Top 5 places to visit in the New Forest

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In addition to the beautiful New Forest National Park itself and the famous wild ponies, there are lots attractions to visit plus many activities such as cycling, archery, canoeing, bushcraft, kayaking, trails and walks.  Below we have highlighted our favourite five attractions we recommend you visit.

1. Buckler’s Hard

bucklers hard

Bucker’s Hard is located on the banks of the Beaulieu River, near Beaulieu, one of the most stunning villages in the New Forest. Buckler’s Hard is a historic village, steeped in history and an important part of 18th century  naval history as a dockyard used to build warships for Nelson’s navy. Along with 18th century life recreations, maritime museum, chapel and riverside walks,  there is also a river cruise on beautiful Beaulieu River.

 

2. Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway

Exbury Gardens, owned by the Rothschild family is located in the New forest, east of Beaulieu the other side of the river from Bucklers Hard, in the village of Exbury. The gardens cover over 200 acres of stunning woodland landscape and informal horticulture. In addition to the gardens  there is a 12 1⁄4 in  gauge steam railway that goes around various sections of the gardens. Built in 2001 the steam railway has become very popular leading to building of extra locomotives.

 

3. Beaulieu National Motor Museum

National Motor Museum

The National Motor Museum is based at Beaulieu was founded in 1952 by Baron Montagu of Beaulieu. Today the museum contains around 250 vehicles from the late 1800s onwards, plus motoring memorabilia from around the world including motoring books, photographs and  films. In addition there is a popular on screen exhibit including famous cars fromTV series in the UK such as Only Fools and Horses Reliant Regal and Mr Bean’s green Mini.

 

4. The Capital of the New Forest  – Lyndhurst

Lyndhurst high street

Lyndhurst was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 under the name ‘Linhest’ and today is regarded as the capital of the New Forest. It is the National Park’s administrative capital and as a  popular tourist attraction particularly in the summer months its historical high street is a big draw. The high street contains various independent shops, pubs, galleries, cafés, and hotels. The village is the forestry commission’s local headquarters and where the Court of Verderers sits.

 

5. Hurst Castle Spit

Hurst Castle Spit

Located at the southernmost point of the New Forest National Park Hurst Castle Spit offer splendid views across The Solent and the Island / Needles. As a defensive position and one of  Henry VIII’s  Forts,  the castle is built at the end of a spit into the Solent to guard the start of the Southampton water in times gone by. Now decommissioned and run by English Heritage the  museum contains  a range of guns and canons from different eras up to the Second World War.

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