New Forest National Park provides relaxing experiences such as scenic wildflower drives, park picnics, historic church or castle tours, and adventure activities such as challenging hikes, water obstacles, and falconry demonstrations. The park offers the most exciting attractions and experiences of the Hurst Castle and the Lymington Sea Water Baths. There is something for everyone here, so plan your next family vacation, romantic couples retreat, or a solo trip to the New Forest National Park.
Rhinefield Ornamental Drive (Scenic Wildflower Drive)
Rhinefield Ornamental Drive is a lovely, narrow road that takes you on a scenic tour of the most beautiful wildflowers in New Forest National Park. Rhododendrons, azaleas, and other ornamental flowers flourish along the way, making it ideal for spring. There are also many beautiful landmarks, such as the Rhinefield House, a private country mansion with ornamental ponds, and a garden. Many trees are along the drive, including Douglas firs and giant redwoods. After your ride, visit the Blackwater Arboretum to see trees worldwide.
The Solent Way Walk (Views on a Coastal Hike)
The Solent Way Walk footpath offers stunning views of the Isle of Wight while connecting Milford on Sea and Emsworth Harbour along the Hampshire coastline. You will pass by Hurst Castle and the Royal Victoria Country Park along the way. On the way from Portsmouth to Hilsea, you can visit the War Memorial, the Blue Reef Aquarium, and the South Parade Pier and enjoy the nightlife on the Harbour promenade.
Lymington Sea Water Baths (Play in Sea Pools)
The stunning Lymington Sea Water Baths is an open-air lido for swimming and sunbathing in the summer. The ancient baths are among the oldest in the UK but have undergone numerous exciting renovations. In addition to swimming in the sea pools, children can have a good time on different inflatable obstacles or stand-up paddle boarding. There are also amenities such as first aid, restrooms, lockers, and a confectionary kiosk where you can get hot and cold drinks, ice cream, and other snacks during your stay.
Wilverley Plain (Picnic in the Park)
Wilverley Plain is a wooded area with well-marked trails and sprawling grassy lawns for picnics and sports. It is one of the best spots in the entire New Forest National Park for recreational activities like hiking, nature walks, or simply relaxing in the sun with the family. Numerous cycling trails also take you through the wilderness and heathland to see local wildlife and beautiful natural scenery.
Moors Valley Country Park (Treetop Challenges in Forest)
Moors Valley Country Park and Forest is a large parkland and woodland that offers a variety of scenic activities and adventures for the entire family. Children can have exciting adventures on wooden play structures such as the Bewilderness climb and the Crocodile Crossing. On the Go Ape Tree Top Challenge, you can navigate aerial obstacles, and if you swing through trees, you prefer more thrills.
Take the cycle routes and way-marked footpaths through the forest, meadows, and lakes on your own or with your dog for a more scenic experience. A narrow-gauge steam train in the park offers scenic rides along Moors Lake to visitors.
Hurst Castle (16th-Century Fortress)
Hurst Castle is an imposing 16th-century artillery fort with tours of the central keep and bastions. Henry VIII built the castle for coastal defense against France and the Holy Roman Empire. It served as a defense fort during significant conflicts such as the English Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and the Napoleonic Wars. Tour the castle to see the ruins of the keep and bastions and the ancient lighthouses built on the grounds in the 18th century.
Lymington Yacht Haven (A Day by the Water)
Lymington Yacht Haven is a magnificent marina with boating equipment and facilities, upscale restaurants, tour operators, and bars for a night out. The marina offers dry berthing, boaters berths, luxurious washrooms and visitor space, laundry facilities, and other amenities. In addition to boat services, you can book charters and sailing lessons, rent bikes, and have a night out at The Haven Bar & Restaurant. The marina is close to Lymington, a Georgian market town with period buildings, markets, shops and boutiques, pubs and restaurants, and other attractions.
The fascinating 11th-century St Nicholas Church is located on the tranquil grounds of Brockenhurst Parish. It features beautiful architecture and unique touches such as ornate windows and herringbone wall work. This Church is one of the oldest in the New Forest, and its grounds are filled with lush plants and flowers such as hazels, pennywort, and bluebells. World War I troops from New Zealand and other countries are buried there, as is folk hero Brusher Mills, a famous and beloved snake-catcher from the nineteenth century.
Apple Court Garden (Exotic Flowers and Plants)
Apple Court Garden and Nursery is a lovely ornamental garden in the New Forest, filled with strange and unique global flower and plant species. Several paths lead through the park, including the Rose Walk with roses and clematis and the Daylily Collection. The garden also contains exotic and colorful sub-tropical plants. Another main attraction is the White Garden, a hornbeam garden with white blooming shrubs and perennials. There is also a traditional Japanese garden with bamboo and a koi pond.
Liberty’s Owl Center (Learn About Falconry)
Liberty’s Owl, Raptor, and Reptile Center is a fascinating destination for animal lovers with a collection of birds of prey and reptiles. The center, named Liberty after an Alaskan bald eagle, is home to hawks, falcons, owls, vultures, and a broad range of reptiles, including boa constrictors. When you visit, you can participate in a falconry experience to gain more knowledge about the time-honored sport, take pictures of the animals, or have up-close encounters with some of the facility’s resident raptors.