Sitting outside with an ice-cold beer, a glass of the sharpest cider or a cheeky prosecco – and something lovely to eat - is the summer dream.

Here are some of the best New Forest places to live it!

The Trusty Servant…perfect for groups

Tucked into the village of Minstead, the Trusty Servant is a great place to meet if there’s a few of you joining up. With easy access from the A31, they have a huge back garden with plenty of tables, real ales, and a menu featuring yummy Lyburn cheese soufflé, Philadelphia pizza, and breakfast panini.

The Bell Inn…perfect for lunch out

There’s plenty of outdoor space at this inn with rooms near Bramshaw in the forest’s north. If it’s snacks you’re wanting, try their pork scratchings with apple and ginger sauce, or their freshly-baked sourdough with marinated olives. They also do Lymington crab.

The Drift Inn – perfect for families, including the dog

You won’t have been to a more dog friendly pub until you go to The Drift Inn, they offer dog towels (to dry your furry friend after a run around in the forest), they have a ‘Dog Drinking Station’, delicious treats and on top of all of that, a fantastic large garden for them to play in too. Located in the middle of the forest and with a great choice of local food & drink to choose from it’s an ideal place to take some time out after a long forest walk!

The Royal Oak at Hilltop…perfect for local food and a walk in the forest

The Royal Oak happily welcome muddy wellies from walks in the forest, and even horse riders with 5 horse corrals outside! Head out to the flowery sun-trapped garden out the back and enjoy some delicious food & a refreshing drink from the enticing menu.

The Mayflower - perfect for boat lovers

Located on the edge of Lymington River, surrounded by thousands of boats and yachts, The Mayflower is a great place to relax and enjoy the views. With a large garden with plenty of seats for everyone, it makes for a great location for a good old G&T or a chilled lager. The Mayflower also offers an extremely tempting A La Carte menu, including dishes such as Mussels, Dressed Lymington Crab and an Isle of Wight 8oz Sirloin, you definitely won’t be going hungry.

The Mill at Gordleton…perfect for river views and beautiful artworks

If you want to stimulate your senses, the Mill at Gordleton is the place to be. Along with the tranquil river they have a secret garden with plenty of beautiful artworks on show (they even have an Art Walk). The extensive menu includes an afternoon tea with open sandwiches, home-made cakes, scones with jam and cream and a glass of fizz.

The New Forest Inn – perfect for relaxing in a secluded garden

Go Al Fresco at The New Forest Inn! With a gorgeous covered terrace and a large secret garden, it’s the best place to be. You won’t be stuck for choice on what to eat or drink with their amazing local menus, including their popular New Forest Chicken stack and Ringwood Ale Battered Fish & Chips!

The Alice Lisle…perfect for children (but also has a small area for grown-ups only)

Poor Alice Lisle may have come to a tragic end – she was the last Englishwoman to be publicly beheaded, but the pub that bears her name has an amazing play-space for children. Right beside the river at Rockford Green, near Ringwood, the pub has a kids’ play zone and also, a child-free zone with views over the river for those seeking a quieter time.

For eats, try a sharing board with hummus, babaganoush, flatbreads, marinated mixed olives, barrel aged feta and giant butter beans, or a Chalcroft Farm beef burger, Mrs Owton's bacon, HSB Gouda, gem lettuce, tomato, red onion, gherkin, cholla bun and fries.

The Rising Sun – perfect for some traditional pub food

If you want a real forest experience, The Rising Sun has an idyllic location… right in the middle of the forest and they serve the best traditional country food. Their beautiful large decking in the beer garden is the perfect place to dig in to a delicious meal whilst enjoying the peacefulness of the New Forest. To keep the kids entertained, they also have a fantastic play area so the little ones can let off some steam!

The White Buck – perfect for a country house atmosphere

It’s been a family home, a hospital and was once so neglected that local wildlife took up residence. It’s also been the place where some musical legends have performed, including Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Wurzels. Now the White Buck at Burley has a secluded garden with plenty of space for outdoor drinking and dining.  Food includes almond Coronation chicken sandwiches, or Frontier battered fish and chips, crushed peas, tartare sauce and lemon.




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