Make the most of the summer months with some amazing days out. Whether you are into fast-paced activities, days out for all the family or leisurely days by the seaside, you will find plenty of choices here in the New Forest.

Top attractions to visit

You won’t be short of things to do and ideas for summer days out here in the New Forest.

If you are planning days out with children, then Paultons Park is a must-do. The Park is home to some thrilling rollercoasters and rides which are ideal for older children and little ones will love exploring Peppa Pig World and perhaps meeting Peppa herself!

Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World - Summer Days Out Blog July 2023
Image - Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World

Equally popular with families are the National Motor Museum Beaulieu, New Forest Wildlife Park with its exotic and native species and Longdown Activity Farm, where you can try your hand at feeding kid goats, calves and other farmyard animals.

Awash with colour, our gardens are well worth visiting during the summer. Whether you choose to explore the extensive Exbury Gardens (a dog-friendly garden) with its colourful borders and miniature steam railway or amble around the nooks and crannies and hidden fairy houses of Furzey Gardens, you’ll be in for a treat!

Furzey Gardens - Summer Days Out Blog July 2023
Image - Furzey Gardens

Make the most of the New Forest’s coastline

Many people associate the New Forest with woodland but don’t realise that we’re home to an extensive coastline as well!

Spend those hazy summer days at our beaches. Head to Milford on Sea or Barton on Sea for a tasty New Forest ice cream by the seaside! Or visit Lepe Country Park, where not only can you visit the lovely beach, but you can explore the playground, fly kites and discover wild corners of the park. Plus there is a Sensory Cottage Garden there too.  

Lepe Country Park - Summer Days Out Blog July 2023
Image - Lepe Country Park

Get out and about on the water on a sailing trip or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding with a beginner’s lesson with The New Forest Paddle Sport Company (SUP hire is also available for seasoned paddleboarders).

Take in the sweeping views of the Solent from Hurst Castle. From this fortified vantage point, you can learn about the history of the castle which dates from the days of King Henry VIII.  

Summer days out blog - Hurst Castle
Image - Hurst Castle

If you love walking, then consider walking stretches of the Solent Way long-distance footpath as it follows along our beautiful coastline.

Book onto some outdoor activities

Our landscape lends itself to a wealth of outdoor activities.

Enjoy long walks across our heathland and through our wooded glades or shorter strolls that all the family can join in with.

Hire bikes or book onto a guided cycling tour and explore the network of off-road cycle paths that criss-cross our National Park. If you are planning on cycling with kids, then look out for rides along the disused railway line which offer you some great traffic-free cycling opportunities.

The Woods Cyclery - Summer Days Out Blog July 2023
Image - The Woods Cyclery

If you love the buzz of adventure, then book onto some high adrenalin fun with one of our activity centres. Choose from high rope courses, archery, kayaking and even axe throwing! You’ll be sure to have an experience that you won’t forget for a long time.

Join in with some of our summer events

A great way to experience the New Forest is via some of our events. One of the biggest which happens every summertime is the New Forest & Hampshire County Show (25-27 July). Watch the agricultural displays, check out the rural crafts, the shows and taste some of the wonderful food and drink in the various arenas.

New Forest Show - Summer Days Out Blog July 2023
Image - New Forest & Hampshire County Show

Another agricultural show for the summer diary is the return of the Ellingham & Ringwood Agricultural Show (12 August). Taking place in Somerley Park, Ringwood, this show brings with it vintage farming machinery, livestock shows, classic cars and lots more.

Or excite your taste buds with delicious local food and drink at Lymington Seafood Festival (14-16 July) and New Forest Food Festival (5-6 August)!

You’ll also find plenty going on across the school summer holidays with activity days, outdoor theatre and nature-based fun. Take a look at our events listings for lots of family fun.

Extend your stay

With so much to see and do here, one day is never enough. Book a break to make the most of your time exploring the New Forest this summer.

Back of Beyond - Summer Days Out Blog July 2023
Image - Back of Beyond Touring & Glamping Park (Adults Only)

Don’t forget to look at the Go New Forest Card, offering savings on days out, activities, food and drink and much more.