Now we are well and truly into the new year it’s time to start looking ahead to February. Those darker nights of December and January will soon be something of the past as the first signs of spring will start to emerge in the New Forest.
Whether you are looking for days out over the February half term, a romantic break for Valentine’s Day or you simply are seeking inspiration on what you can do during February – this blog will give you plenty of ideas of things to do in the New Forest.
Explore areas of the New Forest that you aren’t familiar with
If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to explore new areas, then why not kick this off with a New Forest Discovery Walk? Wild New Forest offer a variety of guided walks across the national park. Their walks will take you through a range of habitats and help you learn more about our flora and fauna. Take your pick from walks around Hampton Ridge, Lymington, Lyndhurst and Wilverley. Walks are held on various dates throughout the month.
Image - Wild New Forest
Catch those early signs of spring
Yes, February is technically still winter, but you may be lucky enough to spot some of the early signs of spring in the grounds of Beaulieu. Open daily throughout February, take a wander through the grounds of Palace House and see which flowers you can find! Ever romantics will also love the love-lock tree – an unique sculpture set within the grounds.
Image - Monorail at Beaulieu
Likewise, in Furzey Gardens, you may be lucky enough to discover snowdrops or other early blooms as you weave your way through the pretty grounds. Furzey is open Thursday-Sunday until Thursday 9 February, when it re-opens 7 days a week. Be sure to pop into the gardens’ tearoom after for a spot of cake too!
Be in awe at some of our exhibitions
A great thing to do if the weather isn’t playing ball and you fancy a bit of culture is to visit some of our exhibition spaces. During February, we have two fantastic exhibitions that showcase famous illustrators;
Denizens of Discworld at Lymington’s St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery takes a look at 30 years of Paul Kidby's illustrations. This unique exhibition presents a rogues' gallery of characters from Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, beautifully drawn and painted by Paul Kidby. It runs until 18 February.
St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery will also be staging Wycinanki – an exhibition on Polish Paper Cuts. Also running until 18 February, the exhibition brings together twenty-four examples of this Polish folk art.
Take a romantic break
Of course, it’s not easy to forget that Valentine’s Day falls right in the middle of February. Look out for romantic breaks at some of our luxury hotels, indulge in spa treatments or romantic walks together.
Image - Chewton Glen Spa
You’ll also find a lot of our pubs and restaurants will be changing their menus to offer special meals that you won’t forget. We’ll be sharing more information about Valentine’s Day in our blog that’s due to be live on 3rd February so do check back!
Get planning for February half term
It may feel as if the children have just returned but half term will soon be around the corner! Look out for our future blog which will give you lots of information on what you can see and do during the holiday including things such as Foxlease Activity Centre’s half term holiday club and the re-opening of Paultons Park for the 2023 season.
Image - Paultons Park
Soak up our great outdoors
Being a quieter month, February can be an exhilarating time to explore our great outdoors. Wrap up warm, take a flask of tea and make the most of some of our walking trails.
If you fancy exploring the New Forest National Park by bike then get those endorphins racing by hiring a bike or joining a guided cycle tour – another fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the New Forest.
Image - Cycling in the New Forest (Credit - Pete Elliott Photography)
Book your February getaway
Take a look at our various accommodation options to plan your February escape. Whether you are looking for a cosy cottage or all the trimmings of a hotel break – you’ll find a wealth of options available.