When you’ve only got a couple of days or nights to spend away, it makes sense to spend them wisely.
Here in the magical New Forest, we have endless ways to stay – from 5* hotels to tucking up in a glamping pod for two – and even more ways to enjoy yourself!
Image - Chewton Glen Hotel
First thing’s first – sort your accommodation. If you fancy going 5*, it has to be the Chewton Glen Hotel at New Milton. Whether you go for their treehouses or the main, elegant building, you’re guaranteed a weekend of world-class luxury.
If you’d like to spend your precious 48 hours getting fitter or indulging in a little pampering, the Balmer Lawn and SenSpa at Careys Manor, both in Brockenhurst, should be on your list, along with New Park Manor and also Macdonald Elmers Court, near Lymington.
All have excellent spa facilities, plus pools – perfect for working up an appetite for their delicious menus!
Image - SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel
Lovers of seafood should check in to The Master Builder’s Hotel at Buckler’s Hard and, if you want a cracking wine list, then try the Montagu Arms at Beaulieu. The hotel is perfectly-situated for a stroll along the historic Beaulieu River and, if you’re organised, you can enjoy lunch at the Master Builder’s, too.
Image - The Montagu Arms Hotel
Forest Park and Thatched Cottage Hotels in Brockenhurst will give you the chance to stay in the centre of the New Forest, or if you’re trying to cut your environmental footprint, cosy Cottage Lodge in Brockenhurst is a must-stay.
Image - Cottage Lodge Hotel
From family homes to lovely old farmhouses or pretty thatched cottages, there is a huge range of New Forest B&Bs available for you to choose from.
However, if you want to be completely independent, then go self catering. Whether you’re looking to stay in a tiny annexe or get together with the extended family, we’ve a got a property that’s perfect for you.
Image - Heathfield Estate
Town-birds can try a little country living – watching our roaming ponies and donkeys amble by and enjoying the silence at night. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live in a period cottage with old, wonky beams and a giant, roaring fire, or even by the sea, self-catering will give you that opportunity.
If you’re looking to try something new on your weekend away, our beautiful holiday parks could be just the thing. From Sandy Balls near Fordingbridge and Green Hill Farm, to Shorefield, our parks have pools and can organise new activities for you to enjoy, from archery to kayaking or cycling – just remember to check what’s available when you book.
Image - Sandy Balls Holiday Village
Or why not use your two days to see what glamping’s all about? From wooden glamping pods, to shepherd’s huts, and yurts, you’re sure to find something that’s perfect for you. Or go back to the basics with camping beneath the stars.
Once you’ve got your accommodation booked, it’s time to work out what to do.
Kick-start your new, outdoor fitness regime - we have more than 140 miles of walking tracks and pathways - including the coastal Solent Way - where you can enjoy easy-to-follow walking routes, short strolls or long-distance trails through our beautiful woodlands and heaths. Many of these routes are accessible to cyclists, so bring your bike or hire one from one of the New Forest’s excellent rental companies, and tour the forest on two wheels.
Image - Walking in the New Forest
Or make your weekend the one where you learn how to kayak or stand-up paddleboard – The New Forest Paddle Sport Company are excellent for this, even if you’ve never put on a wetsuit in your life!
Culture vulture? Lymington’s St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery is a must – local history and considered exhibitions and artwork, as well as the chance to browse the town’s famous Saturday market when you’ve finished.
Image - National Motor Museum
Petrolhead? Treat yourself to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum at New Milton, for a chance to see some of the world’s most historic two and four wheel machines. (And Del Boy Trotter’s Reliant Regal!)
If you’re bringing the kids, younger ones will adore the baby animals and fun things to do at Longdown Activity Farm near Ashurst, as well as the mighty Paultons Park; home to Peppa Pig World and more than 70 rides and attractions. They also have some great deals and offers on weekend breaks.
Image - Longdown Activity Farm
Then, do it all again and treat yourself to a sumptuous afternoon tea. The Montagu Arms does an award-winning extravaganza, or sample this delightful British treat at The Bell Inn at Bramshaw, where you’ll be served delicate sandwiches, delicious scones and tempting sweet treats. There are also so many amazing country pubs and lovely restaurants to choose from for lunch and dinner too.
Image - The Bell Inn
*Find even more inspiration for your weekend getaway here: thenewforest.co.uk