Whether it’s rain, snow or cold, don’t let the weather spoil your fun here in the New Forest!
You’ll find plenty to do here, despite the weather so whether you are looking for rainy day ideas or for a short break at a quieter time of year, you will still find a lot to entertain all ages.
Here are some of our top suggestions for what to do in the New Forest when the weather’s not playing ball…
Check out some of the New Forest’s indoor attractions
Escape from the weather outside by seeking shelter inside. Spend a day at Beaulieu and you’ll be amazed by the extensive vehicle collection at the National Motor Museum. You can also step back into time as you explore Palace House and don’t forget to hop aboard the monorail for views across the site.
Image - National Motor Museum Beaulieu
Head into the heart of the forest at Lyndhurst and make a pit stop at the New Forest Heritage Centre. Here, you can learn more about the traditions and ways of life in the New Forest from the commoners to the pannage pigs. Look out for changing exhibitions being held here too.
Just off Lymington High Street, the St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery is a great space for touring exhibitions and cultural events plus a museum about Lymington and its maritime history. Look out for children’s events held during the school holidays, St Barbe usually has a busy programme in place.
Motorcycle enthusiasts will love a visit to Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum, one of the finest collections of fully restored motorcycles in the world. Surrounding the courtyard of the museum is a range of craft and gift shops too where you can pick up something special to remind you of your time in the New Forest.
Take part in some adventures at Calshot Activities Centre
Perched on the edge of Southampton Water, Calshot Activities Centre offers both outdoor and indoor activities. When the weather’s not great, make the most of the indoor fun by booking onto a climbing or bouldering session on The Wall (Calshot’s climbing wall) or try your hand at snow sports on the indoor ski slope. Here, snowboarding and skiing lessons can be booked or for a bit of fun, have a go at sliding down the slopes on the ringos!
Image - Calshot Activities Centre
Indulge in some foodie experiences
Rest away from the bad weather by choosing to satisfy your tastebuds with some good old New Forest grub. Look out for charming pubs with roaring fireplaces – perfect for sitting in front of with some comforting lunch or dinner or head to one of our tea rooms for a spot of afternoon tea.
For something a little different, why not book onto a cookery workshop at Chewton Glen Hotel’s cookery school? Learn new skills and test out new flavours. Some of the cookery workshops here are also led by celebrity chef, James Martin.
Image - Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa
Experience a New Forest spa day
Is there anything better than resting your wearing muscles and pampering yourself on a spa day? Who cares about what the weather is doing when you are soaking in warm waters or are filling your lungs with the calming scents of a steam room.
The New Forest is home to several spa hotels, many of which offer spa days or of course, spa breaks. Choose from added treatments or add-ons such as lunch and dinner.
Image - Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa
Check out what’s on across the forest
Take a look at our events listings to keep an eye on what’s going on across the forest. You’ll find plenty of indoor events at some of our arts and community centres, including Hanger Farm Arts Centre. Whether it’s comedy, theatre, arts exhibitions or something a little different.
Events are regularly added to our listings so take a browse or sign up to our events e-newsletter for up-to-date information.
Embrace the weather
The other thing to do when the weather isn’t ball is to simply embrace it! Don your wellies, bring your waterproofs and get stuck in. Whether that’s on a walk through the woods or a cycle along some of our gravel tracks, there’s something restorative about spending time in nature here. Plus, you can always opt for some well-deserved cake and a cuppa after as your reward!