If your children are feeling the blues over the end of the school holidays then perhaps it’s time to plan your October half term fun? It won’t be long until half term is here and there are plenty of opportunities for lots of fun and adventures here in the New Forest. Take a look for some half term inspiration.

Outdoor adventures to be had

There are so many opportunities to get out and about here in the New Forest. Make the most of the autumn and crunch the fallen leaves on a family walk (we’ve plenty of short and accessible walks you can choose from).

Image - Family walking in the New Forest. Credit - Pete Elliott Photography

Explore some of our top attractions such as the ever-popular Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World and the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

Wander around the gardens at Exbury for an autumn explore before hopping aboard the miniature steam train which will whisk you around the grounds or find the hidden fairy doors at Furzey Gardens.

Bring your bikes on holiday with you and you will love taking to the many off-road family cycling routes that are found around our National Park. However, if you don’t have your own bikes you don’t have to miss out, there are several bike hire centres dotted around the forest and the teams there are on-hand to give their recommendations for some family-friendly rides that you can all enjoy.

Image - Family cycling in the New Forest. Credit - New Forest National Park Authority

If you want the kids to burn off some energy, then look out for some of our outdoor and activities centres which offer outdoor pursuits including high ropes courses, archery, wake boarding and bush craft. Don’t forget to also look out for our events listings for some great half term fun including some spooky Halloween activities.

Food and drink for all

Whether you are here for a short break or a week-long stay, you’ll be sure to want to try some of the amazing food and drink on offer in the New Forest.

Many of our pubs are geared up for families and offer children’s menus, high chairs and pub gardens. Look out for pubs with outdoor play areas too such as The Rising Sun near New Milton and The New Queen near Ringwood

Image - The New Queen

Who doesn’t love a spot of cake? If you fancy something sweet then head to one of our tea rooms or cafes. You can even cycle to the Old Station Tearooms along a disused railway line – a great excuse to indulge after and a popular activity for all the family.

Kids will love a visit to Burley and in particular, to the Burley Fudge Shop. The big debate will be which of the amazing flavours of fudge are you going to choose from!

Image - Burley Fudge Shop

Many of our places to eat are dog friendly too, so if you are bringing your four-legged friend as well they don’t have to miss out either. 

Family-friendly places to stay

Here in the New Forest, many of our accommodation options are geared up for children. A popular choice for many families is to choose to stay in one of our holiday parks. Choose from Sandy Balls Holiday Village which has an indoor pool and on-site cycle hire centre or stay in luxury treehouse accommodation at Shorefield Country Park. Book a stay at Shamba Holiday Park and you are in a great position for exploring the forest and the coastline and tucked away by lakes and bordering the New Forest National Park, Green Hill Farm offers holiday home options or glamping stays.

Image - Sandy Balls Holiday Village

If you prefer to do your own thing a bit more and love that home-from-home feel then take a look at some of our holiday cottages and self-catering options. Whether you fancy staying in a cosy traditional thatched cottage or a modern home with sea views, there is plenty of choice. Do also look out for self-catering properties that offer additional facilities for families such as travel cots, high chairs, outdoor play areas and games.

A hotel stay could be right for you and your family. Look out for hotels that offer family rooms, have children’s menus in the restaurants or that offer leisure facilities for all to enjoy. Many of our hotels are either in, or are close by to the New Forest National Park so you have ample walking and cycling opportunities at your doorstep. The New Forest is also home to lots of wonderful, cosy Bed & Breakfasts.

Image - Chewton Glen Hotel

Of course, you also won’t be too late for a spot of camping or glamping. Wrap up warm and bring your tent or opt to take your campervan or caravan and stay at any of our New Forest campsites that are open throughout October including Long Meadow Campsite at Brockenhurst and Lytton Lawn Touring Park at Milford on Sea.

The Hampshire half term dates run from 22-30 October so book now for a week-long stay or a short break. We do expect accommodation to fill up, so we would highly recommend making your booking soon.