The first of the May bank holidays will soon be here. If you are looking to get away for the Early May Bank Holiday weekend, then the New Forest makes a great bolt hole!
Falling at the end of April, with the Bank Holiday on Monday 1 May – plan a spring trip and make the most of the luscious green leaves emerging in our forest.
Take a look at what you could enjoy this Early May Bank Holiday weekend here in the New Forest…
Stroll beside the spring flowers
Look out for late daffodils, tulips and displays of other spring flowers at some of the New Forest’s gardens.
At Furzey Gardens, explore the nooks and crannies of the gardens or stop in for a spot of cake in the tea room. Little ones will love looking for the hidden fairy doors within the grounds. You can also join in with Furzey’s Spring Trail on the Saturday and Sunday of the Bank Holiday Weekend whereby you can discover the fairies' favourite places as you explore. Claim your spring treat on completion of the trail.
Image - Furzey Gardens
Exbury Gardens is renowned for its spring flowers. Take a walk (or a miniature steam railway ride!) through the gardens. The rhododendrons and azaleas are often at their peak during May so expect a riot of colour – and don’t forget your camera!
On the Saturday and Sunday of the Bank Holiday weekend, Beaulieu will be buzzing with the return of the BBC Gardeners' World Spring Fair. Look out for floral displays from top nurseries, planting ideas and plenty more.
Image - BBC Gardeners' World Spring Fair, Beaulieu
And of course, April and May are typically the best time of year to discover our bluebell woods. Look out for carpets of these beautiful native flowers within pockets of our ancient woodland.
Make the most of the great outdoors on a cycling experience
A great way to explore the New Forest is on two wheels! Follow some of the gravel paths, or take a ride along sections of disused railway, for some cycling adventures.
Hire bikes from Cyclexperience in Brockenhurst with bike rental from £22 per day (you can also hire things such as child bike seats or tag-a-long trailers for toddlers or dogs). Cyclexperience can make suggestions of routes you might like to follow – and who knows – you might just get to see some New Forest Pony foals on your travels?!
Image - The Woods Cyclery & New Forest Cycling
If you want to take the stresses of navigation away from you and you have your own bike, then New Forest Cycling Tours can take you on guided rides throughout the National Park. For something a little different, look out for their Jaunt e-bike tours along the New Forest coastline.
Continue your outdoor adventures
Being outdoors is a great way of discovering the New Forest. Take a look at some of our walking routes – from short strolls that are toddler-friendly through to long-distance hikes – there’s plenty to choose from.
Image - New Forest Pony Foal and Mother
Plan a visit to Bolderwood in the heart of the National Park for some walking or cycling adventures. Bolderwood is also one of the best places to see deer as there is a purpose built platform which overlooks a large meadow.
Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre has you covered for things to do over the Early May Bank Holiday weekend. Their Go Adventure sessions are just £14pp for 90 minutes of outdoor fun where you can choose from paddle boarding, climbing, high ropes and much more! It is a great way to get the family or some friends together and experience something new and exciting!
Image - Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre
Plus, if you need somewhere to rest your head after a full day of activities then you can enjoy a break at one of their self-contained 6, 12 and 14-berth lodges or camp out under the stars.
Book your last-minute break
Whether you are looking for a five-star stay in a luxury hotel or fancy getting close to nature on a camping break, there’s accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Look out for last-minute offers and late availability and start planning your bank holiday getaway today!