March brings with it a most welcomed time of the year; spring! With those longer days and (hopefully) warmer weather, it’s time to get exploring our big outdoors more. The New Forest makes an excellent place to follow your outdoor pursuits, whether that’s walking, cycling, watersports or other activities.
Discover some of the things you can do this March here in the New Forest…
Take a nature walk
Where better to go on a nature walk than in the New Forest National Park? The fresh green leaves will be beginning to unfold on the beech trees and the dappled light in our forests make it a perfect time of year to take a walk.
Image - Spring Walking in the New Forest
Getting closer to nature has proven benefits to your mental health too, so why not start planning your next walk? If you’d like a bit of inspiration to get you started, or you are unfamiliar with the area then you may wish to download some of our walking routes to get you started.
Plus, if you love photography then you can join onto a guided Photo Trek with a local photographer on 26 March.
Explore the art of trees
Continuing with the nature theme, but a perfect activity to do on those colder or wetter days or simply when you feel like being inspired by our wonderful landscape is a visit to the Art of Trees art exhibition. Held in the New Forest Heritage Centre, Lyndhurst, this is a brand-new multimedia exhibition being run from 4 March – 23 April. Entry is free, although donations are welcomed.
Be captivated by Exbury Gardens
Enjoy welcome signs of spring at Exbury Gardens. Take a wander around the River of Gold (daffodil meadow) and stroll beside the cherry blossoms. These gardens are a peaceful haven which also offer extraordinary views of the Beaulieu River. The gardens re-open for the 2023 season daily from 19 March.
Image - Exbury Gardens
See the arrival of some of the new arrivals
Within March, you may be lucky enough to see some of the newly born New Forest Pony foals with their mums wandering on the heathland. Usually born in spring and summer, they make a very adorable addition to our landscape!
Image - Foal in the New Forest
Please note however, that it is very important to keep your distance from the ponies and their young and to follow the New Forest Code.
Hone your inner creativity
If you would like to learn new skills or are looking to improve upon your crafting experience then there are a couple of workshops that may be of interest to you.
There’s lot of choice for creative activities on 18 March. St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery will be holding a Wood Engraving Workshop. Led by Robin Mackenzie, illustrator and printmaker, this workshop is perfect as an introduction to the wonderful craft of wood engraving.
Image - Potting Shed Club at Fairweather's Garden Centre
Lepe Country Park are hosting two sessions of a Hanging Basket Workshop, where you can create your very own unique hanging basket. Book on to The Potting Shed Club in Patrick’s Patch at Fairweather’s Garden Centre! An event aimed at Primary School children to learn more about gardening, wildlife and where food comes from.
Treat your mum on Mother’s Day
This year, Mother’s Day will fall on Sunday 19 March. There are plenty of things you can do with your mum from wonderful days out that you’ll both treasure through to tempting menus at our pubs and restaurants. We’ll be exploring further ideas on what you can do, including some unique Mother’s Day experiences in a future blog so watch this space!
Image - Afternoon Tea at Careys Manor Hotel
Learn more about days out in the New Forest
On 29 March, the New Forest’s Destination Management Organisation, Go New Forest, are holding an Attractions, Activities and Events Showcase, where visitors and locals can drop in and find out more about all of the wonderful days out to have in the New Forest, plus details about upcoming events and access to exclusive offers, discounts and competitions, including the chance to win a family ticket to Paultons Park! It’s free to attend – book your tickets online in advance or drop by on the day between 11am – 2pm.
Book an early spring break
Some of our larger campsites and touring parks will be re-opening their doors in March including Back of Beyond Touring & Glamping Park and Long Meadow Campsite. So, if you fancy a spring touring break then it’s a great time to visit ahead of the busyness of Easter.
Image - Back of Beyond Touring & Glamping Park
Or, if you fancy styling it up a bit, then check out some of the glamping offers available. Here, you can get close to nature but with luxury extras.
This time of year can also be a great time of year to book a self-catering cottage. Take the comforts of home with you and use your cottage as a base for exploring the beautiful surroundings.
Want to know more about the New Forest?
To see what else is taking place during March, keep an eye on our events listings – these are regularly added to. You’ll find comedy nights, theatre, special restaurant menus and much more.