Places to stay in the New Forest National Park

As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to the New Forest, Florence Fortnam picks out a selection of characterful places to stay, including hotels, B&Bs, self-catering and campsites in this glorious protected area in the south of England.

Wooden lodges at Sandy Balls

With around 220 square miles of open countryside, the New Forest has a huge variety of eco-friendly accommodations and campsites to choose from, suiting all tastes and budgets.

Rolling hillsides, ancient woodlands and tranquil lakes - its no wonder the New Forest is home to everything from luxury 5* country manors, through to traditional farmhouses and secluded campsites. What's more, each of the accommodations listed has been accredited by the Green Leaf Tourism Scheme (GLTS), having taken important steps in ensuring a more sustainable future - so whether you greet the day by tucking into a sumptuous New Forest Breakfast in Lymington, or pedal-power your own television in Brockenhurst, you're helping to ensure the future of this beautiful region.


The Montagu Arms

A 17th century country house buried deep in the heart of the New Forest, overlooking the wonderful Beaulieu Palace. Each of the 22 bedrooms and suites is rich with traditional English character and by exploring a little you'll soon discover roaring log fires, ornate oak paneling and picturesque gardens. All three restaurants (including one with a Michelin star) do wonders with local produce and the New Forest breakfast is a real treat. Montagu is an effortlessly luxurious base from which to explore walking trails through ancient woodland, one hundred miles of cycle routes or to trek the open heathland on horseback. montaguarmshotel.co.uk

Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa

Experience a world of pure relaxation and luxury in The New Forest, where world class spa facilities, luxurious bedrooms, versatile conference and function spaces and delicious dining options combine at this fabulous hotel. careysmanor.com

Chewton Glen

An English original... Chewton Glen is a luxury country house hotel, 12 tree-houses and a spa in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of the New Forest National Park, from where it's a glorious 20 minute stroll to a wonderful sandy beach. chewtonglen.com

Stanwell House Hotel

A cosmopolitan and stylish boutique hotel situated in the heart of Lymington, ideally positioned minutes from the quay. The modern garden rooms look out over the lush terrace and, if you explore the oldest parts of the hotel, you’ll find the Georgian rooms, tastefully styled to complement the hotel's rich heritage. The rustic brick-walled Drydock bar acts as the perfect place to unwind with a cocktail or glass of champagne and the renowned seafood restaurant cooks up impressive dishes sourced almost solely from local fishermen. stanwellhousehotel.co.uk


Cottage Lodge

Enjoy the natural beauty of the splendid New Forest from the comfort of the charming Cottage Lodge, a lovely bed and breakfast (all rooms en suite) in Brockenhurst, within easy walking distance of country pubs, shops, bike hire & the railway station. Our reviewer Richard Hammond says: “Cottage Lodge is a cosy, smart B&B that deserves its AA-rated status as a luxury B&B. Christina is a ball of energy and fully committed to helping to reduce the impact of your stay on the environment and supporting local producers.” cottagelodge.co.uk

The Blacksmith's House

An unusual B&B in the heart of the New Forest National Park where you feel fully cared for but left in peace to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings. Excellent breakfast and baked goods on arrival, wonderful cosy atmosphere and home away from home. Our reviewer Lucy Symons says: "Seriously, a perfect spot if you have no car - you can arrive by railway and get around on the bus effortlessly. The New Forest is just begging for you to hire a bike or a Twizy and explore this beautiful area. A few people don't like letting themselves in, but I absolutely loved the feeling of trust and ability to explore Tracy’s place on my own." theblacksmithshouse.co.uk

The Mill at Gordleton

This 5*, privately owned restaurant also has 8 bedrooms including the Orchard Room, which comes complete with its own private terraced area. The 400 year-old mill has been lovingly converted into the top suite, with a sitting room overlooking the river and and a corner spa bath. At the restaurant, nearly all greens are grown in the herb garden and green house and the river allows for fishing of trout and salmon. Local sculptors have worked on the impressive gardens and recycled sculptures have been commissioned for each table. themillatgordleton.co.uk

Daisybank Cottage

Nestled right in the heart of the New Forest National Park, this boutique B&B prides itself on offering a luxurious cottage hideaway experience. Each of the five individually styled en-suite bedrooms makes the most of the cottage’s Victorian heritage, while the courtyard suite opens out onto a private, Spanish-style terrace. Daisybank has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint, and the restaurant offers guests a fantastic New Forest Breakfast. With the coastal towns of Milford on Sea and Highcliffe nearby, there’s plenty to keep you busy. bedandbreakfast-newforest.co.uk

Harvest House

This spacious boutique Bed and Breakfast lies on the coastal border of the New Forest National Park, and boasts stunning panoramic views of the surrounding farmland. With three comfortably contemporary rooms available, you’re free to relax in front of the wood burner in the lounge with a drink from the well-stocked honesty bar. While it may be hidden in over an acre of woodland, Harvest House is only a 5 minutes walk from the village centre while the nearest beach is just 10 minutes away. harvesthouse-newforest.co.uk

Alderholt Mill

Deep in the Dorset countryside, on a small island formed by the river Allen lies this working water mill. There’s a range of comfortable accommodations sleeping parties of 2-7, and the large garden offers the chance to relax to the sound of trickling water features and chirping birds. Private fishing trips for Grayling and Trout on site, with an early breakfast included before setting out. Successfully restored in 1987, the mill is open to the public during the summer season weekends only, selling cream teas and other goodies made using flour produced on site. alderholtmill.co.uk

Upper Kingston Farm Cottages

A working farm right on the New Forest border is the setting for these five carefully restored and converted cottages. Each cottage is as energy efficient as possible - air source heat pumps heat the floors and provide hot water, and while it may be self-catered, you’ll find the ingredients for your first ‘New Forest Breakfast’ waiting for you in the fridge. From wandering the sands of the nearby beaches and horse riding through the forest to deep-sea fishing and countryside rambling, activities in the area are excitingly varied. upperkingstonfarmcottages.co.uk

Hucklesbrook Farm Cottages

Each of the four Hucklesbrook cottages is set within a colorful courtyard hidden behind a beautiful 17th Century farmhouse. Views from the South facing windows look over farmland, woodland and the New Forest to the east. Rooms are clean, light and warm and each cottage has a garden and private patio. Children will love the collection of friendly farm animals roaming the area (including 4 ponies and 3 ducks) and are free to collect the hen's eggs. A range of activities including pony trekking are available nearby. newforestholidaycottages.com

Sandy Balls

Family run since 1919, this impressive campsite presents breathtaking forest right on your doorstep. There’s a superb range of quality accommodation, from rustic woodland lodges and static holiday homes to Ready Tents and tepees, plus fully-serviced touring pitches – all hidden away under the treetops. Guests can walk, cycle, horse-ride, kayak, fish and even ice skate nearby and there's a comprehensive programme of activities for children. The site also boasts a restaurant, traditional English pub and supermarket. sandyballs.co.uk/accommodation

Camping in the Forest

Year-round caravan and camping holidays with a choice of 16 camping and caravanning sites set amongst the woodlands of the Forestry Commission. campingintheforest.co.uk


For information on local food and drink, nearby visitor attractions and activities, see our

Green Traveller's Guide to the New Forest


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