The sun is shining and we all want to be outside, and there is no better place to be for sunshine or shade than in the New Forest National Park in Hampshire.

Located in the south of England, the New Forest includes one of the largest (over 200 sq miles) remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in a part of the country which is generally regarded as being heavily populated.

Just 89 minutes from London Waterloo, the New Forest’s great outdoors is just waiting to welcome you.

Here are just a few outdoor ways to enjoy the New Forest…

On Foot in the Forest

Discover the woods, heathland and coast – not forgetting the wildlife from the 27 downloadable routes, m. www.thenewforest.co.uk/walking/.  Each route has a clear map with directions, and also includes other useful information such as pointing out pubs along the routes.

 

On Two Wheels in the Forest

The New Forest is a haven for cyclists, with over 100 miles of off road tracks – more than anywhere else in the UK.

www.thenewforest.co.uk/cycling/routes.aspx  has 21 routes to discover, from five to 20 miles long – some of which are marked as ‘family friendly’.  With trains accepting bikes, you can just turn up at one of the forest’s railway stations, off-load your bike and you’re away!  There are also cycle hire shops dotted around the forest – with electric bike options for when the legs get tired!

 

On Four Legs in the Forest

The New Forest is the perfect location for horse-riding; you can walk through the magnificent woods – passing ancient trees and enormous conifers – or trot across the many miles of heathland enjoying the scenery along the way. Riders are urged to use the bridleways to minimise damage to the ground (the heaths are often wet).  Some pubs are ‘horse friendly’ and have designated areas to tie up your trusty steed.

 

Splashing Around in the Forest

When the sun is shining there is nothing kids like more than to cool down with a good old splash! There are many shallow streams throughout the forest for a safe paddle and there are beaches on the southern edge of the forest at, Milford on Sea, Barton on Sea and Lepe.

 

Where to stay

The New Forest has a myriad of options regarding places to stay and to suit every budget, from campsites to holiday parks, and B&Bs to hotels.

For accommodation, and details all the fabulous things to do and places to see in the New Forest – much of it free – visit www.thenewforest.co.uk.