswalking fanatics
New Forest, South West England
New ForestThe New Forest, Hampshire

The New Forest was only designated a National Park in 2005, but the forest is far from new. As far back as 1079 William the Conqueror designated the area as a Royal Forest for private hunting, and at the time people were forced to leave their settlements.

As well as taller trees, there are large areas of lowland habitats, including bogs and heath land which provide for a wealth of flora and fauna. Today ponies graze on wild heaths speckled with purple heather and wild deer flit beneath gnarled oak and beech trees. Streams flow to the wide expanse of the Solent where forest meets shining sea. But there's more to the New Forest than natural beauty – thatched villages, inviting pubs and a real sense of history combine with watersports, scenic walking and cycling to make one of Britain's most enchanting and varied destinations.

There are also some charming villages lying in or bordering the New Forest. Lyndhurst, the largest village is a popular tourist location with many interesting shops, cafes, pubs and hotels. Bucklers Hard became an important ship building village, using timber from the New Forest.
What can I see in the area?
Horse Riding
Horse Riding, New Forest
Horse RidingHorse riding in The New Forest is one of the best ways to really experience its natural beauty.  A number of stables offer horse riding with various durations.
Cycling, New Forest
Horse RidingCycling is one of the best ways to see and experience the New Forest which has over one hundred miles of sign-posted cycle routes.
Sightseeing Bus
Sightseeing Bus, New Forest
Horse RidingA hop-on hop-off bus will give you a tour of the forest stopping at all the main locations.
Beaulieu, New Forest
Horse RidingBeaulieu, set in the heart of the New Forest, the UK’s newest National Park. Beaulieu is a guaranteed great family day out with lots for everyone to enjoy including the world famous National Motor Museum – which houses many historic vehicles including the world landspeed record breaking ‘Bluebird’. The estate also includes Palace House - home of the Montagu family, and historic Beaulieu Abbey.
Exbury Gardens
Exbury Gardens, New Forest
Horse RidingExbury Gardens are a spectacular 200 acre (100 hectare) site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. The gardens are ablaze with colour in spring, while the summer sees some more tranquil colours followed by a splendid show as the leaves change in the autumn. There is also a narrow gauge steam railway which goes around the gardens which is very popular with families. 
Bucklers Hard
Buckler's Hard, New Forest
Horse RidingBucklers Hard is a small village set in the heart of the New Forest National Park. The Maritime Museum and Buckler’s Hard Story give an insight into the history of the village, and you can enter a number of the houses in the village which show what life was like during the 18th and 19th centuries when many of the ships (including many in Lord Nelson’s fleet) were being built there.  You can also enjoy a trip on the river or a walk beside the riverbank which provides an opportunity to see some of its abundant wildlife.
Multi-attraction Passes Recommended for this destination:
Hudson Heritage Pass

Hudson Heritage Explorer Pass
This is a great base for exploring: Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester, South Coast, Isle of Wight
Transport options in this area: A sightseeing bus is a great way to get around if you don't have your own transport.
Did you know:
The New Forest has its own section in the Domesday Book, first recorded in 1086.
Quote: "....The best advice which I can give is to follow the course of one of its streams, to make it your friend and companion, and go wherever it goes." John Wise
Salisbury Salisbury Bournemouth Bournemouth
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