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Hidden Gems in the New Forest

Unveiling the Secrets of the New Forest: Gems Beyond the Guidebooks

If you’re looking for an excuse to escape the ordinary and step into a realm of ancient woodlands, charming villages, and wildlife encounters, then you should head to the heart of Hampshire. The New Forest National Park, steeped in history and natural beauty is waiting to be explored. 

Within the New Forest, you’ll find a characterful collection of hotels nestled in idyllic locations throughout the park, the charming New Forest Collection. Each property within the collection boasts its own unique charm. From traditional Baronial Manor House hotels to contemporary hideaways amidst the trees. Imagine waking up to the gentle bleating of ponies outside your window, indulging in delicious, locally sourced meals, and unwinding in cosy lounges with crackling fireplaces. Then, after a restful evening, spend the next day exploring the New Forest’s enchanting hidden gems.

Hidden Gems in the New Forest

The New Forest Collection promises an unforgettable stay, perfectly positioned to unlock the hidden gems this national park has to offer.

As you venture beyond the hotel grounds, you’ll find a treasure trove of secret experiences. Imagine picnicking in secluded clearings bathed in dappled sunlight, spotting wild ponies roaming heathland glades, or cruising down ancient waterways on a tranquil boat trip. Explore charming villages like Beaulieu with its maritime museum and ancestral home, or lose yourself in the whimsical gardens of Furzey Gardens in this captivating location.

Boldre Church: Located in the village of Boldre, this charming church is known for its picturesque setting and historic charm. It’s a serene spot away from the more crowded areas of the New Forest.

Roydon Woods: An ancient woodland managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Roydon Woods offers peaceful walking trails, diverse flora, and fauna. It’s a great place for nature lovers seeking tranquillity.

Lymington Salt Marshes: Explore the lesser-known salt marshes near Lymington for a unique experience. It’s an excellent spot for birdwatching and enjoying the coastal landscapes.

Hatchet Pond: Tucked away in the eastern part of the New Forest, Hatchet Pond is a peaceful lake surrounded by trees. It’s an ideal place for a quiet picnic, birdwatching, or a leisurely stroll.

Bolton’s Bench: While not entirely hidden, Bolton’s Bench in Lyndhurst is often less crowded compared to other popular spots. It offers beautiful views and is a great place for a relaxing break.

Exbury Gardens: Though somewhat known, Exbury Gardens is a bit off the beaten path for many tourists. It’s famous for its stunning collection of rhododendrons and azaleas and is a paradise for garden enthusiasts.

Lepe Country Park: Located on the coast, Lepe Country Park offers panoramic views of the Solent and the Isle of Wight. It’s a great spot for coastal walks and enjoying the beach.

Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary: While Bolderwood is a known area, the deer sanctuary within it is sometimes overlooked. Visit during feeding times to see a herd of fallow deer up close.

Staying in the New Forest

If exploring the charms of the New Forest sounds like something you’d love to experience, perhaps consider a magical extended stay at none other than the New Forest Collection. The collection is comprised of several unique hotels in the towns and villages dotted across the New Forest National Park. If you’re looking for a stay in a romantic Baronial Manor House, Burley Manor is an adults-only retreat with Temple Spa wellness facilities, an onsite restaurant and gorgeously decorated, comfortable rooms. Burley Manor also boasts picturesque gardens and sits in front of a charming red deer sanctuary where you can enjoy the sights of roaming deer. 

The charming Bartley Lodge is also located within the National Park and boasts 8 acres of gorgeous grounds to roam and explore. This grand, Grade-II listed building offers uniquely designed, nature-inspired rooms, perfect for a dog-friendly stay or a relaxing couples retreat with the one you love most. You’ll have the choice of deluxe rooms, suites, or cosy snugs and lots of opportunities to enjoy the New Forest’s hidden gems in the day. 

Another gem of the New Forest Collection is the contemporary Georgian townhouse, Forest Lodge. Each of the rooms has been designed with tranquillity and relaxation in mind and provides the perfect place to retire after a day of exploring the New Forest. Forest Lodge also boasts an indoor swimming pool and a charming setting. 

For a slightly more cosy place to rest your head, the beautiful Beaulieu Inn is the epitome of country charm. The peaceful garden rooms, elegant interiors and panoramic vistas make this space a hub of relaxation. The gardens that surround the property make for a truly gorgeous backdrop with plenty going on in surrounding Beaulieu to explore. 

Each of the New Forest Collection hotels has its own onsite bars and restaurants where you can enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner without having to travel far. At each restaurant, you’ll find an abundance of dining options to suit every diner. From tasty Sunday lunches to charming Afternoon Tea, homemade pizzas, and traditional pub classics made from locally sourced ingredients, the New Forest Collection will not disappoint. 

Each hotel also provides plenty of onsite parking, indoor swimming pools at Bartley Lodge, Forest Lodge and Beaulieu Inn and EV charging stations. If the New Forest is on your bucket list to explore and enjoy, book a stay at the New Forest Collection today.  

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