The New Forest is an area which covers south west Hampshire and extends into south east Wiltshire in Southern England. The main feature of the New Forest is the New Forest National Park, which was established in 1079 by William the Conqueror. The National Park spans close to 600 square kilometers and is unique as its ancient landscape has remained unchanged over hundreds of years, thus retaining its original beauty. The New Forest is a famous tourist destination for those who enjoy nature, and is dotted with several villages and small towns in the Forest and surrounding areas. There is much to do and see in New Forest - from award winning gardens to informative museums and leisure activities to exciting wildlife. All of these features and more make a holiday in the New Forest worthwhile. Here are a few things to do and see on your holiday in the New Forest:
Award Winning Gardens
If exploring gardens is your cup of tea, then you will be spoilt for choice in the New Forest. Beaulieu Gardens feature the world famous National Motor Museum and the Palace House home of the Montagu family and is definitely worth visiting. Other gardens include Exbury Gardens which comes with its very own steam railway, New Forest Water Gardens which contains ponds and waterfalls and Furzey Gardens which has a lake.
In addition to the National Motor Museum situated in the Beaulieu Gardens, the New Forest has its history imprinted in many locations. Buckler's Hard features a Maritime Museum which showcases where warships for Nelson's Navy were built. The New Forest Centre is another museum which is ideal for family outings.
From cycling to horse riding and water sports to walking, the New Forest offers plenty of leisure activities to keep you occupied on your holiday. There are several cycling routes to pick from ensuring scenic views, and if you do not bring your own bikes, there are many places to hire bikes when you arrive. If you'd rather experience the New Forest on horseback, there are several local New Forest stables at your service. Water sports include kayaking, sailing, canoeing, yachting, waterskiing and many more. For those who would prefer staying dry, walking tours with a professional guide through the New Forest is ideal.
Visit Liberty's Owl Raptor and Reptile Centre for a large collection of birds and reptiles and Marwell Zoological Park which contains over 200 species of animals. The New Forest Wildlife Park is also a must visit with a large collection of European and exotic wildlife.