New Forest National Park

Home to the famous New Forest ponies

The New Forest was designated a national park in 2005 to give this outstanding landscape the highest level of protection and to preserve it for the nation to enjoy for generations to come.

William the Conqueror set aside the Forest for hunting more than 900 years ago as his 'Nova Forestra' or 'New Forest' and centuries of grazing by deer, ponies and cattle have shaped the landscape.

William would probably still recognise much of the Forest as the same place he hunted wild deer and boar. Today it is a wonderful area to explore by walking, cycling and on horseback. Enjoy your visit and please help to keep the New Forest National Park a special place.

For walks and bike rides, the New Forest is hard to beat. Many people like to spend time walking in the woods or across the beautiful heathland. Family cycling is very popular, or you can ride a horse, play golf, visit places of historical interest, enjoy a drink or meal out and watch ships pass by on the coast.

Of course, no trip to the New Forest is complete without a visit to the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst, hopping on the New Forest Tour or Beach Bus or taking an autumn stroll at the Walking Festival. Check out the events calendar and do call in to one of the visitor information points to help you decide where to go.


  • Avenue Road
  • Lymington
  • Dorset
  • SO41 9ZG