Discover the New Forest
New Forest Beauty Spots
Here in the New Forest we are surrounded by natural beauty and wildlife and that is one of the top reason so many of you come to visit us. If you are staying with us this year and want to know our top recommendations for the most beautiful places to visit, here in no particular order are our top five:
1. Lepe Country Park and Beach: A stony beach that forms part of Lepe Country Park, situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The views spread across the Isle of Wight, with excellent coastal walks featuring pine-fringed cliffs, D-day remains and wild flower meadows. Lepe Country Park is home to a range of wildlife and natural habitats. The mudflats provide an important feeding for Brant Geese and many species of birds, including Curlew, Oystercatcher, Dunlin and Plover. Over by the freshwater ponds you’ll find more birds including Herons and Kingfishers.
2. Hatchet Pond: The largest body of water in the New Forest, Hatchet Pond was created in the 18th century to provide power for an iron mill. Since the ponds creating a wonderful array of wildlife now call the pond home, including over a third of all species of wetland plants found in the UK and around 100 species of freshwater insects. As well as these, you can see swans and ducks on the water and usually Donkey’s grazing nearby. If you fall in love with Hatchet Pond as much as us, then we recommend heading back as the sunsets, for a truly stunning view.
3. Exbury Gardens: The gardens are a spectacular 200 acre site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees and shrubs. The earthy paradise offers a riot of colour in spring, an oasis of tranquillity in summer followed by a splendid show as the leave change in the autumn. Capture Exbury’s hidden beauty and escape the cares of the world as you explore a myriad of pathways. A 20 minute trip aboard the steam railway is sure to delight all visitors of all ages too.
4. Beaulieu River: One of the few privately owned rivers in the world, Beaulieu River forms the south-eastern edge of the Beaulieu Estate, and the associated rights and obligations now exercised by Lord Montagu derive from those granted to the monks of Beaulieu Abbey by King John in 1204. The result is a river which is largely unspoilt, both in terms of its landscape and as a haven for wildlife.
5. The Northern Commons: From Foxbury to Rockford and Ibsley Commons, the Northern Commons is a blooming landscape of heathlands. These heathlands are fantastic examples of uplands dry heathland, leading through gentle valley systems to rich mires and bogs. These commons are steeped in history, with ornamental plantations and wartime structures still forming part of the landscape.
If you choose to head out to any of these spots, be sure to tag us in any of your snaps and we’ll share our favourites!