It may not be long since the children have returned to school but before too long it’ll be time for the October half term! Now’s the time to start planning your New Forest adventures so you can look forward to a fantastic family break away together. We have loads of ideas for days out and ways to create special memories together…

Enjoy all that autumn brings

Crunch around in those fallen leaves, spot the different colours in the autumn canopy and pop your wellies on for a good stomp around. There are loads of autumn adventures to be had here.

Wild New Forest will be running a series of walks over half term including ‘Kids Wildlife Adventure Walks’ and ‘Welcome to the Forest Walks’ as well as some specific Halloween themed walks – a great way to experience the forest, particularly if you’ve not been here before.

Autumn is also the time that you can go pig spotting! Pig spotting you may wonder… yes, this is the time of year that pigs are released into the forest to help eat up the fallen acorns (which are poisonous to New Forest Ponies and other animals). This tradition, known as pannage, goes back centuries. During the pannage season also keep a look out for our local artisan bakeries, farm shops and shops that sell piggy-shaped biscuits to celebrate this most ancient of New Forest practices.

The colours of Exbury Gardens are particularly vibrant in autumn and where better to see them than aboard the gardens’ miniature railway? Hop aboard and be whisked around the grounds, a popular activity for all ages.

Ways to enjoy the great outdoors

Burn off some of that energy with some of our outdoor activities. Perhaps try something new, or practice existing skills at some of our outdoor centres.

Join New Forest Activities this October for a range of spooktastic activities. Their 'Halloween Archery Pumpkin Shooting' allows you to sharpen up your bow and arrow skills and decorate your very own pumpkin. Or why not hop on to their 'Spooky Halloween River Tour' and explore the Beaulieu River after dark with eerie tales of the village's past plus a complimentary hot chocolate?

Avon Tyrrell’s ‘Be Outdoor Days’ will be running from 25-29 October and follow a flexible format so that the kids can enjoy a combination of activities. Activities can include, archery, pioneering, an adventure course, bushcraft, shelter building, orienteering, geocaching, canoeing, paddleboarding, and much more.

For another way to explore the New Forest, why not bring your bike? Either that or hire one from our many cycle hire centres. One of our popular family cycle routes is the ride to the Old Station Tea Rooms which follows along a disused railway line but don’t forget to check out our other suggested family cycle routes too and ask our hire centres for any routes they particularly recommend.

Take the pressure off navigating your own way around the forest by booking onto a New Forest Platinum Tours. Be guided in style around and find out more about our beautiful area and some of the history and traditions behind it.

Halloween fun

As well as some of the activities mentioned above, there will also be specific Halloween events running (look out for our specific Halloween blog coming soon) or take a look at our events calendar.

Just to give you a sneak preview though, there will be lots of events taking place, including the Happy Halloween celebrations at Paultons Park running from 14 October - 1 November. Tickets are on sale now. Please note, pre-booking online is advised to avoid disappointment.

Family days out

Paultons Park (mentioned above) is a great starting point for families. Feel that adrenalin surge as you take on the various rollercoasters and thrilling rides that the park offers. For younger children, Peppa Pig World remains a popular destination too.

Meet some of the farmyard animals at Longdown Activity Farm, spot wolves, wild cats and bison at the New Forest Wildlife Park and meet some of the heavy horses at the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park, near Verwood.

Marvel at the cars and explore the World of Top Gear at Beaulieu’s National Motor Museum and play your heart out in the Little Beaulieu play park set within the grounds.

Blow your cobwebs away by a coastal walk along the beach at Lepe, ideal for a spot of sandcastle building or explore some of our history whilst visiting Hurst Castle.

We have loads more family days out to pick from, take a look at our website for more details.

Half term breaks

Although our accommodation is very booked up, look out for last-minute family breaks and late availability on a variety of places to stay. Please keep checking back as well for any special offers being run.

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