The New Forest is a great destination if you're looking for a car-free holiday. With plenty of local transport, walks and trails close to most of our cottages, exploration will be easy!
The wide open spaces of heathland are bewitching and have inspired artists and writers for centuries. The rare habitats blend with ancient woodlands and heaths before merging with the great Salisbury Plains to the north. It is big sky country here and there’s plenty of places to go for some peace and quiet.
Planes, trains and eco-friendly automobiles
On The Buses
There is a regular and comprehensive public bus service around the National Park. It’s not like getting an inner city bus either as you get to enjoy the amazing views, especially if you’re lucky enough to hail a double decker.
- Bluestar - Southampton - 023 8061 8233
- Wilts & Dorset - Salisbury - 01722 336855
An open-top view
Going a step further, there’s a tour bus that offers no less than three different circuits within the National Park during the summer months. What’s more it’s an open-top affair. See the New Forest ponies, chocolate box villages and quintessential English countryside landscapes. Hop on and hop off wherever you like and catch the next bus or even change direction by swapping the route, all on the same ticket. Learn the history of the New Forest from the on-board commentary. Take the tour, a worthwhile, all-weather addition to any New Forest trip.
Tour bus costs
- Adult - £15 per day / £20 for 2 days out of 5 / £30 for 5 days out of 14
- Child (5-15 yrs old) - £8 per day / £10 for 2 days out of 5 / £15 for 5 days out of 14
- Concessions (over 60s or disabled persons card holders) - £12 per day / £15 for 2 days out of 5 / £23 for 5 days out of 14
- Group (up to 5 people) = £36 per day / £47 for 2 days out of 5 / £72 for 5 days out of 14
- The Red Circular - Burley, Ringwood, Fordingbridge, Godshill, Cadnam, Lyndhurst
- The Green Circular - Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, Lymington, Beaulieu, Exbury, Southampton Ferry
- The Blue Circular - Burley, Brockenhurst, New Milton, Barton-on-Sea, Milton-on-Sea, Keyhaven, Lymington
Prices and routes correct at time of writing.
Hire a funky electric car
If you have travelled to the New Forest without your own car consider hiring a Twiszy, which is a two-seater low carbon electric vehicle. They are pretty zippy and you can pick them up in a variety of places in the New Forest, namely at their base in Lymington, for a reasonable price from around £65.00 per day. It is also a good way of reducing your carbon footprint and helping the forest and heathlands stay that little healthier, thanks to this cool and thoughtful innovation.
There are good rail connections from Lymington, Brockenhurst, and Sway to major transport hubs like Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole and London. The lines run through some eye catching country even before reaching the National Park, so put away your gadgets and enjoy the views.
Taxi firms are based in all of the main towns in and around the New Forest National Park. It always pays to plan in advance if you need a cab after dark to get you back to your holiday home. Here's a small selection of the main operators:
- Brockenhurst Station Cabs - 01590 615261
- OC Cabs - 07789 121749
- Lyndhurst Taxis - 07708 866 844
- New Forest Taxis - 02380 170 750
On your bike
There are a few major roads that cut across the New Forest but there are still plenty of lanes and back roads to explore. Sometimes it’s fun to just switch the sat-nav off and drive or cycle to see where you end up. You’re never more than a few miles from civilisation in any direction, yet you do truly feel like you have left suburbia behind. There are lots of villages and towns to discover whether you’re in a car or on a bike.
Best cycle treks
- Lepe and Exbury Loop (10 Miles)
- Hawkhill Trail (15 miles)
- Rhinefield Ornamental Woodland Ride (15 miles)
- Burley Circular (6 miles)
- Fritham Woodland Ride (12 miles)
Cycle routes are found the length and breadth of the National Park – read our guides to cycling and walking in the New Forest.
These boots were made for walking
The New Forest has walks in every direction. The trails take in all the many types of landscapes and whilst some may take you through the woods, others maybe across the endless heathlands and marshes. Take a look at our list of suggested walks that pass through villages and take in a few good pubs and eateries en route.
Best walking treks
- Abbots Well and Fritham (9 miles)
- Bolton Bench and Lymington (7 miles)
- Millyford Bridge Walk (2.5 miles)
- Wilverley Inclosure (2.5 miles)
- Beaulieu Heath and Hatchet Pond (2.5 miles)
Walking is one of the most pleasurable pastimes there is, and it's one of life's joys to stroll along a bridleway or green lane in the New Forest National Park. Be sure to pack a picnic if your trail doesn't wind past a pub, or plenty of water.
We offer a broad selection of holiday cottages close to these walks and trails.