This post was most recently updated on February 11th, 2017
The New Forest is an area of southern England that includes one of the largest tracts of unenclosed pasture and forest in otherwise heavily populated south eastern England. However, The New Forest is also a former royal hunting area, created in 1079 by William the Conqueror.
The New Forest is a unique area with historical, ecological, and agricultural significance that holds onto rural and historic practices like pasturing ponies, cattle, pigs, and donkeys in the open forest.
The region also has an attractive coastline that borders the Solent, a stretch of water dividing the Isle of Wight from the mainland. With coastline, pasture, forest, and plain, the New Forest has a wide variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. In fact, the New Forest is hugely popular as a tourist destination both for its natural beauty and the many historic sites in the area, including castles, churches, and even the ruins of a Roman villa.
Wildlife is abundant in the New Forest, including large animals like deer and ponies. The New Forest’s ponies have been present in the area for thousands of years, and today’s carefully maintained breed is the result of over 1,000 years of animal husbandry.
We’ve made a list of ten of the most fun things to do while visiting or staying in the New Forest. Enjoy!
1. Buckler’s Hard
Buckler’s Hard, on the banks of the Beaulieu River, is a historic village that was a 18th century shipbuilding hub for the British Navy. The village is filled with historical plaques that help tell the story of the area.
Visitors can enjoy the Maritime Museum, the Labourer’s and Shipwright’s cottages, and the SS Persia exhibition. Even simply strolling through the village is a delightful way to pass a few hours.