Top Ten Things to do

Fun-filled family days out in Ringwood and The New Forest!

Come rain or shine (preferably shine!) there are always loads of new and exciting things to do in Ringwood and The New Forest – and lots of old favourites too. For the active there's cycling, pony-trekking, rock-climbing and more. For the less adventurous there are some great museums, theatre workshops, art & craft events and more.

There really is something for everyone. So grab your coat and get out of the house. And don't forget to tell us about your favourite Ringwood and New Forest activities.

Cycling in the New Forest

1. New Forest Cycle Hire

The RingwoodTown team love nothing more than meeting up on a Sunday morning for a spot of breakfast, then it’s off to the Forest for some much needed exercise.

Whatever your age or ability, The New Forest is undoubtedly one of the greatest places in the UK to come cycling. There are over one hundred miles of traffic free cycle routes, making it extremely safe for cyclists of all ages and abilities. The wildlife, fauna, great range of accommodation & eateries makes this place an unforgettable cycling destination.

There are lots of cycle hire companies to choose from but we love the eco-friendly approach of Cyclexperience (or Cyclex!). They are the original specialist cycle hire company in the area. And have a huge amount of experience regarding the Forest, the cycle routes, the secrets and the best technology to get you around, safely. Cyclex actively promotes greener living so be sure to check out the Car(e) Free pages on

New Forest Wildlife Park

2. New Forest Wildlife Park

The New Forest Wildlife Park covers twenty-five scenic acres of ancient woodland. It is set within the New Forest Heritage area, designated a National Park in 2005.

Home to Otters, Hedgehogs, Ferrets, Lynx, Bison, Deer, Owls, Foxes, Badgers, Wallabies, Wart Hogs, Wolves, butterflies and much, much more, the New Forest Wildlife Park is a fantastic wildlife reserve in the heart of the New Forest.

Teach your kids about the importance of conservation, animal adoption and the environment in a fun and safe location!

A wander in the Park will reveal a wonderful range of wildlife - in natural surroundings. You can even watch them being fed and enjoy regular talks and displays throughout the day. What’s more, you can even get up close and personal with the deer at the park, which roam freely around the giant otter’s enclosure! There is no better way to enjoy nature.

Throughout the park are play areas with rope swings, climbing frames and much more. It is a great place to bring the whole family!

Exbury Gardens

3. Exbury Gardens

A spectacular 200-acre woodland garden, world-famous for the Rothschild collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, rare trees and plants, a riot of colour in spring, and a dazzling sight in the autumn.The Gardens re-open on Saturday 8th March for the 2008 season. Visitors can enjoy exploring twenty miles of pathways, or "let the train take the strain" on a 20 min journey, or take a buggy tour to see the best of the colour.

Mr Eddy's Tearooms, the Gift Shop and Plant Centre will open between 10am and 5pm on all Garden open days.

Visit for more information, and please mention

water sports

4. New Forest Water Park

Set in 50 acres of stunning grounds and centred on one of the park’s two lakes, The New Forest Water Park has a fresh, healthy vibe… There’s no place better to try water sports!

The New Forest Water Park has the best water sport facilities in Dorset! From Kayaking, Banana Boat Rides, Water Skiing, Body Boarding and even camping, the park has something for everyone, and new to 2013, the park has a brand new cable system that is designed to gradually pull water boarders across the surface of the lake, making it the perfect training tool for beginners.

A day out at the water park is a fantastic way to bring the family together.

Liquid Logistics

5. Liquid Logistics

Based in the heart of The New Forest on the Beaulieu River, Liquid Logistics offer a great range of canoeing and kayaking activities.

Our two hour taster sessions in open canoes are perfect for families and our kayaks are great for those keen for more adventure. Beginners are welcome and all sessions are guided by a member of the team.

For bookings and information call 01590 612377 or visit

The New Forest Centre

6. The New Forest Centre

Located adjacent to the main car park, Lyndhurst, The New Forest Centre features displays on every aspect of life in the New Forest and details of its intriguing history.

Who are the verderers? What is the common of mast? Are New Forest ponies wild? Find out the answers to these questions and much more.

The Centre's gift shop has a wide selection of souvenirs and gifts, as well as a wide range of local books.

A must for all New Forest visitors! For information visit

New Forest Owl Sanctuary

7. New Forest Owl Sanctuary

Visit the stunning collection of owls and birds of prey. The flying demonstration will give you a closer view, and an understanding of these wonderful birds, as they fly close to the audience, accompanied by an entertaining commentary. There is a gift shop and a café for food and souvenir requirements. The New Forest Owl Sanctuary also offers good accessibility with hard surfaces for wheelchairs and pushchairs alike. Proceeds from the entrance fee go towards the upkeep at a hospital for injured birds and animals.

The New Forest Ow; Sanctuary is located at Crow Lane, Crow, Ringwood BH24 1EA. For more information telephone 01425 476487

The Forest Arts Centre

8. The Forest Arts Centre

Situated at the southern edge of the New Forest, Hampshire half way between Christchurch and Lymington on the A337. The Forest Arts Centre offers film, theatre, dance, half-term activities, exhibitions, activities for adults and so much more - It's an absolute must visit for those looking to fill their days with an excellent combination of fun and learning.

For more information please visit

Bramshaw Golf

9. Golf in the New Forest

Located just 1 minute from the M27, Bramshaw Golf Club, the oldest in Hampshire, is home to two excellent and contrasting 18-hole courses. The mature parkland Manor Course is 6,537 yards (Par 71), and the heathland Forest Course is 5,774 yards long (Par 69) both situated at Brook in the heart of the beautiful New Forest National Park.

The Forest Course, like a links course but inland, offers the unusual feature of playing amongst roaming deer and forest ponies (and even pigs in the autumn!). Those who have visited the New Forest before will understand and appreciate the sheer pleasure of being among the unique heathland.

For more information visit

Photos from Beaulieu

10. Beaulieu

The National Motor Museum

Few car museums in the world can match the unique collection of the world renowned National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. Managed by the National Motor Museum Trust, Beaulieu is also the home of the world famous Beaulieu International Autojumble and Automart.

With the Collection now comprising some 250 vehicles - from some of the earliest examples of motoring to legendary World Record Breakers like Bluebird and Golden Arrow - you are sure to find something to fascinate you.

Palace House

Formerly the 14th century Great Gatehouse of Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House is set in glorious grounds and gardens with immaculate spreading lawns and walkways overlooking the Beaulieu River. The House has been in Lord Montagu's family ownership since 1538, when Sir Thomas Wriothesley, later 1st Earl of Southampton, bought the Estate after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Palace House remains a family home still lived in by the present Lord Montagu and his family and much loved by them.

Beaulieu Abbey

Beaulieu Abbey was founded in 1204 by Cistercian monks on land given to them by King John. Although much was destroyed at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, there is still much for visitors to see today.

In medieval times, when the Abbey was an important Cistercian monastery, the monks would have provided hospitality to visitors. Indeed, by the 15th century when the monks' numbers had dwindled, the Domus was adapted to accommodate important guests. That tradition remains today, for the Domus is now regularly used for events, dining and corporate hospitality.

For information on the three attractions above visit

Information and pictures collated from the featured sites.

To read about the History of the New Forest, click here.


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Registered Address: 163 Seabourne Road, Bournemouth BH5 2HH