New Forest Bus Tour - season extended
Chris Gregory, Transport and Tourism Officer for the New Forest National Park Authority, introduces the New Forest open bus tour.
>> Latest: Due to popular demand, the New Forest Tour season has been extended until 14 October.
The New Forest Tour bus, a shiny open top - complete with distinct livery - illustrates all that is green about one of England newest National Parks.
From London Waterloo it’s just 90 minutes Brockenhurst, an unspoilt village and rural transport hub, where you can board the bus and begin listening to the informative audio commentary about the area's cultural heritage. From Brockenhurst, you meander through Lymington and arrive at the historic village of Beualieu where you pass the great gatehouse of the abbey that became Palace House, the home of the Montagu family. The present Lord Montagu, son of a famous motoring pioneer, opened the National Motor Museum on the estate in 1972. More recently Beualieu has become an important hub for activities such as kayaking on the Beaulieu River.
At Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway, you’ll learn how important the Tour is to businesses along the route. This popular visitor attraction receives over 1000 customers from the New Forest Tour over its 79 day operating period and is the only sustainable transport option which links the Gardens with visitors and residents from surrounding areas. In terms of the bigger picture, each year, the Tour’s 40 000 customers generate in the region of a £500k contribution to the local economy; 4 out of every 5 customers will ‘hop off and on’ the Tour at least once.
The village of Lyndhurst is where the green route and red route buses intersect, each route covering roughly half of the New Forest National Park. You can join a red route service and headed for Burley, famous for witchcraft and smuggling! Alas you won’t meet any witches but you can sample some of the famous New Forest Cider and Burley Fudge; both establishments are well worth a visit.
Back on the bus you’ll meander to the northern extreme of the National Park; if you’ve an interest in wildlife, then this route has it all; the iconic New Forest Ponies, together with pigs, donkeys and cattle, can be spotted along most of the route. Take care not to feed them...they are semi-wild and can be unpredictable.
On return to Lyndhurst there’s a green route service back to Brockenhurst rail station. You’ll depart the New Forest National Park with a much greater level of understanding and appreciation of this special place.
It is much more than bus trip, it’s a way of connecting people with all that’s good about the New Forest.
Prices start from £11 for a one day adult ticket, valid across both red and green routes. 2 and 5 days tickets are also available at discounted rates, encouraging staying visitors to make the New Forest Tour their default transport choice for the duration of their stay.
>> Due to popular demand, the season has been extended until 14 October.
>> More details about the bus tour: www.facebook.com/newforesttour
>> More information about the New Forest National Park: www.newforestnpa.gov.uk
Watch our video of the New Forest Tour: