As March arrives it will hopefully bring with it some warmer spring weather here in the New Forest. March is a perfect time to get out and about and explore our great outdoors. Here are some of our top tips on things you can see and do here during March:
- Spot the spring flowers begin to bloom
Look out for the blooming of the daffodils in the gardens at Exbury, as well as other spring blossoms in flower. Hop aboard the miniature steam railway which snakes its way around Exbury’s grounds and relax whilst taking in the views.
Pop along to Furzey Gardens in Minstead for their display of thousands of crocus and daffodils. Plus, the tea rooms will be open from Friday-Sunday from 1-30 March and then daily from 30 March if you fancy a tasty treat pre or post exploring the gardens.
- Look out for new borns
You may see the beginnings of other new life in the New Forest as New Forest Pony and Donkey foals are often born during the spring months. Adorable to see although please look at them from afar as the mothers can understandably be very protective with their new borns.
Why not take one of our walking or cycling routes through the New Forest to explore the area further and perhaps see the foals for yourself?
- Learn more about the New Forest’s birdlife
Ever wanted to know more about the birdlife that you can find here in the New Forest? A great way to start is with a beginner’s bird watching event at Lepe Country Park, near Exbury on 7 March. Discover why the Solent is such a rich environment for waders, ducks and geese over the winter months and learn how to identify various birds by look and sound. This event is free, however booking in advance is required.
For more experienced birders, there’s an opportunity to book onto a bird watching walk on private land on the Beaulieu estate later in the month (15 March). Local expert, Graham Giddens will lead the way and you can expect to see various waterfowl including avocet. Booking is essential for this event and the exact meeting point is confirmed at the time of booking.
- Plan your New Forest Wedding
Have you recently got engaged? If you are planning your wedding then you won’t want to miss the New Forest Wedding Showcase on 8 March.
Wedding venues across the New Forest will be opening their doors to prospective couples. Come along and see just how magical the New Forest is for weddings, whether you are looking for a small, intimate venue through to a grand stately home.
- Enjoy theatre, performing arts and cinema screenings
There’s a lot on the schedule at some of our entertainment and arts venues during March. Hanger Farm Arts Centre at Totton has a busy schedule with music, comedy and screenings of popular films; Judy and Toy Story 4. Take a look at our events listings for more information on what’s coming up.
- Check out the new Little Beaulieu!
A brand-new £½ million play area called ‘Little Beaulieu’ will be opening at Beaulieu from 15 March.
Little Beaulieu features a wooden palace, a treetop boardwalk, a rope maze, a wooden car and lots of other great features for children. For even younger visitors, there will be a brand-new sandpit and wooden play bus which has been modelled on Beaulieu’s very own Veteran Bus.
A visit to Little Beaulieu is part of your general admission ticket which includes the Motor Museum, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and The World of Top Gear.
- Begin your preparations for Easter with a crafting workshop
Easter may fall late again this year however that doesn’t mean you can’t start with the Easter crafting fun! Try your hand at a 3.5 hour needle crafting workshop at the Minstead Study Centre with Lorraine Onorato from Forest Felts. You can choose from Easter Egg needle felting or Easter Chick needle felting. Both take place on 21 March and booking is essential.
- Up your rural skills abilities
Come along and make your own memento of the New Forest by booking your place at a spoon carving session on 28 March in the Treehouse Study Centre. Wow your friends with your newly-acquired skills and take your spoon home to treasure forever.
- Pop Mother’s Day in your diary
Don’t forget that Sunday 22 March is Mother’s Day here in the UK. Perhaps treat your mum to an afternoon tea or a Mother’s Day lunch? We've shared lots of other ideas on what you can do to make Mother's Day extra special this year in our latest blog, so take a look for more inspiration!
- Delight in a Bordeaux Wine Tasting Dinner
If you’re a wine lover, head to The Montagu Arms Hotel on Thursday 26 March and embark on an educational journey through the vineyards of Bordeaux in The Terrace Restaurant. Enjoy an intimate dining experience hosted by Head Sommelier Sergio dos Santos and Phil Weeks from Lea & Sandeman Wine Merchants. Throughout the evening you will be tasting wines that have been expertly paired alongside a five-course dinner, created by Head Chef Matthew Whitfield.
We hope we have given you lots of fantastic ideas on how you can spend time here in the New Forest this March. As always, keep an eye on our what’s on pages as new events are regularly added on. Plus, don’t forget to take a look at our special offers this spring on accommodation, things to do and much more.