Arguably one of the best months to visit the New Forest has to be October. Autumn has well and truly started to descend on the area offering rich colours from the fallen leaves, just perfect for an autumn escape.

If you are looking for an excuse to get away (as if you need one!) then we have lots of things happening this month to tempt you – from exciting events, through to beautiful nature walks. Plan your October visit today.

Do a spot of pig searching

Okay, we know this sounds like a very odd thing to do but here in the New Forest, pigs are released through the autumn in a tradition known as pannage. New Forest commoners let their pigs out to eat fallen acorns as these are toxic to our New Forest ponies and other animals that reside here.

You may need a bit of luck trying to spot them but we’re sure you’ll have some amazing adventures along the way. Just don’t forget your camera!  

Image - Pannage pigs in the New Forest

Crunch those autumn leaves

You can’t beat the autumn months for a walk. You are spoilt for choice here, with walks to suit all ages and abilities. Download a variety of walking routes from our website or book onto a guided walk with Wild New Forest – they can show you some of the best places to explore this October.

From Saturday 15 October, you might also like to join in with some of the guided walks being run as part of the New Forest Walking and Cycling Festival which is now in its 10th year!

If you have a passion for nature then you will also love the Fungi Explorer Walks being run on various dates throughout October meeting at Millyford Bridge, Lyndhurst.

Image - New Forest National Park Authority - New Forest Walking and Cycling Festival

Fun things to do with the kids

Pumpkin picking is always great fun with the kids and Sunnyfields Farm, Totton, reopens its gates for Pumpkin Time for selected dates throughout the month.  There will be thousands of pumpkins, squash and cucurbits to pop into your wheelbarrow and purchase. You can then take them away to carve, paint and decorate your home!

You can also pick your own pumpkins at Bickton Manor Farm near Fordingbridge this autumn too! Enjoy their Halloween Spooktacular, if you dare! Trickery, witchcraft and mischief is afoot in the twists and turns of their maize maze…

Image - Pumpkin Time at Sunnyfields Farm

There will also be a whole host of Halloween and half term events taking place across the forest – keep an eye out for our upcoming Halloween events blog or check out our events listings for more details.

Enjoy some waterside experiences

As well as our beautiful forest and heathland, the New Forest’s coastline is certainly worth exploring. See remnants of WW2 at Lepe Country Park and Beach, discover a wealth of history dating from the days of King Henry VIII at Hurst Castle or take a brisk walk along the Solent Way. 

Image - Hurst Castle

You may also like to book onto a boat trip which weaves its way along the beautiful Beaulieu River. Departing from Buckler’s Hard marina, board the Lazy Daze for a gentle 2.5-hour cruise along the river to the Solent coast and back (various dates throughout October).

Indoor activities to enjoy

If the weather’s not playing ball or you fancy doing something of an evening then take a look at some of the indoor events taking place throughout the month.

Try your hand at a variety of boardgames at the Waterside Boardgaming Fest (9 October) or test your knowledge at The New Forest Inn’s Autumn Pub Quiz (14 October).

There are various events and entertainment happening at Hanger Farm Arts Centre, plus a selection of arts and crafts workshops in different locations across the New Forest, including the Potting Shed Club at Fairweather’s Garden Centre, perfect for doing on some of those colder days. 

Image - Hanger Farm Arts Centre

You’ll also find plenty to do at some of our indoor attractions including the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst, Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum and Lymington’s St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery.

Book your October break

There’s a lot to see and do here this month so why not make a break of it to get the most of your visit? Check out our places to stay and choose from luxury hotels through to cute glamping pods. You’ll be sure to find something to suit your tastes and budgets. Keep an eye on our special offers too for some money-saving breaks and added extras for your stay.

Image - Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa

And don’t forget to share your autumn adventures with us on social – you can find us at @thenewforestuk on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.