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New Forest Guides

Welcome to The New Forest Guides. The aim of the New Forest guide is to bring you all the most sought after tourist information about this delightful and spectacularly beautiful part of England with advice on New Forest Cottages, New Forest accommodation, holidays, campsites and New Forest activities and days out both in and around the Forest, and in nearby Dorset.

The forest once the hunting grounds of kings is centuries old now but is most recently famous for its ponies and the many other animals you will see wandering aimlessly around the area unfettered and unrestricted by fences as the commoners exercise the commoners rights granted to them back in the 16th century.

The only new thing about the forest really is it has been given the new status of a national park and is now one of the 13 national parks in the UK.


Where Is the Forest?

The New Forest National Park to give it its proper title is situated on the sunny south coast of Hampshire and southern Wiltshire, and bordered by the neighbouring County of Dorset, the Forest has for centuries been a favourite holiday destination for travellers from around the globe.

Partially privately owned land with the rest managed by the forestry commission the most well known locations in the forest are Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst and Ashurst although there are nearly 40 small town and villages within the park area and its surrounding fringes, as well as the major conurbations of Christchurch, Ringwood, Romsey, Salisbury and Southampton, with Bournemouth Dorset less than an hours drive away.

Please do be careful when driving around the forest though and respect the speed restrictions which are in place for your own protection as well as those of the local wildlife


Although is widely known for it's camping area's, both for wild camping and the well established campsites not every visitor relishes the thought of having to spend a holiday camping or in a log cabin, no matter how refreshing it is to get close to nature or how good the camp site facilities are.

So for visitors with not such a hardy disposition and those looking for a more relaxing or romantic break you'll be pleased to know that there is a plethora (although book early to avoid disappointment) of other new forest accommodation available ranging from bed and breakfast New forest cottages all the way up to the sumptuous and well appointed New Forest hotels.


In general the New Forest B&Bs tend to be favoured by visitors on the move who will often just stop at one b&b before moving to a different area on another day. Self catering holiday cottages (many with a thatched roof) on the other hand seem to be favoured by those visitors looking for an established central base to visit the forest and surrounding area, and the Hotels are most frequented by visitors who enjoy a pampered and totally relaxed form of holiday without the self catering requirement. There are a number hotels in and around the area to choose from some even have a spa if you are looking forward to a romantic getaway.

No matter what your choice of accommodation with such a wide variety available we are sure that you will find exactly what you are looking for in the national park no matter if you are on a budget or looking for 4 or 5 star accommodation.

We have also included some additional information about Dorset hotels, Dorset Cottages and Dorset bed and breakfast accommodation, as well as further Dorset tourist information as many visitors may wish to stay slightly outside the National Parks boundaries.

Days Out and Activities

Holidays here can go from the strictly sedate to the absolute manic and the number of activities, events and things to do in the new forest or the surrounding area is very wide indeed if you consider the area it covers. Commonly asked questions often include what are the top 10 attractions Or what are the top 5 events?

To be fair it would be impossible to say as the park attracts such a large diversity of visitors they all want something different from their day out or holiday.

Annual events include the New Forest Show and for the sporty types amongst you the local marathon if you are visiting at the right time of the year, you also have bike hire available so could try out one of the many cycle routes for a strenuous or relaxing bike ride.


Many visitors come to the national park to enjoy a family fun day or just to enjoy a family picnic but activities for family days out are plentiful perhaps visiting one of the local theme parks or animal farms for example or pony rides depending on the age of your children.

A little further afield within an hours drive of most locations you could find yourself on one of the many fine beaches in the area or even going on one of the local boat trips, alternatively if you are feeling a bit more adventurous you could even take a day trip across to the Isle of Wight to really make the most of your visit to the national park or even take a trip down to Poole or one of the other tourist attractions in neighbouring Dorset.

For holiday visitors and of course locals, who enjoy the more sedate pace of life, you'll be pleased to know walks in the forest and guided tours abound and if you're careful and visit the right area you can even see the local deer roaming wild. Or you might want to visit one of the gardens or ornamental drives in the area, but regardless of your particular interests a New Forest holiday will not leave you disappointed.

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