"The New Forest" Top 5 Page for this destination Hampshire by LouiseTopp

Hampshire Travel Guide: 946 reviews and 2,225 photos

The New Forest, a brief intro

The New Forest was formed in 1079 by William I (known as William the Conqueror) as hunting grounds, mainly of deer. It is an exceptional area of historical, conservation & rural importance, & has kept many of the rustic practices passed by the Crown in medieval times to neighbouring people. most important of these is the ponies, cattle, pigs & donkeys in the open Forest by local citizens known as Commoners. The New Forest has also been an essential source of timber for the Crown. It is an wonderful entertaining area for walking & riding.

The "New Forest - Where to Stay Guide" in print by the New Forest District Council has all the information you are likely to need on lodgings of all types in the Forest. It used to be accessible free of charge from the Visitor Information Centres, but they now charge £1 for it. You can phone the New Forest Visitor Information Centre (VIC) at Lymington on 01590 689000; the fax number is 01590 689090.

Trains stop at Ashurst, Beaulieu Road (very out on the sticks!), Brockenhurst & Sway inside the Forest (these stations are on the same railway line) - National Rail Enquiries are on 08457 484950, their web site with timetables for the UK network is http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.
Local bus services are provided by Wilts&Dorset (Salisbury: 01722 336855; Poole: 01202 673555; Lymington - office hours only: 01590 672382), Solent Blue Line (023 8061 8233); Yellow Buses [Bournemouth] (01202 636000). National buses are National Express (08705 808080).

Cycling round the forest

The 40mph speed limit on open roads, has made the New Forest a safer place to cycle. To help defend this unique location & develop visitor enjoyment, an off-road & road based cycle network has been created connecting the main villages & railway station at Brockenhurst by the safest & most pretty routes. If arriving by train, bikes are offered for hire nearby to Brockenhurst Train Station. There’s also cycle hire canter’s at Burley & Boscombe. at Burley you can have short & easy traffic-free cycle routes in the most stunning New Forest scenery. The rides offer the very best cycling conditions for families, inexperienced & 'born again' cyclists! All routes can be extended to provide a dare for the most adventurous cyclists. Burley centre has a fully stocked cycle shop offering a complete range of cycles, accessories & spares aimed at recreational & family cyclists alike.

The Cross, Village Centre, Burley, New Forest, Hants, BH24 4AB - 01425 403584
Open 7 Days from 9am to 5:30pm

Forest Leisure Cycling

1143-1145 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH7 6BW, 01202 424945. Open 7 Days

Sailing to the Forest

Wightlink Ferries run regular services to the Isle of Wight from Lymington. P&O European Ferries activate services to Le Havre, Cherbourg & Bilbao. Brittany Ferries run services to Caen, St Malo & Santander. Wightlink Ferries offer car & passenger services to Fishbourne & Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Hovertravel activate a passenger service to Ryde. For those traveling to & from Southampton White Horse ferries run a ferry service from Southampton to Hythe.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great in the summer, beautiful villages
  • Cons:Chilly in the Winter, isolated in places
  • In a nutshell:Rustic way of life which is quickly vanishing
  • Last visit to Hampshire: Dec 2003
  • Intro Updated Jan 11, 2010
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