autumn walk in the New Forest

Autumn is one of the most wonderful times to visit the New Forest. Our woodlands become a riot of colour as the vivid greens make way for rich oranges, reds and golds and the fallen leaves make for great fun kicking your way along the footpaths, especially if you have younger members of the family with you! Take a look at some of the top reasons why you should come and see us this season:

  1. Exbury Gardens
     

    These famous gardens are stunning year round but in autumn the 200-acre site offers a splendid display of leaves on the trees and shrubs. Be sure to take your camera and capture all the glory of nature. Plus, 2019 is Exbury’s 100th year anniversary so an even better reason to come and celebrate.

    As an added bonus, visitors to Exbury can book on to tour the gardens aboard the miniature steam railway, a popular favourite with visitors young and old!

  2. pannage pigs in the New ForestLook out for the pannage pigs
     

    Autumn is pannage season! A time when up to 600 pigs and piglets are allowed to roam the forest floor in search of acorns. This may sound like a strange tradition but it dates back several centuries and has multiple benefits to the wildlife of the New Forest. The New Forest ponies and other animals can be drastically affected by eating fallen acorns; they can even kill them (and as you can imagine, with so many oak trees about, there are plenty of acorns to be found). The pigs are believed to eat the acorns but spit out the toxic skins and therefore help protect the ponies and cattle.

    This year’s Pannage season is from Monday 9th September to Sunday 10th November. Although it’s often difficult to spot the pigs, you can sometimes find them around the village of Bramshaw and near the deer park at Bolderwood.

  3. Head to the Ornamental Drive
     

    Just off the A35 around two miles from Lyndhurst is Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, a must-do this autumn. The drive is lined with both native and non-native trees including giant redwoods and is a feast for the senses. Along the way you will find several walking trails including the popular Tall Trees Trail.

  4. steak in a restaurant in the New ForestPop the New Forest Food and Drink Fortnight in your diary
     

    During late autumn (3-16 November) the New Forest Food and Drink Fortnight takes place offering you ample opportunities to sample the fine produce that’s associated with our area. Perhaps sip on some New Forest wine, taste some pannage pork or hone your culinary skills with a cookery demonstration or workshop. The New Forest ‘Eats n Treats’ event is just one of the highlights of the fortnight and is a free event at Brockenhurst College where you can try, buy and learn about local food, drink and crafts. This year it’s taking place on Sunday 3 November.

  5. Don your walking boots and join in with the New Forest Walking Festival
     

    The annual New Forest Walking Festival takes place during October. This year, it runs from 12 October - 2 November and will be running the usual mix of family walks, history hikes and wildlife walks. The full programme is due to be announced shortly.

    Even if you can’t make those dates, we have plenty of suggested walking routes for you to enjoy across the New Forest ranging from short strolls to long-distance hikes and you can even book onto a walking holiday with Fuzzacker Guided Walks.

  6. cosy fire in pub in the New ForestPop along to some of our traditional pubs
     

    After a long walk is there anything better than resting up in front of a roaring fireplace? Many of our New Forest pubs offer traditional fare and outstanding hospitality, plus plenty of opportunities to sample our local ales such as beer from the nearby Ringwood Brewery. Why not take a look at some of our pub walks and plan your day out?

  7. Book onto a New Forest foraging course
     

    On various dates throughout autumn, Wild Food UK are running foraging courses in the New Forest. Starting from the Red Shoot Inn, near Ringwood this 2.5 hour walk will show you some of the foods that you can and can’t eat around the forest. Booking is essential as places are limited.

  8. furzey gardens in the autumn in the New ForestDiscover the intimate Furzey Gardens
     

    With views across the New Forest and towards the Isle of Wight, Furzey Gardens is a delight on an autumn day. The maples, sweet gum trees and rowan trees are particularly colourful at this time of year. For younger visitors, there are fairy doors to look out for - allegedly there are over 40 to be found dotted around the gardens! The woodland playpark is another popular addition for children.

    Want to know more?
    Explore our website for much more information on days out, suggested walks and places to stay. We look forward to welcoming you to the New Forest this autumn!

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