New Forest National Park in England. What to see in New Forest
When William the Conqueror saw this beautiful forest with grazing deer, he couldn’t believe his luck. Then, more than 900 years ago, he turned the New Forest into a royal hunting ground for the horned beasts.
Today, however, the atmosphere of this ancient landscape is one of the most peaceful and tranquil in England. While you give way to ponies grazing freely in the heather fields, at other times deer roam in the deep woodlands under a canopy of mighty oaks.
New Forest is the smallest national park in England. Still, there is so much to see here, in addition to walking through the natural attractions.
What to see in New Forest?
Whether you want to enjoy a riverside picnic, explore the charming High Street, or visit the famous car museum, a trip to Beaulieu Village in southeast New Forest is the perfect way to spend a great day.
Located upriver and sprawling around a Cistercian abbey, the village of Beaulieu dates back to the 13th century. This village was founded by Cistercian monks in 1204 on land granted to them by King John, who had a hunting lodge nearby.
The most beautiful house in the village, Maison Beaulieu, was built in the 13th century as a gatehouse to the abbey. After the dissolution of the monasteries throughout the county, the manor was acquired by Sir Thomas Wriothesley.
In the 1530s, Beaulieu passed into the ownership of Lord Montague, whose ancestors still own the manor.
Lyndhurst is a village known since the time of William the Conqueror as the capital of New Forest.
There is no better place for a starting point than this town. Many hiking trails through heather fields and ancient woods begin from here.
And Lyndhurst is also famous for being the home of the real Alice in Wonderland. Near the towering St Michael’s Church you’ll find the grave of the girl who inspired Carroll’s Alice Liddell.
These lovely cottages are a 10-minute walk from Lyndhurst. Besides these charming cottages, it’s also worth coming here for the vintage atmosphere of The New Forest Inn Menu pub. Order an Alice in Wonderland carrot cake and have a pint of beer here.
Fun fact: Edward John Smith himself stayed here the night before the Titanic landed in Southampton (April 10, 1912).
Donkeys and ponies are probably not often seen on the streets of your town, but they are the most common sight in Brockenhurst.
Brockenhurst is one of the largest villages in New Forest that manages to retain the charm of that era.
There are many stores, restaurants, and cafes in the center of town, but just minutes away will be the famous watering hole where the animals come to drink. Just beyond that will reveal the wasteland and the beginning of a fantastic walk.
Bucklers Hard is where you can step back in time and see, built for the fleet, ships.
The history of this village begins with its founding in 1720 by John, 2nd Duke of Montague, who intended to make Bucklers Hard a trading port. Instead of a port, the lord himself and the warships he built became famous.
Furzey Gardens is worth coming to for a wander through a woodland garden with stunning seasonal plants.
The gardens are open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission to the tea rooms is free. The address is Lyndhurst SO43 7GL.
How do I get to New Forest from London?
The most convenient way to get to New Forest from London is by train. Take the train at Waterloo station to Southampton (Totton). The journey time is 1.5 hours. There you need to make a bus transfer to the forest capital of Lyndhurst or anywhere else in New Forest.
If you’re going on a trip to England, see cheap airfare to London here, and accommodation in New Forest here.