Welcome to the New Forest
New Forest ponies enjoying
Located close to the south coast in a corner of south-west Hampshire, the New Forest contains a magnificent variety of scenery and has relatively recently been designated the New Forest National Park. Indeed, the New Forest is unique in modern Britain - an ancient hunting ground with special characteristics that have survived largely intact.
Within these pages can be found information and images that will help bring this old place to life, and also help ensure that visitors and residents are equipped to make the most of outings to the 'Forest'.
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 - our Village guide provides details.
New Forest walks
The New Forest offers marvellously unrestricted access for relaxation, walking and exploration using many miles of gravel tracks and little used paths - included here are full details of 17 New Forest walks.
New Forest cycling
Cyclists near Lyndhurst
Cycling provides a wonderful experience for young and not so young alike. Travel at leisurely pace through breathtaking countryside and absorb the atmosphere of this historic landscape - 10 Cycle rides are fully detailed here.
There is always much to do in the New Forest, whatever the weather. The New Forest Centre, the New Forest National Park Authority, the Forestry Commission and local Community Centres, for example, offer a wide range of events and activities - 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 for there is always much to enjoy locally, whilst historic towns and cities are also relatively nearby, and so are safe, sandy beaches - details are in the Days out guide.
Time to enjoy a drink at one
of the many local pubs
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.
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 such as the tiny, nationally scarce, Dartford warbler - the New Forest wildlife section provides full details.
Evidence of long and varied history can often be found in this aged landscape, including Bronze Age barrows, Iron Age hill forts, charcoal burners' pits and the remains of medieval deer parks - our Heritage guide has lots of local information.
at Swan Green
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 - the panel to the right has the weather forecast for Lyndhurst, close to the centre of the New Forest, or catch up with details for all three at News, traffic, weather.
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 - further details can be found in Places to stay.