Area Guides

Unusual Things To Do In The New Forest

Whilst the New Forest is traditionally known for its ponies, forest walks and pubs, there are other things to do in the New Forest alongside the great classics.

Why not make your seasonal getaway extra special and explore the lesser known, unusually wonderful things our beautiful national park has to offer, like taking to the sea for a fresh dip, visiting a lavender farm for flowers and scones or testing your taste buds at a craft brewery, just a few of the things you might not have expected to find…

The Beach at Lepe

You may not automatically think ‘beach walks’ when you’re heading to the New Forest but being on the south coast of England means coastal strolls are a wonderful option for your weekend break; swap cycling along winding woodland trails with eating an ice cream at the seaside in just minutes.

Our New Forest hotel is superbly located, just 5 miles from the port town of Lymington and just 13 miles from Lepe Beach on The Solent, so you’ll always experience the best of countryside and coast.

With coastal days out in mind, those keen on open water swimming will love visiting some nearby favourite swim spots…

A Spot of Sea Swimming

On fine weather days Milford on Sea, Hordle Cliff or Barton on Sea provide idyllic seaside days out; picturesque multicoloured beach huts line the shores of these beaches, so grab a deck chair and towel because you can be splashing in the waves in just 20 minutes, which means hassle-free beach visits, and back to the hotel in time for a sauna and steam before dinner.

Visit the New Forest’s Lavender Farm

On a warm day you’ll mistake it for the lavender fields of Provence, but the quaint family-run gardens and tearoom of New Forest Lavender will soon bring you back to quintessential England with lavender scones and tea or a light lunch and a wander around their delightful plant nursery.


Sample Local Craft Beer

If you’re excited about finding hidden gems, then you’ll love the independently owned brewery PIG BEER located in our very own village of Brockenhurst. Sample their craft beer (brewed with their homegrown hops) in their tap room or pop into the shop to purchase a selection of refreshing bottles to take home.


Enjoy a game of golf amongst the New Forest ponies!

Combine your love of our ancient woodland and forest walks with a chance to show off your swing. The New Forest Golf Club welcomes members and visitors to its beautiful course. The second oldest golf club in Hampshire, this friendly club lies in the heart of the National Park and invites players of all levels to enjoy a game, lessons for beginners or coaching from their pro.


Kayak, canoe, or paddleboard along the coast 

Go on an adventure during your weekend break. Keen paddlers or beginners can take to the water in kayaks or on SUPs and explore our scenic coastline. Open year-round, The New Forest Paddle Sport Company offer an array of experiences including sunset picnics and guided tours around Hurst Castle; group lessons for those just getting started or private sessions so you can get to grips with your balance before any adventuring!


Hire a classic car

Winding forest roads, scenic landscapes and unforgettable sunsets are the perfect backdrop to a perfect drive. From ‘Taster’ Drive experiences to full day hire, you can hop into an E Type Jaguar or an MGB Roadster or book a chauffeur driven guided tour in a vintage Rolls Royce with Champagne and a cream tea!


Speaking of driving… You could try a completely different driving experience…


Book a rib boat experience

For 22 years Solent Rib Charter has been taking guests out on their rib boats for a spin of the Solent. Owning the largest fleet of rib boats in Europe they offer an assortment of experiences to suit any kind of thrill-seeker, from bareboat hire to rib boat treasure hunts to the Isle of Wight. It makes for an unusual but entirely unforgettable day out in the New Forest.



No matter the season, there is always something unusually wonderful to find in our New Forest National Park, but don’t forget the classics either. There’s a reason our guests love to cycle the scenic trails, walk with the ponies and while away afternoons wandering around our quintessential villages.

This is the wonder of forest therapy, a chance to reset and unwind, and our New Forest hotel is the perfect base for exploring it all because when it’s time to slow down you’ll discover great food, space to breathe and a home of relaxation.