New Forest Picnics

Pick a spot, throw down your tartan blanket and graze on some delicious food, all while being surrounded by the New Forest

Picnics are one of Britain’s favourite traditions - and we can definitely see why! It’s the perfect way to relax amongst stunning nature and wildlife, enjoy tasty food and rewind to childhood memories of picnics with your family and old school friends. Picnics are a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, they’re also ideal for capturing incredible sights of our free roaming animals in the New Forest… but the best bit has got to be the food.

To make the perfect picnic basket, we suggest heading to a local shop in the New Forest and picking up some yummy local produce to add into your picnic. Whether it’s bread for the sandwiches, cheeses, meats or jams for the fillings, sausage rolls, cakes and other sweet treats, fruit or drinks to wash down the food, you’ll be sure to find it in our local shops, plus our local produce will make your picnic the best ever and you’ll be supporting local businesses in the process. You could even make your own charcuterie picnic basket full of fresh breads, cheeses, cured meats and chutneys, that have all been made locally in the New Forest.

If you want to make it an extra special experience, you could even order a pre-made hamper for your picnic, full of locally produced goodiesThe Forest Foodie create the best hampers, whether it’s a traditional picnic or afternoon hamper you’re looking for, or for something a little more remarkable, they also have hampers that have lobster, sparkling wine and fillet of beef inside. There are other hamper companies available to order from in the New Forest, too. 

If you haven’t got time to head to the shop, or order a hamper, don’t worry, just rustle up items in your cupboards and fridge at home, pop them in a basket or bag and head out to the New Forest - the experience will still be unforgettable!

You will fall even more in love with the New Forest while admiring our ancient woodlands or stunning landscapes while you’re sitting down, enjoying your picnic and watching the world go by. You could even take your picnic to our secret coast and take in the beautiful views across The Solent, to the Isle of Wight, where you can see The Needles. 

Some of the top places across the New Forest to enjoy a picnic are :

- The Knightwood Oak, near Lyndhurst
- Bolton’s Bench, Lyndhurst
- Rockford Common, Ringwood
- Whitefield Moor, near Brockenhurst
- Hurst Spit, Milford on Sea
- Lepe Beach and Country Park, near Exbury
- Eyeworth Pond, Fritham

And many other locations off the beaten track, for even more peace and quiet for your picnic adventure.

There are a few locations across the New Forest that have designated picnic areas with benches, if you’d prefer to sit on a seat rather than relaxing on a rug. These areas include Blackwater at Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, Bolderwood and Wilverley. 

From your chosen picnicking location, go and explore even more of the gorgeous New Forest on a walk while you’re here, follow our gravel pathways winding through the trees and across our heathland and see what wildlife you can see along the way. Take some fun games and activities to enjoy in our open forest, to keep everyone entertained while they’re not getting stuck into the delicious food, especially the kids. Just make sure you are aware of your surroundings and of any free roaming wildlife around you, particularly if you are playing any balls games. 

You could enjoy a day out at one of our attractions, and enjoy a picnic while you’re there. Visit the world-renowned gardens at Exbury Gardens, or, for beautiful river views, head to Buckler’s Hard

Try something a little different with a Sunset Picnic and SUP at Keyhaven with The New Forest Paddle Sport Company. The ultimate romantic picnic in the New Forest! This fantastic experience will include 2 hours of paddleboarding with an instructor and a delicious locally sourced picnic for 2, that you will enjoy whilst watching the sunset on the beach. Available on specific dates from May to end of August. Book now! 

Picnics are the perfect way to spend an afternoon, or even the whole day, in the New Forest, whatever season it is! Soak up the rays and enjoy the colourful flora and fauna surrounding on a picnicking adventure in the spring and summer, pop a few extra layers on and head out to the forest to see the breathtaking orange and red colours of the trees while enjoying your picnic in the autumn and in the winter, grab your hats and scarfs and take a flask of tea or hot chocolate with you on your picnic to keep you extra warm and cosy, while breathing in the fresh winter air while on a picnic.

Please note, barbeques and fires are strictly not allowed in the New Forest, to reduce the risk of damaging wildfires. 

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