Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Things to Do in New Forest

Shakespeare’s play As You Like It takes place primarily in the Forest of Arden. When I think of New Forest, I feel like it must have the same atmosphere. Where those that want to get away from it all go to camp under the stars among the social outcasts, the trees and wildlife. I am aware that it’s probably not at all like the play, but in many ways, it actually is. Obviously, New Forest is a place to relax and get away from it all. You aren’t forced to camp or defend yourself from wild animals though.

Things to do for every budget and plenty to do for those who wish to save:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing

  • Gardens
    • Beaulieu Gardens – Explore the lush gardens, palace house, abbey, motor museum and more for £19/11.25 or £49.75 for a family. The palace was home to the Montagu family and also includes an on-site vineyard.
    • Lepe Country Park – Bring your swimsuit and towel to take advantage of over one mile of beach with amazing views. There is also a play area for the kids, D-Day remains and picnic facilities. Admission to the park is free.
    • Braxton Gardens – Free to enter, the gardens feature over 450 roses in 100 varieties, a gift shop and tea rooms.
  • Animals
    • Liberty’s Owl Raptor and Reptile Centre – Marvel at a huge assortment of birds of prey and amazing reptiles. This is a great outing for little ones, because it is educational and fun. Admission is £7.95/£4.95.
    • Longdown Activity Farm – Another fab activity for kids and adults alike. Get up close and personal with friendly farm animals, where you might get to bottle feed goats or calves. There are also indoor play areas and the farm shop where you can load up on fresh local foods, including meat and dairy products to take back and prepare in your holiday rental. Get in for just £7.95/£6.95.
    • Marwell Wildlife – This zoo is over 140 acres and houses more than 250 exotic and endangered species, like giraffe-nosed catfishes and bat-eared foxes. Admission costs depend on the time of year: £14-18/£10-14.
  • New Forest Tour Bus  – Want to see all of New Forest without having to hike there? The hop-on, hop-off bus runs two separate routes that can take you all over to experience all New Forest has to offer. Choose from 1, 2 or 5 day passes starting at £10/£4.
  • Museums
    • Ringwood Town and Country Experience – Vintage cars, a replica railway platform, olde shops and a smuggler’s display. This is sure to be a fun museum for everyone in the family. £12.50 for your whole family, or £4.75/£3.95 for adults and children.
    • Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum – Love to jump on a bike and feel the wind in your hair? With over 350 motorcycles on display, you’re bound to be in “hog” heaven. There are also tea rooms and shops on-site. Get in for just £6.90/£3.
    • St. Barbe Museum and Gallery – Learn about the people and culture of the New Forest coast through hands-on displays, talks, workshops and more, then head to the gift shop and the art galleries. Affordable entry fees at £4/£2 or £10 for a family of six.
Have you ever gone to New Forest?

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