The New Forest National Park, in Hampshire, is a magnet for those who love its outstanding natural beauty and its wildlife. However, there's much more to the New Forest than its scenery and animals. Museums and Stately homes, such as Beaulieu, the Reptile Centre just outside Lyndhurst and Buckler's Hard, where ships for Admiral Nelson were built, are just a few of the many attractions that can be found within the forest. There's so much to do and see, you'll find yourself returning time and time again.
The museum and Visitor Centre in the main car park at Lyndhurst, is an ideal place to begin your adventure. Here, you can learn about the history of the forest, pick up some free brochures or leaflets and purchase your souvenirs and maps etc.
You're sure to see many of the famous New Forest ponies that roam freely, grazing the land and if you're lucky, at dusk, you'll see the shy deer emerging from the safety of the trees.
There's a great choice of accommodation available in the forest, from luxury hotels to B&Bs, holiday parks to campsites. There's also an extensive choice of eateries available, everything from fine-dining restaurants to public houses and takeaways. Whatever your accommodation and dining requirements, you're sure to find something to suit your budget.
Forest Holidays is the partnership between the Forestry Commission and the Camping and Caravanning Club, who operate 10 sites throughout the National Park. Grassland, heathland and woodland sites are available, some with toilets and showers, while others only have the essentials such as drinking water and waste disposal areas.
The National Park offers many miles of traffic-free bicycle tracks (bicycles can be hired at various locations throughout the forest) and it's the perfect place for people who enjoy walking and exploring, with miles and miles of naturally beautiful, unspoilt countryside. You'll also find many picnic areas, toilet facilities and car parks in wonderful locations, throughout the forest.