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Things to do in New Forest District

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
“One of the best National Parks in the country managed by the Forestry Commission and famous for its free roaming ponies. ”
  • 143 locals recommend
Theme Park
“Well if you have nursery or primary school age kids this is wonderful. Some of the rides are scary enough for teenagers too but its not Thorpe Park (thank goodness). Peppa Pig land is in one side of the park, lots of places to picnic, as well as the rides there are animals - penguin feeding is my fav. There is a train and a fun water spraying park. The train ride is nice for the littlys and there is entertainment on main lawn if you need to have a rest.Staff are really friendly and its not totally money grabbing as some theme parks. There is a gift shop not too badly priced so pocket money can be spent. ”
  • 74 locals recommend
History Museum
“Great place for adults and kids even if you aren't a car buff. I like the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car best. There are special exhibitions, a decent cafe. This year they are extending the children's part but can't yet comment on that.”
  • 44 locals recommend
“Walk in by parking at one of car parks off of Ringwood to Verwood road. Great walks and cycle trails here. ”
  • 56 locals recommend
“Great place to eat right on the seafront. Take a walk through Boscombe Gardens and Chine to work up an appetite!”
  • 53 locals recommend
“Great place for a walk over the cliffs or through the nature reserve. Can get a boat across to Mudeford or walk towards Southbourne and Boscombe. ”
  • 45 locals recommend
“The show some of London’s top shows here in Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre. ”
  • 31 locals recommend
Art Museum
“The Russell Cotes Museum is an art gallery and museum in Bournemouth, England. A Grade II* listed building originally known as East Cliff Hall, it is located next to the Royal Bath Hotel. Fabulous exhibitions and a busy event calendar makes this a truly special place to visit. Caféon site.”
  • 41 locals recommend
“Beautiful area and nature reserve with a view of the beach and sea on one side and Christchurch harbour on the other. There are large fields, a walk up the head itself. There is a cafe/restaurant on the spit beach and also another cafe at the car park. The visitor centre has a small garden outside and cameras showing nesting birds (great place to fly a kite - it's always windy!)”
  • 38 locals recommend
“A trip to Bournemouth isn't complete without stepping foot on the award winning beach. Great all year round from sunbathing in the height of summer to quick stroll in the wintery months. A must see”
  • 35 locals recommend
“Lovely hotel and restaurant just outside Brockenhurst. I love the walled garden where they grow their own produce and a paying a visit to the Pigs. They serve freshly made flatbreads from a wood oven over lunch and early afternoon on their patio. Restaurant is lovely and is suitable for vegetarians but is a pork lovers paradise. They and Lime Wood hold festivals in the summer Smoked and Uncut. ”
  • 38 locals recommend
Place to shop
“There is a vast range of shops available in the West Quay area, from IKEA to John Lewis, from Decathlon to Argos. In the main mall, there are the usual extensive collection of brands. There is also a huge food court, where you can have your pick of cuisines from around the world. ”
  • 26 locals recommend
“Modern cinema experiences with 3D and I sense built in. This is a must for any moviegoer! A great night for the whole family.”
  • 20 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“A great place to shop, eat, go to the cinema, Escape Rooms, or bowling all within walking distance. ”
  • 14 locals recommend
“Great to entertain and educate children. Next door you can visit Hot Rocks a bar and restaurant or Harry Ramsdens (American Diner style Fish and Chips). ”
  • 28 locals recommend
“Well worth a visit, especially if you are an English Heritage member. You can walk along the spit to the castle. Alternatively there is a little ferry operating (not year round).”
  • 25 locals recommend

Top restaurants

“Great place to eat right on the seafront. Take a walk through Boscombe Gardens and Chine to work up an appetite!”
  • 53 locals recommend
“Great stop along the river for a coffee, drink, lite bite or fuller bite. Open for breakfast, this place gives a lovely view of the river. Cosy log fire in the winter and both indoor and outdoor seating available.”
  • 27 locals recommend
“Great local restaurant - book ahead. At the weekend there is a speak-easy hidden bar above - ask when booking... ”
  • 26 locals recommend
“Floor to ceiling windows and heated outdoor terrace put you in prime position to enjoy uninterrupted panoramic views of the marina, Lymington, the Solent and the Isle of Wight. From breakfast to sandwiches, lunches and dinners – homemade cakes and pastries, fresh seafood, popular sharing platters and old favourites alongside an ever-changing specials menu.”
  • 24 locals recommend
“The music is great and there are often special nights like Comedy night, music night.”
  • 21 locals recommend
“Family friendly spot for food and/or drinks. Good food with bar services, games and also dog friendly. We love this for a casual evening out!”
  • 18 locals recommend
“Great views and food for a special occasion. Local to Somerton - 10 min drive/taxi”
  • 20 locals recommend
Fish & Chip Shop
“The best fish and chips restaurant and takeaway! Only a 10 minute walk away”
  • 18 locals recommend

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