English Tourism Week (March 25 to April 2) is a national celebration of everything that’s great about visiting our country – or, if you already live here, getting to know a new part of it.
So weather you’ve been to the New Forest before, or it’s your first time (and if it is, welcome!) here are our top suggestions of the best way to get the best out of the area during this special week.
Saturday March 25 – Pick up some hand-made crafts and Easter gifts at the Crocus and Craft gift Fair at Moyles Court School, Ringwood, from 10am-2pm. For more goodies – from plants, to bric-a-brac to household goods, check out Lymington Market, held in the High Street.
Sunday March 26 – It’s Mother’s Day so head on over to Exbury where all mums will receive 50% off admission to the world-famous gardens where you’ll see the Daffodil Meadow, enjoy views of the Beaulieu River and then, if you fancy it, tuck into a full roast at the Tea Rooms. While you’re there, don’t forget to ride the steam railway – one of its biggest fans is Her Majesty the Queen!
Monday March 27 – Visit the New Forest’s ‘secret’ coast, the 40 or so miles of marsh, family beaches, estuary and sand that separate the land from the sea. Walk on lonely Hurst Spit, or try and spot the remains of the D-Day Mulberry harbours off Lepe, before enjoying a coffee and the views at the beach café.
Tuesday March 28 – Visit The Local Art Scene, Lymington, a community art gallery showcasing work for sale by local artists from around Lymington and the New Forest. Visit the gallery any day during English Tourism Week to see work by local artists including painting, ceramics, sculpture and print of local scenes.
Wednesday March 29 – Make this the day you find out just why the New Forest has become one of the UK’s top foodie destinations. Chewton Glen is celebrating English Tourism Week with a special menu in their Dining Room, evenings from 25th March – 2nd April 2017 (so, in fact, you could go every day!). Expect English classics done in style; beans on toast, fish ‘n’ chips, steak & ale pie and egg custard tart.
Thursday March 30 – Give your ears a treat and see Gigspanner live at Forest Arts Centre, in New Milton. Since his departure from folk-rock pioneers Steeleye Span at the end of 2013, legendary fiddle player Peter Knight has turned his full attention to Gigspanner, performing alongside Roger Flack on guitar and Vincent Salzfaas on Percussion. Expect to hear music touching on baroque, classical and gypsy jazz along the way.
Friday March 31 – Stretch your limbs and your spirit of adventure by launching yourself into the sky (all connected by a harness, of course!) at the Go Ape! zipwire and adventure park at Moors Valley on the New Forest’s western edge.
Saturday April 1 – Spend a fun weekend immersed in the world of bushcraft and survival skills at Roydon Wood Wildlife Reserve www.hiwwt.org.uk/courses
Sunday April 2 – Visit the National Motor Museum and the beautiful Palace House at Beaulieu – especially if you’re an Aston Martin fan. All Aston Martin owners are invited to drive into Beaulieu and park up within the museum complex for what promises to be a superb day out for both Aston Martin owners and enthusiasts. From the classic styling of the Series 1 to the sleek lines of the DB11, all models are welcome at Simply Aston Martin.
For more information on these and all other events taking place in the New Forest, visit our events pages.