New Forest Towns & Villages

Visitors to the New Forest have the choice of pretty villages in the heart of the forest or bustling seaside towns. Whether you are here for just a day or for longer, it’s well worth taking a look at some of our towns and villages…


Lyndhurst became the natural 'capital' of the New Forest when William the Conqueror established his hunting grounds here. Now there's much to keep you busy, from the museum and exhibition space in the New Forest Heritage Centre to shops, pubs and cafes. Don't miss the grave of the original Alice in Wonderland (Alice Liddell, later Hargreaves) in the churchyard too.


Brockenhurst has the main bus/train interchange for the New Forest with regular trains from London Waterloo, Bournemouth and Southampton. The village has a pretty green often full of grazing ponies and cattle. Many walks and cycle trails start in Brockenhurst, which is set in some of the loveliest scenery in the district. The village is home to several shops including cycle hire centres.


Legends concerning dragons, witches and smuggling are abound in the traditional village of Burley - don’t forget to sample some sweet treats from the New Forest Fudge Shop and traditional ciders at New Forest Cider and take a trip into Burley deer park.


Lymington High Street, with its boutiques and independent shops, leads to the busy quay and marina where fishing boats and yachtsmen mingle. Look out for the golden post box representing Lymington resident, Sir Ben Ainslie’s win in the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Slow down for donkeys and ponies strolling around the narrow streets of Beaulieu, best known for the National Motor Museum and Palace House, home to the Montagu family.

Milford on Sea

Enjoy wonderful views of The Needles on the Isle of Wight and Christchurch Bay from the seaside village of Milford on Sea and take the walk along shingle spit towards Hurst Castle.


Take an explore of the historic market town of Ringwood, which has had a market charter since 1226.


Minstead is an idyllic little village located in the centre of the New Forest. With a gorgeous Village Green, a great village pub, lots of things to do and see, and is also the burial place of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. 

New Milton

Situated between the forest and the sea at Barton, is the bustling town of New Milton, with its range of interesting shops and regular markets. New Milton is also handily on the mainline railway line from London Waterloo.


People often visit Sway to see its extraordinary tower which dominates the New Forest skyline. ‘The Children of The New Forest’, by Captain Marryat was also set in and around the village.


Known as the northern gateway to the New Forest, Fordingbridge has a medieval stone bridge with seven fine arches providing a crossing point for this small ancient town over the River Avon. You will find water sports and some great nature reserves nearby.


Jump on board the Hythe ferry for a cruise to remember! Embark from Hythe's Victorian pier, take in all the sights at Southampton Harbour and enjoy the New Forest's busy waterfront. The town also holds a regular market and is home to several restaurants and cafés.

Why not plan your next visit to the New Forest and come and discover more about our towns and villages for yourself?

Explore our towns & villages...

There are few other places in England where the ancient landscape has remained so unchanged. In 1079 when William The Conqueror named the area his ‘new hunting forest'...

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