Official Tourism Website for Hampshire
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Step back in time and discover the charm and natural beauty of this unique destination.
The New Forest became a national park in 2005 and was once a royal hunting ground for William the Conqueror.It covers an area of 566 square kilometres and is made up of vast tracts of unspoilt woodland, heathland and river valleys. Today deer, ponies and cattle continue to roam free in its ancient heaths and woodland. Clear rivers and shady groves provide tranquillity and a car-free haven for walking, cycling and horse riding.
There are plenty of opportunities to hire a bike if you're coming from afar.
Take a stroll around the quaint traditional villages of Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Burley and Lyndhurst, explore the dusty antique shops or enjoy a pint of locally brewed cider or beer in one of our many friendly pubs.
New Forest Coastline
The beautiful New Forest coastline is similarly protected and even though the area attracts thousands of visitors each year it rarely becomes crowded.
If you prefer coast to countryside, why not head for the cliff tops at Barton-on-Sea, take a ferry from Hurst Castle at Milford-on-Sea to Keyhaven harbour or watch the boats come into Lymington Quay? Or if you are feeling more energetic, New Forest Activities offers canoeing and kayaking opportunities on the gentle Beaulieu River.
With the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, the 18th Century village of Buckler's Hard, Breamore House and Museum near Fordingbridge and Exbury Gardens nearby, there's fun for all ages.
The New Forest - A Truly 'Green' Destination!
The New Forest prides itself on offering visitors a 'green' experience. There are a number of businesses in the New Forest who are going that extra mile to help protect the environment while offering you the best service and facilities. Visit the official green tourism web pages for further details.
Food & Drink
Food is another reason to visit the New Forest, since it is rich in traditional country pubs, cosy tea rooms, fine restaurants and top quality local produce.
Quality is assured by the New Forest Marque, a sign that the highest standards of animal welfare, production and sourcing have been applied to any locally-produced foodstuffs carrying its name.
New Forest specialities include venison, cider, sausages, honey, beef, pork, mushrooms, fresh crabs and sole and many of the Forest’s restaurants, hotels and cafés offer menus featuring local food.
A day of walking, cycling or exploring wouldn’t be the same without the New Forest Breakfast. This hearty start to the day, consisting of locally-produced sausages, eggs, bacon, mushrooms and even bread, is served in many hotels and B&Bs and there’s even a veggie version for non meat eaters.
For fine dining and special occasions, the Forest is also home to some prestigious hotels and restaurants, such as Chewton Glen, Hotel TerraVina, Carey’s Manor and Lime Wood.
You can follow the New Forest Taste Trails by bike, on foot or on hoof, sampling local ice creams, ploughman’s lunches, cream teas, seafood and the New Forest Breakfast along the way.
There are regular weekly town markets in Hythe, Lymington, New Milton, Hampshire farmers’ markets in Ringwood, and various New Forest producer markets.
The New Forest Show takes place every year over three days in July and includes a tempting food hall where you can sample cakes, ice-creams, sweets, chutneys, jams, meat and fish dishes, vegetables, fruit and honey.
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Ashley Heath, Ringwood