Summer Holidays & Family Breaks

Family-Friendly Guide to the New Forest

August, 2018

The summer holidays are finally here and we’re excited to welcome many of you to the New Forest for a summer break – but whether you’re travelling to join us or if you’re one of our locals looking for the best ways to fill the next six weeks then continue reading for our ultimate family-friendly guide to the New Forest.


There’s nothing like a great family day out, and there’s nothing we recommend more than heading o to one of our local attractions, which we believe are some of the best in the country! With that in mind, we’ve rounded together our 3 favourites, all of which you can get complimentary tickets too when booking one of our attraction break packages.

  1. Beaulieu National Motor Museum – One ticket includes entry to The National Motor Museum, Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey, World of Top Gear and more. From the earliest motor carriages to classic family saloons, the world-famous National Motor Museum has one of the finest collections of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia in the world. From legendary F1 cars and land speed record breakers, to incredible examples of pioneering motoring for the history lovers. During the summer they’ll have an exclusive exhibition, ‘The Art of Kustom’ – with outrageous styling cues, amazing colour schemes and off-the wall ideas, you’ll see incredible creations from the imagination of car customiser Andy Saunders. But remember, it’s not just cars, your ticket gives you entry to palace house the family home of the Montagu family where costumed guides give you a flavour of what it would have been like in Victorian times. Lose yourself in their beautiful gardens and grounds, from the wild nature of the Millpond Walk to the beautifully designed flower gardens and topiary. It doesn’t all stop there, with the Beaulieu Abbey, secret army exhibition, world of top gear and much more!
  2. Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway– Discover a whole world of fun and adventure at the beautiful Exbury Gardens this summer. On special dates throughout the summer Exbury Gardens will be hosting a series of events for you to take part in. From storytelling and teddy bear trails to bug hunting, scavenger hunts and free adventure trails, there’s plenty for the whole family to get stuck into and enjoy whilst exploring the gardens.
  3. Marwell Zoo – Get closer to the wonders of the natural world at Marwell Zoo and meet 100s of animals including giraffes, tigers and penguins. Explore the 140-acre park and playgrounds, ride their train and join the daily talks and animal feeds. There is a café available to grab a bite to eat and rest your feet and a gift shop too – The perfect place to let the kids spend their pennies.


All of our hotels are only a stone throw away from a local village, perfect for spending the morning exploring or heading into for a pub lunch…

Lyndhurst – Home to our Forest Lodge Hotel and only a 2-minute drive from Bartley Lodge, Lyndhurst is known as the capital of the New Forest since William the Conqueror established it as a royal hunting ground in 1079. There is no better starting point for visitors than the centrally located New Forest Museum, in which you will find the forest’s history and heritage. Take a stroll and discover all that Lyndhurst has to offer, including a wide-range of shops, cosy tea rooms, old-world pubs, cafés and fine restaurants.

Beaulieu Village – Just a short drive from our Beaulieu Hotel, you’ll find Beaulieu village, a charming and historical location with its village situated at the end of the famous Beaulieu River. Throughout the village you can see charming long-standing houses, gift shops as well as much loved New Forest donkeys and ponies roaming the picturesque village. Alongside Beaulieu river you will find Exbury Gardens, Buckler’s Hard and Beaulieu Motor Museum.

Burley – Tea rooms, gift shops, art galleries and even a cider farm! Burley features everything you would expect from a New Forest village. Oozing old-world charm, with ponies and cattle roaming the village and pretty thatched cottages lining the quaint village roads, Burley has remained untouched by time. Visitors are sure to unwind and enjoy the tranquillity, whether relaxing with a cup of tea or a refreshing pint – there is always plenty to discover. On the edge of the village, explore the nearby heathlands which make the perfect spot for walking, cycling or riding. Or, take a tractor safari ride in Burley park to see the neighbouring red deer in action.

The easiest way to travel around the New Forest is on one of the National Park’s open-top bus tours – Simply hop on and off wherever you like and catch the next tour, or switch between routes, all on the same ticket. Hear stories of the people, places and animals of the New Forest with their audio commentary – with characters, sounds and music bringing the view to life. You can choose to ride open-top through the treetops and experience the New Forest as you’ve never seen it before.

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