Families flock from all over the country for the ancient woodland, open moors, heathland and cliff top walks at the New Forest in the South of England. The New Forest National Park is preserved by English authorities, as 90% the property of Her Majesty, for the peace and tranquility of its visitors and animals alike.
The National Park is preserved by an independent team called the Land Advice Service. The New Forest Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, which involves local schoolchildren in preserving the environment, also restores and enhances important habitats. The Hampshire hotspot is the home of Britain’s finest farm animals, from cattle to donkeys and deer.
The New Forest, even though almost entirely unspoilt greenery, is well connected to transport links via the M3 or M25 or via train to Totton Station and Southampton Central. More local visitors can utilise the public bus routes to the National Park. A wide range of family-and-dog-friendly accomodation is available to visitors to the county and New Forest itself for easy access to the national park.
Places to Visit
The New Forest is steeped in historical importance, with National Heritage-listed historical houses such as the countryside museum and Elizabethan manor at Breamore House near Fordingbridge. The National Park has three grade II listed parks- Brockenhurst Park, Hale Park and Pylewell Park.
The New Forest Heritage Centre on the grounds of the National Park is free to enter and has a museum, art gallery and library where you and your siblings can uncover all the history, myths and legends of the forest.
Exbury Gardens is a wonderful place to visit all year round. The colourful flowers are of the rhododendron, azalea and camellia variety, as well as rare trees and shrubs. The gardens cover 200-acres of well-treated land, which includes a handy railway line to get you from one end to the other.
Things To Do
Avon Tyrell is a 65-acre area of the National Park designated for youth activities. The youth scheme provides day trips for children of all ages to do fun-filled physical activities and learn about the National Park.
You can take a tour of the New Forest on an open-top bus to all of the surrounding villages and towns available seven days a week. The National Park have made accessible paths for tourists to walk along so that the natural land is untouched. They are wide enough for walkers and cyclists. Dogs are welcome to join you (close or on a lead) as you observe your beautiful surroundings in all its natural glory.
The woodland areas of New Forest National Park protected by the National Trust are ideal habitat for birds, so great for bird-watching. Various birds of prey and nightjars can be spotted in the north of the National Park. Many of the birds, including rare curlew, redshank, snipe and lapwing, nest on the ground in the heathland and mires. For an overview of another National Park in Great Britain, read all about The Lake District National Park.