The New Forest is a perfect destination for families. With endless outdoor opportunities including adventures in the woodlands, building sandcastles on our beaches and a whole host of family-friendly places to visit, eat and stay. Take a look at some of the top family days out you can enjoy here…
Family friendly attractions
One of the family favourites which will entertain all in your group is Paultons Park. This theme park has a multitude of pulse-raising rides for older children and Peppa Pig World for the younger ones. In fact, Paultons Park has over 70 rides for you to enjoy! Plus, keep a look out for their events schedule with themed activities often taking place over the school holidays.
Those with a love for all things cute and furry will enjoy trips to Longdown Activity Farm (with lots of opportunities to hold and feed the animals, particularly in the school holidays) and New Forest Wildlife Park (for more exotic species such as wolves and wallabies). Find out more about some of the New Forest’s native animals by popping along to the New Forest Reptile Centre, near Lyndhurst. See if you can spot the elusive adder, sand lizard and smooth snake.
Kids will also love exploring Beaulieu with the famous National Motor Museum and World of Top Gear. Here, you’ll also find Little Beaulieu, the enchanting new play area where imaginations can run wild.
For some more sedate things to do then hop aboard the miniature steam train at Exbury Gardens, have a paddle and build sandcastles on the beach or see if you can find all of the fairy doors hidden around Furzey Gardens.
See more New Forest attractions on our website.
Burn off all that energy with some fun New Forest activities
If your family is full of energy then take your pick of the activities on offer here to enjoy. You can try kayaking up the Beaulieu River, paddle boarding on the Solent, hiring a bike from one of our cycle hire centres for some off-road cycling, navigating your way over the inflatable obstacles at the New Forest Water Park. At New Forest Activities, family days are their speciality with dedicated family canoeing and kayaking sessions for a perfect introduction to paddling. If you want to try the ancient sport of archery, their family sessions are an excellent way to fight for the bullseye with some friendly family rivalry.
We also have plenty of family friendly walks available with popular family walks including Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard, the various trails around Bolderwood and the Burley Food Trail. Whether it’s a short toddle or a longer walk, you will find plenty of walks to pick from.
Family friendly places to eat
Whether you are looking for a quick pit stop for an ice cream or spot of cake or a more wholesome meal, there are plenty of places to eat that are welcoming to families here in the New Forest.
Many of our attractions mentioned above have their own restaurants or cafes which have meals or snacks for children. You’ll also find a variety of country pubs, wonderful restaurants and relaxed cafes and tea rooms where all of the family can enjoy a bite to eat. Plus, if you are in the Burley area then be sure to pop into the Burley Fudge Shop to check out the latest flavours of the month – yummy! Find out more about family friendly places to eat on our website.
Book a family break
With so many activities and adventures to be had, to make the most of your time we’d recommend staying over in the area.
Stay within minutes of the seaside at Shorefield Country Park (they even have brand new treehouse accommodation!), or enjoy the outdoor swimming pools on a stay at Shamba Holiday Park or Hoburne Bashley. There are plenty of opportunities for camping here too as well as glamping sites, self-catering cottages that cater for all the family and family-friendly hotels and B&Bs. Search for your perfect family stay today.
Last but not least
We know travelling with a family can be expensive so why not consider purchasing a Go New Forest Card? For just £10 a Go New Forest Card gives you access to over 300 discounts on businesses across the New Forest including many attractions, activities and food and drink providers. Until 2022, we are also offering Buy One Get One Free on the Go New Forest Card. Find out more here.