Finding February half-term a tricky one?

You won’t if you bring your young ones to the New Forest – especially if you’re hoping to tempt them away from their screens and into the Great Outdoors.

February half-term is the perfect occasion to take your tinies out on their first Official Bike-Ride – the roads are quieter and we have over 100 miles of car-free, approved cycle trails to get around on, plus handy itineraries for you to download from our website.

Start off by cycling the two easy miles from Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard, or combine pedal-power with tree-spotting on the Brockenhurst to Rhinefield run, which takes in the majestic Douglas firs and redwoods of the famous Ornamental Drive.

Go pony-spotting on our heathlands and, if you’re lucky, you may see some deer, too.

Buy some sausages (or even some Pannage pork from our free-roaming pigs) at one of our New Forest Marque butchers and pop some soup in a flask. Then take your food to one of our fixed barbecue sites, at Lepe Country Park, perhaps, or Anderwood near Lyndhurst, and cook up a winter storm.

February is also the ideal time to try something new so why not book one of New Forest Activities’ canoe or kayak sessions? For a bargainous £18 you get all equipment hire, supervision, and the chance to paddle up the beautiful Beaulieu River.

Or why not explore the stunning Keyhaven River atop a Stand Up Paddle Board? The New Forest Paddle Sport Company holds one hour taster sessions on an almost daily basis for £15, which includes all equipment. Contact them for further details.

If the weather turns against you, don’t despair, because our inside activities are as interesting as the outdoor ones!

Or why not try the Half Term Discovery Day at Lyndhurst’s New Forest Centre on February 13 where, for just £1 an activity, you can release your child’s inner craftsman? http://www.newforestcentre.org.uk/

Contact Chewton Glen’s Cooking School for details of their classes for young chefs, including the Valentine’s special where, for £45, they can spend two hours learning how to make delicious chocolate meringue kisses and heart shaped savoury puffs. This half day course is designed for children aged 8-17 and can be reserved by calling 01425 282212.

If it’s good, old-fashioned family fun you’re after, look no further than Paulton’s Park, including Peppa Pig World. Paulton’s is open from February 14 complete with a brand new attraction, Little Africa, which is opening specially for half-term. Spot meerkats and mongoose, porcupines and lizards, as well as a variety of nocturnal creatures, before wandering the flying free aviary to meet Hornbills and herons.

There are more fascinating animals at Longdown Activity Farm near Ashurst, which re-opens on February 10 and don’t forget the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and Palace House, which is celebrating The Luxury of Motoring this February half term.
Hands-On is the theme so children can design their own car mascot or make a top hat. Then it’s time to get dressed up in a luxury motoring costume before stepping into a 1904 veteran car for a selfie to remember, before handling the motoring artefacts of a bygone age.

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