New Milton & Barton on Sea

With the natural coastline of Barton-on-Sea and bordered by the New Forest, the busy, friendly town of New Milton is superbly located.

Enjoy glorious cliff-top walks with views over to the Isle of Wight, fossil-hunting or relax in the coastal cafés and restaurants of Barton.

Browse among the host of independent shops in the busy town centre with wide, tree-lined pavements – the perfect place to find the useful and the lovely. At the southern end of the high street, you’ll find Bradbeers Department Store on 3-storeys, a local family-run business established in 1837. There’s a large choice of cafés to suit all tastes, many with pavement terraces. There are also plenty of restaurants and pub to choose from too. Wander along Old Milton Road for an eclectic mix including vintage shops and beauty salons. The War Memorial Recreation Ground is also in the town centre with a popular skate park, children’s play park and plenty of seating. New Milton is a market town which dates back to Anglo-Saxon times.

The many green recreational spaces around the town include Barton Common, Ballard Lake and Water Meadow, and Long Meadow with children’s play area.

The development of New Milton gained pace following the opening of the railway in 1888, before that, ‘Milton‘ was just a small village. Much of that village has now been encompassed by the development of both New Milton and Barton on Sea and is now referred to as ‘Old Milton’.

Barton on Sea was once a coastal village but now links with New Milton, it’s coastline is rich in fossils thanks to the Barton geological beds.

The row of Coast Guard Cottages in Barton Lane, are a distinctive feature of Barton on Sea. These cottages were built at the end of the nineteenth century by the Government to house armed guards to try and stop the smuggling that was rife in the area at the time.

During WWI, Barton Court Hotel was used as a convalescent home for Indian servicemen. An obelisk in Barton on Sea commemorates this to this day. In WWII, New Milton homed evacuees and was a transit station for soldiers going to the battlefields. It also housed an army hospital.

Things to do in New Milton and Barton on Sea

If you love to get active then New Milton and Barton on Sea are ideal with loads of things to do.

Burley Villa School of Riding offers rides for the novice to the experienced horse rider. It’s also possible to ride into the forest. Beginners are very welcome and there is also accommodation onsite.

There are excellent facilities at New Milton Health and Leisure Centre including an indoor swimming pool. The town council runs a large range of amenities such as tennis, bowls, rugby, cricket, football, basketball, and a skate park.

If you fancy a spot of cycling then you can hire bikes at Sinclair Cycles in the town. Or if you want to do some walking then look no further than Barton on sea for magnificent coastal walks. With the start of the majestic Solent Way just a stone's throw away, it's an ideal base for anybody who loves the great outdoors - whatever the season.

Nature lovers should head for Ballard Lake, a popular area for walking and feeding the ducks in New Milton. The water meadows and nature reserve at Barton Common offers a gentle wander or a place to sit and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Barton on Sea beauty spots include the cliff tops with a breath-taking sweep of coastal scenery stretching from Milford-on-Sea to Hurst Castle and the Isle of Wight.

The beach at Barton on Sea offers safe swimming, colourful beach huts and the famous fossil beds. On the cliff top you will also find Barton on Sea golf club which commands superb views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

On the edge of New Milton, is the Sammy Miller Motor Museum. The museum is world renowned and houses one of the finest collections of fully restored motorcycles, including factory racers and exotic prototypes. Almost every motorbike in the collection is in working order and new exhibits are regularly added. In addition to the museum there is a small craft village and the Bashley Manor tea rooms.

New Milton still holds a regular market on Wednesdays, an ideal place to pick up fresh local produce. The town also has a selection of convenience stores, supermarkets and independent stores.

Events in New Milton and Barton on Sea

There's entertainment all year round, with the Forest Arts Centre's programme of theatre, films, music, exhibitions and workshops in New Milton.

The Sammy Miller Motor Museum runs bikers’ days, ride-in events and often stages the Christchurch Arts Guild summer exhibition.

As well as the regular Wednesday market, New Milton is host to a variety of themed markets including the popular French market and teenage markets.

To find out more about what’s on in and around New Milton and Barton on Sea keep an eye on our what’s on pages.

Places to stay in New Milton and Barton on Sea

Visitors are spoiled for choice with fine accommodation in the New Milton and Barton on Sea area.

Five star luxury can be yours at the Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa. Set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside, the hotel offers individually decorated rooms, fine dining using local produce and pampering spa treatments. If you fancy staying in somewhere a bit quirky then why not stay in one of the treehouse suites?

Where to eat and drink in New Milton and Barton on Sea

If you're looking for some food and drink both New Milton and Barton on Sea are great locations to head to with loads of places to eat and drink. There are also some great coffee shops in New Milton, on the high street and around the town. There are also loads of great takeaways and various pubs and bars in New Milton as well. Just outside of New Milton, you will find the luxurious Chewton Glen Hotel, where you can enjoy a 3 course meal, Afternoon Tea, or just a drink, or two. 

There are also some fantastic restaurants, pubs and cafes around Barton on Sea, especially near the coast.

Getting to New Milton and Barton on Sea

The A35 connects New Milton to Southampton and Bournemouth making driving to the area quick and easy.

New Milton has its own mainline railway station offering regular trains to and from London.

New Milton & Barton on Sea FAQs

How did New Milton get it’s name?

It is said that New Milton got it’s name due to the owner of the post office commissioning a sign in the 1890’s which read ‘New Milton Sub Post Office’ to differentiate it from the other post office in Old Milton and the name New Milton caught on from there.

Is Barton on Sea worth a visit?

Yes, Barton on Sea is worth a visit. Barton on Sea is a beautiful area, boasting miles of beach, wonderful views and pretty water meadows. Barton on Sea also has a choice of great eateries, including cafes, restaurants and nearby pubs.

Can you take dogs on the beach at Barton on Sea?

Yes, Barton on Sea beach is dog friendly all year round.

Follow Visit the New Forest on Instagram