Self-catering in the New Forest is a great way to explore the local area and experience the culinary delights the region has to offer. Read on for tips and advice on how to make the most of your New Forest self-catering cottage holiday.
From quaint cafes to friendly local pubs and Michelin-starred restaurants, the options for eating out in the New Forest are plentiful and you’re sure to find something to suit everyone’s tastes.
Of course, eating in at your holiday cottage can be just as lovely as going out. The fantastic selection of farm shops and markets across the New Forest offer delicious local produce all year round. All of our cottages come fully equipped with immaculate kitchens and spacious dining areas, perfect for catching up with family and friends, whilst cooking up a storm.
New Forest farm shops and village stores
Make sure that you include a visit to some of the New Forest's farm shops and village stores whilst stocking up your food supplies for the week. It's an unpredictable way to shop because you never know what you'll find on offer. The farm shop as we knew it has evolved from a wooden shed with a few bags of Jersey Royals and an honesty box, now you can pick up the very best of local produce be it, organic meat, poultry, free-range eggs, cheeses, ales and wines, not forgetting freshly harvested fruit and vegetables. With the New Forest's proximity to the sea you also have ample access to a good range of fishmongers selling daily landed treats from the deep. Any trip to a New Forest farm shop is bound to be rewarding. Don't miss out!
Established for over 40 years, Hockey's is home to an award-winning farm shop and cafe, and visitors can also wander around the farm to see the animals. They take pride in their meat products, which are all sourced from within the New Forest or just over the Dorset border, with sausages and burgers handmade on site.
Alongside their meat products, Hockey's Farm Shop also sells a variety of other produce, including local fruits and vegetables, dairy, fish, freshly baked bread and pastries, and a selection of wines and local beers.
Opening times: 8am-6pm Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm Sundays
Phone: 01425 652542
Address: Hockey's Farm Shop, South Gorley, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 2PW
Setley Ridge Farm Shop is one of our New Forest favourites - it’s impossible to leave the place empty handed! Located just outside of Brockenhurst, the farm shop offers the best in local produce from around the Forest. The store is beautifully presented and it’s such a pleasure to shop and browse amongst the displays.
Not only is this a great place to stock up for your self-catering stay in the forest, it’s brilliant for gifts too. Setley also offers a home-catering service called Mange Tout which is great if you are entertaining for a larger group during your stay.
Opening times: 9am-5.30pm every day
Phone: 01590 622020
Address: Setley Ridge Vineyard and Farm Shop, Lymington Road, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7UF
Run by traditional Master Butchers, Danestream Farm Shop personally selects its meat and poultry for its excellent quality, and also stocks a number of other fantastic products from local suppliers, including chutneys and preserves, confectionery, dairy and fruit and vegetables. An in-store bakery also offers freshly baked bread and cakes, homemade pies and a variety of pasties and sandwiches.
Opening hours: 8.30am-5pm Monday-Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm Saturdays, 9am-1pm Sundays
Phone: 01425 618885
Address: Danestream Farm Shop, Sway Road, New Milton, Hampshire, BH25 5QU
Another locals’ favourite is Tatchbury Manor Farm presenting its range of organic farm produce, locally made chutneys, jams, cakes and bread. Everything offered at Tatchbury is seriously delicious, with a lovely authentic home made feel. We’d thoroughly recommend one of Sarah’s brilliant picnic hampers for a special day out in the New Forest with friends or family.
The meat range is superb so stock up on your bacon, sausages and a good joint for your Sunday roast. The homemade cakes are divine - be warned though, they sell out quickly! All Tatchbury Manor products are brilliantly fresh and so much more tastier than supermarket bought produce.
Opening times: 11am-4.30pm Fridays, 9am-4.30pm Saturdays
Phone: 07786 697919
Address: Tatchbury Manor Farm, Tatchbury Lane, Winsor, SO40 2HA
Longdown Farm Shop, based near Ashurst, offers a range of delicious fare from across Hampshire, including a variety of New Forest Marque produce. With many seasonal offers and ongoing promotions, you may be able to pick up a bargain amongst the choice of meat, game, fruit, vegetables, dairy products and other foods available.
Longdown Farm is also home to a great family day out, so you can not only stop to pick up some shopping, but also treat the kids to meeting the farm animals, running wild in the play areas and tractor rides across the farm.
Opening times: 10am-5pm every day
Phone: 023 8029 2837
Address: Longdown Activity Farm, Deerleap Lane, Ashurst, Hampshire, SO40 7EH
New Forest Farmers Markets
Farmers markets are a great inclusion on your holiday itinerary, especially when self-catering in the New Forest.
Lymington Farmers Market
One such farmers market takes place each Saturday from 8am in the centre of Lymington, a most stylish Georgian market town at the southern edge of the forest. The high street market, which runs down to the pretty cobbled quay, was originally established in 1250. It's still going strong over 750 years later. The market hosts plenty of stalls selling fresh produce and deli-style treats. Lymington is a great town to re-stock the larder and wander around the independent shops for gift shopping.
Every Wednesday from 8am, Ringwood's Market Place hosts a varied market, which includes local produce alongside a variety of other goods. Ringwood Market has taken place here for almost 800 years and is still going strong today.
The New Forest Marque was set up in 2004 to promote and support the best local produce from the New Forest. Recognised as 'the sign of true local produce', you can guarantee that any product bearing the Marque has come from within the boundaries of the National Park. From quality meat from free range stock, seasonal vegetables, hearty pies and chutneys to mouth-watering cakes, handmade chocolates and crafted fare - there’s so much choice.
Many of the pubs, restaurants and local stores and farm shops across the New Forest carry produce with the New Forest Marque and it’s worth looking out for during your stay.
Home Deliveries & Supermarkets
Although the New Forest National Park is a beautifully rural part of the UK, and you'll never want for places to buy food. However, for the more practical items on the shopping list, regular branded goods are available from all of the main supermarkets which offer a home delivery service. Each of the main supermarket chains has a presence in the New Forest area including Ocado, Sainsbury, Tesco, Morrison’s and Asda.
There are a number of branded supermarkets dotted around the outskirts of the forest, so you can re-stock mid week. Most of these have a petrol station on their plot too - it’s worth a stop as pumps are few are far in between in the New Forest.
- Tesco Superstore, Dibden
- Tesco Metro, Brockenhurst (no fuel but petrol station close by)
- Waitrose, Lymington (no fuel but petrol station close by)
- Sainsbury's, Ringwood
- M&S Simply Food, Lymington
There are several good fishmongers in the New Forest, especially at the coast. The best we know of is Verveine
in Milford-on-Sea, which also has a restaurant on the same property preparing a range of splendid seafood dishes from the morning's catch. The stock and the restaurant menu is a good reflection of the unique mix of food sources that the New Forest provides being coastal and deeply rural.
The fishmongers is also a big plus for those of you who are self-catering and would prefer to do the cooking for yourself. It is great to buy locally caught fish, frozen, to take back home on the last day of your holidays.
Opening times: 9am-3pm Tuesday-Saturday
Phone: 01590 642176
Address: Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant, 98 High Street, Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire, SO41 0QE
New Forest self-catering holidays
If you've been planning to visit the New Forest, and you've been tempted by all of the delicious provisions on offer, a self-catering holiday in the New Forest may be the perfect choice for you! Explore all of our self-catering cottages to discover your dream break.