New Forest Attractions

There are plenty of attractions in the New Forest, all of which offer fantastic days out for everyone to enjoy. From historic houses, theme parks and animal attractions, there is plenty to choose from come rain or shine and no matter what time of year you visit. Whether you are travelling to the area as a couple, a family or an individual, you will be amazed at the variety of attractions that are on offer here in the New Forest.

Family attractions and days out

Whether you have a young family, older children, or simply want the entire family to spend a day together then you will find the perfect option in the New Forest with all of our incredible family friendly attractions dotted around our National Park.

Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World is a fantastic option for a family day out. Here you can get the pulse racing with rollercoaster rides, flumes, play areas and themed Peppa Pig characters. 

For anyone who enjoys learning about wildlife then the New Forest Wildlife Park and Marwell Zoo make great places to visit. At both sites you can discover some of the species of animal from across the globe. Find out about farmyard animals at Longdown Activity Farm, near Ashurst and at the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park.

Bring the dog too, we have a great choice of dog friendly attractions that your four-legged friend will enjoy just as much as you!

If you're looking for some evening entertainment, we are home to loads of local cinemas, theatres and live music venues, such as Hanger Farm Arts Centre. Find out more about all of this great entertainment for the whole family here.

Parks, gardens and nature

Take a stroll through our local gardens and parks to take in the delightful sights and fragrances of the different seasons.

Breathe in the coastal breeze as you enjoy wildflower meadows, picnic spots, and historic sites at Lepe Country Park. Pop into their friendly café for a pick-me-up and enjoy panoramic views of the Solent or grab your walking boots and enjoy a calming coastal or countryside walk. 

The famous Exbury Gardens encompasses a large area of land in the south of the New Forest National Park. A popular time to visit is during spring for the colourful display of rhododendrons and azaleas. Visitors of all ages usually enjoy the miniature steam railway which circulates part of the garden as well.

Slightly more informal are the Furzey Gardens at Minstead. Established in 1922, these gardens offer a spot of tranquillity with woodland walks, a lake, hidden fairy doors and a children’s play area.

Visit Fairweather's Garden Centre where you can find a huge array of beautiful flora and fauna, have a wander around their shop and enjoy something to eat at Steff's Kitchen.

Near to Ringwood and Fordingbridge is the lovely Hockey's Farm, where you can meet loads of new friends including, ponies, sheep, pigs, donkeys and even alpacas! Head to their wonderful local produce shop and enjoy some delicious food and a refreshing drink while you're there too. 

Discover more about the area’s wildlife on a trip to the New Forest Reptile Centre, near Lyndhurst or by stopping by at the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary or seeing more stunning deer with New Forest Deer Safari. There are several nature reserves including Blashford Lakes, Landford Bog and the Keyhaven Marshes where bird watchers and nature enthusiasts can enjoy exploring.

Or why not simply embark on a nature walk in our beautiful national park before or after visiting some of our attractions? There are a wealth of different walks available, no matter what your ability.

History, heritage and cultural attractions in the New Forest

Take yourself on a journey back in time to discover the history and heritage of the New Forest. Discover the unique history of the area by starting at the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst. Some of our fantastic museums and historic houses include the ship building village at Buckler’s Hard (which is also home to the maritime museum), Hurst Castle - built as a defence castle by Henry VIII and of course, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. At Beaulieu, you can also explore the site’s history as a monastery, until its demise during the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII and the Victorian ways of life that were enjoyed at Palace House. Lovers of historic motorcycles should also add the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum to their itinerary.

See even more historical monuments within the New Forest and wander around the beautiful Breamore House, an Elizabethan Manor completed in 1583. Head to the Eling Tide Mill Experience to see the 900 year old mill in action! Check out how the power of the tide turns the watermill and powers the millstones to grind wheat into flour - learn all about the mill at their new interactive exhibition.

If you enjoy the arts, then be sure to explore our local crafts and art galleries as well as theatre and performances at venues across the forest and brilliant art exhibitions at both the New Forest Heritage Centre and the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington.

Discover more about the attractions in the New Forest

Browse through our website and find out just how much there is to see and do in the area. If you get stuck, the search box on this page will help you to find the perfect things to do or take a look for one of our local information points across the forest.

Keep an eye on our blog, where we feature top ideas for what to do over bank holiday weekends, school holidays and more. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well where we share tips on days out and what you can see and do at the time of your visit to the New Forest.

We would also highly recommend that you purchase the £10 Go New Forest Card before you visit. This will help give you nearly 400 money-saving offers on days out, activities, places to eat and drink and even places to stay.

Paultons Banner Ad - May 2023

Lepe Banner Ad - May 2023

Beaulieu Banner Ad

Attractions Highlights...

Follow Visit the New Forest on Instagram