Our Guide to a Fun-filled Forest Summer

July, 2020

The summer holidays are here, so take off your home-schooling hats, gather the family and head to the forest to enjoy the great outdoors and a well-deserved summer staycation. Whether you’re travelling to join us or if you’re one of our New Forest neighbours 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 day out, and there’s nothing we recommend more than heading 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 5 favourites.

  1. 1. Beaulieu National Motor Museum

  2. Enjoy The National Motor Museum packed with over 280 examples of pioneering motoring, a fascinating look around the Victorian Palace House, then walk in the footsteps of Medieval monks in the ruins of Beaulieu Abbey, or head to the World of Top Gear where you’ll see some of the iconic cars from memorable TV challenges. Lose yourself in Beaulieu’s serene gardens from the wild nature of Millpond Walk to the beautifully designed flower gardens and for the little ones, the new magical woodland playground, Little Beaulieu to spark mini imaginations. Don’t forget to save your feet and enjoy bird’s-eye-views of the Beaulieu grounds with unlimited rides on the ‘Skytrain’.
  3. Beaulieu National Motor Museum
  4. 2. Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

  5. Discover a picturesque garden world of adventure at the beautiful Exbury Gardens this summer. Their top 5 spots for garden lovers to visit this time of year are: Centenary Garden, Iris Garden, Sundial Garden, Hydrangea Walk and the Herbaceous Garden. Then, it’s all aboard the steam train, departing from Exbury Central Station, the train meanders through the Summer Lane Garden before skirting past the Rock Garden, travelling through the tunnel and then stopping off at Exbury North to refuel. The return journey includes a scenic circle of Dragonfly Pond, where you can watch out for wildlife, before heading back to Exbury Central.
  6. Exbury Gardens
  7. 3. New Forest Wildlife Park

  8.  Get closer to the wonders of the natural world at New Forest Wildlife Park,  discovering majestic red deer, the endangered giant otter, Eurasion lynx, red necked wallaby and many species of owl. Join their friendly keepers for talks on conservation and watch the animal feeding sessions throughout the day, learning as you go. Located among the trees and in sight of the park’s wildlife, let the children ‘Go Wild’ at the adventure playground where they’ll find zip wires, log jumbles, ‘birds’ nests’ climbing ropes, swings, spider nets and more. For the tiny tots – away from the older boys and girls – there’s Mini Go Wild!
  9. New Forest Wildlife Park

4. Buckler’s Hard

From the wide high street to the woodland trail, explore the peaceful haven of Buckler’s Hard village. Discover the history at the Maritime Museum, take a tranquil boat trip down the beautiful Beaulieu River and keep the little ones entertained when you join Buckle and Bailey, the shipyard cats, as they explore Buckler’s Hard on the fun family quiz trail.

Buckler’s Hard


  1. 5. New Forest Acitivies

  2. Open for adventure, New Forest Activities offer a fantastic range of outdoor fun for families big or small to enjoy together. Whether you’re a paddler, archer, climber or all-round thrill-seeker, if you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors again – they’ve got you covered. Get together for a guided Canoeing tour on the stunning Beaulieu River. Or perhaps enjoy learning Archery together against a beautiful New Forest backdrop.
  3. New Forest Activities


Explore & Tour

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.

New Forest Tour


Whether you’re travelling on local transport or visiting any of our local attractions, please remember to stay safe by following the latest government guidelines.

We can’t wait to welcome you back to the forest this summer.

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