What to See & Do in The New Forest

Spectacular forest walks, heathland rambles, traditional country pubs, quaint villages, farm shops, wild ponies, donkeys, deer, cattle & even pigs! Ideal for a great day out!

Beaulieu National Motor Museum: The world renowned National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has over 250 vehicles from every motoring era. Exhibits include some of the earliest examples of motoring to legendary World Record Breakers like Bluebird, ‘TV Star’ cars like Del Boy’s Reliant Regal and rare oddities like the giant orange on wheels. Monorail, go karts & veteran bus rides.

Beaulieu Abbey: Founded in 1204 by Cistercian monks on land given to them by King John. Although much was destroyed at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, there is still much for visitors to see today. Walk through the serene Cloisters and Herb Garden of this picturesque 13th century Abbey and view a film and an exhibition of the daily life of its Cistercian Monk founders.

Beaulieu Palace House: Formerly the 13th century Great Gatehouse of Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House is set in glorious grounds and gardens with immaculate spreading lawns and walkways overlooking the Beaulieu River. This charming house, kept in the style of its later Victorian additions, has been in Lord Montagu's family ownership since 1538, when Sir Thomas Wriothesley, later 1st Earl of Southampton, bought the Estate after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Beaulieu Lake: Situated in Beaulieu village, where you will often you will see wandering ponies, donkeys & cattle. A good place for a picnic on the lawns by the water.

Beaulieu Village: This quaint village has a lot of history and sits near the banks of the Beaulieu River & millpond. The High Street is ideal for an afternoon stroll with numerous shops including a café, a chocolate shop, gift & craft shops, teddy bear shop, plus a village pub & hotel ‘The Montagu Arms’.

Beaulieu Chocolates Studio: A small Chocolaterie located in the heart of Beaulieu village. Started in 2006, the Chocolate Studio continues the tradition of handmade chocolate making in Beaulieu, producing both local specialities such as New Forest Bark as well as contemporary award winning truffles.

Bucklers Hard: Visit the village street, maritime museum, shipwright cottage, chapel, master builders house, Duke’s bath house, shipbuilding launchways and river walks. River cruises also available in season. At the start of the 18th century, Buckler's Hard was little more than a convenient landing place on the Beaulieu River, the 'hard' being one of the few places where gravel stretched down to low-water mark. The 80ft wide street was originally designed to be used for fairs and markets, but developed into a successful shipbuilding yard.

Bucklers Hard Marina: Sitting on the Beaulieu River, Buckler's Hard Marina is one of the most picturesque marinas on the south coast of England offering access to the Solent and beyond. The Marina welcomes both visiting yachtsman and visitors alike.

New Forest Activities: Queens Mead Dairy, Beaulieu, SO42 7YE | Tel: 01590 612377
Try your hand at canoeing or kayaking on the Beaulieu River, or experience target archery in the New Forest. Cycling is another option for an active day out.

New Forest Reptile Centre: The reptiliary is open 10am- 4.30pm between April and September.
Specially designed pens give you the best chance of seeing all of our native reptiles and amphibians such as adders, toads and sand lizards living in their natural environment.
Directions: The reptiliary is at Holidays Hill, approximately 2 miles west of Lyndhurst on the A35.

Portuguese Fireplace: This unusual monument has a plaque explains its presence: ’This is the site of a hutted camp occupied by a Portuguese army unit during the First World War. This unit assisted the depleted local labour force in producing timber for the war effort. The Forestry Commission have retained this fireplace from the cookhouse as a memorial to the men who lived and worked here.’ Directions: Take the A35 out of Lyndhurst towards Christchurch and turn right at The Swan pub to Emery Down. At the New Forest Inn bear left to Bolderwood and Millyford Bridge car park is about 2 miles along this road on the right. The Portuguese Fireplace can be found by the roadside close to Millyford Bridge.

New Forest Ponies: The 4000 ponies you see throughout the New Forest are privately owned by Commoners, those residents of the Forest who have traditional 'Commoners' forest rights' to let their ponies graze free. The ponies are looked after on behalf of the Commoners by the Agisters, an arm of the Verderers, the old governing body of the New Forest. Twice a year the Agisters round up the ponies for auction. The most famous of these auctions is the Beaulieu Road sale. Hundreds of ponies all gathered together in one place make quite a sight. The area a particular pony belongs to is told by the cut of its tail. The different shapes of cut (some part cut, some 'V', some angled) allow the Agisters to place the pony should it get lost. The ponies are also branded with their owner's mark.
About the breed: New Forest ponies, or 'Foresters', are one of the nine breeds native to the British Isles. Physically, the ponies must be under 148cm and any colour bar blue-eyed cream, skewbald or piebald (palomino ponies may not be used as stallions). These regulations ensure that only correct Foresters can be bred from. Visitors are asked not to feed the ponies. There is plenty for ponies to eat in the forest. If you feed the ponies it attracts them to car parks and roads, where they are at serious risk of accidents.

New Forest Pony Drift. (Round Up) The Verderers in charge of conservation and protection of ponies in the New Forest have banned the general public from drifts (pony round-ups), as they are becoming too popular. The picturesque spectacle of owners and officials on horseback is held from August to November.

Beaulieu Road Pony Sale: Near the railway station between Beaulieu and Lyndhurst.
Beaulieu Road auction sales of New Forest Registered ponies are held from May to November. The Beaulieu Road Sale Yard is used by Commoners (owners of the ponies on the New Forest), to sell their ponies by auction. The yard was rebuilt during 2002 to replace the yard that was originally built just after the Second World War and is now one of the safest and most efficient sale yards for semi-feral stock in the country. Click link for sale dates.

New Forest Pigs in Pannage: From around the third week in September each year for a couple of months, the Commoners let their pigs loose on the Forest for a token fee, to hoover up fallen acorns which are poisonous to ponies and cattle. Pannage is also known as ‘common of mast’, one of the common rights attached to some properties in the New Forest. Traditionally pannage enabled commoners to fatten their pigs for slaughter and salting in the winter. Today between 200 and 600 pigs are turned out as the number owned by commoners has fallen. In the 19th century the number was as high as 6,000. Each pig has a ring put through its nose to reduce the damage caused by rooting.

New Forest Donkeys: There are only around 100 donkeys turned out on the Forest compared with over 4,000 ponies, they are often seen roaming in the villages. Donkeys are smaller and generally more docile than New Forest ponies. Donkeys prefer browsing trees and bushes to grass. Commoners pay the same marking fees for donkeys as for ponies. Very occasionally a badly behaved jack donkey will have to be removed from the Forest by its owner. Female donkeys are called jennies.

New Forest Cattle: There are around 2,500 cattle on the Forest in summer, although this number drops sharply in the autumn and winter when many go back to their owners’ holdings. A variety of breeds roam the national park, with Galloway and Hereford crossbreds being particularly popular for their hardiness. Cattle are notorious for finding weak spots in fences & hedges in pursuit of lush grass, and property owners need to check that their boundaries are stock-proof, otherwise they could find their gardens invaded & badly damaged by cattle!

New Forest Sheep: There is only one commoner turning out sheep in the New Forest at present, and these are to be found grazing on the National Trust-owned commons around Bramshaw, in the north of the National Park. Sheep are not generally seen roaming on the open Forest because the right to turn them out (known as common of pasture for sheep) is attached to only a few properties and is rarely exercised.

New Forest Polo Club: New Park Farm, Brockenhurst.
All Polo matches commence at 2.00pm on Saturday & Sunday at New Park. Spectators are always welcome and refreshments are available at the ground. Nominal entry charge. New playing members welcome. Click link for fixture list.

New Forest Hounds: The New Forest is an ideal place in which to begin trail hunting on a horse, as there is no jumping required, and as there is free public access to the forest, you can take your own line at your own speed as your knowledge and experience allows. Anyone competent at walk, trot and canter, with a reasonably sensible horse will easily cope with a day’s hunting in the New Forest. The many wide open heathland areas also allow great opportunity to watch the skill of hounds and huntsman at work. If you would like to go to one of the meets you will be welcome. Please click website link for hunt information.

Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club: Sway Road, Brockenhurst, SO42 7SG | Tel: 01590 623332
6220 yard 18 hole course designed by the great course architect Harry Colt & surrounded by wildlife and great landscape. Friendly club for members & visitors alike. Ideal for families, gentlemen, ladies and juniors. Welcoming bar and restaurant.

New Forest Wildlife Park (Also known as: The New Forest Otter, Owl Wildlife Park): Deerleap Lane, Longdown, Marchwood, Southampton, SO40 4UH | Tel: 02380 292408
Conservation and Wildlife Park is set in 25 acres of scenic and ancient woodland within the New Forest. You'll see some of Europe's largest gathering of otters, owls and other indigenous wildlife all in their natural surroundings including, young wolves, European bison, water voles, giant otters, pine martens, badgers, polecats, mink, foxes, Scottish wildcats, deer, lynx, wallabies and wild boar. Also enjoy the 'Go Wild' Adventure Play Ground.