New Forest Towns

We are planning a stay in New Forest next June. Which town is worth staying in for a week, where we can enjoy the animals, cyle and ride the ponies?
Thanks so much.

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

The usual villages within the forest are Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst, but there are many others. Something new since I was last there, they are now talking about "pubs with rooms' "scattered throughout the forest" and also "pub walks".
If you are driving it really doesnt seem very big, and you can get virtually anywhere in a short period of time. Salisbury is also a convenient starting point, although if you plan on walking you probably want to be in the Forest. One forest village i found really interesting was Bucklers Hard, a shipbuilding village (supposedly with Nelson connections)on a river- there is a large open space in the middle of the village where the story is they pushed logs (or ships?) down the slope through the village to launch them. This is also supposedly one of those villages that were torn down by the local Lord, and rebuilt where they didnt spoil his view. Didnt stay there but The Master Builders house Hotel (18th Century) sounds interesting

Posted by Maggie
Boscombe, Dorset, UK
960 posts

Hi Valerie,
I grew up in the New Forest. Burley has stables for riding and is not too far from the coast if you fancy a day at the seaside. It's also reputed to be a center for witchcraft. But it's not on any train route. Brockenhurst is a good bet because it's on the London (Waterloo) to Bournemouth train line. That means you have easy access to places like Winchester (the ancient capitol of England) and a lot of small towns. Brockenhurst is also close to Lyndhurst, Lymington and Beaulieu. Beaulieu (pronounced 'Bewlee')has a famous car museum. I'm sure you know this, but do remember that the ponies and cattle that roam the forest are wild, and tempting tho the thought is, feeding them is discouraged. It's a beautiful area and I was so lucky to have grown up there. I hope you thoroughly enjoy yourselves!

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1751 posts

I assume you've read Edmund Rutherford's "The Forest"? If not, you should.

Posted by Sharon
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
1076 posts

We stayed at a B&B in Lyndhurst and drove around from there. We loved Beaulieu. We also then took the ferry boat over to the Isle of Wight which was great also.