New Forest
 - Explorers
New Forest
Explorers Guide
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Pony near Hampton Ridge
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park

The New Forest

'A wonderful landscape, unique traditions and marvellous wildlife'

New Forest ponies ignore no stopping signs
New Forest ponies on Beaulieu High Street
turn their backs on the 'No Stopping' sign

The New Forest is located in south-west Hampshire, close to the south coast. It contains a magnificent variety of scenery and has relatively recently been designated the New Forest National Park. The New Forest is also unique in modern Britain - an ancient hunting ground with many special characteristics that have survived largely intact.

New Forest villages

Ponies and donkeys wander along many village streets, whilst all the villages offer easy access to the beautiful landscapes of the open Forest. Shops of all descriptions are also available and there is a wide choice of pubs, restaurants and tea rooms.

New Forest walks

The New Forest offers marvellously unrestricted access for relaxation, walking and exploration using many miles of gravel tracks and countless other little-used paths. Included here are details of seventeen New Forest walks, each accompanied by its own comprehensive route map, full directions and information about the wildlife and other things of interest.

New Forest Cycle rides

Cycling provides a wonderful experience for all. Travel through breathtaking countryside and absorb the atmosphere of this historic landscape - ten cycle rides are fully detailed here.

What’s on?

There is always much to do in the New Forest, whatever the weather - check out our What's on guide for further information.

Days Out in the New Forest and farther afield

The New Forest is an ideal destination for day visits, weekends and longer holidays, whilst historic towns and cities are also relatively nearby,  and so are safe, sandy beaches - details are in the Days Out guide.

New Forest wildlife

New Forest wildlife is of international importance. Deer can regularly be seen, butterflies are at times abundant, and so are dragonflies and damselflies. Look out also for wild flowers and a variety of birds.

Time to enjoy a drink at one of the many local pubs
Time to enjoy a drink at one
of the many local pubs

New Forest pub guide

The New Forest boasts a wide variety of pubs, most of which serve excellent food and drink - many are featured in our local pub guide.

History and heritage

Evidence of long and varied history can often be found in this aged landscape, including Bronze Age barrows, Iron Age hill forts and much else - check out our history and heritage guide for further information.

Common rights and the world famous ponies

Here, ponies, donkeys, cattle and autumnal pigs wander freely, continuing centuries-old commoning traditions that were once widespread over much of England - common rights, both past and present, are outlined in the common rights section.

Local news, traffic and weather

Use the New Forest Explorers Guide to catch up with the local news, details of traffic conditions and weather forecasts.

Commoners' cattle at Swan Green
Commoners' cattle
at Swan Green

Places to stay

Places to stay are readily available, for there are many high quality hotels, guest houses and B&Bs from which to choose; and also caravan and campsites.

New Forest maps

Use the 'Quick links' at the bottom of every page to access the very latest in mapping technology. Conventional maps are provided and so are satellite images, street maps that show terrain details, and 3D representations.

Then for those with an interest in things historical, contained within the History and heritage section will be found a range of old maps dating back to the late 18th century, maps that show the New Forest exactly as it was in those far off days.

Quick links

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Great value and fast delivery on a range of New Forest visitor guides, local maps, walks books and lots more
New Forest ponies
New Forest ponies in the road
New Forest ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene and an important element of the local economy. But 65 were killed and 18 injured on the roads in 2012.
Always take care when driving
New Forest 'what's on' - a small
selection of local events and activities
January 2015
Saturday 10th January to Sunday 29th March - New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, Arthur Phillip - unsung local hero.
Friday 16th - Brockenhurst Village Hall, Cinema - Before I go to Sleep (15).
Sunday 18th - Lyndhurst Community Centre, Lady Cynthia's Flea Market.
Sunday 25th, Tuesday 27th - Saturday 31st - Burley Village Hall, Burley Players annual Pantomime.

February 2015
Sunday 1st - Lyndhurst Community Centre, Junique Fair.
Saturday 7th - Brockenhurst Village Hall, Ethical Film Club: Cowspiracy.
Sunday 15th - Brockenhurst Village Hall, Little Pickles Market.

Tuesday 17th February and Thursday 19th February - New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst. Family Discovery Days.
View the full 'What's on' programme.
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley