Things to do & see
Summer in the New Forest
We’ve been loving the weather here in the New Forest this summer – The sun has been shining since June and it has been the perfect time to get out and enjoy the fresh forest air and the gorgeous landscapes that surround us.
To help you make the most of the weather, we have put together a list of our favourite things to do, plus an insight into which flowers you’ll find blooming and our favourite forest neighbours that you’ll spot on the heathlands this season.
The first thing that springs to our mind every summer is of course the New Forest and Hampshire County Show, one of the most popular attractions in the area, and for very good reason – The family friendly event takes place on the 24th, 25th and 26th of July in Brockenhurst, offering 30 acres of showground for the whole family to explore. With plenty of stalls selling local produce, hand-crafted gifts and foodie treats, to local businesses showcasing who they are and what they do. The top attractions for this year include Atkinson Action Horses stunt display, flyball demonstrations and a gun dog scurry. Been before? Plus, there’s plenty of new things to check out this year too, from a sport zone to a traditional baking show and the new local business village. And best of all, kids go FREE! As always, we’ll be at the show – Come and find us in the ‘Local Produce’ area.
Strawberry picking is one of our favourite things to do in the summer, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it has been this month. Our recommended spot is Sopley Farm, it’s perfect for wandering around the fields, choosing and hand-picking the juiciest strawberries you can find. They also harvest other berries too such as gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries. You’ll never be short of choice!
If you want a true New Forest experience, the Deer Safari is something you don’t want to miss out on. Take a ride in a tractor pulled trailer around Burley Park, where the Red Deer will bounce around or graze right in front of you. Don’t worry about scaring them, they’re not afraid of the tractor and know you’re forest friends, so they will carry on with their day in peace. Plus, with our New Forest Collection loyalty programme, members receive 20% off adult tickets, how can you say no to that?
The New Forest is covered in beautiful flowers all year round, but summer is a truly different experience – Fox Gloves are popular to see this season, with large strikingly gorgeous pink and purple down-turned tubes, speckled within. They first appear in late May or June and will colour the woods until the end of August, where only those at the top of the stem can still be seen.
Honeysuckle is another wonderfully smelling forest resident. They first show signs of fresh growth in as early as late December or January, which is a great reminder to us that spring is right around the corner. Blooming from May until September, these long-tubed flowers are a lovely addition to our nature and add a little extra something to our landscapes. They are relatively widespread, so make sure to keep an eye out for them popping up in the forest.
The wildlife is one of our favourite parts of the New Forest, especially in summer. Our stunning New Forest ponies with their new born foals can be seen this time of year too, plus our cattle and calves are always seen peacefully grazing nearby. There’s nothing better than the beauty of the New Forest wildlife in their natural habitat, we love to see how they go about their days!
The forest is the perfect place to bring your dogs too, as there are countless routes and paths to take them on, plus an abundance of landscape for them to explore. Each of our hotels is surrounded by never-ending heathlands, stunning woodlands and hundreds of walking routes ideal for a long afternoon walk or just a little stroll.
Now you know all the wonderful things we offer this time of year, why not come and enjoy these parts of the forest with us? And if you want to stay a little while, each of our hotels offer a home away from home for your New Forest adventure.