Stretching from Hampshire through Wiltshire and across towards east Dorset, the New Forest has everything, from quaint holiday cottages to museums, leisure parks, and roaming wildlife. The sprawling parkland evolves beautifully throughout the seasons and offers up a veritable feast of Great British countryside all year round, come bright sunshine or pouring rain. Whether you're just passing through, here for the day or staying for weeks, it's impossible to run out of things to see and do.
The New Forest is for explorers. Pop on your walking boots and get on the park's many winding trails, meander through the sprawling woodland, or take in the wide-open space of the heathland, but wherever you go, keep your eyes peeled for the New Forest ponies, which roam freely throughout the park. If you fancy covering more ground, hire a bike, or even hop on horseback for a relaxing hack.
When you need a retreat from the great outdoors, head for one of the New Forest's many country pubs, which are peppered throughout the park - The Alice Lisle near Rockford Green is a particular favourite among visitors.
If you fancy finding out a little more about your surroundings, the New Forest Centre should be top of your agenda. Aside from being a fantastic place to keep little ones entertained, the centre is home to a fascinating museum which charts the history of the park from royal hunting ground to the beautiful conservation area it is today.
Finally, there's no better way to end a trip to the New Forest than with a traditional English Tea at the Captain's Cabin, beautiful tea rooms in Buckler's Hard, set back from the banks of the Beaulieu River.
New Forest has excellent rail links with nine stations serving the area, they are: