Beaulieu Motor Museum and Palace
20 minutes drive. A great family day out with lots for everyone to enjoy including the world famous National Motor Museum, home to a stunning collection of automobiles telling the history of motoring through modern rally cars and F1 Grand Prix machines, Palace House, home of the Montagu family, historic Beaulieu Abbey which was founded in 1204 by Cistercian Monks, BOND IN MOTION, the world’s largest official collection of original James Bond vehicles. www.beaulieu.co.uk
Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway
20 minute drive. The Gardens are a spectacular 200 acre site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. Capture Exbury’s hidden beauty and explore a myriad of pathways. Let the train take the strain on a 20 minute journey. In December 2011 the Gardens were awarded the prestigious Hudson’s Heritage UK “Best Garden” award. www.exbury.co.uk
20 minutes drive. On the banks of the Beaulieu River, in the heart of the New Forest National Park, the interesting Maritime Museum and Buckler’s Hard Story gives an insight into the history of this 18th century shipbuilding village focusing on its vessels including those built for Nelson’s Navy. www.buckershard.co.uk
New Forest Cycling
Cycling in the New Forest is ideal for families wanting safe off road and gentle cycle routes, where you will experience the open heathland and sheltered woods. There is a network of over 100 miles of off-road cycle routes. It is best to hire bikes from either Burley (15 minutes away) www.forestleisurecycling.co.uk or Brockenhurst (10 minutes away) www.cyclex.co.uk as then you are already in the heart of the New Forest.
Ealing Tide Mill and Heritage Centre
40 minute drive. Well worth a visit or lunch time stop. Historic and appealing it is one of the very few Tide Mills in the world that is still regularly producing flour. Great pub nearby that overlooks the small harbour. Not easy to find – Satnav SO40 9HF. www.ealingexperience.co.uk
New Forest Activities
Based in Beaulieu this company organises activities for all age groups on water and on land. Activities range from kayaking, canoe trails, sea kayaking courses, archery, cycle hire, interactive walks and treasure trails. www.newforestactivities.co.uk
Trip to the Isle of Wight
Whether as a foot passenger or take your car, enjoy the 40 minute ferry trip which is served by three new ferries. Yarmouth is a charming small town with a good beach whilst the coastal path takes you round to Alum Bay passing small bays on the way – then catch the bus back to Yarmouth.
Horse riding in the New Forest
Horse riding is one of the finest ways to experience the natural beauty of the New Forest. It is catered for in a variety of ways, whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner – a horse riding experience can be arranged at one of the many local stables. Burley Villa School of Riding. New Milton. 01425 610278. Ford Farm Stables. Brockenhurst. 01590 623043
There are many other nearby places which make an excellent full day out: Winchester town and cathedral, Salisbury town and cathedral, Corfe Castle, Portsmouth Historic Dockyards, Stonehenge and Bovington Tank Museum.
There are many more places to visit but I hope this list gives you a small indication of the wide variety of activities that are available within the New Forest area. For more ideas please visit www.thenewforest.co.uk