Autumn in the New Forest

September, 2017

Autumn is a magical time here in the New Forest, the leaves change their colours, pigs are allowed out for pannage and pubs start lighting their log fires.

The New Forest comes alive with rich reds and golden hues under the autumn canopy making it the perfect excuse to come and explore what this beautiful seasonal show can offer. Last year brought one of the most impressive displays of autumn colours in 80 years, to rival even the Canadian fall, due to the New Forest’s mix of ancient, ornamental and native trees. Expectations are high again for this year. Some of the trees you can find are: redwoods, oaks, beech, yew and holly. With a range of evergreen and deciduous trees you will have the chance to enjoy the clashes of deep greens against the beautiful earthy tones, deep reds and purples.

Although the arrival of the new season signals the end of the breeding season for much of the heathland wildlife, it is arguably the most beautiful time to visit us. With some of the special heath flowers just coming into their prime and plenty of fauna still to see.  The scarce marsh gentian with its trumpet-shaped clusters of bright blue flowers, can be seen in bloom all the way through September. Look for it in the wet parts of the heathlands.

Autumn is primetime for birdwatchers, as thousands of migrant birds fly through Hampshire and Dorset, heading south for winter. Look out for osprey, a spectacular fish-eating bird of prey, which refuels in Poole Harbour on its way back to South Africa. Our migrant visitors such as hobbies and night jars will have returned to Sub-Saharan Africa but hen harriers will be passing through from their summer locations on the northern moors. There will be fewer reptiles around as they begin to hibernate, along with many other animals such as bats.

Along with these autumnal changes there are some seasonal events to add to your calendar when joining us this autumn:

October 14th – New Forest Walking Festival: This year’s New Forest Walking Festival boasts 80 guided walks by knowledgeable local experts to help you discover more about the history, heritage and wildlife of the forest.

October 21st – Half-term at the National Motor Museum: Celebrate the magic of autumn this October half-term with amazing seasonal activities. See the harvest festival themed decorations at Palace House, follow the all hallows trail and explore the Mill Pond walk to discover the fairy doors. Younger visitors can have their face painted with a ghoulish design. Discover your creative side with special arts and crafts actives to get stuck into, and much, much more!

October 28th – Firework Spectacular: Behold one of the largest firework displays in the south, at Beaulieu National Motor Museum. Arrive early and enjoy the attractions of Beaulieu before fireworks and live entertainment. For a little extra charge enjoy old time fairground entertainments, including a big wheel, gallopers and a coconut shy. Beaulieu are set to make this a firework party to remember!

November 4th – Avon Tyrrell Bonfire Night: Wrap up warm and spend the evening by a bonfire where Guy Fawkes guides will keep you and the kids entertained with stories, games, songs and challenges. Enjoy a hot chocolate, toast marshmallows and wave your sparklers. Enjoy delicious BBQ food from 6pm.

Looking for a place to rest your head? We have four hotels all with comfortable beds to sink into after a day of walking, exploring and discovering; award-winning restaurants and welcoming bars to replenish the whole family after a fun-filled day!



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