Take a trip into the New Forest and London will feel a million miles away. Immerse yourself in fairytale forests and wildlife as you spot wild ponies, donkeys, deer, cows and even pigs wandering the ancient woodlands, heathland, open moors and village greens. Great for cyclists, walkers, nature lovers and getaways with your own four-legged friends.
Travelling from London to New Forest
Once you leave West London onto the M4 it takes about 1 hour 30 minutes to get to the New Forest, heading south west via the M3.
History of New Forest
William the Conqueror named the district his ‘new hunting forest’ in 1079. He set up a system to manage and protect the ‘Nova Foresta’ that is still in full force today. Henry VIII arranged for Hurst Castle and Calshot Castle to be built. There are plenty of local tales about witches and ghosts, too. Fascinated by the history of the area? Then you’ll want to pay New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst a visit during your stay.
Things to do in New Forest
Of course there’s tons of wonderful things to do in the great outdoors in the New Forest National Park, but there are other gems to explore too. Car enthusiasts should head to the National Motor Museum Beaulieu, while green-fingered fans flock to Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway. Little ones will love Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park or the fairy house trail at Furzey Gardens in Minstead. From Ringwood Brewery and Forest Forge Theatre to the 16th Century Hurst Castle and Eling Tide Mill, there’s something for everyone in the New Forest.
When to visit New Forest
In late March/early April you can watch chefs’ demos at Milford on Sea Food Week. In June there’s Dogstival in Burley Park celebrating all things doggy-related. In July there’s The New Forest Folk Festival and the big event of the year, the three-day New Forest and Hampshire County Show in Brockenhurst, packed full of agricultural entertainment. In August watch artists at work at Hampshire Open Studios, or head to the New Forest Fairy Festival in Burley Park. In October there’s the New Forest Walking Festival.
Where to stay in New Forest
For your holiday accommodation, hotels and apartments in the New Forest district you’ve got all kinds of options, from quaint B&Bs in charming villages to modern hotels on the outskirts near bigger towns, and everything in between. Find dog-friendly cottages for all the family to come along, or romantic studios for two. It’s all here.
Day trips to Peppa Pig World and The New Forest
If you are not keen for a weekend trip or longer, why not take a day trip from London?