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New Forest Short Break

A New Forest short break is the perfect way to spend some time getting closer to nature, indulging yourself and squeezing in a few thrills and spills along the way.

Covering 150 square miles of protected forest, the New Forest is the perfect place to escape from it all and has everything to offer.

Boat building, motor racing, medieval abbeys, private gardens, sumptuous spas and theme parks all feature in among the endless opportunities to get outdoors and immerse yourself in nature.

While you’re here, why not pay a visit to the 1,000-year-old Yew tree in Brockenhurst Church Yard or stand in awe at the foot of the 55-metre Wellingtonia tree on Rhinefield Drive?

You can take your New Forest short break as fast or slow-paced as you like. But you’ll leave feeling refreshed and invigorated after spending time in one of the UK’s most-loved National Parks.

What makes a New Forest short break so special?

The opportunity to get outside is one of the biggest pulls of the New Forest. There is an endless supply of walks that are suitable for all ages and abilities. From accessible routes with toilet facilities and cafes, to remote and more challenging trails where you won’t see another soul – there’s something for everyone here.

Whether you fancy roaming through rivers, exploring the stunning coastline of its beaches or rambling across an ever-changing backdrop of heather-strewn heaths and disused railway lines, you’ll find it all right here in the New Forest. The New Forest National Park has plenty of routes for you to choose from on its website.

On your New Forest short break, you won’t just get to immerse yourself in the stunning scenery that surrounds you, but you’ll also be immersed in the wildlife that calls the New Forest home. Wild ponies aren’t hard to spot while you’re here, along with cattle that graze on the open land. Slightly more special is a glimpse of a New Forest pig – with the Autumn Pannage season being the best time to see them snuffling around the forest eating acorns, chestnuts and other fallen nuts.

Deer remains a spectacular sight, with various viewing platforms dotted around the forest if you’re keen to see them during your visit. The Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is your best bet to catch a glimpse of these shy animals.

Bird watching is a sedate but exciting activity in the New Forest – you’ll be able to spot Buzzards, Kingfishers and Woodpeckers among the hundreds of different species that call the forest home. Booking on to a guided walk is a great option if there’s a particular bird you want to spot or an area you’d like to explore for its rich and diverse birds. Alternatively, the Hampshire Ornithological Society has a handy guide for where to find the different species across the forest.

Just down the road from Fordingbridge is Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve with several bird hides situated around the lakes.

Indulge yourself with a New Forest short break

It’s not all about spending time outdoors when you come to the New Forest for a short break. There’s time for you to spoil yourself too.

The New Forest is home to one of the best spas in the south-east of England. Voted ‘Best Spa in the South-East’ at the Good Spa Guide Awards, SenSpa at Careys Manor is the ideal place to unwind, relax and indulge in some serious self-care.

Hydrotherapy pools, thermal rooms, jacuzzis, a swimming pool and various treatments are all available alongside a menu that’s carefully crafted for health and wellbeing. A day here is a day well spent on your New Forest short break.

Rosie Lea House in Lymington is well worth a stop for an afternoon tea or a filling brunch before you embark on a long walk. With a locally-inspired menu, using local ingredients, its Trip Advisor reviews rave about how good the food is – there’s even a savoury afternoon tea if you don’t have a sweet tooth.

As for pubs, restaurants and cafes? You are truly spoiled for choice in the New Forest – you can find hearty home-cooked grub, a warm welcome by a roaring fire and sweet treats galore during your New Forest short break.

The Railway Hotel here in Fordingbridge offers a unique twist on a traditional pub, you can have lunch inside a railway carriage, or the Royal Oak at Gorley gives you an authentic thatched-roof pub with home-cooked food and a stunning setting.

Wherever you’re staying, a good pub is never far from your doorstep. You’ll get the chance to sample local beers and ciders and have a drink outside as the ponies walk past.

Find the action in the New Forest

Finding things to do on your New Forest short break isn’t hard. If walking and nature watching aren’t really your interests, then there are plenty of other activities and attractions to visit during your time here.

Motor enthusiasts can spend the day at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. This is a day out for all ages and abilities, and the Beaulieu team have made every effort to ensure all can enjoy their attractions. See cars from the BBC’s Top Gear challenges, Only Fools and Horses, the Bond films and Doctor Who.

This year, small kids and big kids alike can enjoy a ride on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Mr Toad’s Car from Wind in the Willows. There’s a play area, beautiful gardens and Beaulieu Abbey to explore in addition to the motor museum.

If you’re after a gentler experience, then don’t miss Furzey Gardens and Exbury Gardens. Furzey Gardens has stunning scenery and plants for you to enjoy, but there are also 40 fairy doors hidden around the grounds for you to find. Exbury Gardens was the playground for Lionel Nathan De Rothschild. Acres of landscaped gardens and waterfalls, on the banks of the River Beaulieu, are stunning during any season (although the gardens are closed during Winter) with a play area, café and restaurant and a narrow-gauge steam railway that winds its way around the gardens. It’s accessible for all and carers are admitted for free.

Buckler’s Hard is another place to stop for a quick drink and bite to eat while exploring the ship-building village where boats for Nelson’s Navy were built. You can take a leisurely stroll around the site or take a gentle river cruise along the Beaulieu River to see the site from the water.

If you want more from your New Forest short break, then there are plenty of activities you can do to pick up the pace. You can try your hand at paddle boarding, kayaking, horse riding or rent bikes to get you out and about in the forest and fill your lungs with fresh air.

If you’re looking for a short break in the New Forest, then why not stay with us? Email us to enquire about our short-stay packages at or call on 01425 200 428.

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