2022 is quickly slipping away and it is soon time that those clocks will be chiming and we’ll be seeing in the New Year! Why not start planning your 2023 adventures in the New Forest? We’ll have plenty going on to entertain all – so whether you are looking for action-packed activities or foodie shows read on to see some of our 2023 highlights.
Soak up our great outdoors
It’s always good to start the New Year off as you mean to go on, and what better place to exercise than here in the New Forest!
Being in nature has proven to be beneficial for our mental health so make the most of our forest, our heathland and our beautiful coastline by planning your visit today.
Dive into 2023 creating long lasting memories with the people you cherish most. Cyclexperience, based in the heart of the New Forest, offers a wide range of bikes and competitive pricing on rentals all year-round. Extras like helmets and maps are included to make your day that bit easier!
Image - Cycling in the New Forest
Walking in the New Forest has always been a popular activity. Choose from coastal walks skirting our beaches and marshland or serene forest walks with deer and birdsong as your company. If you’ve never been here before, our downloadable walks make a great starting point or look out for guided walks offered by Wild New Forest. One for walkers and cyclists alike is the annual New Forest Walking and Cycling Festival which usually takes place in the autumn – here you can join a variety of guided walks and cycle rides which are aimed at different abilities.
If you love your gardens then be sure to make a visit to Exbury Gardens, which re-opens for the 2023 season in March. Its rhododendron and azalea display in spring is a New Forest must-do, just don’t forget your camera! Younger visitors (and let’s face it, older ones too) will also love hopping aboard the miniature steam railway as it weaves its way through some of the garden.
Image - Exbury Gardens
With hidden fairy doors, a scenic walk around Furzey Gardens is another New Forest highlight and the gardens and grounds of Beaulieu make for a tranquil time too. Plus, if you fancy taking some extra garden inspiration home with you, make sure you put the BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair in your diary; it’s taking place from 28-30 April at Beaulieu.
Learn more about the New Forest way of life
The New Forest holds many traditions still alive. From commoners who keep their animals (including the famous New Forest Ponies) in the open forest to the annual pannage (where pigs are allowed to roam the forest for fallen acorns in the autumn months). You can discover more about our unique ways of life by stopping in at the New Forest Heritage Centre in the heart of Lyndhurst.
Image - Pannage Pigs in the New Forest
A great way of understanding more about the New Forest culture is to come along to one of our country shows. Our flagship show is the annual New Forest Show, for 2023 this is due to take place on 25-27 July. This show brings with it animal shows, forestry demonstrations, fly casting demonstrations and much more. If you are looking to stay while the show is on, we recommend booking your accommodation early as it’s likely to fill fast.
Image - New Forest and Hampshire County Show
Continuing with the country show theme, the Ellingham & Ringwood Annual Show has a whole host of activities. From horse shows to vintage farm machinery, plus lots of fun for the family – this is due to take place on Saturday 12 August.
Festivals and events highlights
We have several festivals which are bound to get you excited!
If you love your seafood, then be sure to come along to the Lymington Seafood Festival on 14-16 July. This festival celebrates the New Forest’s cultural heritage, local produce and its connections to the sea. Added to this will be live music from the main stage throughout the show.
Image - Lymington Seafood Festival
Dog lovers should definitely add Dogstival – the annual festival of all things dog-related to their agenda! See Romsey’s Broadlands Park transformed into a doggie-haven on 3-4 June with dog stalls, dog agility sessions, dog-related talks and much more. And of course, your four-legged friend is strongly encouraged to come along.
Beaulieu stages a wide variety of events throughout the year including several car meets. One of their big highlights however is the Supercar weekend. See some of the world’s most desirable cars at this exciting weekend. For 2023, it is due to take place on 5-6 August.
Image - Beaulieu Supercar Weekend
Book your 2023 break
To really get the most of your New Forest experience, we recommend you make a short break of it. Whatever your budget, we have accommodation to suit all so whether you fancy camping beneath the stars or high-end pampering and luxury take a look at our accommodation listings to find out more.