We know we’re always emphasising the relaxing and stress-busting benefits of a trip to the magical New Forest. But we’re also one of the top places to get your adventure on – the more exciting the better!
If your idea of a great break is to hurtle along a track, or pull some moves on the ocean, check out our great ideas for an action-packed summer.
We’ve got hundreds walks for you do and thousands of acres to do them in. So why not ramp it up a gear and test yourself against one of our longer strides? The Sea Air Trail is 5.5 miles long and begins at the marina and yacht clubs in Lymington, before following part of the Solent Way, passing through the Lymington-Keyhaven nature reserve and onto Keyhaven itself. At nearby Milford-on-Sea you can either catch a bus back to Lymington or turn around and reverse the journey.
Or why not tackle the 34-mile Avon Valley Walk, starting off in the cathedral city of Salisbury and hiking – or running - on trail through the beautiful New Forest to the sea at Christchurch? All our walks can be adapted for runs!
Bring your own machine or you can hire bikes here and then decide what you’re looking to do. For fans of gravel cycling, it’s good news – we have more than 140 miles approved off-road tracks for you to use. Our website is full of some great routes for you to follow. If long distance is your thing, try the 25 mile Lyndhurst to Burley route. If you fancy a circular route, with stunning views across heathland, try the 18 mile Northern Forest Circular, which begins and ends at Appleslade Bottom.
Paddleboarding? Tick. Kayaking? Tick. Canoeing? Tick. Sailing, open-water swimming and watery adventure courses? Tick, tick and tick again.
The following companies all offer kayaking for singles, couples and family groups, either on our beautiful Beaulieu river, or at sea. New Forest Activities, Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre and the mighty Calshot Activities Centre, one of the UK’s largest outdoor adventure complexes, will see you right for canoeing and kayaking.
The New Forest Paddle Sport Company organises fabulous trips along Keyhaven near its Milford on Sea base, to Hurst Castle. You can start with a one-hour taster session, ranging to day hire as well as paddleboard safaris to Hurst Castle. If you’ve never tried it before, 2021 is the year to see if Britain’s fastest-growing activity is one for you.
This could also be the year to try out a life on the ocean wave and no one is better equipped to help than Escape Yachting. Based in the yachtie paradise of Lymington, Escape will sort you for an experienced skipper, who will literally show you the ropes. Or you can sit back and take in the spectacular Solent views. Either way, it’s a great intro to sailing.
If its sheer fun you’re after, then look no further than Fordingbridge’s New Forest Water Park. Along with their giant, waterborne assault course, they have an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional boat watersports. The five-pylon wakeboard cable – a bit like a ski lift system – is one of the newest in the United Kingdom, it's very high and taut, perfect for learning, as well as perfecting tricks. They say their new system is a first for the south coast and will cater for all abilities, from enthusiastic beginnings to the physically challenged and advanced riders looking to perfect their jumps and tricks.
On the field
If you’re looking to try something completely new, or a fun and adventurous activity, don’t forget our amazing activity centres. Sample the authentic woodland activities at Insight Activities, where you can try archery, axe throwing, crossbow shooting and bushcraft.
Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre offers over 40 exciting adventures, including a zip wire across the lake, a climbing tower, the chance to kayak or canoe across open waters, or to learn archery.
Alternatively, visit New Forest Activities where their 'BattleZone Laser Tag' provides a real sense of adventure, grab your gang and fight for victory! They also offer archery and a ropes course too.