The New Forest is a stunning location, full of natural beauty, free-roaming animals, ancient woodlands, and charming villages. While there are various ways to reach this enchanting area, travelling by ferry offers a unique and memorable experience. Here's a guide to help you make the most of your ferry journey to and from the New Forest…

The ferry experience

Travelling by ferry adds an element of adventure to your journey. As you sail across the water, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy stunning coastal views, breathe in the fresh sea air, and perhaps even spot some marine wildlife. There are multiple ferry routes to and from nearby locations, including Lymington and Hythe, with some services connecting to Southampton and beyond.

Wightlink : Lymington - Yarmouth

One of the most popular ferry routes is from Lymington to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. The crossing takes about 40 minutes, offering ample time to soak in the scenery. As you travel between these two wonderful destinations, you'll glide past the stunning coastal landscapes of the New Forest and the Solent, a strait separating the Isle of Wight from the mainland.

wightlink ferry

Hythe Ferry : Hythe – Southampton

Hythe Ferry offers an ideal link between the New Forest and Southampton. The ferry sails daily from the end of the historic Pier at Hythe, where you can also find the World’s Oldest Pier Train. The trip provides the best views of the cruise liners in port!

hythe ferry

Red Funnel : Southampton – Cowes

Another great ferry connection between the New Forest and the Isle of Wight is the Red Funnel Ferry, which runs between Southampton and Cowes. The ferry ride takes just 1 hour, or hop on the Red Jet which takes just 28 minutes! There is even a through ticket for routes between Cowes, Southampton and Hythe, using Red Funnel and Hythe Ferry.

red funnel

Practical tips

- Booking: It's advisable to book your ferry tickets in advance, especially during peak seasons. Check the ferry operator's website for schedules and fares.
- Timing: Plan your journey to allow for some exploration time around the ferry terminal. The ferry operates frequently, but it's always good to have a flexible schedule.
- Packing: Bring layers, as the weather can be unpredictable. Don't forget your camera to capture the beautiful landscapes and moments along the way.


Travelling by ferry to and from the New Forest is not just a means of transportation; it's an integral part of the adventure. The journey offers a delightful blend of maritime charm and natural beauty, setting the tone for an unforgettable exploration of the beautiful New Forest National Park. So, next time you're planning a trip to the New Forest, consider taking the ferry and let the journey become part of your experience!