One of the UK’s 15 National Parks, set on England’s southern edge, the New Forest offers a wealth of things to see or do,and both coast and countryside to explore. Although it is growing in popularity with British visitors, it is still relatively off the radar to those living overseas. If you’ve never thought about a New Forest holiday before, here are five reasons why you should!
Walking and cycling
In the New Forest, you can leave the car behind as it’s one of the best places in the country for cycling and walking. There are hundreds of miles of trails and tracks to explore, and as the terrain is mostly flat, it’s suitable for all abilities. For the keen cyclist, several events also take place throughout the year for you to test your endurance. If you want to soak up the sights, the choices are endless,from treks over the open heathlands to riverside walks and a scenic stroll down the Rhinewood
With just a few towns and villages found with its boundaries, the New Forest is unrivalled when it comes to unspoilt landscapes and stunning views – just don’t forget to bring your camera. Miles of open heathland stretch out as far as the eye can see, while amongst the dense woodlands, tall tree tower above you. Alternatively, you can relax by the river or head to one of the pretty shingle beaches on the southern fringes of the National Park.
The New Forest is a haven for wildlife, thanks to its diverse habitats, which attract animals of many different kinds. It’s probably most famous for its wild ponies, which roam and graze the land freely, and can even be seen wandering through towns and villages, alongside donkeys, pigs and cattle. You’ll also find five different varieties of deer here, as well as several bird species and even a few reptiles.
If you ever grow weary of exploring the New Forest’s natural landscapes, there’s plenty of fun-filled attractions to keep the whole family entertained. Home to its own water park as well as a large theme park, Paulton’s Park, there are also many stunning New Forest gardens to visit, such as Exbury, which also has a charming steam railway. The village of Beaulieu is also packed with attractions, from he National Motor Museum to a monorail.
Places to eat
Making the most of the local ingredients found on their doorsteps, the New Forest’s restaurants will ensure you never go hungry on your holiday. Relax in a charming country pub, or stop for a light bite to eat at one of the many friendly cafes – there is something to suit all tastes. A Michelin starred restaurant, The Terrace, can also be found in Beaulieu, where you can have a truly decadent meal out.