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This beautiful New Forest village is a superb choice for a holiday break for both the young and old; Brockenhurst, or ‘Brock’ as it is known to the locals, is characterised by its Georgian and Victorian red brick buildings. If you love open common land, ancient woodlands and heaths all these habitats are within walking distance from the village. Come to Brockenhurst for a memorable holiday in the New Forest National Park; we have lots of lovely self-catering properties in and around Brockenhurst and all across the area.
The New Forest is well-known for its thriving wildlife. It’s very common to see wild horses and cows wandering down the road or across the common land unhindered. Some animals even make it onto the main street to take shelter in shop doorways. It’s a wonderful sight. This quirk accounts for just some of the village’s charms.
Brockenhurst is a hub for smaller villages in the south-eastern corner of the New Forest National Park. Its main street is populated with quaint little cafes, a fabulous butcher, a bakery, a few curios, and other handy shops. If you are a keen walker you could reach the coast in under 2 hours (4.5 miles). If you enjoy being pampered, the village is close to some lovely New Forest spas. Fans of local ales and idyllic, cosy pubs are well-catered for too. Lovers of the great outdoors won’t be short of activities to embark on. Enjoy endless country walking and cycling trails, scope for a round or two of golf at Brockenhurst Manor Golf Club or a paddle in the ford or the shallows of the Lymington River.
Brockenhurst has been a holiday destination ever since the railroad came to town at the end of the 19th century. Being situated on a busy line that links the south coast to London, Brockenhurst is well-connected to the ‘outside world’ so you don’t even have to drive your car here.
If you're already convinced Brockenhurst is the destination for you, check out our cottages in and around the village and find somewhere to stay.
If you're looking to find out a little more about Brockenhurst before your visit, or simply see what the area has to offer, read on to discover:
👉 Things to do
👉 Where to eat
👉 What's on
👉 Where to stay
Things to do in Brockenhurst
Our favourite New Forest cycling route stretches between Brockenhurst and Rhinefield (and back). If you haven’t brought your own bicycle to the New Forest, you could hire one from one of the local outlets in the village. The route is a brilliant choice for young families to enjoy together because it is relatively short, level and along sealed roads (largely traffic-free) - you will love this escape.
The origin point is at Brockenhurst Station and veers north-west towards The Watersplash, where you may well encounter the inquisitive ponies, cows and donkeys that freely roam and drink thereabouts. The trail also takes in the North Weirs, broad heathlands, the Rhinefield House Hotel and ancient forest lands. It’s such delightful countryside to spin through in a carefree manner!
See more of our favourite New Forest cycling routes here:
Hidden away in the lovely village of Pilley is Spinners Garden (4 miles). It is an enchanting woodland garden, home to a 50-year-old cornucopia of rare and lesser-spotted plants. Enjoy a shaded tree walk through the small grounds (just 2 acres). Take in the charms of the arboretum and an ornamental pond too. If you are a budding horticulturalist or botanist, you may like to purchase some interesting plants at the on-site nursery.
Green-fingered guests will also love these other gardens around the New Forest:
A visit to Beaulieu is not for car enthusiasts alone. We’re no apologists, everybody appreciates a beautiful car, but to say a day out at Beaulieu consists of hardcore appreciation and nothing but would be to do this fine attraction a big disservice. Besides housing the UK’s most exciting collection of automobiles you can enjoy the formal gardens of Beaulieu Palace and discover pockets of fun, namely children’s rides and a monorail. The village of Beaulieu is lovely too, with fine pubs, a large village green and a lush river walk to enjoy too. Beaulieu is just 6 miles from the heart of Brockenhurst.
Buckler’s Hard is a kind of open-air museum with a twist. An 18th-century shipbuilding village, many of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson’s battleships for Trafalgar were built in its sheltered river bend. The village remains virtually unspoilt since those days thanks to its relatively secluded location. The main street is wide enough so that timber could have been shaped for use in the construction of mighty warships.
Also, look out for the Gipsy Moth IV, Sir Francis Chichester’s racing yacht that circumnavigated the globe in the 1960s. It spent 226 days at sea with only one land stop! You can visit the fascinating museum at Buckler’s Hard where you can learn about what life was like during its time as a shipbuilder’s village. You can even see a miniature scale model depicting how Buckler’s Hard may have looked during its heyday.
An even gentler way to traverse the byways of the New Forest is on horseback. Visit the village’s riding stables and learn how to ride a horse. It’s a great day out for all the family and a lovely way to experience the area too. You can enjoy 1 or 2-hour tours around the local area with a friendly guide to look after you. Children are very welcome to come along and meet the horses too – it’s a real treat for budding equestrians. Book ahead to avoid disappointment as places fill up fast during peak periods.
Where to eat in Brockenhurst
If French cuisine is your ‘thing’ then Brockenhurst’s Le Blaireau is for you. Specialities include Normandy fish soup and beef bourguignon. Expect a bold and varied wine list and surroundings conducive for a delicious, romantic evening meal.
Oink! Eat like a civilised piglet at this popular New Forest eatery in Brockenhurst; much of the food served here is sourced in the chef’s own kitchen garden or within a 25-mile radius of the place. With an upmarket yet informal air this gastronomic choice is bound to be a hit with all the family. A firm favourite with locals and visitors, we wholeheartedly recommend The Pig. The Pig also hosts a mini-festival called ‘Smoked and Uncut’ every summer (more below).
Pizza and pasta are numbers one and two on the ‘seven food wonders of the world list’ (according to us!) Aficionados of Italian fare can take heart that the chefs really know what they are doing, each a true master or mistress of the craft of pasta and sauce making. Book ahead as this place is well known for its awesome artisan pizzas!
For more of our favourite places to eat in the New Forest, check out our full guide.
What's on in Brockenhurst
The biggest annual event in the local calendar is the New Forest and Hampshire County Show. A large celebration and showcase of the rural life and crafts of the towns and villages of the New Forest, this is not to be missed. Try to coincide your holiday visit to the area if you can. Your family can meet animals, and you can stock up on lots of locally produced food and drink to enjoy in your self-catering holiday cottage. It’s great fun for the whole family, from your kids to your old granny! Check the website for next year’s dates and fixtures. It takes place at the Brockenhurst Showgrounds.
If you love live music then you may well enjoy this family-friendly mini-festival at The Pig. They curate a programme of bands on the rise and other familiar faces to entertain you. Located on the grounds of The Pig, it’s a great experience, both laidback and lively, you can also enjoy all kinds of food there. In 2019, The Vaccines headlined, and if indie rock is your favourite kind of music then expect more of the same next year.
Beaulieu Supercar Weekend is a local spectacle that draws in petrolheads from far and wide. The owners of some of the world’s fiercest, fastest, angriest and most unique automobiles strut their stuff like it’s a Parisian catwalk. It’s quite an event and the demonstration runs are not to be ignored. Hear the chorus of engines purring, growling and roaring; 2019’s meeting was the 10th to date and over 900 cars were on display for visitors. Book in advance for this August event, tickets are on sale in December and get snapped up quickly!
There are even more wonderful events happening across the New Forest - see them all here.
Where to stay in Brockenhurst
Best for a family holiday
This lovely property is close to the heart of Brockenhurst and is a superb choice for growing families or if you care to bring along the grandparents. With large social areas and a gorgeous garden, this provides the perfect backdrop for a comfortable and relaxing New Forest break with your dearest and best.
Best for a friends’ reunion
Charming and full of character, this gorgeous property enjoys an idyllic position in the heart of the village of Brockenhurst and is a great choice for a group of friends looking to catch up on a walking, cycling, and foodie holiday in the New Forest. It contains a large living room with a cosy wood burner and a kitchen where you could gather to cook some wonderful feasts of local food together. It’s close to a few good pubs too!
We have even more holiday cottages in and around Brockenhurst for you to choose from, whether you are planning a romantic break for two, or you wish to bring your dogs along we also offer pet-friendly accommodation. The New Forest covers a vast area of Hampshire with an array of habitats, so whether you prefer a village location, a place in the woods or out on the broad heathlands, our collection of stunning holiday cottages is full of prospects, just perfect for you.