What are the New Forest’s best hotels with direct forest access?

It’s a question that we’re always being asked and we don’t blame people because visiting the New Forest, with its unique roaming ponies, donkeys and wildlife, is one of the UK’s most magical holiday experiences.

If you want to step or cycle straight out of your hotel and into our beautiful woodlands or onto our heaths, read on for some accommodation inspiration!

For lonely beauty and great walks… Beaulieu Inn.  Situated beside the giant Yew Tree Heath, this is one of our most remote hotels. When you’re done admiring the roaming donkeys, who love to congregate in the shade of the Scots Pines around the hotel, step out and onto one of the many heathland pathways, which will take you into some of our quietest woodland.

For swift forest access and a stylish vibe… Lime Wood near Lyndhurst. This celebrity-favourite gives you gate access to Pondhead Inclosure, whilst a quick walk over the road takes you to the vantage-point of Boltons Bench and Matley Wood.

Exterior of Lime Wood Hotel in the Summer in the New Forest
Image - Lime Wood

For keen cyclists… Cottage Lodge Hotel in Brockenhurst. Surrounded by tracks, this hotel is great for those bringing their own machine and fine for those who haven’t, because Cyclexperience is a short walk away. They can hire you bikes, trailers for the kids or furry friends, and the hotel can even organise you some cycle tours.

For when you’re bringing the kids… New Park Manor near Brockenhurst. This hotel positively welcomes young families and does everything it can to ensure you have a peaceful stay. There’s direct trail access with plenty of opportunity for hiking or biking and a sumptuous spa to retreat into at the end of the day.

The spa at New Park Manor Hotel in Brockenhurst in the New Forest
Image - New Park Manor Hotel

For the best of all worlds (and an indoor swimming pool)… Forest Lodge Hotel in Lyndhurst. A former ‘hunting box’ with direct access to the forest opposite the hotel’s entrance, a swift walk in the opposite direction leads you into Lyndhurst, the New Forest’s bustling ‘capital’ town.

For being close to nature… Bartley Lodge Hotel at Cadnam. The former home of eminent geologist, Sir Charles Lyell, this comfy, historic hotel is surrounded by woodland with a footpath directly accessible from its tree-lined drive.

The Garden and Terrace at Bartley Lodge Hotel in the New Forest
Image - Bartley Lodge Hotel

For great cycling and walking, too… Careys Manor Hotel at Brockenhurst. This hotel is home to the world-class SenSpa and surrounded by tracks, so you can strike out walking or cycling in any direction. It’s also a great starting place for the 8.5-miler to Blackwater Arboretum and the Tall Trees Trail.

For pony-spotting and wonderful walks… Balmer Lawn Hotel at Brockenhurst. This elegant hotel has close access to nearby Standing Hat Inclosure – a forest name for woodlands – as well as lots of nearby tracks if you’re planning a spot of cycling. Its proximity to a stream seems to attract a lot of New Forest ponies and donkeys, too!

Drone shot of the exterior of Balmer Lawn Hotel and its surrounding forest
Image - Balmer Lawn Hotel

For adventurous days and tearoom… Thatched Cottage Hotel in Brockenhurst. Built in the time of King Charles I, this hotel is surrounded by tracks which will link you to others taking in almost all of the forest if you’ve come to cycle. Plus, it's the perfect place to return to after a forest adventure with a delightful tearoom on-site. 

For views of red deer and Mediterranean cuisine… Burley Manor. Slap-bang in the centre of the Burley Village Walk, you can use this route to stride off into any number of woodland walks, or ramble across the heathland on a waymarked path.

Interior of a Garden Suite Room at Burley Manor in the New Forest
Image - Burley Manor

For a quirky vibe and swift forest access… The Pig at Brockenhurst. From this beautiful location, you’ll be able to link to trails and cycle tracks taking you into Ancient Woodland, to wildlife-infested heaths, and return to a hotel that sits peacefully in the forest landscape.

For when the clue’s in the name… Forest Park Hotel in Brockenhurst. A few steps from the hotel’s front door leads you into an oak forest. From there, a track takes you deeper into the New Forest and on to Highland Water, which in turn leads you to Blackwater.

Highland cow next to Forest Park Hotel sign in Brockenhurst in the New Forest
Image - Forest Park Hotel

For even more gorgeous hotels and other stunning places to stay, have a browse through our website.

Wherever you go, find some inspiration for your next walking and cycling adventures on our website, too.