The raw and unspoilt beauty of New Forest National Park allows this area to be one of the most mystical and dreamlike locations across the entire country. Why wouldn’t you want to escape the everyday to lose yourself in a forest and pasture which has stood the test of time: when William the Conqueror first fell in love with the area he declared this land to be a ‘royal forest’. Centuries later, the area attracts over one million overnight visitors per year. For your accommodation in New Forest, on Likibu you can choose a holiday cottage for your family, apartment for your friends or many of the other holiday lettings available today.
Find and book the perfect holiday cottage in New Forest
There is nowhere quite as mystical than the vast raw beauty of New Forest, an area which is more than just a forest as the name would suggest. Instead, New Forest is a collection of intricate heathland, marshes and spellbinding coastlines. The organic mystery of the national park is what attracts visitors of all ages to gaze upon its beauty and plunge into the limitless outdoor activities which come alongside this land. After a day of adventure, however, you will need somewhere to recharge, and there is nowhere more dreamlike than a traditional holiday cottage, a home from home which is just as idyllic as the park it stands in.
When to go to New Forest
New Forest is a popular destination throughout the entire year, with crowds flocking to its bays and beaches in the summer, and winter sports hopefuls attempting to ski in the cold winters. With crowds expected in both mid-summer and mid-winter, the best time to visit New Forest is around April, when the flowers are in bloom, and the warm southern climate will allow you to enjoy the breath-taking landscape.
What types of holiday rentals are available in New Forest?
There is a diverse range of reasons why people would be attracted to this captivating national park, from the opportunity to revel in outdoor activities, the countless photography opportunities or the artistic scenes in the vividly unique villages. With a list of attractions so vast, it is unsurprising that New Forest offers a range of accommodation which are as extensive and as individual as its attractions. For large walking groups or families, a classic country cottage is an ideal place to get together and sleep after a busy day exploring the area. Couples or small groups of friends also have a great choice of bed and breakfasts across the entire national park, including rooms in guesthouses along the coast and hidden away in the quaint villages. A range of self-catered apartment rentals are similarly available in prime locations across New Forest, leaving you in the midst of the mesmerizing splendour of the park from the second you wake up.
How to get there?
Just a 90-minute train ride from the capital, New Forest is most accessible from across the UK by rail. Using a direct service from London Waterloo to various stations around the park, including Ashurst, Hinton Admiral and Lymington, the rare delicacy of this National Park could be thousands of miles away from the city. South Western Railway similarly offers direct services from Southampton, Bournemouth and Winchester, and connections from further afield can be made, including routes from Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh to London stations. It is also a good idea to travel to New Forest by car, so you can then use your car to conveniently explore the length and width of the park when you arrive. If you are travelling from the west, use the A31 from Dorset, from the east take the 27 at Junction 1 and the A338 from Salisbury if driving from the north.
How to get around
Nationally acclaimed for its broad landscapes, hidden coasts and wildlife swarmed marshes, New Forest is by no means a small forest which can be explored solely on foot. If you decide to travel without your car, however, there are still great transport links throughout the entire national park for you to take advantage of. With railway stations dotted across the key locations in of the Park including Hinton Admiral, Beaulieu Road and Totton, catching the train is a quick and easy way of exploring beyond your holiday rental location. Alternatively, the New Forest Tour Bus is an easy way of moving between villages and admiring the beauty of the park as you pass through.
Where to stay in New Forest
Nestled in the very centre of the national park, the idyllic village of Lyndhurst offers everything you would expect from a quintessentially British village. Renowned as the unofficial capital of New Forest, Lyndhurst has attracted royalty since William the Conqueror proclaimed the park as his official hunting ground in 1079 and has continued to draw kings and queens to the village's Royal Manor. You do not need a room in a manor to enjoy the splendour of Lyndhurst however, as this area is brimming with bed and breakfasts, many with your own private garden which brings the enchantingly rural spirit to the town centre.
Burley is a village which offers a range of holiday cottages and apartment rentals and is one of the only communities remaining which allows cattle to roam freely. This means it is more than likely that you will come face to face with a wondering animal on your way through Burley.
The coastal town of Lymington is an art deco paradise which greets boats and yachts into its three marinas. Though it may come as a surprise that New Forest flaunts a seaside resort, the attractions in this waterside village are even more surprising. Boasting an art gallery, boutique shops and a market which takes over the high street, Lymington is the ideal place to secure a room with a view in a guest house which overlooks the water.
Why not secure a holiday cottage in Brockenhurst, the village which has been crowned ‘Britain's Most Beautiful Place to Live in the UK'. Renting a country cottage or holiday home in this village will undoubtedly leave you with a burning desire to call this village your home permanently. The meeting of the North and South Weirs streams makes this village a wildlife haven.
Located on the very edge of the national park, the district of Ashurst offers a diverse mix of restaurants and nightlife, with the charm of a New Forest village. With a range of pubs and bars to choose from, Ashurst is the ideal location to find a reasonably priced holiday letting or homestay which is much more affordable than a hotel room.
Overlooked by the Sway Tower which is visible from across New Forest, the tranquil village of Sway is the ultimate destination for a tranquil country escape, making it the ideal location to secure a luxury holiday rental. The prestigious air across this village is unmissable, as you can try your hand at polo in New Forest Polo School and immerse yourself in some contemporary art in the ArtSway exhibition before wining and dining in one of the area's exclusive bars and pubs.
What to do in New Forest
Experience Exbury Gardens
Despite the abundance of oak trees, and magenta kissed landscapes, there is no botanical experience which lives up to that of Exbury Gardens. Offering guided walks across the wild woodland, globally renowned flower displays and a sculpture park, visiting Exbury Gardens will allow you to see the natural allure of New Forest in a whole new way.
Moors Valley Country Park and Forest
A national park which prides itself on its sublime natural attractions is almost certainly going to offer some heart-racing adventure to its visitors, and New Forest is no exception. Moors Valley Country Park and Forest provides the chance to hike, cycle, and experience the park from new heights on a treetop trial. Whether you are an amateur or an avid explorer, Moors Valley has an activity accessible to every visitor and allows them to experience the heart of what makes this park so unique.
Take the family to Paultons Family Theme Park
A trip to the award-winning Paultons Family Theme Park is a must for families visiting New Forest. Home to 70 rides, around 80 animal species and a Peppa Pig World, Paultons Park's slogan that there is "Way too much fun for one day" really does ring true.
Gaze upon The Needles
A row of three individual stacks of chalk which rise above The English Channel is just another prime example of how this national park is based upon all of the weird and wonderful natural formations of this southern English park. Holding a national reputation as a ‘natural wonder', The Needles are unmissable from any trip to New Forest.
Explore Hurst Castle
Established in the 16th century as a way of protecting Britain from invasion, Hurst Castle is a coastal attraction which enticed the likes of former royals, including the notorious Henry VIII, who was the driving force behind the construction of the fort. Standing on a secluded spit in the water, visiting Hurst Castle will allow you to steep yourself in the country's invasion history and expose yourself to a memorable view of the English Channel.
Sample some gin at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery
A bottle of Bombay Sapphire might not be the first thing which comes to mind when you think of this national park, but there is even more to New Forest than you would think. With a history dating back over one thousand years, visiting the distillery is a great chance to learn more about the art of distilling, with lots of rare samples to be enjoyed, the Bombay Sapphire Distillery should be the first stop for any gin enthusiast.