New Forest

New Forest

A National Park since 2005, the New Forest offers a slice of largely wooded England that has changed little since it was created in 1079. Relatively flat and criss-crossed with gravel tracks, footpaths and even a disused railway, the woodland and open heathland is perfect for walking and cycling. The park also supports a healthy population of wildlife, including deer and its most famous residents, the New Forest ponies, which roam at will. The forest also flanks a large section of coast, and although much of it is outside the park proper, you’ll find some great beaches and harbour towns nearby. The best of these is Lymington, once a haunt of smugglers and now a yachties’ favourite and gateway to the Isle of Wight.

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Places to Stay

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Eat and Drink

After a day of walking around the sights of the New Forest, it's incredibly easy to find a classic country pub. Most are located near fantastic walking and cycling routes, and many specialise in locally brewed ales and ciders, as well as classic rustic dishes using New Forest produce. Try a proper ploughman's lunch at the Royal Oak  or homemade pastries from one of the many cafes or delis. As regards restaurants, it's wise itto head into one of the towns such as Lymington, where fresh seafood can be tried as places such as Pebble Beach

Shop

The close is in the name. The New Forest is not exactly a place you go for retail therapy, and you won't find any shopping centres or big brand chains around here. However, in one or two of the small villages around there are small independent stores mostly selling good quality local goods. The tiny village of Burley specialises in shops about witchcraft (yes, really), while the village of Beaulieu is graced with traditional shops, an inn, teashop and deli with amazing freshly sourced food. 

Things to Do

The core attraction of the New Forest for visitors is the area itself, and i particular its opportunities for walking, ranging from trails for the casual rambler all the way to the hardcore hiker. The Forest is also one of the UK's top cycling destinations, both for on road or off, with a huge numbers of places to his bikes for those who don't want to bring their own. For sightseers, the old villages and towns themselves have a lot to offer, as well one of the many beautiful parks or areas of specific reservation which are perfect for a picnic or a light walk.  For those with kids, there is an endless supply of outdoor activities in to keep the little ones busy, from seeing endangered and rare animals at the New Forest Wildlife Park to clambering around in the trees at Go Ape!