Here in the magical New Forest we can’t wait to welcome you all back at the end of what has felt like the longest lockdown ever. But, like many of you, our amazing attractions, activities, places and spaces have been putting the time to good use and have been gearing up for a re-opening like no other, ready to welcome visitors old and new for a fun-filled spring and summer.
Better news still is that it all starts even earlier than April 12 for some of our attractions and activities, on Monday March 29, when many are allowed to re-open or partly re-open*. Government guidance advises local travel only so please refer to the Government’s roadmap on restrictions at the time of your travel.
So why not treat yourself to a day at beautiful Exbury Gardens for the ultimate display of spring flowers, from March 29 onwards? Stand and breathe in the scent and gaze upon one of the world’s most beautiful places. If you fancy a ride on their little steam train, remember to go after April 12.
The grounds and gardens at Beaulieu’s Palace House re-open on March 29, too, giving you a feast of flowers and majestic trees to soothe your screen-sore eyes.
Buckler’s Hard’s outdoor spaces - plus a yummy takeaway food facility - will re-open on March 29, with further parts of the historic maritime attraction, plus river cruises, opening in May.
If you live locally and fancy getting out and about or just shaking it up with a new sport or activity, check out The New Forest Paddle Sport Company, which re-opens at Keyhaven Quay AND its new site at Ashlett Creek, on March 29. Every activity must be pre-booked through their website but they have everything you need for a relaxing paddle in a kayak or on a board so all you need to do is bring yourself.
There’s an even greater variety of outdoor fun at Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre, which unlocks on March 29, offering everything from Bike Hire & Bike Tracks, an Easter Activity Trail (April 4), Be Outdoor Days, Family Go Adventure Activities, a Tree Top Trail and open lake sessions. Don’t forget, too, to check out their new climbing tower!
New Forest Activities are also reopening on March 29, which a fantastic range of outdoor adventure activities! From paddling on the Beaulieu River in a canoe or kayak to aiming for bullseye with their amazing archery... there's lots of outdoor fun to be had with New Forest Activities.
Head out into the New Forest on a cycling adventure! With over 140 miles of off-road cycle trails through our beautiful woodlands and across our stunning heathlands, there is no better place to get outside on a bike ride. And we’ve got lots of brilliant cycle hire centres and shops dotted around the New Forest, including New Forest Bikes in Lymington who are opening from 15 April. Check out lots of amazing suggested cycle routes on our website.
If you’ve missed out the thrills and spills of a day at a theme park then book yourself into Paultons Park, which re-opens on April 12. As well as the usual fabulous rides, activities and Peppa Pig world, get ready to explore Tornado Springs, a brand-new world featuring eight incredible new rides and experiences, including a spinning coaster, gyro swing ride and a driving school attraction. Set in a Midwest desert resort town in the American heyday of the 1950’s, a trip to Tornado Springs is a vacation like no other!
Meanwhile, on the Forest’s western side, just into Dorset, Adventure Wonderland re-opens on April 12, too with plenty or rides and fun for the kids. New Forest Wildlife Park is also preparing to welcome back visitors on April 12 – their animals have really missed you!
Marwell Zoo, nearby to the New Forest, is open from 12 April! With 140 acres of beautiful open spaces, you’ll enjoy a relaxing day out as you support their charity and global conservation work. From giraffes and tigers, to rhinos, lemurs and penguins, they have hundreds of exotic and endangered animals to learn about and make memories with!
If you want to surprise a loved-one with a real treat, how about booking a trip with Burley Wagon Rides? N&J Heavy Horses will re-open on Monday April 12 running every day (weather permitting), except Thursdays.
Or why not consider a private tour with New Forest Platinum Tours? From April 12 they are ready to show visitors this very special part of the UK on one of their informative private tours. The service is Covid compliant with all drivers wearing face coverings on all of their journeys.
Calshot Activity Centre will also be restarting their watersport activities from April 12! Experience the thrill of The Solent from a sit on top kayak - choose to be guided by an expert or hire your own for an independent adventure, you could even try one of their unmissable watersport courses (book before April 30 to receive 15% off). The Wall at Calshot will also be reopening for some climbing fun, it's the tallest climbing wall in the country! Whether you're a beginner or an experienced climber, there are a range of options to enjoy at The Wall.
Remember, these are just a few of our attractions and activities! If your favourite isn’t here, check out and bookmark our Attractions and Activities pages, or head to your favourite location's website or social media channels, so you can find out all the re-opening news as it happens. You’ll never be stuck for something to do in the New Forest.
And, when you do visit, remember the most important thing of all – have fun and keep to the Government restrictions at the time of your visit.
Care for the forest, care for each other when you’re exploring the New Forest. By always following the New Forest Code you will be helping us take care and protect the beautiful, unique wildlife and nature in this very special place. Find the New Forest Code on our website.
*Please note, this date was correct at time of writing but is subject to change depending on government advice. We advise checking with the attraction/activity provider on their status prior to visiting.