New Forest Guide

New Forest Guide

41 Best Things to Do in the New Forest [2024]

If you’re heading to the New Forest National Park area, then of course you need to know exactly where to visit ! This list of the best things to do in the New Forest will help you decide which New Forest attractions to add to your list. I live locally, so I’m lucky enough to know just where to go for wildlife encounters, dining, motoring heritage, shopping, pretty views and more. 

Some of the best New Forest places to visit you may already know about. Such as the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. But some of the really nice places to go in the New Forest are a little more off the beaten track. For the best days out in the New Forest you really cannot beat a bit of inside info. 

From where I’ve seen more New Forest ponies or whether Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is worth it to Exbury Gardens, Hurst Castle, the Beaulieu River, New Forest Wildlife Park, Lepe Beach and Brockenhurst village, here are 41 New Forest things to do that you should not miss! Beginning with the top 21. 

Best Things to Do in the New Forest Contents

  • National Motor Museum
  • Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
  • Cycling in the New Forest
  • Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway
  • Hurst Castle
  • New Forest Picnic
  • Beaulieu River boat trip
  • Spa Day in the New Forest
  • New Forest Wildlife Park
  • Lepe Beach and Country Park
  • Brockenhurst village
  • Shopping trip
  • Rhinefield Ornamental Drive
  • New Forest Reptile Centre
  • Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum
  • Peppa Pig World @ Paulton’s Park
  • New Forest Ponies
  • New Forest Water Park
  • Open Top Bus Tour
  • Afternoon Tea
  • 20 more outdoor & indoor activities in the New Forest
  • New Forest visitor attractions FAQs

things to do in the New Forest

Top 21 Things to Do in the New Forest

1. beaulieu national motor museum.

  • Where: Beaulieu, Brockenhurst SO42 7ZN
  • When: 10 am to 5 pm daily
  • Highlight: World of Top Gear
  • Local’s tip: The grounds are bigger than you might think

The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu is one of the biggest attractions in the National Park. It’s one of the best things to do in the New Forest for families, as there’s so much to see. Your ticket also includes entrance to historic Palace House, so there’s more here than mere motoring heritage. 

Make sure your smartphone battery is fully charged before your visit, as there are so many super cute vehicles to capture on camera! The site is much larger than you might expect, so if you’re bringing little ones you are going to need that buggy. It’s something to bear in mind for those with mobility issues too. 

If the children do get bored, take them to Little Beaulieu, an adventure playground where they can let off some steam. For me, World of Top Gear is the highlight, so make sure you leave plenty of time to gawp at the cars you’ve seen on the small screen. The amount of pictures I’ve taken at the Motor Museum is considerable!

Find out more in the complete National Motor Museum guide .

New Forest attractions

2. Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary

  • Where: Bolderwood Arboretum Ornamental Drive, Lyndhurst SO43 7GE
  • When: Open 24 hours
  • Price: Free
  • Highlight: Feeding time (around 12 pm to 3 pm)
  • Local’s tip: Pack a picnic or bring a BBQ

Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is also high on the list for family days out in the New Forest. Do bring a picnic or even a disposable BBQ, as it’s all set up for al fresco dining. There are picnic tables, toilets and a decent sized car park here. We like to set up a picnic here, so we’re ready to jump up when the deer appear. 

The creatures are fed by the ranger, and this will normally be sometime between midday and 3 pm. That’s why it’s a great idea to pack a picnic, so you have something to do while waiting for the feeder to show up. Then you have your best chance of seeing the fallow deer as they gather to enjoy their own lunch. 

Free activities in the New Forest are always a bonus, right? A visit to Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary – with a picnic – is so worthwhile on a dry day. 

places to visit in the New Forest

3. New Forest Cycling

  • Where: All over the New Forest ( map here )
  • When: During daylight hours
  • Price: Free (+ cycle hire if required)
  • Highlight: Over 140 miles of cycle routes
  • Local’s tip: Don’t cycle on open forest, public footpaths or Forestry England tracks

Cycling in the New Forest is a real pleasure. I cycle to the edge of the forest on a daily basis as it’s near where I live, and also love the routes between the villages and towns. Once, when staying at the Balmer Lawn, I even took my bike in the car and set off for an early ride to ward off a hangover. The previous day, I’d cycled from Brockenhurst to Beaulieu and back again too. 

Burley is a local favourite spot, as it’s close to my home, but do beware of that ultra steep hill leading to and from the village. Even on my e-bike that one feels like a challenge, due to the incline and the fear of rolling backwards!

Anyway, there are cycle paths to follow all over the forest, so you can take your pick according to where you’re staying. If you need to hire a bike, you can do so in Burley village, from Cyclexperience based at Brockenhurst station, at Sandy Balls holiday park in Fordingbridge or at rental shops in Lymington and Lyndhurst. 

New Forest days out

4. Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway

  • Where: Exbury, Southampton SO45 1AF
  • When: Mid March to late October, 10 am to 5.30 pm
  • Highlight: Spring, summer and autumn gardens
  • Local’s tip: The spring azaleas, camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons are legendary

Exbury Gardens is down the road from Beaulieu, near Lepe and Buckler’s Hard. While you cannot visit in winter, this is one of the things to see in the New Forest in spring, summer or autumn. Spring is most famed for the colours of the camellias, magnolias, azaleas and rhododendrons, but summer and autumn also have their highlights. 

After the blooming of the shrubs in April and May, the Centenary, Herbaceous, Iris and Sundial Gardens are at their best. You can also see lots of tropical flora, or head to Dragonfly Halt by steam train to see these beautiful winged beasts fluttering around. 

The acers ranging in colour from amber or tangerine to cerise and burgundy are one of the autumn sights to witness. Or take a trip on Exbury Steam Railway during any season to travel the Rhododendron Line, passing the Dragonfly Pond en route. 

New Forest places to visit

5. Hurst Castle

  • Where: Milford on Sea, Lymington SO41 0TP
  • When: Late March to late October, 10 am to 5.30 pm
  • Price: £ 
  • Highlight: Getting there is all part of the fun
  • Local’s tip: You can only reach the castle via a walk or ferry ride

Hurst Castle is top of the list of New Forest attractions for families. It’s also a three season site, open between the end of March and late October. It was built as an artillery fortress by Henry VIII in 1544, and the first King Charles was also imprisoned here during the 17th century. 

You can only get to Hurst Castle via a walk down the shingle spit or by ferry from Keyhaven, which adjoins Milford-on-Sea. This is known as the Solent Way Walk. The entrance fees are low, but don’t forget to budget for the ferry ride if you want to take that.

 It’s an educational option, bringing history to life for the kids, and the coastal setting is stunning. There is a cafe on site. 

places to go in the New Forest

6. Pack up a Picnic

  • Where: All over the New Forest
  • Highlight: Wilverley Road area
  • Local’s tip: Horseshoe Bottom is our favourite picnic spot

Should you need an excuse to visit any of the fine New Forest farm shops of the area, then forget the usual New Forest tourist attractions for a moment. Packing up a picnic is one of life’s simple (and most affordable) pleasures, and there are few places on earth better suited to this spring and summer activity than the forest. 

Pile into the car or hop on your bike and you could soon be enjoying one of the top things to do in the New Forest, with dogs, with kids, with both or without either. From romantic things to do in the New Forest for couples to an extended family outing, this is one for people of all ages and interests. 

My top tip is to head for Wilverley Road, which runs between Burley and Brockenhurst. Wherever you end up, you can wander beyond the car park if you like to stretch your legs among the springy heather and – probably – more ponies. 

the new forest day trip

7. A Boat Trip on Beaulieu River

  • Where: From Buckler’s Hard, SO42 7XB
  • When: Start of April to end of October at 11 am, 11.45 am, 12.45 pm, 1.30 pm, 2.15 pm, 3 pm, 3.45 pm and 4.30 pm
  • Highlight: The local New Forest wildlife in a natural habitat
  • Local’s tip: You can only buy boat tickets on the day of travel

A unique way to see the New Forest is to take a boat trip on the Beaulieu River. You can do this from Buckler’s Hard, a tiny but very pretty place just down the road from the equally picturesque village of Beaulieu. It’s a great way to ensure an encounter with local wildlife too. 

It’s one of the more unusual things to do in the New Forest as it’s less obvious to many visitors, but that only adds to the appeal. You can only buy tickets when boarding, so get there early if you can. While you’re waiting, Buckler’s Hard has a Maritime Museum and the Master Builder’s Hotel. 

the new forest day trip

8. New Forest Wildlife Park

  • Where: Deerleap Lane, Ashurst, SO40 4UH
  • Highlight: Owls, grey wolf, pine marten, red-necked wallaby and Scottish wildcat  
  • Local’s tip: Check feeding times here for the best experience (11 am to 3 pm)

A trip to the New Forest Wildlife Park is super easy if you’re staying in Lyndhurst, and worthwhile in any case if you’re not. As well as all the animals you can see, there’s an adventure playground and a cafe, plus a gift shop. One of the top things to do in the New Forest for any family. 

Make sure you visit the specified area at feeding time for a closer encounter with one of the resident creatures. You can also ask the keepers questions at these times. There’s a good range of animals to see at any time, and learning about conservation can make it an experience for kids that’s both fun and educational. 

the new forest day trip

9. Savour a Spa Day

  • Where: At hotels all over the New Forest
  • When: During hotel hours
  • Price: Prices vary
  • Highlight: The five star spas at Chewton Glen and Lime Wood
  • Local’s tip: Combine the spa with fine dining for a decadent day out

Hotels in the New Forest offer some of the finest spas in England. You really are spoiled for choice when it comes to pampering and me-time in this part of Hampshire. This is also, of course, one of the best things to do in the New Forest in the rain. 

It’s impossible to pick a favourite. There’s plenty to pick from in Brockenhurst, such as the SenSpa at Carey’s Manor , Saltus Spa at Balmer Lawn , the Potting Shed treatment rooms at The Pig and the spa at Rhinefield House .

Other great spas include the Herb House Spa at Lime Wood near Lyndhurst, the gloriously scented spa at Burley Manor (yes, I would pay just to inhale that aroma all day long) and of course the mighty Chewton Glen ’s sumptuous spa.

the new forest day trip

10. Lepe Beach at Lepe Country Park

  • Where: Lepe Country Park, Exbury, Southampton SO45 1AD
  • When: 7 am to 7 pm (car park and toilets)
  • Price: Free, but parking charges apply 
  • Highlight: The views across to the Isle of Wight
  • Local’s tip: Wear good hiking footwear for the Lepe Loop walk

Forming part of Lepe Country Park, Lepe Beach has a remote, untouched air about it. Taking a walk here is one of the best New Forest things to do for free, though parking fees apply if you’re driving down. The beach was voted the best in Hampshire in 2022 by Beach Guide readers. 

If you want to take the Lepe Loop walk, it’s five miles long and sturdy footwear is recommended. While dogs are welcome at the country park, they’re now allowed on the sands in summer, so do bear this in mind. Book a table at The Lookout restaurant in advance if you want to make a day of it. 

the new forest day trip

11. Brockenhurst village

  • Where: Lyndhurst Road, Brockenhurst SO42 7RL
  • Price: Free 
  • Highlight: The choice of pubs, shops, cafes, hotels and restaurants
  • Local’s tip: Take the train to Brockenhurst station in the village centre

You can’t come to the New Forest and not visit Brockenhurst, frankly. Whether it’s officially the heart of the New Forest or not, to me it is the central hub. While Lyndhurst may be the administrative centre and a larger place, it doesn’t quite have the midst of the forest feel that Brock does. 

As someone who often likes to wing it, I love the fact that visiting Brockenhurst doesn’t require any real forward planning. You can simply dip in and out of shops, cafes and pubs, or wander to the edge of town and see which path you end up following into the forest. 

Brock is also great for a night out, as you can get the train and thus avoid driving. There’s plenty of pubs, plus restaurants to dine at, some of which are within hotels. Brock is also ideal for spa days, as several hotels in the village have a good wellness centre on site.  

Discover more New Forest villages and towns here .

the new forest day trip

12. Take a Shopping Trip

  • Where: In villages and towns all over the New Forest
  • When: During store hours
  • Highlight: Unique boutiques, gift stores and farm shops
  • Local’s tip: The smart selection of shops in Lymington always wins for me

You may not think of the New Forest as a shopper’s destination, but I’m here to prove otherwise. I love shopping in this area, especially in the town of Lymington on the New Forest coast. A browse here, punctuated by the odd stop for coffee or stroll to the harbour, is a pretty perfect way to spend a day. 

Lymington has all the nautical or outdoor lifestyle shops you might expect – Fat Face, Joules, Seasalt et al – plus some lovely little independent places. Other forest retail highlights include Beaulieu Chocolate Studio, the witchcraft-themed gift shops in Burley, and Lyndhurst’s main street, which is lined with an attractive choice of retail outlets and cafes. 

the new forest day trip

13. Rhinefield Ornamental Drive

  • Where: Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, Brockenhurst SO42 7QB 
  • Highlight: Blackwater Arboretum
  • Local’s tip: Arrive early as the car parks can be packed

One of the most obvious things to do around the New Forest is to take a walk. The best place for this is Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. A bonus here is the proximity to both Brockenhurst and Lymington, and the fact that there are short, family friendly walks to take. 

We like the Tall Trees walk from Blackwater car park, close to Rhinefield House Hotel . An optional add-on is the Blackwater Arboretum, and for me that was the highlight of our walk. It’s all very well maintained, and an ice cream van is often present at the car park in summer for a post-walk sweet treat. 

The queues can be long, though, and the car park busy – so arrive as early as you can. Especially on summer weekends.

the new forest day trip

14. New Forest Reptile Centre

  • Where: Lyndhurst Road, Lyndhurst SO43 7GR
  • When: Open between April and October
  • Price: Free, but a £3 donation is welcomed
  • Highlight: Seeing rarely-spotted British snakes and reptiles
  • Local’s tip: Take the family friendly Discovery Trail walk while you’re here

New Forest Reptile Centre is near Lyndhurst. It’s free to get in here, though a small donation is welcome. As the snakes and reptiles of the UK are very rarely seen in the wild, this is a great way to ensure an encounter. You can see adders, sand lizards and smooth snakes in specially designed outdoor pods. 

The centre is open during the summer season. While visiting, it’s worth allowing time for the Discovery Trail. It’s a child-friendly walk along a smooth, gravel path, and as it’s only a mile long minimal effort is required.  

pubs with rooms new forest

15. Tuck into a Pub Lunch

  • Where: At pubs all over the New Forest
  • When: During pub hours – lunch service is typically between 12 and 3 pm
  • Highlight: Sunday lunch at a snug pub with a warm, crackling fire
  • Local’s tip: Choose where to eat carefully and you may not need to drive

As far as indoor activities in the New Forest, tucking into a substantial lunch at a country, village or town pub cannot be beaten. For the best experience, book Sunday lunch, so you can enjoy a roast with all the trimmings – and of course lashings of gravy. 

A good pub meal is a treat during any season, but in autumn or winter you may also be treated to a crackling fire to warm your cockles. If you want to savour a lazy Sunday lunch at a gastropub with rooms , go for an option such as The Huntsman in Brockenhurst, The Bell Inn near Lyndhurst, The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu, The Mayflower in Lymington or The White Buck in Burley. Many also have beer gardens for summer. 

the new forest day trip

16. Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum

  • Where: Bashley Cross Road, New Milton BH25 5SZ
  • When: Early March onwards 10 am to 4.40 pm; otherwise check here
  • Highlight: 500 bikes from all over the world
  • Local’s tip: Visit Ferndene Farm Shop while you’re so close by

If motorbikes rev up your engine, then you need to add the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum to your New Forest itinerary! It’s one of the most fun things to do in the New Forest for those who come here specifically to visit Beaulieu Motor Museum too. 

Sammy Miller is a British motorcycling legend, who accumulated a vast collection of bikes between winning time trials. The museum was converted from a farmhouse he bought in 1996, and its new Upper Gallery opened in 2021 to supply even more space. 

Don’t Ferndene Farm Shop if you’re planning a barbecue or picnic. Turn right out of the museum and it’s a short way along the road, towards Hoburne Bashley . It’s my local go-to and the sausages are some of the best you’ll find anywhere. There’s lots of picnic fare too, plus super fresh local produce. 

new forest farm shops

17. Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park

  • Where: Ower, Romsey SO51 6AL
  • When: From mid-February, 10 am to 4.30 pm daily 
  • Price: £££££
  • Highlight: Seeing young children’s faces light up 
  • Local’s tip: Don’t bother if your kids aren’t keen on Peppa

Though my daughter would roll her eyes at the prospect of visiting Peppa Pig World, there was a time when she’d have gone mad for it. In a good way. One of the top things to do near the New Forest for any family with little kids who love watching what Peppa, George and their parents get up to. 

There are nine Peppa themed rides at Peppa Pig World. The main park offers over 70 rides in total, so there’s plenty to keep you busy for a full day out. And as prices aren’t cheap, you will want to get your money’s worth!

the new forest day trip

18. Find some New Forest ponies

  • Highlight: Finding ponies wandering wherever they like
  • Local’s tip: Drive carefully, or you may encounter a pony in the worst way possible

Going out to look for some New Forest ponies is always fun, and you shouldn’t have to go far to find some. The best places to look, in my experience, are at the picnic stops along Wilverley Road mentioned earlier, between Burley and Brockenhurst. 

Alternatively, try Burley village. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been there without encountering a pony or two (or ten). If you have no luck in the centre, wander in any direction and you should soon get lucky. Brockenhurst and Beaulieu are also good. Forget the towns or coastal areas, though, I’ve never seen any ponies in those parts. 

the new forest day trip

19. Make a Splash at the New Forest Water Park

  • Where: Ringwood Road, Fordingbridge SP6 2EY
  • When: Check here
  • Highlight: Racing friends or family around the obstacle courses
  • Local’s tip: You can hire wetsuits, grippy socks & all equipment on the day

The New Forest Water Park near Fordingbridge offers a lot of water-based fun for all the family. There’s a wakeboarding park, you can try out a SUP board or kayaking, or head for the main aqua park. 

You can even book open water swimming here if you’re a member of the National Open Water Coaching Association (NOWCA). There’s also a campsite with woodland pitches. The aqua park is split into two areas – ‘Poseidon’ and ‘Neptune’ – and they’re set up like obstacle courses. 

For things to do in the New Forest National Park that are water-based, this is great fun. It’s also ideal for trying out a new sport in a safe environment. 

the new forest day trip

20. Hop on the New Forest Tour bus

  • Where: 3 routes covering the New Forest area
  • When: Late June to mid September, find out more here
  • Highlight: It’s the no-stress way to travel around the New Forest
  • Local’s tip: Multi-day tickets are cheaper per day (if you’ll use them)

The New Forest tour bus is a great way to see the area. You can use it just to get to the New Forest attractions for families you want to go to, or at the start of your time here to get an overall feel for the region. 

There are three routes, and between them they call at popular spots including Sandy Balls Holiday Park, New Forest Wildlife Park, the Old Station tea rooms in Holmsley, Exbury Gardens, the Balmer Lawn hotel, the National Motor Museum and Brockenhurst train station. Plus many more. 

So the stops aren’t only in towns and villages , though of course the route also covers those. You can reach Ashurst, Lyndhurst, Beaulieu, Lymington, Barton-on-Sea, Fordingbridge, Burley and other spots by taking the bus. It operates for the summer season, from late June to mid September.  

Check out this complete guide to the New Forest tour bus

best afternoon tea new forest

21. Enjoy Afternoon Tea

  • When: Afternoons
  • Price: ££ to ££££
  • Highlight: Ideal for refuelling after a long walk or ride in the forest
  • Local’s tip: Don’t be afraid of asking to take the leftovers away with you

One of my favourite New Forest things to do is to have afternoon tea somewhere lovely. There’s lots of venues to choose from, especially in Brockenhurst. There, I particularly recommend the Balmer Lawn or Carey’s Manor. 

The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu is also fabulous – especially if you’re partial to a glass or two of Taitt. Other top spots include the Old Station tea rooms near Burley, the five star Lime Wood hotel near Lyndhurst or The Bell Inn at Brook. 

What could be nicer than finger sandwiches, pretty cakes and jam and cream laden scones? Especially if accompanied by forest views (and champagne). 

Discover all the best New Forest afternoon tea spots here

20 Extra New Forest Activities and Attractions

If that’s not enough to keep you busy while visiting the New Forest, here’s a quick reference list of 20 more activities and attractions in the area!

  • Private Day Tour – Personalised 4-hour trip from Southampton
  • Ringwood Brewery – Tours, tastings and sales
  • Moors Valley Country Park – Cycling & walking trails, adventure playground and cafe
  • Go Ape – Also at Moors Valley Country Park
  • Fordingbridge Museum – A doll’s house, toys and other exhibits in Fordingbridge
  • Day Trip to Christchurch – Historic town with stocks, ducking stool, river and quay
  • Furzey Gardens – 10 acre woodland garden in Minstead 
  • Rockbourne Roman Villa – Small but well set-up archaeological site in Fordingbridge
  • Longdown Activity Farm – Baby animals and feeding near Ashurst
  • Lymington Sea Water Baths – Swimming and obstacle course by the harbour
  • Friends of the Air Fields Museum – Local Aviation history in Bransgore
  • Liberty’s Owl and Reptile Centre – Birds of prey and reptiles near Ringwood
  • Day Trip to the Isle of Wight – Ferries operate between Lymington and Yarmouth
  • Insight Activities New Forest – Shooting range and outdoor activities in Fordingbridge
  • Hatchet Pond – The New Forest’s biggest stretch of freshwater with lots of wildlife
  • Breamore House – Elizabethan mansion at Cranborne Chase
  • St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery – Heritage, culture and exhibitions in Lymington
  • Burley Villa School of Riding – Beginners are welcome to try life on horseback
  • Cat and Fiddle PYO – Strawberries, pumpkins, farm shop and cafe near Christchurch
  • New Forest Cider – Tastings and sales in Burley

the new forest day trip

Places to Visit in the New Forest FAQs

How do you spend a day in the new forest.

With so many things to do around the New Forest, the options are endless. Explore a town or village, follow the cycling or walking trails, pack up a picnic, enjoy a pub lunch, book a spa day, go pony or deer spotting or visit a paid attraction such as the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hurst Castle in Milford on Sea or New Forest Wildlife Park. You can also spend time by the sea, or in summer hop onto the New Forest tour bus. 

What is the nicest part of the New Forest?

It’s all lovely! But some of the most scenic and popular parts of the New Forest include Beaulieu village, Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, Buckler’s Hard by the Beaulieu River, Exbury Gardens, Lepe Country Park and its beach, Hurst Castle in Milford on Sea and the parking areas off Wilverley Road, which runs between Brockenhurst and Burley. Discovering your own secret spot is all part of the fun. 

Is the New Forest worth visiting?

The New Forest is so worth making the trip for. Idyllic English villages with thatched cottages, family attractions, miles of walking and cycling trails, lovely pubs, outdoor activities, and luxury hotels with superb spas all await. If you need to unwind or stretch your legs while enjoying the fresh air, there’s no better place to visit. 

Is the New Forest famous for anything?

The New Forest is known for being one of Britain’s finest unspoiled locations. A combination of ancient woodland, heather-scattered heaths and untouched wetlands means many species of flora and fauna flourish here. During the late 11th century, William the Conqueror claimed the forest to use as a Royal hunting ground. The free-roaming New Forest ponies are also famous, and can even be found wandering around the villages. 

What about things to do in the New Forest in winter?

Though some seasonal attractions are closed during the colder months of the year, there is still plenty to do in the New Forest during winter. The UK’s mild climate means you can explore the trails all year round on foot or by bike. You can also visit the pubs, villages and towns, have afternoon tea, or enjoy a spa day at a hotel. While doing so, you’ll benefit from more peace and quiet, and possibly lower rates for accommodation. 

Which New Forest Attractions Will You Visit?

As you can see, there are so many New Forest activities and attractions to get involved with! Whether you wanted to find things to do in the New Forest this weekend or are planning a future visit, I hope this guide has given you some inspiration.

For more to do in the local area, check out my guides to things to do in Bournemouth , Christchurch and Poole .

Note –  This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy via these, I may earn a small fee. This has absolutely no effect on the price you pay. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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A perfect day in the New Forest

Visit the National Park for animal magic, craft brews and nature trails

Fun fact: the New Forest is, well, not new at all. Created as William the Conqueror’s hunting ground, it’s now one of the UK’s biggest and best-loved national parks, encompassing parts of Hampshire , Wiltshire and Dorset . Covering some 300 square miles – it stretches from the Solent all the way up to Salisbury – it’s a beguilingly wild tapestry of woodland, heath and shoreline. 

RECOMMENDED: The 10 best Airbnbs in the New Forest

An email you’ll actually love

First up

Wild ponies aren’t the only animals worth discovering in the New Forest. See bison, wildcats and wolves at the New Forest Wildlife Park , where they roam freely. Look out for the giant otters, which get through 5kg of fish a day. Ask nicely and the keepers might let you help at feeding time.

Get back to nature

Get back to nature

Mushroom-hunting by yourself can be a risky business, but if you’re with an expert the whole forest is your larder. Hedgerow Harvest   runs foraging walks with wild-food author Andy Hamilton. Learn how to spot edible and poisonous species – and nibble some tasty ones.

Stop for lunch

Stop for lunch

Head to The Royal Oak in Fritham, where you can tuck into a proper ploughman’s lunch under a thatched roof, or eat local at The Pig  in Brockenhurst. Come teatime, drop into the starry Lime Wood Hotel  for a cuppa and a huge slice of homemade cake.

Drink like a local

A-moos yourself at Dancing Cows , the New Forest’s very own craft distillery and brewhouse. Using grains, fruits and botanicals it produces everything from oak-aged gin to Pony, a delicious bitter. Ninety-minute tours run twice a week and include plenty of samples.

Soak up the scenery

Soak up the scenery

When you’re dealing with an area the size of the New Forest, wheels definitely beat feet. Hire mountain bikes from Cyclexperience in Brockenhurst, or ask to borrow one of the electric off-road ones. Don’t fancy pedalling? Nab yourself a two-seater Twizy eco-buggy for the day and head off across ancient heathland and through dense forests.

If you only do one thing

If you only do one thing

Make sure you catch a glimpse of the famous ponies . There are 5,000 of them, trotting along the forest trails and grazing freely. Remember, though, that they’re wild – which means no cuddles or posing for selfies with them. Want to get closer? Give horse-riding a go at the Burley Villa School of Riding.

And if you stay the night, wake up here

And if you stay the night, wake up here

A single overnight stay in a plush bedroom or treehouse isn’t enough at Chewton Glen . You can wallow in Grecian grandeur at the spa, stroll down to the sea, relax in the gardens, listen to the click of croquet balls and imagine you’re the lord or lady of your very own country manor. Some décor – claret carpets and tartan touches – teeters on the brink of stuffy but the atmosphere is far from stiff. While a bed in this comforting country house isn’t cheap,it’s a serene spot for frazzled escapee Londoners to pause. Prising yourself out of its embrace to return to the city won’t be pain-free. Katie Walker

Rooms from £435.

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The 9 best things to do in the New Forest

The 9 best things to do in the New Forest

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The Planet Edit

How to Spend a Weekend in the New Forest

New Forest Ponies by Beaulieu River

This 48-hour New Forest itinerary is ideal for those who are looking for an active weekend in the national park. We’ll be walking, cycling and kayaking — if this sounds ideal for you, then keep on reading.

The New Forest National Park makes a fantastic weekend getaway for Londoners, as it’s just a 90-minute drive from the capital. You’d think you had travelled much further than this, though, as this scenic national park is characterised by ancient woodland, open heathland and rustic villages. It’s also home to some famous four-legged locals who roam the forest at large: the New Forest Ponies.

I grew up in the suburbs of London and so the New Forest is somewhere I frequented on family holidays as a child. I have many fond memories of watching free-roaming ponies graze on open heathland, of cycling beneath the canopies of the forest’s tall trees, and of strolling through the quaint villages.

I’ve returned many times as an adult — particularly in recent years — to escape the stress of London life and to revel in the childhood nostalgia that the New Forest brings me. I’d like to think I now know this national park quite well. The following 48-hour itinerary is how I would showcase the New Forest to someone who has never been before.

Day 1 in the New Forest: Brockenhurst

Your first day in the New Forest will be spent exploring from the pretty village of Brockenhurst. I actually recommend you stay in Brockenhurst during your time in the New Forest, as it’s right in the heart of the national park, making it a great base from which to explore.

Morning: Brockenhurst Village Walk

Begin your weekend in the New Forest by heading out on a walk through the heathland and forest. The 5-mile Brockenhurst Village Walk is flat and easy, offering lovely views and a very high chance of seeing lots of New Forest Ponies. It really gives a quintessential overview of the national park: semi-wild ponies grazing on open heathland and trails through ancient woodland. You can see the map here.

If this walk isn’t quite right for you, why not check out the following? The start of these trails can all be reached within a 15-minute drive from Brockenhurst:

  • Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary Circular (1.7 miles)
  • Tall Trees Trail (2.3 miles)
  • Wilverley Inclosure (3.4 miles)
  • Burley Village and Long Pond (4.9 miles)

2 day New Forest itinerary

Lunch: The Foresters Arms

As you return back from your walk around Brockenhurst, head to the Foresters Arms to grab some lunch. I visit the Foresters Arms nearly every time I’m in the New Forest — the pretty outdoor garden is great to relax in when the weather is nice. The menu is also quite expansive, including lots of choices for veggies.

Foresters Arms Brockenhurst

Afternoon: Ornamental Woods bike ride

I personally feel that the New Forest is best explored on two wheels. There are tons of excellent bike trails to choose from, but I recommend spending the afternoon cycling the Ornamental Woods route . This is a gorgeous, circular trail that will take you through some of the most impressive parts of the New Forest, including the Blackwater Arboretum. Here, you’ll see some of the oldest and tallest trees in Britain, including majestic Douglas firs and redwoods.

You can hire a bicycle from Cyclexperience , which is located right by the railway station in Brockenhurst. Hire costs £22 per day for a standard mountain bike. They even have an app with a few trails to choose from — including Ornamental Woods — which you can follow using GPS. The trail is 14 miles and should take 2-3 hours, although I’d allow a full half day.

Ornamental Woods Cycle Route

Day 2 in the New Forest: Beaulieu

Beaulieu, meaning “beautiful place” in French, really does live up to its name. This charming village is home to a characterful high street, a 13th-century abbey, the Exbury Gardens, the National Motor Museum, and the languid Beaulieu River. The second day of your weekend in the New Forest will be spent exploring Beaulieu and its surroundings.

Morning: Kayaking on the Beaulieu river

The Beaulieu River is one of the very few privately-owned rivers in the world and has been owned by the Montagu family for over 400 years. It’s largely unspoiled, and with so many hidden creeks and opportunities to spot wildlife, there’s no better way to explore the river than by kayak. You can rent a kayak from New Forest Activities , which offers both self-guided kayaking sessions and guided tours.

If kayaking isn’t your thing, I recommend that you instead spend the morning exploring Beaulieu’s high street. You’ll find red brick houses, cute shops, a chocolaterie, and plenty of good cafes. You may also want to pay a visit to the 13th-century abbey or the Exbury Gardens.

Lunch: The Beaulieu Bakehouse

After a morning of kayaking on the Beaulieu River, you’ve no doubt worked up an appetite. I recommend heading to The Beaulieu Bakehouse for a delicious lunch. If you fancy a real “tea room” experience, the bakehouse also offers a fabulous afternoon tea of fruit scones, sandwiches, cake and tea or coffee.

Beaulieu Bakehouse

Afternoon: Walk to Buckler’s Hard

The 2-mile footpath between Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard forms part of the Solent Way and runs along the border of the North Solent Nature Reserve. The trail is really quite scenic; a pretty riverside stroll that takes you along the banks of the Beaulieu River and through forest tracks before ending at Buckler’s Hard.

Buckler’s Hard is a historic village that was established in the early 18th century as a shipbuilding centre, where it played a big role in the construction of ships for the British Navy. Today, the village features several restored buildings, including a shipbuilder’s house and a village inn, as well as a maritime museum that showcases the area’s naval history.

If naval history isn’t your thing, don’t worry! Feel free to skip the musuem and instead relax by the banks of the river with an ice-cream or coffee, or enjoy a refreshing drink at the Captain’s Table. There are also Beaulieu River cruises that embark from Buckler’s Hard — this is a great alternative if you chose not to go kayaking this morning.

Bucklers Hard

And there we have it — a 2-day New Forest itinerary! Are you planning to spend a weekend in this charming national park?

Lauren Pears in Kyrgyzstan

About The Author

Lauren Pears is a freelance travel writer and blogger based in London. She writes about active adventure travel, aiming to encourage and inspire travellers to make the most of the great outdoors.

Thank you for reading! If you found this post useful, I’d be grateful if you would consider using the affiliate links below when planning your travels. I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This will help me to keep this blog running. Thanks for your support – Lauren. Hotels – Hostels –  Hostelworld Cheap flights –  Skyscanner Travel insurance –  World Nomads Outdoor gear –  Decathlon  /  GO Outdoors Cycling gear –  Chain Reaction Cycles Alternatively, you could buy me a coffee to say thanks!

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What a great itinerary! Hoping to go there one day.

Fingers crossed you do, such a wonderful place 🙂

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30 unmissable things to do in the New Forest

Whether you’re looking for woodland walks, family attractions, outdoor activities, or fun by the sea, you’ll find plenty of things to do in the New Forest.  It offers the perfect blend of coast and countryside for its visitors.  Plus, it has some of England’s top spa hotels and restaurants, which are perfect if you want to add some luxury to your break.

The New Forest really is a brilliant place to visit.   It’s perfect for couples who want a cosy weekend getaway or families who want to go for a week’s holiday.

With so much to see and do, our New Forest travel guide will help you plan a memorable trip.  You’ll discover the top activities, places to go, and family attractions in the New Forest to ensure you have a fantastic holiday.  We’ve even added some indoor activities, in case it’s raining.

We live fairly close to the New Forest and have been many times, both with and without the kids.  We have tried and tested many of these activities, and are still working on the rest!

So, come with us to discover the best places to visit and things to do in the New Forest.

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Contents: click to jump to a section

Where is the New Forest?

Before we start on the best places to visit in the New Forest, let’s just chat about where it is.

The New Forest is one of the UK’s National Parks in southern England .  It covers an area of 220 square miles in Hampshire and stretches down to the South Coast.  The New Forest is one of the largest areas of lowland heath and ancient woodland in southern England.  This makes it a fantastic destination for anyone wanting to enjoy the great outdoors.

Read on for 30 unmissable things to do in the New Forest

Spot New Forest ponies

Two light brown ponies grazing in the New Forest, Hampshire, UK

No matter how many times I visit, I never tire of spotting New Forest ponies.  They are everywhere, often just standing at the edge of the road.  Or even in the middle of the road, causing traffic chaos!

There are about 5, 000 ponies and they are undoubtedly one of the New Forest’s top attractions.  The ponies are free to roam and graze and are have shaped the landscape that we all enjoy today.

What might surprise you more are the donkeys and cows that you might spot roaming around too.

Discover the New Forest Wildlife Park

Otters, owls, bison, polecats, and wallabies are just some of the animals you’ll encounter at the New Forest Wildlife Park .

If you’re looking for things to do with kids in the New Forest, this could hit the mark.  Not only does the Wildlife Park have animals, but two fantastic adventure playgrounds.  For younger kids, there are climbing frames, diggers and sand pits, whilst older children can enjoy climbing ropes, nets, and swings.  This all makes for a fun family day out in the New Forest.

Spend a day at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

Beaulieu Motor Museum, New Forest, Hampshire, UK

One of the top days out in the New Forest is at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu.  The motor museum has over 285 vehicles, including some F1 winners, land speed record holders and on-screen favourites, including the car from Chitty Bang Bang.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a motorhead to enjoy the Motor Museum.  As well as cars, you can explore Palace House, family home to the Montagu family, Beaulieu Abbey, and the Top Gear exhibition.  There is also a monorail and interactive adventure play area for children.  It really is one of the best all-round family attractions in the New Forest.

Take a walk to Hurst Castle from Milford on Sea

Walk to Hurst Castle, Hampshire, UK

One of our favourite walks in the New Forest is along the shingle spit from Milford-on-Sea to Hurst Castle .

Hurst Castle is a Tudor fortress, built in 1544, as one of King Henry VIII’s chain of artillery defences.  Visitors can explore this fortress, now owned by English Heritage.

Afterwards, you can retrace your steps along the spit, but it’s more fun to take the little passenger ferry to Keyhaven Harbour.  You should add a visit to Hurst Castle to your list of the best things to do in the New Forest.

Go to the New Forest Heritage Centre

If you are interested in the history and traditions of the local area, head to the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst. This museum is a focal point for arts and heritage and will help you discover everything you need to know about the history of the New Forest and Lymington.

If you’re thinking of free activities to do on a rainy day near Lyndhurst, this is an ideal place to go.

Hire a bike

The Old railway trail, New Forest, Hampshire, UK

With over 140 miles of traffic-free cycle trails, a bike ride is the perfect way to explore the New Forest.  There are several way-marked routes to suit cyclists of different abilities.

If you don’t want to take your own bicycle, there are several bike rental shops in the New Forest.  We used the one in Burley, but there are other rental shops in Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst and Lymington.  You could even do a day trip from London.

We had a fantastic day out on our bikes and definitely rate cycling as one of the best New Forest activities.

Read more:   Family cycling in the New Forest

See Peppa Pig at Paultons Park

Paultons Park is home to Peppa Pig World and is one of the best theme parks in Hampshire for younger children.  Expect your toddlers and little kids to be blown away by the nine Peppa Pig themed rides.  I ask, does it get any better than a ride on George’s dinosaur or a train trip with Grandpa Pig?

As well as Peppa Pig World, this family amusement park has plenty for older children too.  Big kids can enjoy roller coasters, splash parks, zoo animals, and indoor play areas.  It’s undoubtedly one of the top places to go with little kids in the New Forest.

Visit Liberty's Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre

Animal lovers should add Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre to their list of things to do in the New Forest.

As the name suggests, the centre is home to a collection of owls, reptiles and birds of prey.  They offer daily flying displays so that visitors can see the birds in action.  After visiting the animals, small children can head to the play area, where they have a sandpit, fort, and balance trails.

Go Crabbing at Keyhaven

crabbing at keyhaven bridge, Hampshire, UK

Just outside Milford-on-Sea is a “crabbing bridge”, which is perfect for catching crabs.  Just take a bucket and line and you can hang off the little bridge until a crab bites.

The kids thought this was one of the must fun activities in the New Forest.  Alternatively, you can head along the coast to Mudeford , which is one of the top spots on the south coast for catching crabs.

Have a day out at Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

One of the prettiest places to visit in New Forest is Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway .  In spring, the gardens are bursting with colour from the stunning collection of rhododendrons and azaleas

With over 200 acres of woodland gardens, there’s plenty for kids to explore.  Plus, there’s an adventure playground.  Afterwards,  you can take a ride through the grounds on the 12-guage steam train.  Then, stop for lunch at Mr Eddy’s or head to the Old Tennis Courts Café for an ice-cream.

Step back in time at Buckler's Hard

Bucklers Hard, New Forest, Hampshire, UK

One of the most unique attractions in the New Forest is Buckler’s Hard , near Beaulieu.

Buckler’s Hard was once a thriving shipbuilding village, where they built ships for Nelson’s Fleet at Trafalgar.  Nowadays, visitors to the historic village can go inside the reconstructed cottages to see how the families lived in the 18 th century.  In summer, you can also take a river cruise down the Beaulieu River.

Admission to Buckler’s Hard is free, but there is a charge for the boat ride.

Walk the Solent Way

Bucklers Hard Boats, New Forest, Hampshire, UK

The New Forest is a hotspot for hikers, but it’s not all about woodland walks.  The Solent Way is a long-distance coastal trail, that starts at Milford-on-Sea and stretches to Emsworth Harbour, passing through the New Forest on the way.

The walk is 60 miles long and will take you to some of the New Forest’s top attractions, such as Hurst Castle, Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu and Lymington.

Climb a wall at Calshot Activities Centre

One of the best things to do on a rainy day in the New Forest is head to the Calshot Activity Centre , where they offer a variety of indoor adventure activities.  You can have a go at climbing, archery, air rifle shooting, and abseiling.  The activities centre also houses the only banked velodrome in the south of England.

If you want to get out on the water, they offer other water activities, including sailing, kayaking, and windsurfing.

Follow the Tall Trees Trail

Tall Trees New Forest. Hampshire, UK

There are so many fabulous walks in the New Forest.

If you’re looking for an easy circular walk, try the Tall Trees Trail, just off the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive.  It’s not a long walk, but does include some of the oldest trees in the UK.   Look out for the impressive collection of Douglas fir trees and the mighty Redwoods – they are gigantic!

The Tall Trees Trail is about 1.5 km and starts at the Blackwater Car Park.

Read more:   8 family-friendly walks in the New Forest

Spot pigs in the pannage season

If you visit the New Forest in autumn, it’s not just ponies and donkeys you’ll see roaming around the trees.  This is a special time of year when the pannage season takes place and the forest is full of pigs!

During the pannage season , hundreds of pigs are released to eat the acorns, nuts and chestnuts from the woodland floor.  This tradition, which dates back to medieval times, ensures that the pigs eat the fruit and nuts that are poisonous to other New Forest animals.

If you can get down to the New Forest in autumn, it’s an event not to be missed.

Pamper yourself in a spa hotel

There are lots of luxury spa hotels in the New Forest and they all look amazing.  Unfortunately, I haven’t stayed in any of them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a wish list!

Top of the list is Chewton Glen Hotel , a luxury country house set in 130 acres of countryside.  Another of New Forest spa hotels that looks fabulous is Careys Manor Hotel , an 18 th century Manor House with an award-winning Thai spa.  Of course, there are many more, but that’s enough dreaming for today.

Here’s some ideas on how to spend a weekend in the New Forest .

Make a splash at the New Forest Water Park

On a hot day, one of the best places to visit in the New Forest with kids is the Aquapark.  In fact, you get a choice of two, .

The New Forest Water Park has two inflatable aqua parks, Poseidon and Neptune, and they look so much fun.  Clamber your way across walls, swings, trampolines, flippers, hurdles, and monkey bars.  It sounds exhausting just writing about it!

Other fun activities in the New Forest Water Park include kayaking, supping and wakeboarding.

Indulge in some fine dining

The Elderflower, Lymington, New Forest, Hampshire, UK

The New Forest is a magnet for food lovers who want to enjoy gourmet food in an exquisite setting.   It is well known as a top destination for fancy restaurants in Hampshire.

One of the best restaurants for fine dining in the New Forest is the Terrace at the Montagu Arms in Beaulieu.  Here they offer diners a modern British menu with ingredients from the local area.  Another top choice is the Limewood, where guests can choose from a menu of Italian dishes created by chef Angela Hartnett.

For fish-lovers, Verveine in Milford on Sea, is an award-winning fish restaurant and always a good option.

However, for an amazing taste sensation, we would recommend the Elderflower in Lymington, who serve a myriad of surprise dishes in their signature tasting menu.

Visit St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery

Located in the heart of Lymington, St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery is home to some of the best art exhibits in the New Forest.

Inside the museum, the collections represent the cultural heritage of the New Forest.  The displays give visitors an insight into local history and art.  The art gallery aims to produce a programme of cultural events, which appeal to all ages.

Have a paddle at Ober Water

Ober Water Whitefield Moor, New Forest, Hampshire, UK

There’s a shallow stream at Ober Water, that’s just perfect for a little paddle on a hot day.  There are several woodland walks here too and a good chance you’ll spot ponies.

Another of the best streams for paddling in the New Forest is at Mill Lawn Brook.

Check out the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum

If you’re interested in motorbikes, get yourself across to the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum , in New Milton.  What started as the private collection of motorcycling legend, Sammy Miller, is now a museum with about 500 rare and exotic bikes from all over the world.

As well as motorcycles, expect to see donkeys, alpacas, and other farm animals roaming around.  There are also two aviaries.  If you’re thinking of things to do in the New Forest in the rain, this is a great choice.

Go kayaking on the River Beaulieu

If you are looking for fun water activities in the New Forest, what about kayaking or canoeing on the River Beaulieu?  You can hire canoes or sit on-top kayaks from New Forest Activities and choose from a taster session or join a 2-hour guided tour.

Alternatively, if you don’t fancy the water, they offer a variety of land activities, including archery and bushcraft sessions.

Spot deer at Bolderwood

Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary, New Forest, Hampshire, UK

One of the best places to see deer in the New Forest is at Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary, in Bolderwood.  Here you’ll find a purpose-built viewing gallery overlooking the meadow.  New Forest rangers feed the deer between 12.30 and 2.30 between April and September, so you are most likely to see them then.  However, they do visit at other times.

There are several family-friendly woodland trails in Bolderwood or you could play games on the large green by the car park.

Eat out at the Pig Hotel

Grand Entrance to The Pig Hotel, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

Another place for fantastic food in the New Forest is at the Pig Hotel near Brockenhurst.  This is the original of the Pig chain and offers tasty British dishes with home grown produce.

In summer guests can also enjoy more casual dining on the terrace at the Pig, with pizzas from the outside wood-fired oven.  This is a good option if you are with kids, or don’t have the budget for the main restaurant.

Feed the animals at Longdown Activity Farm

For families with younger children, one of the New Forest’s most popular attractions is Longdown Activity Farm , near Ashurst.  This fun farm offers a full programme of interactive activities for kids, including feeding and stroking the animals and tractor rides.

Outside at Longdown Farm, children can enjoy the all-inclusive play area, trampolines, go-carts, diggers and a zip wire.  There’s also a crazy golf course for all the family.

Have a day out at Lymington

Children sitting on wall looking into sea, with boats in background.

High on your list of things to do in the New Forest should be a day out at Lymington.  This upscale seaside resort will charm you with its cobbled High Street, boutique shops, and vibrant port.

Kids can enjoy crabbing in the harbour or you could join a chartered fishing trips.  You’ll also see some fun pirate boats.  On a sunny day, you can enjoy lunch at the Ship Inn, overlooking the water or wander along the quay to the outdoor swimming pool.

Enjoy a round of golf or crazy golf!

If you want to play golf whilst you’re away, you’re in luck, as there are about 10 golf courses in the New Forest.  You might even see ponies whilst teeing off at the New Forest Golf Club near Lyndhurst.

If you’re not a golf pro, how about a game of crazy golf?  Designed to mirror the local area, the New Forest Adventure Golf near Lymington has models of lots of the favourite New Forest attractions.

It looks like a fun family activity for all ages.  Plus, there’s no need to book, just turn up and play.

Have lunch in a New Forest pub

Although the fine dining restaurants look amazing, there’s nothing better than a lunch in one of the traditional New Forest pubs.  Or you could stop for a pint after a hard day’s walking.

There are some brilliant pubs in the New Forest, many with gardens, so you can enjoy the views.

Ride a horse

One of the more unique ways to discover the New Forest is on horse back.  There are several reputable equestrian centres around the New Forest who offer a range of riding experiences for all abilities.

At Burley Villa Riding School , children can enrol on a 30 minute pony walk or a grooming experience.  They also offer longer rides through the forest for older, more experienced riders.

Learn to kitesurf at Calshot Beach

man in sea kite surfing

If you’re feeling adventurous, how about learning to Kitesurf or Wingfoil at Calshot spit?  Nomadic Kitesurf offers calm, friendly tuition sessions, which are tailored to your ability.   Start on the pebble beach and then progress to the sea as you make progress.  You could also enrol for paddle board sessions.

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21 brilliant things to do in the new forest.

21 Brilliant Things to Do in the New Forest, England

One of my top 50 things to do in the UK is to visit the New Forest!

Why? Well honestly, there’s just s much to enjoy here!

From spotting wild ponies to hiking amongst the trees, visiting traditional tearooms and pubs to cycling, kayaking, camping or even taking a museum or too, this is a delightful area that packs a lot in.

One of England’s few national parks (and one of only a handful that encompasses countryside and coastline) taking a trip to the New Forest is a UK travel must in my book, especially as it’s very accessible from London and most of the south of the country.

So if you’re considering a trip to this wonderful part of the UK, then read on to discover my list of the top 21 things to do in the New Forest National Park…

England, New Forest, Me in National Park

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#1 Soak in Brockenhurst

UK, New Forest, Historic Home

Coming in at number one on this list of the top things to do in the New Forest, it’s a tried and tested classic that never fails to disappoint!

Yes soaking in the quaint atmosphere of Brockenhurst is something you can’t miss in this area, as it’s one of the flagship towns in the New Forest.

Filled with cute pubs and cafes, historic thatched homes and of course, some lovely wild pony friends, Brockenhurst is a delightful spot to either start your trip or base yourself while you’re here.

Frequently named one of the best places to live in the UK, it’s easy to see why this charming town makes it into my top list.

#2 Take a Trip to Lyndhurst

England, New Forest, Lyndhurst Cafe

I’m going to actually kick off this list with all the main towns in the New Forest as I think spending a bit of time in each of them is a great way to orientate yourself in the area.

So, next up, it’s Lyndhurst.

Often thought of as the central point in the forest, it’s home to the main visitor centre and has some good bike hire places too.

And that’s not to mention vintage-esque shops, tearooms and pubs as well of course, so heading here to snap the cute high street is absolutely a must at least once during your trip.

#3 Stroll Lymington

England, New Forest, Bunting

And the third main town on this list of the top things to do in the New Forest is Lymington.

Down by the coast, this cute spot with its cobbled streets and sea views is a great place to stroll and enjoy an ice cream.

Getting out on the water too (via a SUP, kayak, sailboat or cruise) is a must here and there’s swimming baths as well for the brave cold-water lovers among you!

Full of vintage seaside charm, this is a great place to take in the diversity of the New Forest area and a break from all the shady trees if you want to get some sun in!

This is also the spot to catch the Isle of Wight ferry if you’re continuing your UK travels in that direction.

#4 Visit Hurst Castle

UK, New Forest, Hurst Castle

And from Lymington, it’s just a short drive to either Milford on Sea or Keyhaven, where you can then enjoy a lovely coastal stroll out to Hurst Castle.

Built originally by Henry VII and located at the end of a coastal spit, enjoy a seaside stroll to get here complete with views of the Isle of Wight’s famous Needles.

Once you arrive you can enter Hurst Castle, which is currently looked after by English Heritage – meaning members get in free.

It’s an amazing historic place you can spend a couple of hours exploring before taking the cute ferry back across the estuary, which seems much more fun than retracing your walking steps.

#5 Hike the Solent Way

England, New Forest, Trailhead

And while we’re on the coastal theme, no list of the best things to do in the New Forest would be complete without including the mighty Solent Way.

A 60 mile long track that starts at Milford on Sea and continues through the coastal region of the New Forest and beyond, this is a delightful multi-day hike you can easily complete in sections if you’re not up for the whole thing.

When following the trail look for the emblematic white bird on a green background, which can be found on markers to help you navigate your way.

#6 Amble The Pig Manor House Gardens           

Now back inland, if you like a stroll, then this one is also for you!

The Pig Manor House is part of the famous chain of lovely British boutique countryside stays and the one located in the New Forest won’t disappoint.

Not one for budget travellers, you needed despair if the restaurant price tag make you baulk however, because it’s good to know that ambling through the beautiful gardens of this historic place are totally free and totally worth it too!

Maybe push the boat out with a drink at the end?!

#7 Sink a Pint in a Trad Pub

England, New Forest, The White Hart

And talking of drinks, you can’t miss checking out some of the lovely New Forest pubs while you’re here.

With many historic gems, including some thatched roof beauties with roaring fires in the winter and super sunny beer gardens in the winter, whether you want to drink alcohol or not, a New Forest pub is a lovely place to unwind and enjoy some great food at the end of a fun-filled day.

Check out my list of the top 15 New Forest pubs for some inspiration.

#8 Taste a Tour Ringwood Brewery

And the beer theme continues with number 8 on this list, which is to enjoy a tour at the Ringwood Brewery.

Founded in 1978, the brewery sits in the cute market town of Ringwood.

A great activity for those with a taste for craft ales, this lovely spot also comes with a great bar and eatery where you can enjoy some superb beers at the end of it all.

Costing £12 per person, tours explore the brewery, including the history of beer making in this area which stretches right back thanks to the crystal waters of the River Avon and the farmed barley of the rural Hampshire countryside.

#9 Cycle it Off!

UK, New Forest, Cycle Hire

And now, after all that indulgence, it’s time to get healthy again and thankfully you’ve come to the right place!

The New Forest is a cyclist haven with some wonderful road, as well as designated trails, cycling.

This means that, even for those who aren’t super confident, there’s plenty of safe and traffic-free options to choose from.

A great way to see the forest, not least for the peaceful and relaxed feels cycling provides, much of the landscape is quite flat here too, which many will find a relief!

And don’t worry if you’ve forgotten your bike – there’s plenty of hire outlets in towns and campsites around the national park.

#10 Kayak or SUP

UK, New Forest, Kayak

But if it’s active watersports you’d rather enjoy than cycling – or perhaps a bit of both – then you’ll be pleased to learn that all of this is on offer in the New Forest too.

Yes providing a nice alternative, kayaking or SUP-ing is definitely one of the best things to do in New Forest with equipment easily rental from many of the top coastal and riverside spots around here.

You can also take tours if you don’t feel that confident, or want to build up your skills, and the towns of Lymington, Fordingbridge and Beaulieu are key places where companies provide both lessons, tours and equipment hire.

#11 Get Charmed by Beaulieu

UK, New Forest, Beaulieu Walk

Which leads me seamlessly into talking about Beaulieu!

Apparently pronounced bu-ley (… or near enough, unless you’re French and then it’s bow-lee-ah), this cute village is an absolute must-see when you’re in the New Forest.

In fact, I think it was my favourite village thanks to its historic homes, quaint shops and lovely wild ponies and donkeys!

Snap away to your heart’s content in this chocolate box destination, or else hike or kayak your way along the river here.

A classic route is from Beaulieu to Bucklers Hard – the place where Lord Nelson’s favourite ship Agamemnon was built in 1781.

Beaulieu itself means “beautiful place” and was established in 1204 by Cistercian monks who founded an abbey here.

Honestly, it’s not hard to see why the spot appealed to them, and still appeals today!

#12 Snap The Ponies!

UK, New Forest, Wild Horse

Not quite sure how it took me until number 12 of this list to mention the wild ponies that the New Forest is probably most famous for, but there it is!

So yes, in at number 12, it’s stop and snap those wild ponies!

If you’re yet to see any up until this point during your meanderings through the Forest (in which case, I’d also ask how?!), then heading to Beaulieu pretty much guarantees you a sighting!

Wild, but incredibly used to people, the ponies are the symbol of this National Park and actually have priority here – even over cyclists, walkers and traffic!

If you get stuck behind a big jam in the New Forest therefore, it’s likely to be pony induced!

#13 Head to Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary

And if it’s wildlife you’re after, especially if you have a child, then you also can’t miss a visit to the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary in the New Forest.

With tons of, yes you guessed it, deer to be spotted here care of a handy viewing platform, these wild animals also add to the pony, donkey and cattle affair that is the New Forest wildlife scene!

With some lovely walks around it too (check out my list of the top 10 New Forest walks here ), the Deer Sanctuary is a family-friendly must-visit!

#14 Road Trip Ornamental Drive

UK, New Forest, Ornamental Drive

Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is actually situated along one of the most famous stretches of the New Forest, so while you’re here, there’s no question you should take a leisurely cruise along Ornamental Drive too.

With magnificent forest views, as the trees tower above you on either side of the road, this is a delightful drive or cycle, which will really have you feeling like you’ve visited the New Forest.

#15 Walk the Tall Tree Trail

England, New Forest, Tall Trees Trailhead

And also along the Ornamental Drive is the famous Tall Tree Trail.

A great 2.5km loop, the handy information boards here, as well as the range of historic and majestic trees you can spot along the way, make this a classic!

Flat and easy for kids too, there’s plenty of opportunities to play in the leaves, run around and snap the beautiful forest at its best.

A handy car park near the trailhead, which features picnic tables and public toilets, also makes this an accessible one and is def one of my top 10 New Forest walks .

#16 Check out a Museum… or 2!

UK, New Forest, Heritage Centre

But what if you visit the New Forest and the weather doesn’t play game, I hear you cry.

What? Rain in England? Never!

Alas, it’s true, the weather can’t always be guaranteed down here in Hampshire, but fear not, the New Forest has plenty of wet weather things to do too!

And top of the list is visiting one of the many museums here.

From the National Motor Museum to the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, there’s plenty to choose from no matter your interests or inclinations.

UK, New Forest, Me Walking

Now back to an activity that hopefully you won’t have to do in the rain, yes camping in the New Forest is certainly one of the best ways to experience this idyllic countryside area at its best.

From glamping to campervanning, old school tenting to caravan life, there’s so many options to choose from here, and so many great independent and fun campsites, that this opportunity really should not be missed!

Learn all you need to know in my ultimate guide to camping in the New Forest.

#18 Hit the Beach

UK, New Forest, Beach

Another warm weather special – or it doesn’t even have to be warm actually, just preferably not wet! – hitting up the beach when you visit the New Forest is a lovely day out.

Although it’s more famous for its trees, it shouldn’t be forgotten that this part of Hampshire also has some delightful coastal stretches and top of my sandy-toe list are the beaches at Lepe or Milford On Sea.

Don’t miss them!

#19 Visit a Working Farm

Coming towards the end of our list now, but there’s no way I could overlook this one.

Yes, rural Hampshire is farming heaven and those working farms in the New Forest are no exception!

Many can be visited and some of them even allow animal petting or “pick your own” activities!

Strawberries are a key produce item here, so head to the New Forest in May or June to grab bags full of these gems from a farm shop.

Or, why not visit in July when the lavender season is in full swing and the Instagram brigade are heavy on those beautiful purple field shots?

#20 Enjoy an Afternoon Tea

Zanzibar, Stone Town, Spiced Tea

And talking of strawberries, whether it’s in a lovely farm cafe, or a quaint village tea room, grabbing an afternoon tea complete with scone, cream and strawberry jam, along with a good-sized teapot full of a strong brew are a must in these parts.

As an area known for its quintessential feels, the New Forest afternoon tea session really does complete the picture!

#21 Jump Onboard the Steam Railway

UK, New Forest, Gardens

And last but not least, number 21 on this list of the best things to do in the New Forest is to visit the great Exbury Steam Railway.

What did I say about the New Forest being a quintessential classic?

Well now here’s the proof!

As part of a visit to the lovely Exbury Gardens, you can actually jump onboard a working steam engine here, which departs from a replica Victorian station before heading through a tunnel, over a bridge, round a Pond and finally through the gardens.

A great one for families and a super fun way to round off your time in the New Forest, the train departs roughly every hour!

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Top Tips for Travel in the New Forest

UK, New Forest, Me and Vicki on the Boat

  When to Visit the New Forest?

No question in my mind that the best time to go to the New Forest is between the months of June and September when the weather is at its direst, sunniest and warmest.

Not only does this make for a more pleasant travel experience, but the better weather at this time of year will also allow you to enjoy more of the park’s beautiful landscapes too – whether that’s walking, cycling, hitting up the coast or just staring out your tent door!

I visited the New Forest in mid-April and experienced idyllic weather that saw me hiking and cycling under brilliant blue skies every day, but this isn’t a given!

Don’t forget that this being England it can rain at any time of the year, even in the height of summer, so it pays to come prepared!

Within the summer months, do remember that the school holidays and sunny weekends will be by far the busiest months here, so if you want to get the cheapest prices or the thinnest crowds, it’s probably best to avoid these times!

How to Get to the New Forest?

Situated in the south of England, in the county of Hampshire, the New Forest is very near the coast and the port cities of Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth.

It’s just a few hours’ drive from London too and if you’re heading down to the Isle of Wight or even across to Dorset , the New Forest can be a great stopping point on the way.

Driving is the best way to get to the New Forest and if you don’t have a car, you may consider renting one.

As always, I recommend Discover Cars as they offer some great deals on car rental and are very reputable.

Learn more in these top 12 tips I wrote about hiring a car in the UK on a budget .

Attentively, if you’d rather use public transport, you can get to the New Forest easily from London Waterloo via 8 train stations that sit within the area.

  • Beaulieu Road
  • Brockenhurst
  • Hinton Admiral

My top tip is to use Trainline to find the best deals on rail tickets across the UK, as they use split-fare technology to get you the cheapest prices.

How to Get Around?

Once in the New Forest, there is a pretty good bus service.

More information including timetables and fares can be found here .

In the summer months, additional New Forest bus tour routes also run.

If you don’t want to catch public transport however, then cycling is an ideal to get around the New Forest.

With many great, designated trails, as well as calm and quiet country roads to enjoy, it’s the perfect option!

Otherwise, you may opt to drive a car around instead.

There are many roads through the forest, making it easy to explore large sections of it over a fairly quick amount of time in a vehicle.

How Long to Spend There?

From a weekend to a week, both shorter and longer trips to the New Forest are well worth it.

Just remember not to overpack your itinerary and try to cover the whole of the New Forest in a couple of days!

You won’t be able to take it all in or enjoy it this way.

Where to Stay in the New Forest?

Accommodation in the New Forest isn’t the cheapest, so for those of you on a tight budget, camping really is the best option.

Discover more in my ultimate guide to camping in the New Forest , which includes a list of the top 7 campsites in the area.

For those who want something a bit comfier however, the Highfield Bed & Breakfast in Lymington gets rave reviews thanks to its great location, facilities and service.

Otherwise, these Brockenhurst Apartments are excellent for those who prefer self-catering accommodation with a full kitchen in the heart of the New Forest.

For something a bit more quirky, this brilliantly rated Shepherd’s Hut near Ringwood is the glamping option to go for!

5 Packing Essentials for the New Forest

#1 Walking Shoes – I highly recommend these lightweight and comfortable ones from North Face , which are perfect for the job.

#2 Waterproof, Windproof Jacket – Bring a good waterproof and windproof jacket no matter what time of year you’re coming ok?!

#3 Swimwear & Towel – I thoroughly recommend bringing swimwear and a travel towel with you to the New Forest, especially if you’re coming in the summer!

#4 Camera – I love my Sony A6000 , which never leaves my side. I also enjoyed having a GoPro when I was in the New Forest to capture all the hiking and cycling action.

#5 Portable Charger – Come armed with 2 fully charged Anker portable chargers , so you can fire up your phone, camera or other devices whenever and wherever you need.


Top 21 Things to Do in the New Forest, England

So there you have it, my list of the 21 things to do in the New Forest.

Have you visited this amazing part of the UK?

What did you enjoy doing there most?

Any tips you can leave to help other travellers in the comments would be greatly appreciated!

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Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie adventures the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile

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An Adventurous World

New Forest Day Trip: London to the New Forest, England

This post contains product affiliate links. These are mainly on items/hotels/tours that I personally endorse & love. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, but at no extra cost to you.

If you’re planning a day trip from London to the New Forest then make sure you read on – these are all the best things to do in the New Forest in a day!

london to the new forest

Living in London, the only time I ever get out of the city is to some far-flung destination around the world or back to Essex to see my family (two very contrasting trips there!)

One thing I was really keen on doing this year though was exploring some places closer to home. I really love travelling around the UK and I don’t do it as often as I should. In fact, I think travelling around the UK is something we could all do a lot more.

That’s why when I had a free weekend spare I decided to swap pints with my dad for bubbles with my girlfriend. After all, it was nearly Valentines day so I thought a romantic weekend in the countryside would go down very well.

That’s why I thought a little New Forest day trip would be perfect. It’s somewhere I hadn’t been in ages and it definitely ticked all the romantic boxes too. Win win.

Looking for another weekend break in the UK? Then check out my guides to the South of England , East Sussex , Hampshire , Ribble Valley and Shropshire .

A New Forest day trip from London

Then last time I went on a Mazda road trip I spent the day pretending to bump into the Queen at Windsor – you can check out what I got up to in my post ‘ The Best British Things to do in Windsor ‘.

For this road trip I really wanted to explore the countryside so I hopped in the MX-5 and headed from London to New Forest for the day.

The New Forest was the setting for one of my first dates with Chloe so I thought it’d be nice to go back and relive some of those memories – and of course create some new ones too.

new forest itinerary

I’d heard so many lovely things about places like Beaulieu, Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst that I really wanted to check them out for myself.

So, if you’re heading on a day trip to New Forest from London, this is what I’d really recommend doing while you’re there.

And yes, you really can squeeze all of this in in a day!

london to new forest by car

Getting from London to the New Forest

This is all about how to get to the New Forest from London.

I always thought the New Forest was hours and hours away from London so I was surprised when it only took me about an hour and 40 minutes to drive.

Coming from Central London, if you head west to the Hammersmith flyover, then it’s almost a straight line south-west to the New Forest along the M3.

Once you get into the New Forest itself a lot of the roads become one-lane dual carriages so it becomes a bit slower.

Saying that, the whole point of my road trip was to drive around the New Forest and take it slowly, so I was happy to take in the beauty around me!

If you want to go to the next county over, make sure you check out the Dorset Travel Guide for all the best things to do in Dorset!

Things to do in the New Forest National Park

day trip to new forest

The first place we stopped off at was the tiny village of Beaulieu .

This place is picture postcard perfect. If you think of a quaint English village from the centuries ago then this would be it.  

One of the major attractions to Beaulieu is Palace House . This is an ornate manor house that dates back to the 13 th century.

Palace House was originally the gatehouse to Beaulieu Abbey, a historic church also well worth seeing while you’re here.

new forest london

You can go on guided tours of Palace House (and make sure you keep an eye out for the secret passage behind the bookcase in the library!)

Palace House also houses the British National Motor Museum. This is award-winning collection has over 250 cars and motorbikes, so if you’re a bit of a petrolhead then you’ll love this museum.

Beaulieu is also home to a number of wild ponies so be careful when driving around here – the speed limit is there for a reason!


brockenhurst new forest

The next place on my New Forest road trip was Brockenhurst .

It’s only 6 miles from Beaulieu to Brockenhurst but this was probably my favourite road to drive on in the New Forest.

Firstly it takes you through the moorlands which is this almost desert-like landscape before winding your way through the forest itself.

I noticed a lot cars parked around here so obviously there were a number of walking trails in the area (more on this later!)

day trip new forest

Brockenhurst is another really cute village but much larger than Beaulieu with more things to do. It’s another one of those places that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time though.

Brockenhurst is really famous for its manors and spas which leads me nicely onto my next activity.

Afternoon tea at Careys Manor

careys manor afternoon tea

As my trip to the New Forest was a bit of a romantic one, Chloe and I decided to go for a spot of afternoon tea. So very British.

We had heard that the afternoon tea at Careys Manor was one of the best around so we booked in there.

The afternoon tea at Careys Manor costs £24 per person and is an absolutely feast.

Included in the price is your tea (they had everything from Earl Grey to mango tea), a few savoury finger sandwiches and a variety of different cakes such as a an apple-filled beignet and a rich, decadent opera cake. Also, scones. Obviously freshly baked scones.

You can upgrade your afternoon tea to champagne too for those who want bubbles!

See the New Forest ponies

new forest day trip

One of the major attractions to the New Forest are all the wild ponies roaming around everywhere.

There are about 3,000 of these handsome creatures living in the New Forest National Park so you’re almost guaranteed to see them driving around here.

As I’ve already mentioned though, please drive safely! The ponies rule the roost (so to speak) so keep your eyes on the road.

There are a few riding schools in the area too and this is such a fantastic way of getting to see the New Forest all from horseback.

There are a number of different tours, some last just a couple of hours trotting and some lasting the whole day.

Hiking in the New Forest

new forest day trip from london

One of the things I was most keen on doing in the New Forest was to go “hiking” (loose sense of the word here people).

If you’re after some fresh air, muddy boots and somewhere to lose yourself then this is the place to do it.

As mentioned above, there are some really fantastic trails between Beaulieu and Brockenhurst. You can pretty much park up anywhere along this stretch and head into the forest. There are some marked trails too so keep an eye out for these.

It’s amazing how as soon as you walk five minutes away from the road you’re completely surrounded by the forest. London certainly feels like a million miles away here.

For me, hiking is one of the best things to do in the New Forest, so make sure you pack your hiking boots.

The New Forest Inn

things to do in the new forest

After going on a brisk 1-hour hike (let’s be honest, it was long walk), we were freezing. All I wanted was a proper pub fire to warm up at, so we hopped in the car and headed to Lyndhurst.

Of all the places we visited in the New Forest, Lyndhurst is by far the biggest with the most amenities.

There were a few pubs to choose from but we ended up at the New Forest Inn – partly because they had the pub fire I was after!

The New Forest Inn had one of the largest pie menus I’ve ever come across so it almost seemed rude not to go for one.

I had their venison pie which was stuffed full of mushrooms and a rich, decadent gravy. All a bit naughty but oh so delicious.

Where to stay in the New Forest

If you fancy staying over, here are a few New Forest hotels that I’d recommend.

where to stay in the new forest

Burley Manor – I’ve stayed at Burley Manor before and it’s a really charming hotel. Located just on the outskirts of Brockenhurst in the village of Burley, this hotel blends the traditional with contemporary design. Each individually designed bedroom has antique furniture and eccentric artwork. There are also some lovely walks around the manor in the deer sanctuary.

The Montagu Arms – If you want to stay in Beaulieu, then The Montagu Arms is for you. This outstanding country house in the New Forest is home to the award-winning The Terrace Restaurant. The building dates back to 1742, and it has a cosy, homely character and picturesque gardens. There’s also a spa on site too – what more could you want!?

The Crown Manor House Hotel – The Crown Manor House Hotel is perfectly located in the heart of Lyndhurst Village, the capital of the New Forest National Park. Situated in a 15th-century Grade 1 listed building, there is a lovely mixture of contemporary furniture with original fittings. Lyndhurst village’s independent shops, restaurants, and cafés are just 100 yards away.

day trip from london

This post was in association with Mazda highlighting some of the best roads trips in the UK. As always, views are entirely my own and without bias.

Are you planning a trip to the New Forest? What are some of the things you’re doing there? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Macca Sherifi

Macca Sherifi is the founder of the multiple award-winning blogs An Adventurous World and the Great British Bucket List. Every month he inspires over 200,000 avid readers to travel the world.

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Stay New Forest

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The New Forest is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK and for good reason. Idyllic woodland glades, rolling swathes of heath and moorland and stunning coastline make this the perfect place to escape and unwind.

We are passionate about the New Forest and everything it has to offer and we are here to help you plan your perfect trip with a selection of the best holiday homes to rent as well as some places to eat and drink, a what’s-on guide and all the secret (and not so secret) spots in the forest that you simply have to explore in order to get the full New Forest experience.

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Our Properties

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Windlass Cottage, Lymington

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Meadow Cott

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Little Hayes

Showcasing the best of the new forest, eat . sleep . explore, places to eat.

There are enough fabulous places to feast in the forest to satisfy even the most dedicated foodie and we will help steer you towards the pick of the bunch.

Places to Stay

We have a hand-picked selection of stunning places to stay in amazing locations. Look no further- you can book your next stay direct through our website.

Places to Explore

You could spend a lifetime exploring the stunning New Forest and there is always something to do. So whether you are looking for a fun family break or the chance to escape and connect with nature we can help point you in the right direction.

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Luxury New Forest Accommodation

Hear from our happy guests, read our real recent reviews, what's on in the new forest.

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Frequently Asked Questions

At Gateway Accommodation we provide beautiful serviced apartments and houses as a comfortable and cost-effective alternative to cramped and expensive hotel rooms. We take pride in providing all of our guests with a true home-from-home experience. All bills are included and you will have access to your own private amenities including a fully-equipped kitchen and flexible living space. Our dedicated team are always on-hand should you need anything during your stay.

We do allow pets at some of our Gateway Accommodation properties. Click on the property that you would like to book and scroll down to the ‘Terms and Rules’ section which is where you can find out if this property will accept pets. Additional charges apply. Please get in touch for more information.

We do not allow smoking at any of our properties. 

In most cases we require a minimum stay of 2 nights. However, this can vary by property and at different times of year. You can check availability using our online calendar.

Click the Book Now button on our website to make an instant booking online or give us a call to discuss your requirements.  

We accept all major credit cards. We also accept direct bank transfers under certain circumstances – please contact us for more information. We do not accept payment by cash or cheque.

A security deposit is required at some of our properties.  

You can request to extend your stay and we will do our best to accommodate subject to availability. We require at least 48hours notice.  

Arrival time is any time after 4pm and check-out is by 10.30am  

Gateway Accommodation like to give our guests the flexibility to come and go as they please. All of our properties have automated entry so you do not need to meet anybody from Gateway Accommodation at the property to gain access. Access details will be sent to you shortly before you are due to check-in and once online check-in has been completed.  

Most of our properties come with a private parking allocation.  

We do allow children at all of our properties.  

Additional charges apply for the replacement of lost keys or if our team are unable to locate the keys when they arrive to service the property after you check-out.  

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Top 16 New Forest Outdoor Activities

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Outdoor Activities in the New Forest

In Hampshire you’ll find the gorgeous New Forest, perfect for outdoor adventures. This national park is home to ponies, rare breed cows and pigs (yes, pigs!) roaming wild, and is a playground for hikers, cyclists and water sport enthusiasts. Head here for a New Forest activity holiday and you will find so much to see and do. Our guide will provide all the information you need to visit the New Forest and we’ll share a few local secrets too!

Having lived and worked in the New Forest national park for nearly a decade, we know it well and can promise you and your family a friendly welcome whether you’re road tripping in the forest , visiting for a day trip,  weekend break  or annual holiday. We are sharing with you our favourite places, things to do and activities around the New Forest area and also a few suggestions of places to take some chill time after all your activity!

If you are heading to the New Forest in Hampshire and want to hire a motorhome or campervan, there are a number of providers in and around the area. Just Google ‘new forest motorhome hire’ or ‘new forest campervan hire’ to find the best deals.

If you prefer to pitch a tent for a spot of New Forest camping, the head to  Camping in the Forest  for a great selection of sites with open access to the forest. Remember that wild camping in a motorhome is prohibited overnight, anywhere in the New Forest.

New Forest activities

Map of Things to Do in the New Forest

New Forest Outdoor Activities

Top 16 New Forest Activities

Walking around fritham.

Up in the north eastern edges of the forest is Fritham, a tiny village with a fabulous dog friendly pub, The Royal Oak.

Fritham is the starting point for some great hiking. Known by locals as the bluebell woods, this part of the forest is literally carpeted in spring; visit the New Forest in October and you may be lucky enough to spot fallow buck deer clashing antlers on several of the ancient rutting grounds in the area.

There is a purpose built car-park in Fritham where you can park, get there early on the weekend as it gets busy.

Follow this guide for our favourite hike through the woods and across Fritham Plain where scenes from ‘Robin Hood; Prince of Thieves’ were filmed. The walk is around 4.5 miles and will take you 2-3 hours. 

  • From the main car park, walk back towards the road and then take a sharp left past the Forestry Commission barrier onto the track. 
  • The track will fork after about 1/2 mile, keep to the left fork; you are now in Islands Thorns Inclosure.  
  • You will cross a small stream on a wooden bridge. Continue to bear left on the main track.
  • Not long after this, you’ll come to the start of a small hill. Half way up the hill is a cycle route sign on the right hand side. Opposite this sign, turn left and go through the gate; you are entering Amberwood Inclosure.
  • Keep on this track ignoring any junctions; it is a narrower track but gravelled which makes for easy walking.
  • You will go down a long hill and the track bears to the left. Just after this on your right you will see a wooden Memorial bench dedicated to New Forest film maker and conservationist Eric Ashby …stop and take a breather!
  • Keep on this track and you will cross a small stream before going through two five-bar gates. Fallow Deer are often seen in this area…eyes peeled!
  • Follow this track around a few bends and up a hill.  At the top you’ll go through another five-bar gate and out onto the heath.
  • Follow the track round to the left and keep going until you get back to the car park.
  • Go through the main car park and across the common to The Royal Oak, order a cold beer and a pasty (the menu is small but perfectly formed), relax and enjoy!

Fritham is one of the best places to visit in the New Forest; you will come back to time and time again.

How to Visit the New Forest in a Motorhome

Woodland Adventure Day

Practice your bushcraft, archery and rope skills during this full-on  multi-activity day  just outside Beaulieu. Learn how to light a fire and build a woodland shelter then test your archery skills. After lunch, you’ll explore a low ropes course before taking to the trees for a high ropes adventure.

Walking at Lepe Country Park

Right at the most southern coast of the New Forest is Lepe, a stunning stretch of coastline with views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth. This walk takes you off the beaten track a bit but you could make a sneaky  visit to the stunning new visitor centre and cafe for lemon drizzle cake!

At the junction of Lepe Road and Inchmery Lane (50°47’12.1″N / 1°22’16.0″W) are a few places where you can park. From here, head south on the very obvious track which starts right at the junction.  Around 120m later you will see the sea, follow the track down to the beach.  Head left along the shore, enjoying the amazing views of the Isle of Wight; this is a great place for a quiet picnic with lots of beach all to yourselves!  

A little way on you will pass Lepe Watch House, which perches above the sea and makes for fantastic photos. Continue on until you see the visitor centre in the distance and then take the first sharp left off the beach onto Lepe Road. Walk up the short hill, past the old fisherman’s cottages and keep going along the lane until you get back to your car.

Alternatively, and for a longer walk, head through the car park, past the visitor centre and into the country park. This route leads to the beaches between Lepe and Calshot where you can explore New Forest history and see remnants of World War Two history from D-Day.

Live Like a Local in The New Forest

Water Sports at Calshot

If you’re more interested in the water and wind on your New Forest visit, then head east to Calshot, the great spit of land at the opening of the Solent. This is the perfect spot for kite surfing, windsurfing, many New Forest paddle sports and sailing. Check out 24-7 board sports  for more details on sessions, kit hire and general information. If you prefer a gentler experience, find out the  best places to paddle board in Hampshire  here.

New Forest Activities

Calshot Indoor Activities Centre

If land based activities are more your thing, the  indoor activities centre  at Calshot offers 1200m2 of climbing with over 125 routes which is suitable for both beginners and experienced climbers.  

There’s also a dry ski slope where you can hire equipment and practice your moves. Add to all that the only indoor banked velodrome in the UK and you’ve got a lot of options for land-based activities.

Head for Hurst Castle

Head to Mr Pinks in Milford on Sea for freshly caught and fried fish and chips. Jump in your car with the bootie and make your way down through Keyhaven and along Saltgrass Lane until you get to the beach. Park and walk up onto the incredible pebbled spit, find a suitable rock, unwrap and eat!  What better way to enjoy the national food of England than on a beach with amazing views of the Isle of Wight Needles and Hurst Castle.

If you want to walk off your fish and chips, head along the spit to Hurst Castle, which is well worth a visit. Part fort, built by Henry VIII and part WWII artillery base, you can wander the ramparts and see what life was like for those that lived there. For more info, go to the  English Heritage  website. 

Make sure to check out the iconic Hurst Point lighthouse as well, another great photogenic building. For a few pounds you can get a boat  across Keyhaven lake and back to your car. 

How to Visit the New Forest in a Motorhome

Have a Cuppa at the New Forest Lavender Farm

The New Forest Lavender Farm is a peaceful and pretty place to stop by for an hour or two. When the lavender is at its most abundant and the wild flowers, which are planted annually, are in bloom why not sit and enjoy the constant buzzing of happy bees with a cup of tea?

Their home-made savoury cheese scones are legendary; enormous, packed with flavour and served with slabs of cold local butter, this is a meal in itself. If you go before 11am, you can enjoy your scone with crispy bacon and maple syrup …absolute heaven.

If you enjoy a theme park,  Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World  are a few miles south on the A36, a great place to visit if you have kids with you, or just enjoy an adrenalin inducing fairground ride!

Take a Sea Kayaking Tour

Book a kayaking course or tour with  Liquid Logistics  and head out into the Solent with a qualified instructor. These guided tours are a great way to get the heart pumping and enjoy the wide open spaces, pretty harbours and calm bays.

New Forest Cycling from Brockenhurst

The New Forest has over 100 miles of car-free approved cycle trails and Brockenhurst is right in the middle, making it cycling central!

Bring your own bike or head to Cyclexperience  for New Forest bike hire right in the village. You can park a motorhome or campervan easily in the British Rail car park at Brockenhurst station. One of our favourite routes is Brockenhurst to Rhinefield, an eleven mile trail along gravel tracks through heathland and woodland inclosures. For a map and detailed instructions click  here.

Try the beautiful ride along the  Setthorns Loop , which runs along an old railway track. This trail showcases the best of the forest, passing through different landscapes; you will be sure to see wildlife and lots of New Forest ponies on this route. Be warned, they can be feisty and don’t like being approached. 

Pedall  offer excellent services and adapted bikes for people who need support to cycle in the New Forest.

How to Visit the New Forest in a Motorhome

Take a New Forest Paddle

One of the best New Forest activities for families with kids is canoeing or kayaking the New Forest Beaulieu River, a fantastic way to enjoy the the nature reserve and creeks of this tranquil tidal area. You don’t need to have any experience to participate when you book through the  New Forest Activity Centre  at Hazel Copse Farm. You can also buy a  New Forest activities gift  voucher and surprise someone with a kayak or canoe adventure.

Visit Bucklers Hard

Afterwards head for Buckler’s Hard, a hamlet on the banks of the Beaulieu River. With its Georgian cottages running down to the river, Buckler’s Hard is a truly beautiful spot. Originally founded as a free port for the trading of sugar, Buckler’s Hard actually flourished as a naval shipbuilding site and has become famous for building warships for Nelson’s Navy, including three vessels that took part in the Battle of Trafalgar.

Head for a well deserved drink and sandwich at The Master Builder’s pub. From the pub you can wander down the street to the Beaulieu River and see where Nelson’s ships were built.  

Live Like a Local in The New Forest

Visit the National Motor Museum

If you’ve got time after all that, the  National Motorhome Museum  just down the road has a permanent collection of over 250 vehicles as well as a James Bond exhibition and is well worth a visit.

Have Fun at the New Forest Water Park

Head west towards Fordingbridge to the  New Forest Water Park.   Here you can cable wake board, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and have the most fun in a swimming costume on the inflatable aqua park. Believe me, it’s a lot harder than it looks!  There are enough activities to keep you occupied here for a least a day, they have a campsite if you fancy spending the night! 

Visit the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum

Sammy Miller is a motorcycling legend, eleven times British Champion, winner of over 1400 events and still winning competitions more than 50 years after his first victory. 

The  Museum  houses one of the finest collections of fully restored motorcycles in the world, including factory racers and exotic prototypes, with the collection constantly evolving as new bikes are acquired. This is a living museum with almost every motorcycle in the museum in full running order.  Sammy regularly demonstrates the bikes at race circuits in the UK and Europe and on Museum event days.  

As with all good New Forest attractions, there is also a tea room serving delicious cakes and a small petting farm to keep youngsters entertained.

Enjoy a Shoot ‘Em Up!

Battlefield LIVE  is a digital combat game experience, utilising outdoor environments and the latest in infra-red gaming gun technologies. Choose your weapon, discuss your tactics, aim down the red-dot sight and take out your opponents! Described as a cross between a grown-up laser tag and pain-free paintball, this is a great team building activity. You can also book open sessions for families or throughout the summer.  

Take a Horse Riding Tour

Head to the Burley Villa School of Riding and enjoy an afternoon hacking through the peaceful forest. This riding school offers lessons and forest rides in the local area, across heathland and along forest trails.

If you love activity and a bit of adventure, then check out our adventure travel posts where there is something for everyone, no matter the size of your comfort zone! Or head here  for ideas and information on great weekend getaways in the UK .

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the new forest day trip

A Lady in London

A Lady in London

And Traveling the World

Lady’s Guide to a Day Trip to the New Forest

Today I want to bring you my guide to a New Forest day trip. This area in southern England is home to a national park and lots of wild heathland. It’s the perfect place for a day out in the English countryside.

New Forest Day Trip

New Forest, England

When I was a child my favorite musical was Into the Woods . The plot borrowed elements from a number of Brothers Grimm fairy tales, while the cast was plucked from stories like Little Red Riding Hood , Sleeping Beauty , and Rapunzel .

Stir it all together, add an enchanted forest, and you have yourself several hours of entertainment.

I bring up this particular musical not because I saw it, but because I actually experienced it on my New Forest day trip.

Village in the New Forest, England

New Forest Day Trip

My boyfriend and I spent Sunday in the New Forest National Park, which is about two hours south of London. William the Conqueror established the forest as a royal hunting ground in 1079, and it featured in the Domesday Book.

Today this part of southwest Hampshire and southeast Wiltshire remains one of the biggest areas of unenclosed pasture land, heathland, and forest in southern Britain.

We rented a car and drove down from the capital, arriving in the late morning ready to explore the ancient wilderness.

We were expecting to spend our New Forest day trip walking through the trees and admiring the fall colors (this is one of the best places to travel in autumn in the world and one of the top places to visit in the UK in autumn , after all).

Instead we found ourselves thrown into the mix of a strange and enchanting fairy tale.

Lyndhurst, Hampshire

In the opening scene, we arrived in the town of Lyndhurst. With its quaint clutch of thatched-roofed cottages and its tiny historic high street, Lyndhurst was straight out of Hansel and Gretel .

The largest village in the area, Lyndhurst is known as the capital of the New Forest. In a nod to the fairy-tale theme, its Royal Manor has been visited by monarchs throughout the centuries.

Lyndhurst’s parish church of St Michael and All Angels also has stained-glass windows designed by William Morris and a fresco by Frederick Leighton.

Thatched Roof Cottage in Hampshire

We arrived at noon hungry, so we found a place in town where we could get some lunch to fuel us on our New Forest day trip.

When we walked in, I noticed a girl sitting at a table in the back corner sipping a cup of tea. The strange thing was that she was dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast .

Before I had time to wonder why a Disney character was sitting in the restaurant, the Little Mermaid walked up and asked if she could seat us.

Suddenly Tinkerbell floated up from behind the counter, followed shortly by Pocahontas. Minnie and Mickey Mouse served our food while Captain Jack Sparrow took orders. Bizarre.

Country Walk on a New Forest Day Trip

Our enchanted New Forest day trip had more on offer than just Disney protagonists, though. In the second scene we took a two-hour country walk through the woods.

We spotted a huge group of deer and a frolicking herd of wild ponies, all of which were plucked right out of a scene from Fantasia . The New Forest is known for its ponies, which are renowned for their hardiness.

As the scene continued, the holly trees showed off their bright red berries while vines wound a cage around almost every tree in the woods.

If not for the plethora of North Face-clad walkers in our midst, I might have thought we were on the set of Little Red Riding Hood .

Path in the New Forest

Brockenhurst and Beaulieu

In the next scene of our New Forest day trip, we stopped quickly in Brockenhurst on our way to the lovely village of Beaulieu.

This place came complete with a huge old stately home, quaint historic buildings, and a beautiful lake full of birds.

Overcome by an enchanted spell, my boyfriend chased a pheasant with the same fervor displayed by The Little Mermaid ‘s Louis (the chef) as he ran after Sebastian (the crab).

New Forest Ponies

Best New Forest Day Trip

In the closing scene of our New Forest day trip, the afternoon sky darkened and the rain began to pour.

Feeling like we were under Maleficent’s curse from Sleeping Beauty , we drove out of the enchanted New Forest as quickly as we could.

As soon as we were outside the boundaries of the park, the curtain of rain mysteriously closed behind us, ending the production and leaving the cast from our fairy-tale day in the woods behind.

It was an enchanted end to a surreal day, and I’m glad we got to discover the New Forest in all its spellbinding beauty. I can’t wait to return someday to stay a night and be captivated by its magic all over again.

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1 Comment on Lady’s Guide to a Day Trip to the New Forest

you have a lovely site simon

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the new forest day trip

The Raptors of the New Forest (Day Trip)

A day in the New Forest in search of the region’s birds of prey and other summer wildlife.

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The extensive woodlands and lowland heaths of the New Forest National Park are home to an exciting variety of raptors from the agile Hobby and rare Honey Buzzard to the occasional White-tailed Eagle that drifts over from the Isle of Wight. We will split our day trip between a morning of raptor-watching from Acres Down – one of the New Forest’s key sites for birds of prey – and a more general birdwatching/natural history stroll in the afternoon. Other species to look out for include Redstart, Tree Pipit, Woodlark, Dartford Warbler and Crossbill. August is an excellent time to look for the region’s birds of prey as the adults are joined in the air by their recently-fledged young.

We will meet in the car park at Acres Down at 9am and will finish around 5pm. In the morning (weather permitting) we will be sitting on a small hill overlooking a large expanse of forest and in the afternoon will walk 2-3 miles. Bring a telescope if you have one!

N.B. If the weather on the day proves unsuitable for raptor-watching, we will spend the morning walking the trails that criss-cross the woodlands and heaths of Acres Down before moving to another nearby site in the afternoon.

  • Enjoy a morning of raptor-watching at Acres Down
  • Honey Buzzard & Hobby possible
  • Explore the forests & heaths of the New Forest National Park
  • Birds including Redstart, Tree Pipit & Woodlark
  • Led by an expert Naturetrek naturalist guide

Day Trip Location

Dates & prices.

Tommy Saunders

Tour Leader: Tommy Saunders

Tommy works in the Operations team at Naturetrek and has been fascinated by wildlife since childhood, with a particular passion for raptors. This keen interest led him to read Wildlife Conservation where he gained practical skills and in-depth knowledge on habitat management and conservation methods. He achieved a C Permit in bird ringing from the British Trust for Ornithology when he was just 14-years old and has since ringed over 200 bird species, contributing to the scientific knowledge of many species. He has also been on multiple research trips to study birds and in turn has developed methods of retrieving birds and bats for scientific data collection using suspended nets over water or high up in the canopy.

Tommy cites two weeks in South Africa catching and ringing some of Africa’s most impressive raptors – including Martial Eagles, Forest Buzzard and African Hawk-eagle – as one of his favourite projects. Back home, Tommy is one of only a handful of people in the UK to acquire a tree-climbing and bird-ringing license and with this he is an integral part of multiple raptor ringing schemes. Part of this work includes monitoring and ringing Goshawks, Red Kite and Buzzard chicks along with some scarce breeders. In Spring 2023, Tommy was made the youngest ever Trustee for the Hampshire Ornithological Society.

TL Byron Palacios

Tour Leader: Byron Palacios

Byron is an Ecuadorian Ecologist and Field Ornithologist who has been working as a researcher and bird watching tour leader since 2000. A keen birder and nature lover by 'nature', Byron has a vast knowledge of the neotropical and Western Palearctic avifauna, particularly in his native Ecuador and other neotropical countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Colombia and the Caribbean region, including southern USA. His sharp ears and eyes permit him to locate the most elusive forest-dwelling birds in the field, successfully leading more than two-hundred trips so far! As a Field Ornithologist, Byron has contributed with many important discoveries for the Ecuadorian Ornithology, all published in scientific magazines and bulletins, such as the first record for Ecuador of the Thicket Antpitta (Hylopezus dives), Feb. 2007; the rediscovery of the Yellow-eared Toucanet (Selenidera spectabilis), Aug. 2006; and the discovery of the Choco Vireo (Vireo masteri), Sep 2004, A New Bird Species for Ecuador. Byron currently works as an independant Wildlife Consultant for leading wildlife companies and conservation organisations, having also become actively involved in many birding and conservation programmes in Spain, where his birding field skills have rapidly made him one of the authorities amongst the Iberian wildlife world. He endorses Leica Optics and Gitzo tripods, and currently lives in west Dorset, England, with his daughter Isabel and fiancé Gail.

Prefer to Travel in a Private Group?

For any interested natural history club or society, we can arrange for a private departure of this tour.

the new forest day trip

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Furthermore, as a Naturetrek client, our office team are always to on hand to help you – so if you have any queries about your holiday, whether before or after you have booked, we will be delighted to answer them on the phone. Please just give our team a call!

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Up to a Trillion Cicadas Are About to Emerge in the U.S.

Two periodical cicada broods are appearing in a 16-state area in the Midwest and Southeast for the first time in centuries. Can you get rid of them? Do they bite you? We answer your questions.

A single cicada with red eyes rests on a ledge.

By Aimee Ortiz

In a rare occurrence, a trillion cicadas from two different broods are expected to begin appearing in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States at the end of April.

It’s the first time since 1803 that Brood XIX, or the Great Southern Brood, and Brood XIII, or the Northern Illinois Brood, will appear together in an event known as a dual emergence.

Thomas Jefferson was president the last time that the Northern Illinois Brood’s 17-year cycle aligned with the Great Southern Brood’s 13-year period. After this spring, it’ll be another 221 years before the groups, which are geographically adjacent, appear together again.

A roughly 16-state area will be center stage for these periodical cicadas, which differ from those that appear annually in smaller numbers.

Forested areas, including urban green spaces, are more likely to see higher numbers of cicadas than agricultural regions. To put into perspective just how many of these bugs could emerge, one trillion cicadas, each just over an inch long, would cover 15,782,828 miles if they were placed end to end, said Floyd W. Shockley, an entomologist and collections manager at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

“That cicada train would reach to the moon and back 33 times,” Dr. Shockley said.

When are the cicadas coming out?

The first cicadas are expected to start emerging in late April. Temperature determines when they come out, said Gene Kritsky, a retired professor of biology at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, and the author of several books on cicadas, including “A Tale of Two Broods.”

Professor Kritsky said that first the soil needs to reach 64 degrees Fahrenheit, about six inches deep, and “then you get a good soaking rain, and that’s when they really pop,” he said.

They’ll use their forelegs to tunnel out from the earth, their beady red eyes looking for a spot where they can peacefully finish maturing. A few days after they emerge and molt, the males will start buzzing in an effort to find a mate, a slow-building crescendo of noise that as a chorus can be louder than a plane .

Where will they be?

The first waves of cicadas will emerge in northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, northern Georgia, and up into western South Carolina, Professor Kritsky said.

Then they’ll surface in central North Carolina, eastern Tennessee and northern Arkansas, followed by southern Missouri, Southern Illinois and western Kentucky . Finally, he said, the cicadas will appear throughout central and northern Missouri and Illinois, northwestern Indiana, southern Wisconsin and eastern Iowa.

How long will the dual emergence last?

The Midwest and Southeast should be buzzing for about six weeks.

In most cases, Dr. Shockley said, the cicadas, which live about a month, will die not far from where they had emerged.

Are cicadas dangerous?

Cicadas don’t bite or sting, nor do they carry any diseases. But since they’re “not great fliers and even worse landers,” cicadas often end up on sidewalks and city streets, where they can be squished by people or cars and “could conceivably make things slick.”

“In urban areas, there will be sufficient numbers to necessitate removal of their bodies,” Dr. Shockley said. “But rather than throwing in the trash or cleaning up with street sweepers, people should consider them basically free fertilizer for the plants in their gardens and natural areas.”

If you have a dog that likes to eat them, it’s not good to let them gorge themselves on the insects because it can lead to intestinal blockage, said Professor Kritsky.

How do I get rid of cicadas?

The short answer is: You don’t. If you have delicate plants that you want to protect, then use special netting created for that purpose.

The bugs are beneficial to the environment, acting as natural tree gardeners. The holes they leave behind when they emerge from the ground help aerate the soil and allow for rainwater to get underground and nourish tree roots in hot summer months. The slits they make in trees can cause some branches to break, and the leaves then turn brown in a process known as “flagging,” which is a kind of natural pruning. When the branch grows again, the fruits it yields will tend to be larger. When they die, the cicadas’ rotting bodies provide nutrients that trees need.

John R. Cooley, a biology professor at the University of Connecticut, said that his best advice for people living in the regions of the dual emergence is to let the bugs be.

“The forest is where they live,” he said. “They are a part of the forest. Don’t try to kill them. Don’t try to spray insecticide, all that kind of thing. That’s just going to end badly because there are more than you could possibly kill with insecticide. You’d end up killing everything.”

Aimee Ortiz covers breaking news and other topics. More about Aimee Ortiz

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Canoeist stands lakeside in Dalsland, West Sweden, from where you can canoe across the lake to uninhabited Björken island.

Swede dreams are made of this: wild swimming and forest walks in West Sweden

Dissolving into nature is possible in West Sweden, where a new holiday concept offers low-impact stays that don’t compromise on Scandi style

A s I slip off the jetty into the chilly water of Lagmanshagasjön, the world loses all distinction. Low mist blurs everything; I can’t see where the lake ends and the sky begins. It is like breaststroking into a silvery infinity. I haven’t bothered with swimwear. Between the tannin-dark water and early morning brume, I can barely see myself, let alone be seen. And dissolving into nature feels delicious: wearing nothing and seeing nothing, I am feeling everything.

TRAVEL West Sweden (1)

I eventually climb out (flashing an unsuspecting heron), dress quickly and walk back to my “room” – a dazzling cabin made of glass hidden among mossy mounds, blueberry bushes and pine trees. Before long, Katarina arrives with a basket of home-baked sourdough and local cheese. She leaves, and I eat in a silence so loud it seems to vibrate.

That’s partly because I’m well off the tourist trail in Västergötland (West Gotland). Though that may change with places to stay as lovely as this. I’m at Erikson Cottage , a fourth-generation family farm two hours east of Gothenburg . It is a perfect marriage of Swedish taste and sustainability, with three greenhouse-like cabins scattered around the grounds. It’s run by sisters Elisabeth and Katarina, and everything is just so: from the lovely linen to the hygge-ness of Elisabeth’s bakery-cafe – all fresh flowers, candlelight and coffee in handmade mugs.

But there’s substance to the style. The glasshouses are off-grid, and if lifted away would leave no trace. The site has solar panels and its own well. Food is mostly from local suppliers, the bread made with heritage grains. There’s an EV charging point and two nearby train stations from which guests can be picked up.

In a wooded environment sits an off-grid glass cabin, part of the Erikson Cottage family farm two hours from Gothenburg.

Activities on offer at the farm are low-impact, too. Guests can swim (naked or otherwise), kayak and paddleboard out on the lake, walk in the forest and learn to make pizza.

“But 90% of guests do nothing,” says Elisabeth. “They read, lie in bed, read some more. They enjoy slowing down.”

Which is, increasingly, what West Sweden is all about.

In 2021 West Sweden launched Stepping Up Sustainability, a tourism programme looking to minimise the industry’s environmental footprint. But it’s more than a nice green manifesto: West Sweden has put its morals where its money was. The tourist board has ceased marketing to North America and Asia, instead focusing on domestic and European travellers who don’t have to fly from far away. Or even fly at all (I travelled by train).

Then, last year, the region launched “climate smart holidays”, a tourism industry initiative working with a handful of low-carbon accommodation providers to create experience-rich itinerary ideas for exploring western Sweden. The places to stay are between 0.2kg and 1.5kg CO2-equivalent per person per night; the average Swedish hotel creates 6.8kg. (Erikson Cottage scores 0.3kg.) Which is all great, but could be boringly worthy if they weren’t also exceptional places.

I drive to Erikson Cottage in an electric car as part of a tour of several of West Sweden’s climate-smart spots. After a few days of green-chic forest living, I head north, into the land between two huge lakes, Vättern and Vänern, for something different.

Lugnåsberget Ekohotell is a guesthouse converted from a 19th-century farm on one of West Gothland’s hills. Indeed, I barely realise it is on a hill at all until Pia Åkesson, co-owner of the Ekohotell, takes me into its bowels.

The bedrock below the hotel – 1.5bn-year-old gneiss – is especially suitable for making millstones, which people have been doing here since the 12th century. I walk the Stonecutter’s Trail and find the scars of old quarries (about 600 were dug here) and millstones scattered like loose change.

Once a farm, now a hotel, the garden area of Lugnåsberget Ekohotell in West Sweden.

Then Pia leads me into Minnesfjället, one of the area’s mines, now a small museum. She sweeps her torch across the floor: smooth round holes, like cookies cut from pastry, show where men had hacked out the stones using simple picks. Next, she raises her light to the ceiling: “Here you have the first life on Earth – animals that lived 540m years ago.”

We are essentially looking up at an ancient sea floor, left rippled by waves and flecked with fossils of brachiopods and trilobites. “The miners called them planets, moons and stars,” says Pia. They didn’t know, or care, how rare and extraordinary they were. They were too busy trying to extract a livelihood.

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This is what Pia and her partner Jesper Persson are doing. “There’s no tradition of B&Bs here,” Jesper says, back at the Ekohotell, over homemade cinnamon buns. “But we long dreamed of having a hostel, and we wanted to show people there are different ways of living.”

For this couple, sustainability isn’t a fad – it’s fundamental. Their solar panels generate more energy than the Ekohotell uses, and produce for the kitchen comes from the couple’s own smallholding or local farms. I plug my car into the on-site charger, but there’s a train station a few miles away, on the scenic Kinnekulle Line. Best of all, guests who stay here, exploring the surrounding biosphere reserve , are pumping money into this little-visited region.

My next stop is in Dalsland, a province between the west bank of Vänern lake and the Norwegian border. It is awash with lakes but has few people. Swedish Country Living , a stylish group of “hermitages” and holiday cottages, looks fresh from a photoshoot, which, as owners Marie and David Naraine previously worked in fashion, is perhaps no surprise. My cabin, the Slate House Hermitage, looks plucked from a fairytale: a little gingerbread home with smoke twirling from the chimney.

Interior, with lit woodburner, at one of Swedish Country Living’s ‘hermitage’ cottages in West Sweden.

But it isn’t just good-looking. It was handmade using wood felled on site, recycled slate tiles and salvaged antique doors and windows, and insulated with wool from the Naraines’ sheep. The shower block runs on a circular system that takes water from the lake, purifies it after use, then pumps it back into the lake. Waste from the toilet becomes compost for the permaculture garden or feed for the apple trees.

David also used to be a chef, and his food – the lamb he rears, goodies from the veg patch – is delicious. There are pilgrim trails and nature reserves on the doorstep. And guests are free to use the lake as they choose.

One day I borrow a canoe. These waterways are sleepy now, the domain of ducks and reeds. So it’s hard to fathom that this was once a trade highway, part of the Dalsland Canal system, linking Lake Vänern with the North Sea. There are no other vessels in sight as I paddle over to uninhabited Björkon island, hauling ashore at the remains of an 18th-century shipyard.

I have the place to myself and spend a while exploring the ruins amid the toadflax and wild strawberries. I clamber through the overgrown dry dock where, a sign reveals, the 28-metre schooner Clara was constructed in 1867. And I sit on a stone slab – part of the old forge, maybe? – trying to imagine the hubbub when Clara set sail for the Black Sea.

Eventually I paddle back. I can see smoke coming from Swedish Country Living’s outdoor spa, the hot tub – hidden discreetly behind the reeds – being fired up for my return. But I am in no rush. I’ve slowed down to West Sweden speed.

The trip was provided by the West Sweden tourist board and Sustainable Journeys . Eri kson Cottage ’s 48-hour package is £ 563 (7,500 krona) for two , including breakfasts and dinner s. Doubles at Lugnåsberget Ekohotell from £1 19 for two nights. A two-night package at Swedish Country Living is £79 6 for two, full board . Sustainable Journeys offers a 14- day Low Carbon Grand Tour of West Sweden , staying at five climate-smart places and including EV hire , from around £1,92 0 pp. The author travelled from London to Gothenburg by train via Brussels, Cologne, Hamburg and Copenhagen; the journey time (with an overnight stay) is from 32 hour s

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Puerto Rico’s southern coast is the island’s best-kept secret

Take it from a guayama native: the caribbean coast is worth exploring from end to end.

The scenery starts to change when you leave the tall hotels and tapón (traffic jam) of San Juan behind.

Head south on Route 52, and you will start seeing the lush green mountains of Cordillera Central. As you approach the southern coast, the dense vegetation transforms into clusters of cactuses and shrubs, painting an arid landscape against the distant view of the Caribbean Sea.

Ranging east to west from the town of Yabucoa to Cabo Rojo, the southern coast of Puerto Rico is rich in culture, food, beaches and nature. But beyond all the tangible attractions, locals say the spirit of hospitality makes the place unique. “Our greatest asset is the people, who make people feel at home,” says Milexys Rosado Romero, the owner of Hacienda Tres Casitas , a farm stay in Cabo Rojo.

I learned this growing up in Guayama, where neighbors traded mangoes for papayas. My parents were always inviting people for coffee, or my dad might arrive home with a bagful of fresh seafood he got from a friend he ran into at the beach.

Unfortunately, no reliable public transport options exist, so renting a car is the best bet to reach the smaller towns and unspoiled beaches. Highway 52 traverses the island from north to south, taking you from San Juan to Guayama in around 90 minutes, depending on traffic, and to Ponce in two hours or less. Highway 2 takes you west to Cabo Rojo and up the western coast, and Route 3 takes you along the eastern coast with scenic ocean views of Patillas and Maunabo.

If traveling during the fall, you may catch surfers in Guardarraya Beach in Patillas. It’s hard to get lost as you can easily find lesser-known beaches via Google Maps, with good cell coverage throughout the region.

Many of the lodgings offered on the southern coast, from the luxury Copamarina Beach Resort to the kid-friendly Combate Beach Resort , have been owned by local families for generations. Farm stays, small inns known as paradors and vacation rentals dominate the accommodations, making for a relaxed scene.

I recommend visiting from Wednesdays to Sundays for a livelier scene and more dining options; earlier in the week is perfect for having the beaches all to yourself.

Low-key beaches in Cabo Rojo

Even the Caribbean Sea beaches on the southern coast of Puerto Rico are in chill mode, more relaxed than their choppy Atlantic Ocean counterparts in the north.

With small waves and shallow waters, Combate Beach, on the southwest corner, is ideal for families. Make it a day-long affair with a passion fruit mojito at Annie’s Place with picturesque sunset views.

For a more rustic beach experience, go to Playa Sucia, one of Puerto Rico’s southernmost beaches. While there, hike the trails leading to El Faro de Cabo Rojo and Puente de Piedra for 360-degree views of a colorful mix of Caribbean blues, sandy-colored rocky enclaves and green mangroves along the coast. Walk a mile and a half north of Playa Sucia, and you will encounter the Salinas de Cabo Rojo, with colorful yellow-shouldered blackbirds flying over the pink salt flats.

Boquerón is a neighborhood known for its stands of local fish, oysters and clams. You can also take a dip at its small sandy strip. The neighborhood is vibrant, with music blaring throughout the many kiosks and beachside restaurants, most specializing in seafood. You don’t have to go far inland to find roasted pork at Camino Los Charros. Rosado also recommends La Catumba Lechonera among the many restaurants that specialize in pork.

Restaurants on the rise in Guayama

“Guayama esta pegao” — in style, according to what I’ve heard from many friends across the island.

A coastal city on the southeastern side, it is known for having a charming plaza (town square) with homes and buildings dating from the 1800s. One of these historical homes houses Gallo Pinto , a restaurant by chef Ángel David Moreno Zayas that has become a destination with dishes like grilled oysters, bone marrow with beef tartare, and fried red snapper.

“I’ve worked in many kitchens in San Juan and the mainland United States, but I wanted to open my restaurant in Guayama,” says Moreno Zayas of his hometown. “It started as a casual place because we were recovering from the pandemic, but now we’ve incorporated more fine-dining elements, and the reception has been spectacular.”

After a feast at Gallo Pinto, one must save room for ice cream at one of Guayama’s classic spots, Rex Cream. Owned by Chinese-Cuban immigrants, the Louke Chang family, it’s a mandatory stop. A scoop of salty-sweet corn ice cream with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon is perfect for a walk along the plaza.

At Pozuelo, a fishermen’s neighborhood beyond the city center, go to El Arcoiris for one of my childhood favorites, the octopus salad with a side of tostones. Or bite into a crispy alcapurria — a fritter made of banana and root vegetables — at El Fogón de Susa as you stroll along the beach.

You can find one of the most impressive wine lists in the south at Prime Market , where local couple Laury Cordero Sabater and Antonio Palau transformed an old home along Route 3 into an ample outdoor patio with a menu specializing in steaks.

Art and culture in Ponce

It’s hard to find Puerto Ricans prouder of their hometown than Ponceños. I’m not disputing their pride, because the city has so much to offer, especially in terms of arts and culture.

“Start with a walking tour of the city center of Ponce to learn about the history of Ponce and gain an orientation of the city,” says Melina Aguilar Colón, the founder of Isla Caribe tours. “One of the sights not to be missed is the Parque de Bombas de Ponce,” she said. Initially built in 1882 for the Exhibition Trade Fair, the Ponce firehouse is a symbol of the city; the distinct red-and-black-striped facade was an inspiration for the Ponce flag.

After walking through the city center, go for cocktails along Paseo de la Salsa Cheo Feliciano, named after the pioneering salsa singer José Feliciano. At El Marlin 107, William Collazo, a big name in Puerto Rico’s cocktail community, mixes drinks with tropical infusions like coconut water, guava and mangoes. On the weekends, expect live music along the street where you can test your salsa skills. For dinner, head to Chef’s Creations, where you catch chef Jorge Rivera cooking over a wood-fired grill in his restaurant’s patio.

Although the city has suffered structural damage during Hurricane Maria in 2017, followed by an earthquake in 2020, Ponce has focused on reconstruction and updates to many of its cultural institutions. The Teatro La Perla, a cultural hub for performance art, is set to reopen in 2025 with plays and musical performances. The Art Museum of Ponce , home of the iconic “Flaming June” by Sir Frederic Leighton (which is currently on loan to the Royal Academy of Arts in London), recently reopened its doors after extensive repairs.

Ponce is also considered the birthplace of plena music, one of the traditional sounds of Puerto Rico. Deeply infused with African beats, plena tells the story of the Puerto Rican people from the early 1900s. You can learn more about plena and other Puerto Rican music like bomba and danza at the Museo de la Música Puertorriqueña, a small museum in the city center.

El Bosque dry forest and bioluminescent bays

According to Aguilar Colón, “everybody knows about El Yunque rainforest, but nobody talks about El Bosque Seco de Guánica, the dry forest on the island’s southwest coast.” I agree.

One of the things that makes Puerto Rico unique is the contrast of ecosystems in a relatively small island. Walking along the trails, you will notice the different varieties of cactuses, Guayacán trees and mangroves as you get closer to the shoreline. Birdwatchers will rejoice with the sights of sparrow hawks, hummingbirds and brown pelicans. The dry forest is one of the island’s hottest places, so ensure you bring plenty of water and sun protection.

Next to Guánica, in the neighboring town of Lajas, there’s another natural phenomenon. La Parguera is home to one of the three bioluminescent bays of Puerto Rico. Because of overpopulation, it’s not as bright as in Vieques, but it’s still worth a trip if you’re in the area.

The local dock offers boat rides, and you can also find kayak tours taking you deeper into the bay for better views. Beyond the bay, the Parguera is known for its bustling scene on the weekends with plenty of bars, restaurants and bands.

Jessica van Dop DeJesus is a travel and food writer, digital content creator and the author of “ The Dining Traveler Guide to Puerto Rico .” She divides her time between Brussels, D.C. and western New York. Follow her on Instagram @diningtraveler .

Where to go

Our favorite destinations: These 12 destinations are at the top of our wish list for where to go this year, without crowds. In 2023, we explored an Alaskan bear paradise, Brooklyn’s famous pizzerias and a hidden gem in Italy, among other highlights ..

Travel like a local: Residents share their favorite places in our top city guides: New Orleans , Rome , Tokyo and Mexico City .

National parks: This comprehensive guide has details on all 63 U.S. national parks. For a deep dive into five of the most well-known, you can listen to the Field Trip podcast . Then explore tips from locals for visiting Yosemite , Glacier and Everglades .

Tales from the road: Dolly Parton has opened a new resort at her theme park complex in Tennessee, while “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have a new hotel in Waco . Road-trippers may be just as excited to see the cartoon beaver at Buc-ee’s , and bargain-hunters should consider a stop at the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro, Ala.

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The Most Beautiful Stations on the Moscow Metro

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You might have heard that there are some beautiful metro stations in Moscow. Soviet decorations, chandeliers, mosaic painting and statues are common in many of the stations. The good news is that the Moscow Metro does not cost a lot of money and many of the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro are on the same line, so you can almost get on and off at each station to visit these. Over the New Year holidays, I had a free afternoon and decided to visit some of these stations. Check out what I found below…..

The main stations that you will want to visit are on the Number 5 line, also known as the Circle Line. An advantage of this line is that you can get to it very easily and quickly no matter where you are in Moscow. The announcements on the metro are in Russian as well as English so you don’t need to worry if your Russian language skills are not good.

If, like me, you arrive in Moscow via train from Kyiv , then you will arrive at a metro station which many Muscovites believe to be the most beautiful of them all…..

Kievskaya metro station was opened in 1954 and features white marble walls which curve upwards and have with large mosaics surrounded by a gold trim in a very classical style. The mosaics depict life in Ukraine and was designed by a Ukrainian who wanted to display Ukraine’s influence and contribution to Soviet Russia.

Kievskaya, one of the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro

Kievskaya, one of the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro

Soviet era artwork between the arches

Soviet era artwork between the arches

Mosaic with golden trim

Mosaic with golden trim

People carrying flags is a common theme

People carrying flags is a common theme

Going into battle

Going into battle


If you look at a map of the metro , you will want to go in a clockwise direction on the circle line. So you will want to get on the train going in the Barrikadnaya direction and not Park Kultury. Stay on this line until you reach the 2nd station, Belorusskaya. This station was built in 1952 and like Kievskaya also features white marble pylons and a plaster ceiling.

The ceiling features 12 mosaics in an octagonal shape depicting Belarusian life, while the tiling on the floor is said to resemble a Belarusian quilt. One of the passageway exits of the station has a statue called ‘Belarusian Partisans’ of three men wearing long coats, holding guns and carrying a flag.”

Belorusskaya metro platform

Belorusskaya metro platform

Belorusskaya metro platform

Soviet artwork on the roof

The hammer and sickle features prominently in the metro artwork

The hammer and sickle features prominently in the metro artwork

Three men carrying guns, holding the flag...

Three men carrying guns, holding the flag…


To get to the next station, we need to change onto the green line (line 2) and go just one stop to the station of Mayakovskaya. This station has an art deco theme and, for some, resembles an elaborate ballroom. The columns are faced with stainless steel and pink rhodonite while the marble walls and ceiling have 34 mosaics with the theme “24-hour Soviet Sky. Apparently, Stalin resided here during the 2nd World War as the station was used as a command post for Moscow’s anti-aircraft regiment.

Mayakovskaya metro

Mayakovskaya metro

Mayakovskaya metro

24-Hour Soviet Sky mosaic

Bomber planes

Bomber planes

24-Hour Soviet Sky mosaic

It looks like planes flying over Red Square



It’s time to get back on the metro and return to Belorusskaya. At Belorusskaya, change to the circle line again and continue clockwise to the next station, Novoslobodskaya. With its 32 stained glass panels, this station reminds me of a church. The panels were designed by Latvian artists and are surrounded by a brass border.

Novoslobodskaya metro

Novoslobodskaya metro

The platform of Novoslobodskaya metro

The platform of Novoslobodskaya metro

The platform of Novoslobodskaya metro

Stained glass artwork

The golden trim around artwork is also very common

The golden trim around artwork is also very common

Stained glass artwork

Prospekt Mira

Back on the metro and again just one stop until our next station, Prospekt Mira. This station was originally called Botanichesky Sad after the nearby Botanical Gardens of the Moscow State University. The pylons are covered in white marble and decorated with floral bas-relief friezes. The ceiling is decorated with casts and several cylindrical chandeliers.

Prospekt Mira metro station

Prospekt Mira metro station

Notice the floral decoration

Notice the floral decoration


On the metro once more and once more we are going just one stop to the next station – Komsomolskaya. This station is famous for its its yellow ceiling. The chandeliers in this station are huge. The photos below do not do this station justice.  For me, this station resembles a presidential palace.  You hace to see it for yourself to truly appreciate it.

Because of it’s location, this is one of the busiest stations in the Moscow metro as it serves three of the main train stations in the city – Leningradsky, Yaroslavsky, and Kazansky so be prepared for a lot of people.

Komsomolskaya metro

Komsomolskaya metro

The yellow ceiling seems to go on forever

The yellow ceiling seems to go on forever

Yellow ceiling and artwork

Yellow ceiling and artwork

One of the ceiling mosaics

One of the ceiling mosaics


When you are ready to leave Komsomolskaya metro station behind, then get back on the circle line and go one stop to Kurskaya and change to the blue line (line 3) and go to two stops to the Elektrozavodskaya station. This station gets it’s name from a nearby electric light bulb factory and has a somewhat industrial but also futuristic style, with 6 rows of circular lamps (there are 318 lamps in total). I think this is one of the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro for how unique it is. The station was opened in 1944 after a delay because of the 2nd World War and features 12 marble bas-reliefs of the struggle on the home front during the war.

The Komsomolskaya metro station

The Komsomolskaya metro station

The struggles of war at home

The struggles of war at home

Fixing machinery

Fixing machinery

Hard at work

Hard at work

Making weapons

Making weapons

Building a tank

Building a tank

The struggles of war at home

Even the station sign is elaborate

Ploschad Revolyutsii

Back on the metro line 3 (but in the other direction), getting off at the 3rd stop – Ploschad Revolyutsii (Revolution Square). This is located underneath the square in Moscow of the same name and is a short walk from Red Square in the city centre. It is the perfect place to end a visit around Moscow’s metro. The station features red and yellow marble arches with a total of 76 sculptures in between each arch. The sculptures are supposed to represent the people of the Soviet Union and include soldiers, farmers, industrial workers, children etc… I noticed a lot of people touching the golden chicken in the photo below as well as the show of the woman. I am assuming that this is for good luck.

Industrial worker

Industrial worker

Touch the chicken for good luck

Touch the chicken for good luck

Sculpture of the people of the Soviet Union

Sculpture of the people of the Soviet Union

Woman reading a book - touch the shoe for good luck

Woman reading a book – touch the shoe for good luck

In education

In education

Parent and child

Parent and child

These are some of what I think are the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro. Which ones are your favourite? Would you add any to this list?

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' src=

Kievskaya definitely caught me off guard. Didn’t know Moscow metro stations were THIS extravagant! Mayakovskaya is gorgeous too with the marble walls and mosaics. I might just need to book a flight over to admire all of these!

the new forest day trip

Do it! Kievskaya was my first introduction to the Moscow metro as I got an overnight train from Kyiv.

' src=

You know, in the States, all we ever hear is bad stuff about Russia. It’s nice to see other (and lovely!) dimensions of such a controversial place.

It’s the same in the UK which is why I prefer going to see somewhere and making up my own mind. It’s all ‘politics and bullshit’ as I say

' src=

I went to Moscow about 13years for Christmas and went to train stations, so I can see these amazing mosaics and chandeliers. I agree with you that are beautiful Stations for sure and I could of wandered around for days. I think Kievskaya is definitely my favourite out of them all and I even have some similar pictures as you.

I imagine Moscow would have been a little different 13 years ago but these stations have probably always looked beautiful

' src=

Food and Footprints

You chose some great stations for this write up! Beautiful details in these stations and would love to visit them sometime. Particularly like the Komsomolskaya station with that yellow ceiling!

Thank you very much. Komsomolskaya seems to be a lot of peoples favourite stations too

' src=

Sumit Surai

Wow! Without the text I would have thought them to be some museum or gallery.

I know exactly what you mean!

' src=

Rosie Fluskey

Wow, it is just stunning! How does anyone get to work with so much to look at. I’m surprised at the very bourgeois-looking Komsomolskaya station. I would have thought it was all too Tzarist looking, but then I haven’t been to Russia yet lol. This has just made me want to go more!

' src=

Wow, that’s a lot of artwork. I wonder how old some of these pieces are?

Generally most of the stations are from 1940-1960 approximately. The later stations are more functional than style.

' src=

My mother-in-law was in Moscow fifty years ago and still raves about the metro stations. So far, I could not imagine much. But now! The pictures are great and I think it’s almost a pity that this splendor is underground. But for every user of the Metro can enjoy a free trip to the world of art. Susanne

True. It is like having a free trip to an art museum/gallery. I hope that you can one day visit Moscow and see for yourself.

' src=

Oh wow, I would never have known that these were metro stations. The ceilings remind me of how you need to look up sometimes, even in the commuter rush!

It is true about life in general, we just go from A to B looking directly in front of us instead of around us

' src=

Wow, I would have never guessed that these were stations. The decor is so pretty and not one I’m used to seeing at metro stations. Love the ceiling at The Komsomolskaya metro station.

They certainly don’t look like metro stations. The ceiling there is one of my favourites too!

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Watch CBS News

Biden is canceling $7.4 billion in student debt for 277,000 borrowers. Here's who is eligible.

By Aimee Picchi

Edited By Alain Sherter

Updated on: April 12, 2024 / 3:29 PM EDT / CBS News

The Biden administration on Friday said it's canceling $7.4 billion in student debt for 277,000 borrowers, with the recipients scheduled to receive emails today to alert them to their loan discharges. 

The latest effort extends the debt relief provider under President Joe Biden after the Supreme Court last year blocked  his administration's plan for broad-based student loan forgiveness. With the latest batch of loan cancellations, the White House said it has forgiven about $153 billion in debt for 4.3 million student borrowers. 

Biden, who had made student loan relief a major campaign pledge, is tackling an issue that affects about 43 million Americans with a combined  $1.7 trillion in student debt. It's a burden that some borrowers and their advocates say has harmed their ability to save for a home or achieve financial milestones, an issue that was echoed by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in a conference call with reporters. 

"I talked to a teacher in New York this week who took out a loan for $30,000," Cardona said Friday, "and after over a decade of paying and being a teacher the debt was $60,000, and she was saying that the interest was so high that the payments that she was making wasn't even touching her principal."

He added, "We are fixing a broken system. We're relentless and taking steps to transform a broken system into one that works people across the country."

Here's what to know about who is eligible for the latest round of forgiveness.

Who qualifies for the student loan forgiveness?

Three groups of people qualify under the latest round of debt relief, the White House said. 

  • $3.6 billion for 206,800 borrowers enrolled in the SAVE plan.

About $3.6 billion will be forgiven for nearly 207,000 borrowers enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, an income-driven repayment program, or IDR, that the Biden administration created last year. 

The White House said borrowers who are getting their debt discharged under SAVE had taken out smaller loans for their college studies. The plan allows people to receive forgiveness after they made at least 10 years of payments if they originally took out $12,000 or less in loans to pay for college; borrowers with larger loans are eligible after 20 or 25 years of repayment, depending on what types of loans they have. 

 "You sacrifice and you've saved for a decade or more to make your student loan payments, and you originally borrowed $12,000 or less, you're going to see relief," Cardona told reporters. "An overwhelming number of those who qualify for SAVE were eligible for Pell grants and come from low- and middle-income communities."

  • $3.5 billion for 65,700 borrowers in income-repayment plans.

These borrowers will receive forgiveness through "administrative adjustments" to repayment plans where loan servicers had made it tougher for some borrowers to qualify for relief.  

"These are people who paid for a long time but were being deprived of relief because of administrative and servicing failures," Cardona said. "These people met the contract of their loan" and will receive forgiveness.

  • $300 million for 4,600 borrowers through Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).  

The PSLF program is designed to help public servants like teachers and government employees achieve debt forgiveness after 10 years of repayment. It's a program that started in 2007 but had been plagued with complex rules that effectively hampered people from getting their debt discharged, with only 7,000 receiving loan forgiveness prior to the Biden administration. 

With the latest round of discharges, the Biden administration has forgiven $62.8 billion in loans for 876,000 borrowers through PSLF. 

Are there legal challenges to Biden's debt forgiveness plans?

In two separate lawsuits, Republican attorneys general in 18 states are pushing to have the SAVE plan tossed and to halt any further student debt cancellation. They say the SAVE plan oversteps Biden's authority and makes it harder for states to recruit employees. They also contend the plan undermines a separate cancellation program that encourages careers in public service.

It's unclear what the suits could mean for loans that have already been canceled. A court document filed by Kansas' attorney general says it's "unrealistic to think that any loan forgiveness that occurs during this litigation will ever be clawed back."

—With reporting by the Associated Press.

  • Biden Administration
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Aimee Picchi is the associate managing editor for CBS MoneyWatch, where she covers business and personal finance. She previously worked at Bloomberg News and has written for national news outlets including USA Today and Consumer Reports.

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This East Coast National Forest Is The Perfect Destination For Your Next Camping Trip

W ith its lush forests, pristine lakes and rivers, and abundance of outdoor activities, White Mountain National Forest is the ultimate destination for your next camping adventure. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer seeking to camp on your own , a family looking to create lasting memories in the great outdoors, or an extreme sports enthusiast, this natural haven offers something for everyone. A wonder of the Appalachian Mountains, this 87-mile stretch of land sits in North New Hampshire and reaches into a sliver of Western Maine.

Every year, over 25 million people from all over the place make the trip to this serene landscape. Featuring attractions like the tallest mountain peak in New England and the oldest maintained footpath in the U.S., there are a myriad of landmarks that draw guests to its entrance. If you're planning a camping trip, there are plenty of reasons why you'll want to be one of them.

Read more: All Of The US National Parks That Are Free To Visit Year Round

Things To Do At White Mountain National Forest

In the lowlands of White Mountain National Forest, you'll find yourself surrounded by the beautiful, lush Northeastern deciduous woodlands. If you venture through its mountain range, you'll find yourself wandering through its dense pine and spruce tree forests. Simply soaking up this natural beauty may be enough, but if you're looking to keep yourself or your family busy, it's easy to find great outdoor activities at this destination .

For avid hikers and beginners alike, there is an abundance of trails for every level. The park is home to 13 mountain peaks known as the Presidential Range, with its tallest and most dangerous peak being Mount Washington at 6,288 feet. As you traverse the footpaths of White Mountain National Forest, you'll likely come across remnants of the past along the way, such as the historic remains of old logging camps and railroads. If you're a real history buff, you can also make a stop at the Mount Washington Museum located at the summit of Mount Washington.

Not only is this park filled to the brim with hiking and history, but it's also home to some incredible rock climbing, fishing, and swimming. Cast a line at one of its many bodies of water like the Ammonoosuc River or Echo Lake, or go climbing in the Mount Washington Valley. And when you need a break from all the action, you can take a relaxing dip in one of the park's many swimming holes.

Trains Moscow to Elektrostal: Times, Prices and Tickets

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Moscow to Elektrostal by train

The journey from Moscow to Elektrostal by train is 32.44 mi and takes 2 hr 7 min. There are 71 connections per day, with the first departure at 12:15 AM and the last at 11:46 PM. It is possible to travel from Moscow to Elektrostal by train for as little as or as much as . The best price for this journey is .

Get from Moscow to Elektrostal with Virail

Virail's search tool will provide you with the options you need when you want to go from Moscow to Elektrostal. All you need to do is enter the dates of your planned journey, and let us take care of everything else. Our engine does the hard work, searching through thousands of routes offered by our trusted travel partners to show you options for traveling by train, bus, plane, or carpool. You can filter the results to suit your needs. There are a number of filtering options, including price, one-way or round trip, departure or arrival time, duration of journey, or number of connections. Soon you'll find the best choice for your journey. When you're ready, Virail will transfer you to the provider's website to complete the booking. No matter where you're going, get there with Virail.

How can I find the cheapest train tickets to get from Moscow to Elektrostal?

Prices will vary when you travel from Moscow to Elektrostal. On average, though, you'll pay about for a train ticket. You can find train tickets for prices as low as , but it may require some flexibility with your travel plans. If you're looking for a low price, you may need to prepare to spend more time in transit. You can also often find cheaper train tickets at particular times of day, or on certain days of the week. Of course, ticket prices often change during the year, too; expect to pay more in peak season. For the lowest prices, it's usually best to make your reservation in advance. Be careful, though, as many providers do not offer refunds or exchanges on their cheapest train tickets. Unfortunately, no price was found for your trip from Moscow to Elektrostal. Selecting a new departure or arrival city, without dramatically changing your itinerary could help you find price results. Prices will vary when you travel from Moscow to Elektrostal. On average, though, you'll pay about for a train ticket. If you're looking for a low price, you may need to prepare to spend more time in transit. You can also often find cheaper train tickets at particular times of day, or on certain days of the week. Of course, ticket prices often change during the year, too; expect to pay more in peak season. For the lowest prices, it's usually best to make your reservation in advance. Be careful, though, as many providers do not offer refunds or exchanges on their cheapest train tickets.

How long does it take to get from Moscow to Elektrostal by train?

The journey between Moscow and Elektrostal by train is approximately 32.44 mi. It will take you more or less 2 hr 7 min to complete this journey. This average figure does not take into account any delays that might arise on your route in exceptional circumstances. If you are planning to make a connection or operating on a tight schedule, give yourself plenty of time. The distance between Moscow and Elektrostal is around 32.44 mi. Depending on the exact route and provider you travel with, your journey time can vary. On average, this journey will take approximately 2 hr 7 min. However, the fastest routes between Moscow and Elektrostal take 1 hr 3 min. If a fast journey is a priority for you when traveling, look out for express services that may get you there faster. Some flexibility may be necessary when booking. Often, these services only leave at particular times of day - or even on certain days of the week. You may also find a faster journey by taking an indirect route and connecting in another station along the way.

How many journeys from Moscow to Elektrostal are there every day?

On average, there are 71 daily departures from Moscow to Elektrostal. However, there may be more or less on different days. Providers' timetables can change on certain days of the week or public holidays, and many also vary at particular times of year. Some providers change their schedules during the summer season, for example. At very busy times, there may be up to departures each day. The providers that travel along this route include , and each operates according to their own specific schedules. As a traveler, you may prefer a direct journey, or you may not mind making changes and connections. If you have heavy suitcases, a direct journey could be best; otherwise, you might be able to save money and enjoy more flexibility by making a change along the way. Every day, there are an average of 18 departures from Moscow which travel directly to Elektrostal. There are 53 journeys with one change or more. Unfortunately, no connection was found for your trip from Moscow to Elektrostal. Selecting a new departure or arrival city, without dramatically changing your itinerary could help you find connections.

Book in advance and save

If you're looking for the best deal for your trip from Moscow to Elektrostal, booking train tickets in advance is a great way to save money, but keep in mind that advance tickets are usually not available until 3 months before your travel date.

Stay flexible with your travel time and explore off-peak journeys

Planning your trips around off-peak travel times not only means that you'll be able to avoid the crowds, but can also end up saving you money. Being flexible with your schedule and considering alternative routes or times will significantly impact the amount of money you spend on getting from Moscow to Elektrostal.

Always check special offers

Checking on the latest deals can help save a lot of money, making it worth taking the time to browse and compare prices. So make sure you get the best deal on your ticket and take advantage of special fares for children, youth and seniors as well as discounts for groups.

Unlock the potential of slower trains or connecting trains

If you're planning a trip with some flexible time, why not opt for the scenic route? Taking slower trains or connecting trains that make more stops may save you money on your ticket – definitely worth considering if it fits in your schedule.

Best time to book cheap train tickets from Moscow to Elektrostal

The cheapest Moscow - Elektrostal train tickets can be found for as low as $35.01 if you’re lucky, or $54.00 on average. The most expensive ticket can cost as much as $77.49.

Find the best day to travel to Elektrostal by train

When travelling to Elektrostal by train, if you want to avoid crowds you can check how frequently our customers are travelling in the next 30-days using the graph below. On average, the peak hours to travel are between 6:30am and 9am in the morning, or between 4pm and 7pm in the evening. Please keep this in mind when travelling to your point of departure as you may need some extra time to arrive, particularly in big cities!

Moscow to Elektrostal CO2 Emissions by Train


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Nottingham forest 2-2 wolves: gio reyna starts, assists but forest stay stuck in relegation scrap.

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There were a few good reasons for Nottingham Forest fans to be hopeful and happy on Saturday, but in the end they departed the City Ground still wanting needing more following a 2-2 draw with Wolves.

[ MORE: Upcoming Premier League schedule | Live PL table ]

The result means Nottingham Forest (26 points) will finish matchweek 33 still in 17th place, but now a point above 18th-place Luton Town, who still occupy the third and final relegation place and were thumped by Manchester City. The Hatters are now eight goals worse than the Tricky Trees in the goal difference column.

Wolves went ahead through Matheus Cunha’s 8th Premier League goal of the season not long before halftime, but Forest pulled level before the break as Gio Reyna marked his first start for the club with his first assist as well, finding Morgan Gibbs-White’s head with a free kick in stoppage time. Danilo scored a scrappy goal to make it 2-1 to the home side in the 57th, but Cunha struck again five minutes later as he inches toward double-digit goals in his first full season at Wolves.

A performance that Gio Reyna can build on

Gio Reyna made his first start since joining Forest in January, and he was much better than you’d expect from a player who hadn’t started a game (for club) since Nov. 1. The USMNT star, who is somehow still just 21 years old, had played 271 minutes in 15 substitute appearances since his last start, without a single goal or assist in that five-and-a-half-month stretch. Safe to say, Reyna needed this one.

Not only did he tally his first assist for Forest, but he was smart and decisive in possession throughout, he carried the ball 15-20 yards forward on a number of occasions, and he generally made all the right plays when picking where, and when, to pass. Playing as one of three attacking midfielders behind Chris Wood could suit Reyna quite well going forward, with the big man working hard to knock down and lay off balls to the likes of Reyna, Gibbs-White and Callum Hudson-Odoi (as it was on Saturday). Final verdict: Give him another start, Nuno. And then another. And another.

What’s next?

Nottingham Forest will continue their fight against relegation with an all-important trip to Goodison Park to face 16th-place Everton (29 points) next Sunday (8:30 am ET). Wolves will host Premier League leaders Arsenal at Molineux Stadium on Saturday (2:30 pm ET).

Player ratings - Nottingham Forest vs Wolves

Nottingham Forest vs Wolves player ratings m

Nottingham Forest vs Wolves highlights, final score: 2-2

Goalscorers: Matheus Cunha (40', 62'), Morgan Gibbs-White (45'+1), Danilo (57')

40th minute - GOAL - Matheus Cunha goes alone, scores a beauty to put Wolves on top

45th minute +1 - goal - gio reyna assists morgan gibbs-white for forest’s equalizer, 57th minute - goal - danilo scores a scrappy one to energize the city ground, 62nd minute - goal - matheus cunha scores his second to pull wolves level, how to watch nottingham forest vs wolves live, stream link and start time.

Kick off : 10am ET Saturday (April 13) TV Channel : USA Network Online : Watch live on

Nottingham Forest starting lineup

Sels — Williams, Omobamidele, Murillo, Aina — Yates, Danilo, Gibbs-White — Reyna, Hudson-Odoi, Wood

Wolves starting lineup

Sa — Bueno, Kilman, Gomes — Lemina, Gomes, Semedo, Dohert — Sarabia, Cunha, Doyle

Nottingham Forest focus, team news

Wood will lead the line and Forest are very dangerous on the counter with Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi and Elanga in full flow and ready to feed off of direct balls forward. Forest have to keep improving defensively because they can score a lot of goals. If they can keep it tight at the back they will stay up.

OUT: Taiwo Awoniyi (undisclosed), Nuno Tavares (thigh), Willy Boly (muscle)

Wolves focus, team news

Attacking injuries have impacted Wolves in recent weeks as they’ve scored just four goals in their last five games. O’Neil’s plan is to win the ball back in central areas and spring counters and there could be a good chance of exposing Forest’s defense as their home fans urge them to take more risks.

OUT: Pedro Neto (hamstring), Jean-Ricner Bellegarde (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Hee-chan Hwang (hamstring), Rayan Ait-Nouri (calf)


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