With ancient woodland, majestic heathland and golden coastline, the New Forest is a magical place where deer and ponies roam freely, rare birds soar in the skies and dragonflies dart across tranquil ponds.
The national park boasts myriad hiking routes that take you into the woods, by the ocean, by rivers and streams, through a patchwork fields and over heath. As the landscape is very flat, walking is very leisurely, meaning all ages and abilities can enjoy hiking here.
Oddly, the New Forest is not really new and is not much of a forest. The area was first proclaimed a royal hunting preserve by William the Conqueror in 1079 and covers mostly heathland. Do not let this irony deter you, though. The area, which was designated as a national park in 2005, is charming, beautiful, packed with wildlife and full of history.
This Collection serves as an introduction to the New Forest. Within these routes you will see the tallest and oldest trees in the national park and visit, what is arguably, the best place to see red deer in England, Bolderwood.
You will wander along magnificent coastline, through vitally important nature reserves, around popular summertime relaxation spots, along gently-flowing streams and through gardens that boast an earthly paradise. You will see castles, marinas, pretty harbors, as well as a plethora of wildlife and birdlife.
A great option to stay when visiting the New Forest is Lyndhurst. The largest village in the New Forest, Lyndhurst became the natural capital of region when William the Conqueror established his hunting grounds here. No longer the preserve of royal elites, these days the village boasts a wide range of tearooms, pubs, restaurants, independent shops and places to stay. Once there, the New Forest is well-served by a public bus network.
The best way to access the National Park by rail is via Brockenhurst station, which is served by direct trains from London Waterloo, Basingstoke, Winchester, Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth, as well as by connecting services from Reading, Oxford and Birmingham. Brockenhurst is less than four miles from Lyndhurst and there are hourly connecting buses if you catch the number six service.
For information about the New Forest National Park, visit: newforestnpa.gov.uk.
For information on public transport links in the national park, visit: newforestnpa.gov.uk/visiting/travel/public-buses.
For the timetable for the number six bus between Southampton to Lymington (calling at Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst), visit: bustimes.org/services/6-southampton-lymington.
For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com.
This superb hike explores some of the most interesting features of the New Forest: Ober Water, Tall Trees and Blackwater Arboretum.
From Whitefield Moor car park, you head southwest over …
This majestic heathland circuit explores one of the New Forest’s most treasured relaxation spots, Whitten Pond.
Close to the village of Burley, Whitten Pond is especially popular in the summer …
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The New Forest is one of the best places in England to see herds of red deer.
But if you are looking for the best deer-spotting opportunity within the national …
In this route, we take a break from the magical heath and woodland to experience the glorious golden coastline.
This hike begins by exploring the colorful town of Lymington; a …
If you want to experience the diverse beauty of the New Forest, look no further.
Taking in stately gardens, heathland, marshland, coastline, pretty villages, historic harbors and old castles, it …
This short circuit packs a lot of punch for its size. In less than one hour, you can explore healthland, water and wetland of the New Forest—and see plenty of …
This leisurely hike enables you to see the tallest trees in the New Forest—and its oldest Oak tree.
Following the flat and well-maintained path, you first head on a loop …