Green Travel Guide to the New Forest National Park

Words by Florence Fortnam.
Artwork for Green Traveller's Guides by Tina Smith and Mark Edwards.

Forword by Anthony Climpson OBE,

Destination Manager, New Forest District Council

When William the Conquerer saw these acres of deer-filled heathlands, pretty glade and wild wood more than 900 years ago, he couldn't believe his luck. The forest was to become a Royal playground for the lucky few to enjoy. Today, the New Forest is England's smallest National Park and now everyone can enjoy this very special place.

People and nature live in harmony here and the Green Leaf Tourism Scheme is at the centre of our efforts to assist businesses to reduce energy, waste & traffic, support local producers and help visitors get the very best out of their stay.

As one of England's most popular escapes from everyday life for over 100 years, its people are naturally welcoming and it has some world-class products in its tourism mix. The destination boasts quality Green Leaf businesses in every sector from luxury hotels and spas to high-class holiday parks and natural campsites, welcoming B&Bs to quaint and mysterious self catering properties. There's also a great range of forest and seaside activities and attractions.

Local New Forest Marque food and drink is pretty spectacular as well, provided by hideaway pubs, gourmet restaurants and inviting tea shops around every corner, so look for the Green Leaf and the New Forest Marque throughout this destination guide to ensure you make the right holiday choice. Welcome to our green forest.

What Green Traveller's writers discovered in the New Forest

From the rolling heathlands and ancient forests of Brockenhurst, to the fresh sea air and coastal views of Milford on Sea and Beaulieu River in the southeast, the New Forest National Park is a haven of natural beauty. All across this wonderful corner of the UK a range of activities are available, including horse riding on the deer-filled heathlands, exploring the miles of waymarked cycle routes, or kayaking and canoeing. Those who come to enjoy the area’s natural delights will be greeted by wonderful places to stay, from luxury hotels to rustic log cabins, as well as delicious local food, served everywhere from Michelin-starred restaurants to traditional pubs.

Stay, Eat, See & Do

Our pick of places across the New Forest

Google Map Key:
Click on the coloured icons for more information about each listing
Green = Places to stay; Blue = Places to eat; Yellow = Attractions; Purple = Activities

Click on the square brackets top right of map to reveal expanded map

  • William the Conquerer first gave the park special protection over 900 years ago
     

  • The National Park covers some 220 square miles (140,000 acres) of countryside and coast
     

  • Around 700 species of wildflower are thought to grow in the New Forest, around a third of the total found in Britain
     

  • The oldest tree in the New Forest, a common yew at Brockenhurst church, is thought to be around 1,000 years old
     

  • Approximately 34,000 people live in the New Forest, making it the most densely populated of England's National Parks

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