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Friday, 26 June 2015

Open Top Tour Bus returns for New Forest Summer 2015

Open Top Tour Bus returns for New Forest Summer 2015
The New Forest Open Top Tour Buses returns this weekend (27 June) – aiming to beat last year’s record passenger numbers.

Nearly 42,000 passengers hopped on the open-top’s three scenic routes last summer, enjoying views of the National Park’s unique landscapes, wandering ponies and picturesque villages.

Run by Go South Coast in partnership with the New Forest National Park Authority, the Tour also offers new audio commentary, as well discounts at attractions such as the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Exbury Gardens and New Forest Wildlife Park.

The New Forest Tour is a key part of the Authority’s aim to encourage more people to leave their cars at home, and is supported in part by the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

Last year the Tour saved around 226,000 private car miles. It also provides a boost to local businesses, contributing an estimated £680,000 to the New Forest economy whilst stopping at local villages and attractions.

Mark Holroyd, Transport and Tourism Manager at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The New Forest Tour was a great success last year, and I’m sure it will be another wonderful summer. As well as being a great experience, the Tour also helps protect the National Park’s unique landscapes by reducing congestion and carbon emissions.’

Andrew Wickham, Managing Director of Go South Coast, said: ‘We’re delighted that the New Forest Tour continues to grow from strength to strength. If the weather is as good as last summer, I’m sure it will be another great season.’

The New Forest Tour runs from June 27 to 13 September.

For more information and a 10% online discount visit, and

Saturday, 20 June 2015

5 Historical Sites You Must Visit in the New Forest

The New Forest is a truly unique national park in Hampshire, covered in mystical woodland, ‘chocolate box’ thatched cottages, wild ponies and historical sites. Although there is so much to choose from in the New Forest, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 historical sites to visit during your stay here.

1. Rockbourne Roman Villa

Rockbourne Roman Villa New Forest Hampshire UK
Rockbourne Roman Villa
Photo: Hantsweb
The largest known Roman villa in the area, Rockbourne dates from the Iron Age to the 5th Century AD and showcases some of the best preserved Roman mosaics. Set in a picturesque farming estate and complete with living quarters, bath houses, workshops and farm buildings, this extensive historical gem truly is a sight to behold. It is still possible to see the outline of the villa’s 40 rooms and evidence of an underfloor heating system!

2. Beaulieu Abbey

Beaulieu Abbey New Forest Hampshire UK
Beaulieu Abbey - Photo: Beaulieu
Created by Cistercian monks in 1204 on land given to them by King John, Beaulieu abbey is a wonderful historic building, allegedly haunted by ghosts! Despite much of the abbey being destroyed during Henry VIII’s reign, there are still many parts to explore, including the incredible gardens, where monks would grow herbs for both cooking and medicinal purposes. You can even download an audio tour to listen to during your visit, giving you all the need-to-know information and insights into this magical place.

3. Eling Tide Mill

Eling Tide Mill Totton Hampshire
Eling Tide Mill
Photo: Totton & Eling Town Council
This 900 year old mill, located in Totton, is considered by many to be one of the most important heritage sites in the New Forest. Currently undergoing £1.3 million worth of restoration to bring it back to its former glory (due for completion in summer 2016), this amazing tidal mill is still grinding wheat into wholemeal flour today, just as it was in the 1100’s! For an authentic experience, why not apply to become a volunteer miller, where will use traditional methods and techniques to mill the wheat?

4. Bucklers Hard

Bucklers Hard Beaulieu New Forest Hampshire UK
Bucklers Hard
Photo: The New Forest Guide
Step back in time at Bucklers Hard, an 18th century shipbuilding village where boats were created using New Forest timber! Three of the ships that were built here saw action in the battle of Trafalgar, amongst other notable craft. With a museum, cottages, woodland walks and river cruises to discover, you can get a real feeling for what life must have been like in this historic village, from all angles! It is even possible to stay here at the Master Builder’s House Hotel, enabling you to wander the street at night for that genuine experience.

5. Breamore House & Countryside Museum

Breamore House and Countryside Museum
Breamore House
Photo: Breamore House
Currently in its ninth generation of family ownership, this incredible Elizabethan manor house and museum gives the opportunity to experience how the aristocracy of the New Forest have lived since 1583. Amongst tapestries, needlework, porcelain and furniture dating back several hundred years, Breamore is also home to a plethora of steam powered farm machinery and tractors. After whiling away your afternoon with all that Breamore has to offer, why not pop into their tea room for a spot of lunch or a homemade cake?

We’re sure there’s something in our top 5 for everyone, but the New Forest doesn’t stop there! Take a look through our website for other fun filled activities and notable places to visit in the New Forest - there’s lots to choose from!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Arts in the Park 2015 Lymington

“Arts in the Park” is back this year at Bath Road Recreation Ground, Lymington (SO41 3SE). And the residents in Bath Road have been so welcoming – among our first customers on our first day in the sun!

Art in the Park Bath Road Recreation Ground Lymington

Wonderful feedback from the public – thank you for your support.  Comments have ranged from they love the personal touch from our artists and crafters to make individual items to order; the personal service they receive; the prices are so reasonable; it’s so great to see the recreation grounds being put to good use; fun for the children to bounce on the rides or have their faces painted; New Forest Ice Creams from “Brock Ice” and really good food & coffee from “Jimmy Bean”; great music from the NF Town Band.  These were just some of the comments we received.

From next week we will have a children’s illustrator and story teller with puppets; art recreation therapy group will be working with children and adults; and a magician – just for fun!

Our first day was blessed with good weather – long may it last.  The music was great and the audience really appreciated it – chilling in the sun in a deck chair or dancing to live music.  The dogs, the children – some playing football, older ones practising their rugby throws, mums & dads enjoying time out, cyclists, yachties & the sailing fraternity, visitors from London and elsewhere – a delightful mix of our world.

On a sadder note two of our banners were stolen, and some of the notices on Moore Blatch railings were torn down.  So its not all plain sailing.....

But join us in Bath Road Recreation ground any Sunday until 26th July.
We’ll be there and would love to see you!

Anyone who wishes to participate or contribute as a sponsor please contact 
Fran: (mobile – 079649 55703 or 01590 671570)
Colm: (mobile 07525405943)

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Camping in the New Forest Hampshire UK

Typical camp site scene in the New Forest

The New Forest National Park is a stunning place for camping in the New Forest with its utterly preserved natural beauty, teeming with wildlife, flowers, streams, ancient trees and rolling green farmland. Attracting thousands of visitors every year, people flock to the first national park in the South of England, revealing in the peaceful, tranquil surroundings that harp back to ancient times.

It’s the only part of South East England that’s preserved and protected from modern development, with its landscape probably still navigable by the likes of William the Conqueror, who used to hunt there hundreds of years ago. Without visiting the area and seeing for yourself what majestic England looks and feels like, you’ll never truly grasp the beauty of it.

So if, like many, you’re planning a trip to the New Forest to see it for yourself, then you may well be looking for somewhere to stay - and where better to stay then right in the heart of it, at one with nature?

Camping in the New Forest Hampshire is extremely popular in the New Forest National Park, and there’s a host of great campsites for you to pitch your tent. There’s literally something for everyone, with basic and luxury campsites, caravan sites and even log cabins.

Forest holidays has ten stunning campsites, most without facilities, so you can truly immerse yourself in the outdoors. Aldridge Hill, for example, is a natural camping and caravan site with no facilities, located in a heathland clearing and bordered by Ober Water and Blackwater Stream.

Then there’s Ashurst, popular amongst many campers for providing a great taste of the best of New Forest, set in a stunning woodland glade and failing to disappoint.

If you’re looking to surround yourself with old oak trees, Denny Wood, Matley Wood, and Setthorns are all fantastic, set in grassy clearings amongst scattered oaks and entirely secluded - affording you true tranquility and privacy. Hollands Wood is also a great site if you’re looking to surround yourself with oak trees and is the winner of the David Bellamy Silver Conservation Award.

Travelling with kids can be tough if you can’t keep them entertained, but Holmsley camping and caravan site is just a short drive from the beaches of Christchurch and Bournemouth, and the grassland site has plenty of space for them to play too.

If you’re looking for an open heathland site with plenty of blue sky, space (and toilets!) then Ocknell Caravan Park and Camping Site is for you, whilst Longbeech site is tucked away nearby in the midst of an ancient beech wood and is facility free.

Roundhill Caravan Park and Camping Site is perhaps the best option if you’re staying with the whole family, with the spacious heathland site offering refurbished facilities and more than enough space for the children to run around.

If it’s real luxury that you’re looking for though, then perhaps somewhere like Sandy Balls Holiday Centre would suit you. Nestled in 120 acres of breathtaking woods and parkland right on the border of the legendary River Avon, this all year round holiday park offers a whole host of guest facilities. Quite literally everything you could wish for is catered for here - with accommodation ranging from fully serviced touring and camping pitches to ReadyTents and luxury cabins. There’s indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an entirely indulgent beauty suite, stunning onsite restaurants and bistros in the newly refurbished central pedestrianized piazza, and even a state of the art gym! Hire a bike and go cycling through the woods, or take a leap and go horse riding - you name it, you can do it here in style.

There’s something for everyone in the New Forest National Park, and even in the most luxurious and modern of venues the emphasis is always on organic, back to nature living. You won’t regret a trip to this amazing destination, and whether you opt for the basic facility free nature sites or the luxury, facility loaded holiday parks, there’ll be no doubt in your mind that your holidaying in a place of genuine and valued prehistoric natural beauty.

Below are descriptions and links to websites giving you full details about camp sites in the New Forest. Hope you find and enjoy that perfect holiday.

New Forest Camping with Camping in the Forest

Camping in the Forest has 10 New Forest campsites, each brimming with natural beauty. Book your next trip online today and try New Forest camping with us.

New Forest Campsites | Caravans | Touring | Holiday Parks

The New Forest campsites are a haven for campers and caravanners and we are spoilt for choice with our New Forest Holiday Parks, providing excellent services and hospitality.

Campsites in New Forest - Cool Camping

Covering swathes of south west Hampshire, the New Forest, despite it’s name is almost a thousand years old. Miles of open heath and thick woodland are the ideal backdrop to any holiday and if you dream of camping in a peaceful hideaway, the New Forest is the perfect escape.

Camping and Caravanning Directory

Thousands of details of campsites, retailers, free classified ads, a message board, weather forecast, camping articles and newsletter plus loads more.

The Camping and Caravanning Club

Our ten picturesque New Forest caravan and camping parks are all located deep within beautiful woodland.

New Forest Campsite Long Meadow Brockenhurst

New Forest camping at Long Meadow Campsite, New Forest National Park. Peaceful 18-acre site, 100 spacious pitches (28 with electricity).

Red Shoot Camping Park

All our pitches are on grass, 45 of which have electrical hook ups. Our shop, which is open 7 days a week. The modern toilet block has underfloor heating for the cooler months.

New Forest Camping - New Forest National Park

Enjoy some great New Forest camping with a choice of ten official campsites. Complete listing and info here.

Camping and Caravanning - New Forest Online

A selection of Camping and caravanning sites in the New Forest National Park. These sites offer excellent locations within the heart of the Forest.

Sandyballs | Short breaks and holidays in the New Forest

Choose from 5-star luxury lodges, caravans, camping pods or award-winning touring and camping pitches.


The New Forest: The best pubs, restaurants, sights and places to stay
A National Park since 2005, the New Forest offers a slice of largely wooded England that has changed little since it was created in 1079. Relatively flat and criss-crossed with gravel tracks, footpaths and even a disused railway, the woodland and open heathland is perfect for walking and cycling. The park also supports a healthy population of wildlife, including deer and its most famous residents, the New Forest ponies, which roam at will. The forest also flanks a large section of coast, and although much of it is outside the park proper, you’ll find some great beaches and harbour towns nearby. The best of these is Lymington, once a haunt of smugglers and now a yachties’ favourite and gateway to the Isle of Wight.
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Newts return to restored New Forest pond

A pond restoration project aiming to benefit wildlife has achieved instant success, with a family of newts returning to the site.

Young volunteers inspect Lover Green pond during work by the New Forest National Park Authority
and Lover Green Association to restore the pond to benefit wildlife.
The pond is situated in Lover in the north of the New Forest and had become overgrown in recent years, making it less attractive to wildlife.

The project received nearly £2,000 in funding from the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Communities Fund and has been led by the Lover Green Association. This support has helped volunteers to successfully restore the pond to its former glory, with the aim of benefiting amphibians, wild flowers and insects.

Professional contractors removed overhanging trees and undertook landscaping work to prepare the site. Around 30 volunteers then helped to shift tonnes of sand and put down the underlay and huge rubber liner, before filling the pond with water, all under the supervision of New Forest National Park Authority ranger Craig Daters.

The benefit to local wildlife was immediately obvious, as the following day saw newts, water beetles and pond skaters making themselves at home in the pond.

Craig Daters, New Forest National Park Authority ranger, said: ‘It’s been great helping the local community to restore this wildlife pond, and seeing it full of water makes all their hard work worthwhile.

‘The Sustainable Communities Fund grant helped to purchase the equipment and materials required, and the enthusiasm and commitment of local people has made this project happen. They have worked tirelessly to develop the pond, which will improve the natural biodiversity of the Green and provide opportunities to educate people about nature.’

Mar Copp [correct], secretary to Lover Green Association, said: ‘Led by Craig we have shifted four tonnes of sand, profiled the pond, laid the underlay and liner and part filled it with water. We then left it to settle and were amazed to find that newts had moved in the very next day!

‘The pond will greatly enhance the biodiversity of the Green and provide enjoyment and education for the local community. Thank you to the National Park Authority for the grant that made this possible and for their support and guidance throughout the work.’

Over £160,000 in grants were allocated by the SCF in the last financial year, bringing in an additional £176,000 of match funding to the National Park area from other sources.

The SCF is a grants scheme run by the New Forest National Park Authority that helps promote sustainable living and working within the National Park, with grants available for up to 75 per cent of a project’s cost.

This year the fund is looking to support projects that:
  • Provide sustainable transport options, including cycling facilities, to help enable visitors and residents to travel car-free in the New Forest and reduce the impact of traffic. 
  • Conserve the biodiversity of the National Park by supporting local landowners to deliver wildlife conservation improvements aimed at ensuring the landscape stays intact and is resilient against climate change.
To find out more visit

Before applying for a grant please contact the grants officer on 01590 646634 or email