Fun for all the family in the New Forest

New ForestThe New Forest is one of the largest remaining wildwoods in Western Europe and home to the famous native New Forest ponies that roam freely throughout the woods, over open heathlands, and often stray into the pretty villages, to the delight of visitors!

For us silver travellers, there are no mountains or huge hills to climb and it is relatively easy going on foot with some dedicated walks that are wheelchair friendly.  And for the more energetic there are a number of activities that all the family can enjoy.

New Forest - archeryNew Forest Activities, based in Beaulieu, offer really fun and quirky land and water based activities and tours.  Beaulieu village itself is utterly gorgeous with a Michelin starred restaurant, lake, pretty shops and cute little eateries lining the tiny high street.  Here you will find the New Forest Activities offices where you can pick up guides, maps, local knowledge, advice and walking routes.  Book a walking tour with an expert New Forest guide, or hire a bike and set out on one of the routes from over 100 miles of off road cycle tracks that weave and meander through the forest.  Stop off for a spot of lunch at a forest Inn, or, take a break at a local farm shop filled with everything you could possibly wish for in a scrumptious picnic; including tasty artisan nibbles, local tipples and brews – yum!

My recommendation is to while away a peaceful couple of hours in a Kayak (dogs are invited too!) and explore the hidden creeks and vibrant wildlife along the banks of Beaulieu River.

New Forest - cyclingFor more excitement, New Forest Activities have just launched a brand new woodland site for the rapidly growing, popular digital combat game called Battlefield Live.  It’s like paintball, but with lasers, so IT DOES NOT HURT!  Adults love the excitement of playing as much as younger players.  It’s a 2 – 3 hour game run by experienced instructors who nurture that competitive zest to be on the winning team.  Smoke bombs, strategy, tactics and unity create lots of laughter filled bravado!

New Forest - canoeingIf you fancy a little monkeying around then swing on up to the ropes course – high ropes, low ropes and how about igniting your confidence on the “Leap of faith”?  Or try your hand at archery and take part in the games & challenges. 

Travel to the New Forest is pretty straightforward as it’s on mainline rail routes; only 90 minutes from London.  There’s a broad spectrum of accommodation: Camping, Glamping, Bed and Breakfast, self-catering and hotel accommodation from budget to uber luxury five star.

For more information about the area, nearby accommodation and the activities available call New Forest Activities on 01590 612377 or visit

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Sally Dowling

Travel writer

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