The New Forest is a unique location full of stunning views, ancient woodlands and free-roaming animals. With all of its beauty and scenery that shouldn’t go amiss, we want everyone to come and enjoy the magical New Forest, regardless of age, ability or accessibility needs, whether motor difficulties, impaired vision, cognitive impairments or learning difficulties.

This blog highlights some of the top accessible attractions and activities, excellent accessible walking routes, and the best accessible accommodation, as well as additional accessible information about the area.

We have so many accessible-friendly options to choose from you’ll be desperate to book a trip as soon as possible…

Prepare your visit

Getting here couldn’t be easier; you could travel by car, bus, coach, ferry, or train. Many of our local public transport options have accessibility for wheelchair users, priority seating, onboard assistance, helpline numbers and more.

For more information on accessibility on public transport, see below some useful contacts so that you can speak to someone directly –

Buses – Bluestar and Morebus – 01202 338420
Trains – South Western Railway Assisted Travel – 0800 528 2100, or National Rail – call 0800 022 3720 (option 1) or text 60083
Ferries – Hythe Ferry – 02380 840722, Wightlink – 0333 999 7333, or Red Funnel 02380 019 192
Coaches – National Express – 0871 781 8181

If you plan to travel by car, most attractions, activities, pubs, restaurants, shops and accommodation will have dedicated disabled parking bays. In local towns and villages, the New Forest District Council Car Parks also have dedicated disabled parking bays and offer free parking for Blue Badge Holders. Around the forest, some of the Forestry England car parks also have dedicated disabled parking bays where the car parks are larger.

For locations with accessible toilet facilities, there are over 20 New Forest District Council car parks with accessible facilities, including Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Keyhaven, Lymington, Lyndhurst, New Milton, Ringwood and Totton. For a full list, click here. There are also accessible toilet facilities around the forest at Forestry England car parks at Anderwood, Blackwater, Bolderwood, New Forest Reptile Centre, Whitefield Moor and Wilverley Plain. For more details, click here.

Please look at our accessibility visitor information page for more helpful information.

Accessible attractions

Accessible attractions include farms and gardens, theme parks and museums. There are so many options for unforgettable days out for everyone in the New Forest.

Longdown Activity Farm has its own Changing Places Facilities, including a changing room and toilet facility with adult-sized equipment available. It also has an all-inclusive outdoor play area with playboards and an amazing wheelchair swing.

Longdown Activity Farm - Accessible Swing
Image - Longdown Activity Farm

Get outside and enjoy a delightful day at Exbury Gardens, where there are even gravel pathways leading around the glorious gardens, and wheelchairs and motorised scooters are allowed. They even have wheelchairs that you can hire onsite. Their wonderful Steam Railway is also accessible to all. Visit Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World, where you will find accessible facilities around the theme park, including multiple rest areas. Several rides and attractions are accessible to wheelchair users, including the Victorian Carousel and the Rio Grande Train Ride.

For a trip to a museum, there are some brilliant options in the New Forest. At the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, induction loops in key areas and transcripts are available for film and video content around the museum. Their garden pathways are also mostly accessible with even pathways. They also have wheelchairs and mobility scooters available to hire for free onsite as well. Nearby Buckler’s Hard has an accessibility map to help pinpoint areas of accessibility. A hearing loop is also available, and trained assistance dogs are welcome.

Learn more about the history of the New Forest at the New Forest Heritage Centre. The centre is accessible to those with mobility and sensory disabilities. It has level flooring throughout and a wheelchair-friendly lift to its upstairs displays. Displays and signage are at a suitable height for wheelchair users. St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery are also very accessible, with level access and automatic doors.   

New Forest Heritage Centre - Accessible
Image - New Forest Heritage Centre

Accessible activities

Book a session with PedALL, or join one of their regular social rides, and enjoy the freedom of getting out into the New Forest no matter the challenges you may face. The fantastic team and volunteers at PedALL are there to help support and guide you through your bike ride around the New Forest, with their incredible fleet of specialist bikes to use! 

Everyone can get involved at some of our local activity centresAvon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre has hoists available for various activities, and they allow assistance for dogs on site. At Calshot Activities Centre, their fantastic instructors and adaptation kit allows those with accessibility needs to get involved with adventures here, too. Plus, they have visitor information available in larger print, effective onsite lighting and seating suitable for wheelchair users. New Forest Activities also make their activities as inclusive as possible!

Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre - Accessible things to do
Image - Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre

Accessible walks

In addition to fantastic accessible attractions and activities, our trails in the New Forest give everyone a chance to get out and about to explore our beautiful wildlife and nature. We have a list of accessible routes detailed on our website. From 300 metres to 3 miles, you can explore the New Forest at your own pace at a distance that you are comfortable with.

Knightwood Oak and Rufus Stone are two popular shorter accessible routes. For a longer trail, try Blackwater (1.4 miles), The Reptile Centre Discovery Trail (1.1 or 1.4 miles), or Rockford Common Shorter Loop (1.7 miles).

For walks with accessible toilet facilities in the car park, visit Anderwood, Blackwater, Bolderwood, The New Forest Reptile Centre, Whitefield Moor, and Wilverley Plain.

Accessible walking trails in the New Forest

This year, Wild New Forest is offering FREE limited mobility walks. Book an upcoming session and enjoy a guided walk with these excellent New Forest experts!

Our cycle tracks are also accessible for specially designed bikes, such as bikes with three or four wheels or with specialised seating positions.

Accessible accommodation

The New Forest has many accommodation options suitable for various accessibility needs. Facilities include ground-floor rooms, wet rooms, and even fully accessible rooms.

Forest Lake 19 is an accessible holiday lodge located lakeside at Green Hill Farm. It has ramp access, wide doorways, larger spaces within the lodge, a wet room, and more. You can also stay at Sandy Balls Holiday Village or Shorefield Country Park, both of which have specially adapted accommodation and other facilities onsite.

Forest 19 - Accessible Accommodation
Image - Forest Lake 19

Red Shoot Camping Park has a fully equipped disabled washroom, and the paths around the facility block, shop, and reception are level and accessible to wheelchair users. Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa has a wide range of facilities, including ground-floor bedrooms, a wetroom, and even ground-floor treatments at its award-winning spa.

Check out even more accessible accommodation via our website, click on the products and scroll down on their page to find their facilities. To ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible, we recommend that you always contact the accommodation provider directly in advance.

Practical tips and resources

There are some companies dotted around the New Forest that offer the hire of wheelchairs and mobility scooters; some also provide repairs and sales of wheelchairs, scooters and equipment. These businesses include KJ’s Mobility in Hythe, M&J Mobility in Cadnam, and Richens Care, which are nearby in Christchurch. We advise that you contact the company with your needs before visiting, contact details can be found here.

For further information and local contacts that may be useful, including the New Forest Disability Information Service and Radar, please visit our Accessible New Forest page.  

We hope that you enjoy the New Forest! We’d love to see images and videos of your visit – tag us @thenewforestuk on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and X!