New Forest from Southampton

New Forest Trips from Southampton

Hiking, biking and relaxing in the New Forest all happen against a stunning natural backdrop.

The New Forest National Park is one of the most beautiful areas in the UK and, as it’s just a short drive from Southampton, it would be a pity to visit the city and miss out on this green and gorgeous English paradise. And if you’re wondering what to do in the New Forest, you won’t be for long. Gentle strolls, vigorous hikes, relaxing pony rides and scenic bike tours are all on offer, but there is more to the New Forest than just the great outdoors, great though it is. Theme parks, golf courses, charming towns and villages, lovely cafes and restaurants and great shopping can all be found here in abundance.
Hiking, Biking and Horse-Riding
Walking and cycling are the two most popular ways to explore the vast greenery of the area. Whether you fancy a leisurely stroll or an all-day hike, the New Forest’s easy terrain means that boggy areas are likely to be your biggest challenge. Bike hire is widely available, and the road-free, mainly flat routes make cycling in the New Forest a pleasure for the whole family. Horse-riding is another memorable way to explore, with plenty of treks to choose from for everyone from beginners to seasoned equestrians. Once you’ve explored, take time out to enjoy the gorgeous coastline – the beach at Milford on Sea is an idyllic spot to do this.
Close to Nature
The New Forest is home to many wildlife parks and beautiful gardens. The stunning Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway is famous for its seasonal displays including bluebells, daffodils, camellias and blazing autumn colours. Alternatively, Furzey Gardens is a 10-acre woodland garden with a lake, café, play area and fairy doors. The New Forest Wildlife Park in Ashurst gives you the chance to watch animals like otters, red deer, grey wolves, hedgehogs, wild boar, red fox, Scottish wildcat and many more at play as you explore the lovely woodland trails. And of course, you’ll get to enjoy seeing the area’s most famous animal residents, the New Forest ponies, roaming freely.
Peppa Pig at Paulton’s Park
No under 5 should visit the New Forest without a day at the UK’s premier attraction for the pre-school crowd, Peppa Pig World. Young visitors will be transfixed and older hearts will melt at the sight of their little ones meeting their porcine heroes. The fact that Peppa Pig World is a part of the larger Paulton’s Park means that there’s plenty to entertain older kids and teens too. The newest attraction at Paulton’s Park is the £9 million Lost Kingdom, which brings to life the world of the dinosaurs with family-friendly rollercoasters, the Flight of the Pterosaur and the Velociraptor, drawing the crowds in.
Gourmet Paradise
Foodies are spoilt for choice in the New Forest, with opportunities to sample and buy artisan local produce widely available. The Beaulieu Chocolate Studio is a chocoholics dream and offers the chance to watch the handmade creations being lovingly made behind a glass viewing panel. Setley Ridge Vineyard & Farm Shop is another must-visit destination for delicious local treats. Hythe, New Milton, Ringwood and Lymington all host weekly markets with a great variety of stalls. Tasty afternoon teas and old-fashioned pub grub are easy to come by, and so is fine dining at restaurants like La Perle in Milford on Sea.
Local History
Fans of fast cars and bikes are well catered for in the New Forest with the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum and the extremely popular Beaulieu National Motor Museum on hand. Alternatively you can delve much deeper into the past at the Rockborne Roman Villa or Buckler’s Hard, where life in an 18th century shipbuilding village on the banks of the Beaulieu River is vividly brought to life. Hurst Castle evokes the 16th century in stunning style and Ringwood Brewery provides a chance to learn about the area’s brewing heritage that stretches all the way back to Medieval times while enjoying a tipple or two.
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