Area Guides

Our 5 Most Instagrammable Activities This Season

It’s time to capture the changing season.

We already know the New Forest is an Instagram favourite with 1M #newforest posts, so here in our beautiful National Park discover the top 5 Instagrammable Activities for an autumn break to remember.

1. Walk Or Wander

The leaves are beginning to transform, making for perfect autumn photography. Their dappled glow in the afternoon sun is just perfect for that dream shot, or your slow-mo reels of falling leaves and winding crimson and amber paths. So, to begin this Instagrammable countdown, we recommend the humble, as-far-as-takes-your-fancy, good old-fashioned activity: walking.

Capture the colours and explore the miles of trail that meanders through the heath and woodland of our National Park; and you needn’t travel far to find unforgettable landscapes and scenic shots, because our country hotel is in the very heart of the New Forest.

Spice up a classic New Forest walk and make it a Fungi Explorer Walk. The New Forest has no shortage, boasting more than 2,500 types of fungi, adding to the rich biodiversity of the park. On this two-hour walking tour, you’ll identify as many types as possible and learn about the unique ecology of each species, photographing them as you venture leisurely.

You can almost hear the crunch of crisp autumn leaves underfoot and the crackle of the fire that awaits your return.

2. Pick Pumpkins

If pumpkins don’t shout ‘autumn Instagram’ then we don’t know what does. As the pumpkin picking trend continues to grow, there are even more autumnal activities to take part in, from classic carving to pumpkin bowling and gourd-style noughts and crosses at the New Forest Pumpkin Patch in Strawberry Fields,  to an immersive autumnal experience, and the chance to pick your own at Sunnyfields – with thousands of pumpkins on the farm and amazing displays, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to Instagrammable highlights.

3. Capture New Forest Wildlife

A popular autumn photo worth grabbing for the grid is that of our much-loved New Forest ponies among the ochre trees. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, well-known for its ancient trees and roaming wild ponies, our National Park still follows traditional law giving Commoners the rights for their animals to graze freely.

And what about our Pannage pigs? Autumn is when you’ll spot snuffling pigs rooting around the forest. Set free by Commoners for the Pannage, this is a tradition that dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, where pigs are set loose to eat the acorns and chestnuts that are poisonous to the ponies. They make for fantastic autumnal photos as they hunt and snuffle in the autumn leaves.


4. Follow The Sun

A sunset snap never gets old, so while you’re enjoying your New Forest break you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to top spots. Capture the autumnal glow from Picket Post Car Park, just 20 minutes from our New Forest hotel, a little beyond the picturesque village of Burley. Arrive just before sunset to frame the miles of rolling heather to the south west. Or venture to Hatchet Pond, a favourite spot just a short drive away from our New Forest hotel, and the largest body of fresh water in our National Park, making for idyllic sunset strolls or reflective stories. Head there at ‘golden hour,’ the hour before sundown, for the chance to witness the forest in all of its glowing, autumnal glory.

And if tall trees, long shadows, and moody sunsets are what your creative eye seeks, discover Blackwater Forest, a peaceful arboretum home to breath-taking ancient giants.

5. Cycle The New Forest

Take to the forest on two-wheels and as you cycle, document your reel-worthy adventure from start to finish so you can relive your New Forest break later. Pack a picnic and find serene Instagram-worthy locations, fairytale bridges, moss-covered forest floors, babbling brooks and quaint picturesque New Forest villages. Then return to our country manor hotel for rest and relaxation. Our ‘Stay 2 Nights & Save 15%’ special offer invites you to take a mini New Forest getaway; a few days just for you, the chance to soak away any tension built-up by the busyness of everyday life and plan in a few Instagrammable activities…

New Forest villages and local businesses look forward to the New Forest Walking and Cycling Festival 2023 with guided tours and routes, perfect for autumn photography, forest bathing, wildlife spotting and more.

Book guided tours with New Forest Cycling Tours or set out on self-guided experiences.

There are even special festival discounts available from local bike hire companies: 10% off bike rental with Cyclexperience in the village of Brockenhurst and 10% off with discount code ‘FESTIVAL23’ with Jaunt-E bikes to launch their coastal ‘Birds, Bikes and Binoculars‘ E-bike safari.


One of the best ways to enjoy all of these autumn activities is to book a New Forest break; the Hide & Sleep Break is designed to give you a tranquil retreat, time to unwind and recharge, and if you want to, get out into the forest to capture, and share a story or two. When you’re not creating and capturing the charm of our New Forest, sleep peacefully, sip Prosecco, dine in one of our 3 restaurants and make your way to our award-winning spa to warm up and chill out.