Walking

Local walks

You can walk straight from the doorstep onto the open Forest. Aim South and you will head for Deadman's Gutter where a stream will flow after rainfall. Head Southwest following the overhead powerlines to Woodgreen. Walking in a Westerly direction you will walk over the beautiful Hale Purlieu which is managed by The National Trust. There are a myriad of paths crisscrossing the area so you are spoiled for choice. If it has been raining the Forest can get very boggy and we recommend bringing wellies, even if the weather forecast is good.

In your cottage you will find a book with walks in The New Forest if you prefer to follow a set route or would like some alternative places to walk.

New Forest Carparks

Throughout The New Forest you will come across many small, free car parks. If there is space you can park up and take a stroll, you are bound to find some beautiful walks and plenty of wildlife. Please be considerate to other users and if a carpark is full, please move to the next one and do not park on the verges.

There are a few larger carparks in the Forest which offer toilet facilities - Bolderwood, Blackwater, Anderwood, Wilverley, Whitefield Moor. The carparks are also larger and often provide waymarked walks. Bolderwood is known for its Deer Sanctuary - although you are much more likely to see deer on Hale Purlieu! Blackwater has a lovely Tall Tree Trail, which is perfect with younger children.

Routes on your phone

The New Forest National Park Authority has created the 'New Forest National Park Walks' App which has a selection of walks with GPS navigation. We also use the ViewRanger App, which has walking and cycling maps as well as routes.

Making walking interesting for children can be difficult and we often go geocaching so the boys can do a treasure hunt whilst we get to enjoy a lovely walk. There is a lovely Geocach (10 caches) route in the Godshill/Woodgreen enclosure.

Cycling

Bike hire

There are quite a few options for bike hire in the main villages. We have used both the hire options in Brockenhurst and Beaulieu in the past. We suggest you have a look at the New Forest Cycle routes to decide where would be most convenient to hire from.

Bring your own bikes

You are more than welcome to bring your own bikes, which you can store in the garden of your cottage. Unfortunately we do not have any secure bike storage (yet!). We do not allow bikes to be stored inside our cottages.

Cycling in the Forest

Whether you are a road cyclist or prefer the quiet off road cycling tracks the Forest has to offer, cycling in the New Forest is a popular past time. There is an extensive network of waymarked tracks and many planned routes to choose from. You can find a cycling map on the National Park website. We use the Viewranger App which has the cycle tracks and waymarks on one of their free maps.

You can cycle on public roads, byways open to all traffic, public bridleways, restricted bridleways, and dedicated New Forest cycle routes. You are not permitted to ride over the Open Forest, or on Forestry England tracks which are not dedicated cycle routes. Cycling on public footpaths is also not permitted. Take a look at the New Forest Cycling Code for more details.

Staying with your dog

The New Forest is a very dog friendly area and The Barn, Stable Cottage and The Hayloft all welcome dogs to stay. With miles of dog walking from our doorstep, your four footed friend will be very happy indeed! All of the pubs in the local area are dog friendly, most having dog bowls and dog treats available.

 

In Stable Cottage and The Barn, your dogs are welcome everywhere in the cottage, although not on the bed. In The Hayloft your dogs are welcome downstairs. We do not allow dogs to be left in the cottage on their own and can provide details of local dog sitters on request. Local taxi companies generally allow dogs to travel with you if you do not wish to drive to the pub.

Both Stable Cottage and The Hayloft have a fully enclosed garden. The fencing is 4ft high and has hedging on the outside. The Barn garden although private is not fully enclosed. We ask that you keep your dogs on a lead outside of the garden. We have a dog wash area available for after the often muddy winter walks!

In the Forest, dogs are allowed off lead, although from March to July you are asked to keep your dogs to the paths to protect ground nesting birds which nest in heather and marsh land. There are plenty of year round dog friendly beaches. Avon, Mudeford and Highcliff all have parts that are dog friendly.

The New Forest has published some guidance for dog walking in the New Forest here.

Active

Horse Riding

The New Forest is famous for its ponies who graze all across the Forest. All the ponies are owned by the Commoners who have special rights to turn out their livestock on the Forest. If seeing the beautiful ponies make you long to ride across the open Forest, than there are a few companies offering this.

The closest to us is Arniss Equestrian in Godshill. Other options are Bagnum Riding Stables, Burley Villa School of Riding, Fir Tree Farm Equastrian Centre and 4 Seasons Forest Rides.

Fishing

Sandy Balls Holiday Centre, Godshill, Hampshire Avon

There is a 1/2 mile of a single bank stretch within the Sandy Balls Holiday Centre and cost £10.00 per person per day.  A number of excellent swims and timber platforms have been created. The tickets are available at the cycle centre at Sandy Balls, Tel: 01425 657707 which is open daily from 9am – 5pm. You are allowed to fish from one hour before sunrise until 10pm

 

Fordingbridge Recreation Ground, Hampshire Avon

Fordingbridge Recreation Ground is opposite the George Inn and it is common to see fly fishermen wading midstream taking advantage of this 500 yard stretch of the Hampshire Avon when you cross the bridge. Tickets are £5 per day and are available at Fordingbridge Tourist Information Centre Tel: 01425 654560 or at the Riverside Kiosk.

 

Rockbourne Trout Fishery, Near Fordingbridge

Located in the New Forest near Rockbourne, this great fishery has six lakes which are spread over 55 acres of unspoilt woodland. For more information on the fishery visit www.rockbournetroutfishery.co.uk

 

Witherington Farm Fishery

Witherington Farm Fishery has four disabled friendly well stocked lakes and good facilities on hand with a cafe and tackle shop. Day tickets are available year round at Reids Tackle and is open 7 days a week. 

Golf

Bramshaw Golf Club

Right in the heart of the New Forest, a perfect setting for a golf course and only a 10 minute drive from our cottages. The original New Forest course started life in 1865 and was built for the entertainment of the weekend guests of Philip de Crespigny. Reported to be the oldest golf course in Hampshire, keep up the long tradition and book yourself a round. Take a look at https://www.bramshawgolfclub.co.uk/

Hamptworth Golf Club

Hamptworth Golf course is one of the finest in the South of England and has been host to some major professional events. We are lucky to be only 10 mnutes away from this lovely course. One of its attractions is the unique 666 yard Par 6, named the ‘Beast’ – why not take the challenge and try it out! Take a look at https://www.hamptworthgolf.co.uk/

There are plenty of other beautiful courses in the Forest as well as the surrounding area. You could easily put together a golf tour!

Watersports

New Forest Water Sport Park

If you don’t mind getting a bit wet, we can heartily recommend the New Forest Water Park which is fantastic fun for all the family. It is just South of Fordingbridge, about a 15 minute drive from us. The aqua park has fun inflatables, a cable wake board park and offers kayaking and paddleboarding. It is open from spring to autumn and you find out more on https://www.newforestwaterpark.co.uk/

 

Hengistbury Head Outdoor Education Centre

Ever fancied learning to sail, paddleboard, wind-surf, row or even powerboat, then why not visit the Hengistbury Outdoor Education Centre. It is a fun safe environment to learn a new outdoor sport in an amazing setting. You find more on http://www.hengistburyoutdoorcentre.co.uk/

Shore Sports

Shore Sports also offer lessons in kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding and sailing, all within the stunning Christchurch Harbour. You find more on http://www.shoresports.co.uk/

Forest activities

Insight Activities

Nestled in a private section of rustic woodland you will find Insight Activities’ shooting and Axe throwing ranges, where anyone can learn the fine arts of Archery, Crossbows and Axe Throwing or even engage in some woodland Archery Tag Combat games. Everyone welcome, No previous experience required. Activities in Fordingbridge, New Forest & Tolpuddle Dorset. Find out more on https://insightactivities.co.uk/

New Forest Activities

New Forest Activities offer a variety of activities for families, couples and groups of all ages and abilities. For tours with a difference, take to the water with Canoeing and Kayaking on the Beaulieu River Nature Reserve. These guided tours are perfect for exploring this area of The New Forest and are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

For the more adventurous you can take to the trees on high and low rope courses, great for the whole family to enjoy. The ever-popular Battlefield LIVE offers excitement and enjoyment using safe infra-red gaming guns. There’s also the chance to learn a new skill whilst enjoying the New Forest surroundings with Bushcraft or Archery sessions. Find out more on https://www.newforestactivities.co.uk/

Moors Valley Country Park

Moors Valley is managed for people and wildlife; providing a space for play, recreation and education as well as a home for a wide range of plants and animals. Open all year round, the Rangers offer many services and activities for all to enjoy. The 1000-acre Country Park with something for everyone. Adventure play trail and play areas, tree top walkway, narrow-gauge steam railway, cycle hire centre, waymarked trails, orienteering course, fishing lake, golf centre, Go Ape with its high wire adventure course, a lovely restaurant and gift shop as well as plenty of picnic places. Find out more on https://www.moors-valley.co.uk/

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Beaches

You are spoiled for choice with beautiful beaches. From the beautiful large beaches of Bournemouth, Hengistbury Head, Mudeford and Avon in Christchurch and the beachside Country Park of Lepe. All within 30-45 minutes from us!

The beaches in Bournemouth are beautiful and have great waves for the surfers. The pier offers extra entertainment as well as being able to wander into the centre of town.

Hengistbury Head is harder to get too, but also much quieter! Either park up and take the land train, or walk to the spit where the beautiful beach huts and soft sands await. Or take the ferry over from Mudeford Quay for a different experience.

Mudeford, Avon, Steamer Point and Highcliffe beaches are all interlinked, some parts are dog friendly year round and there is plenty of space even on the sunniest days. If you like easy access, go early and head for Avon carpark which is right on the beach, no lugging your buckets and spades for miles! Highcliffe is famous for the beautiful Highcliffe Castle which has a lovely Cafe, pretty gardens and a zigzag walk down to beach.

Attractions

Peppa Pig World at Paulton's Park

If your toddlers love Peppa Pig, they will love Peppa Pig World at Paulton's Park. We are just 15 minutes from Paulton's Park. Paulton's Park. The bigger kids will not be dissappointed either with many thrilling rides to choose from. Find out more on https://paultonspark.co.uk/

Beaulieu Motor Museum

From the earliest motor carriages to classic family saloons, the world-famous National Motor Museum has one of the finest collections of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia in the world. However, there is plenty more to see and do. The beautiful Palace House and Gardens, the Beaulieu Abbey and for the children the mono rail and adventure play area. Find out more on https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/

Buckler's Hard

On the banks of the Beaulieu River, you will find the peaceful haven of Buckler’s Hard, an 18th Century shipbuilding village near Beaulieu in the New Forest

The Maritime Museum and Buckler’s Hard Story give an insight into the history of this 18th century shipbuilding village focusing on its vessels including those built for Nelson's Navy. You can also take a trip on the river or a walk beside the riverbank for an opportunity to see some of the abundant wildlife that inhabits its banks. Visit the Apple Orchard where apples are picked to make Beaulieu Apple Juice. Enjoy a refreshing glass in the Captain's Cabin Tea Room. Find out more on https://www.bucklershard.co.uk/

New Forest Heritage Centre

The New Forest Heritage Centre, Lyndhurst is at the heart of the New Forest and the ideal place to start your visit.

 

The New Forest Heritage Centre tells the stories of myths and legends, conflict and conservation. Explore the fabulous Family Fun Tree, see the museum displays and enjoy our exhibitions, talks and activities. Suitable for all ages and admission is free!

The gift shop and cafe make it a lovely start to your visit. Find out more on https://www.newforestheritage.org.uk/

Exbury Gardens

Exbury Gardens, set in 200 acres of woodland gardens on the edge of the Beaulieu River is definitely worth a visit. There are many different types of garden giving year round interest. The children will enjoy the steam railway and play area. On site there is a gift shop and a few cafes. Dogs are welcome too. Find out more on https://www.exbury.co.uk/

Furzey Gardens

Furzey Gardens is a tranquil woodland garden nestled deep in the New Forest. Relax and escape our busy lives with a wander along our winding and meandering paths, with thatched tea rooms, vibrant autumn colour and fairy doors to discover. Every visit helps to continue the work to provide support and work experience for people with learning disabilities. Find out more on https://www.minsteadtrust.org.uk/furzey-gardens/

Eat & Drink

Pubs

We are blessed with many amazing local pubs, all of which are dog friendly. Although we do not have a pub within easy walking distance (the nearest is two miles away), the choice of proper pubs with outstanding food is fabulous. If you don't fancy driving, you can easily pre-book a taxi, however don't leave it too late as they can be very busy!

The Kings Head - Redlynch

Our local, is a lovely traditional country pub. The food is excellent (the homemade pie is particularly good!) and the beers are well-kept. It has a great local atmosphere, with an immense fire on colder evenings. Ouside is a lovely garden too. Find out more on https://www.kingsheadredlynch.co.uk/home/

The Horse and Groom - Woodgreen

The Horse and Groom serves great food, with daily specials. The pub has been lovingly restored and provides a lovely welcoming atmosphere. You can walk here for lunch, about and hour and a half each way across the Forest, or book for a lovely evening meal. Find out more on https://www.horseandgroom-woodgreen.com/

The Goat - Downton

We haven't had a chance to go to The Goat yet, but local feedback is great. Very much a gastropub with a large garden in the centre of the village. Find out more on https://www.thegoatpub.co.uk/

​The Lamb Inn - Nomansland

This a lovely pub, serving great food. In the summer you can relax in front of the pub watching the cricket (with regular interruptions from passing ponies!). There are lovely walks starting across the road.

The Kings Head Inn - Whiteparish

The Kings Head Inn in Whiteparish is a good destination pub restaurant. The award winning chef serves creates a wonderful changing menu. From Wednesday to Saturday they open their special restaurant Betony and the tasting menu is excellent! If you manage to get a table you will not be disappointed. Find out more on https://thekingshead.co.uk/

The High Corner Inn - in the middle of nowhere!

Great for families, set in the middle of the Forest with lovely walks (ask the pub for routes!). The food is lovely and served fast, ideal for little ones. The large garden has a play area to keep them entertained whilst waiting. Find out more on https://butcombe.com/high-corner-inn-hampshire/

Cafes

Fancy breakfast, a morning coffee, a quick lunch or snack, here are some of our favorite local cafes.

The Borough Cafe

The Borough Cafe is a lovely cafe in the centre of Downton which serves great coffee and home made cakes and food. Choose to sit in the window watching life on the buzzing Borough, on the Victorian pew, upstairs where the old beams have been restored or in the sheltered South facing courtyard. Find out more on https://www.theboroughcafe.co.uk/

Hockey's Farm

Award winning family owned Farm Shop and Cafe supporting local farmers and producers. Hockey’s is open daily and offers and full butcher’s service, a licensed cafe, fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, deli and dairy and plenty of animals to visit. Find out more on https://www.hockeys-farm.co.uk/

Shop

Amazing local produce is what our area is all about. We have a growing number of local farm shops selling fabulous produce showcasing the best of what The New Forest, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset has to offer.

Stable and Wick

Stable & Wick are a micro bakery and farm shop serving delicious home-made, quality produce to the local community of Downton. Find out more on https://www.stableandwick.com/

Woodgreen Community Shop

For your everyday groceries and so much more! They provide excellent local and fresh produce, support local businesses, sell gifts and they are a New Forest local Information point too. Find out more on http://www.woodgreencommunityshop.org

 

The Farmer's Butcher

If you love your meat, this is the place to go! Mike & his team of friendly butchers source the best quality meat, then age, butcher, and prepare the specific cuts to your specification, from their Butcher’s shop at Swallowfields Farm, near Bramshaw. They also stock a pantry of local vegetables and essentials. Find out more on https://thefarmersbutcher.co.uk/

 

New Forest Farm Produce

New Forest Farm Produce produces home-bred Hereford beef and home-reared pork in the beautiful north of the New Forest. They open a pop-up Farm Shop on Friday and Saturday at Valletta Barn, Fritham, SO43 7HL. Find out more on https://www.facebook.com/newforestfarmproduce

Hockey's Farm Shop

Award winning family owned Farm Shop and Cafe supporting local farmers and producers. Hockey’s is open daily and offers and full butcher’s service, a licensed cafe, fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, deli and dairy and plenty of animals to visit. Find out more on https://www.hockeys-farm.co.uk/

Fordingbridge Farm Shop

Fordingbridge Farm Shop provides an exciting range of quality produce. Locally sourced meat and fresh vegetables, breads and cheeses, wines and preserves will all be available, carefully selected from specialist local producers. Find out more on https://www.fordingbridgefarmshop.co.uk/

Nunton's Farm Milk

Nunton Dairy’s finest fresh, creamy, yummy milk! They have an innovative vending machine dispensing fresh local milk in recyclable glass bottles. The nearest machine is in Downton in The Bull Hotel car park.

Celebrations

Fresh Kitchen

Private classes at our holiday cottages or in one of their venues, an afternoon tea, a celebration or party that you’d like catered – they can do that. They can also provide hampers and birthday cakes. They are very flexible and happy to discuss your individual requirements. Find out more on https://www.freshkitchen-cs.com/

Elm Bakery

Elm Bakery offers a range of delicious and professionally baked sweet and savoury treats, ranging from cream tea's, full afternoon tea, celebration cakes and lots more. Find out more on https://www.elmbakeaway.com/

The Forest Foodie

The Forest Foodie was born out of a passion for delicious and locally sourced food. In the New Forest we are lucky to have some of the finest ingredients from land and sea right on our doorstep, and The Forest Foodie wanted to share this love with all those visiting our uniquely special corner of England. They deliver hampers, picnics and welcome packages packed with locally sourced, fresh produce to holiday cottages, around the New Forest. They can also provide private catering in your cottage. Find out more on https://www.theforestfoodie.com/