There’s a pub at the end of our approach lane called The Woodman. Along our lane there’s also a holiday park with facilities you can use and a riding stables. A country park and another pub are also within walking distance. Please see our Essential Information page for details about the places you can walk to.
Within 10 minutes of our park there’s a great 16.5 mile cycle route, the Castleman Trailway, along a former railway connecting Ringwood with Poole. Use it to access Ringwood, the New Forest, and the local country parks by bike.
We can advise you on cycle routes in Reception and cycle hire can be arranged.
Within a 10 minute drive
Our nearest town, Ringwood, is a traditional country town with a good selection of shops, supermarkets, coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and takeaways. Worth a visit:
- Ringwood Brewery (book a tour)
- Ringwood Meeting House & History Centre
- Local art exhibitions and activities at Greyfriars Community Centre
- Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre
- Markets – Ringwood market every Wednesday in the Market Place, Antique and Decorative Arts Market quarterly in the Furlong (see What’s On page for dates), Farmers Market in the Furlong 4th Saturday of the month.
The New Forest
Cross the cattle grids and enter the wonderful world of the New Forest – 219 square miles of woodland and heathland, towns villages and coast. You can walk or cycle for miles and there’s no shortage of pubs and cafes for pit-stops. You’re likely to come across free-roaming ponies and cattle along the way, you might also catch sight of some deer and, in autumn, the pigs that are set free to eat the acorns. There are some pretty fabulous views too.
The New Forest has traditional villages, such as Burley and Brockenhurst, the characterful towns of Lyndhurst and Lymington and some unspoilt coastline which attracts sea birds and people to spot them. You’ll also find some major attractions here such as the National Motor Museum and the renowned Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway – individual attractions are listed below.
Two nearby country parks
- Moors Valley Country Park and Forest with miles of trails, cycles for hire, narrow guage steam railway, fishing, cafe, shop and ‘Go Ape’ treetop adventures
- Avon Heath Country Park with marked pathways and a cafe
This large village has a busy multi-purpose venue, the Verwood Hub. It houses a cinema and gymn, and hosts live music, theatre, art and workshops. Verwood also has a large Morrisons supermarket.
Around 15-20 minutes drive
Burley village (9 miles east)
You’ll often find ponies roaming the streets of this traditional New Forest Village, which has witches, smuggling and dragon slaying in its history! There’s a good size car park and you can browse unusual shops selling curios and the famous handmade fudge. Hire a bike from Forest Leisure Cycling or try the New Forest Cider made at the Cider Pantry.
Bournemouth (13 miles south)
This great seaside town has a lot to offer with miles of sandy beaches, clifftops, two piers, shopping centres, theatres, gardens, new cinema complex, music venues and nightlife. Highlights include:
- Seven miles of south-facing sandy beaches stretch from Sandbanks in the West to Hengistbury Head in the East. Most are blue flag and there are land trains to give you a lift along the front. Enjoy clifftop walks and zigzag paths or wooded chines down to the beach, or try the West Cliff Funicular Railway. Between 1 May and 30 September, dogs must be kept on a lead on the promenades and paths and may only be exercised in signposted areas – see details
- From Bournemouth Square, the Lower Gardens lead to the Pier Approach and beaches. On the way you can take a ride in a stationary hot air balloon for aerial views of the coastline!
- The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is the collection of artworks, furniture and rare decorative pieces that a Victorian couple accumulated over many years travelling. These are now on display in what was their grand clifftop home.
- The Oceanarium has a wide range of creatures from above and below the water.
- Castlepoint Shopping Centre has a Sainsubry’s and Asda at either end, with national brands of clothes shops, homewares and book sellers in between. Parking is free.
- Major venues include the Shelley Theatre, Bournemouth International Centre, Pavillion Theatre, 02 Academy.
Christchurch (11 miles south)
Historic Christchurch has a famous Priory and a picturesque harbour where the Stour and Avon rivers flow into the sea In addition to the shops, restaurants and cafes, it’s popular for:
- Walks around the town, quay and along the river
- The Red House Museum and Gardens, a former workhouse filled with locally themed displays and changing exhibitions
- Vintage ferry (passengers only) stops at Christchurch Quay on its way to Mudeford Beach
- Saturday market
Hengistbury Head (13 miles south)
This headland is at the eastern end of the Bournemouth beaches. It’s an important archaeological site and a nature reserve. Cars are restricted, so you have to walk, cycle or take the land train (if it’s running) over to Mudeford Beach with it’s large, multicoloured beach houses on a sandbank at the entrance to Christchurch harbour. From here you can get a passenger ferry over to Mudeford Quay.
Wimborne Minster (9 miles west )
Famous for its large medieval church (the Minster), Wimborne has supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Main attractions are:
- The New Forest www.thenewforest.co.uk
- Visit Bournemouth www.visitbournemouth.com
- Visit Dorset www.visit-dorset.com
- Best of Dorset attractions www.dorsetattractions.co.uk
- Visit Hampshire www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/whats-on
- Visit Wiltshire www.visitwiltshire.co.uk
WITHIN AN HOUR’S DRIVE
To the South East
Mudeford Quay (12 miles) has a pub, cafe and fresh seafood stall right on the seafront.
Avon Beach (13 miles) is a mostly sandy beach near Mudeford with a restaurant, shop and parking close by.
Highcliffe Castle (14 miles) Victorian Gothic castle and cafe on the cliffs above Highcliffe Beach.
Hurst Castle (20 miles) part of our coastal defences since Tudor times, accessible by shingle bank from Milford on Sea or passenger ferry from Keyhaven, the nearby hamlet. Keyhaven has a pub, a small harbour bird reserves and walks across marshes. The small passenger ferry also goes to Newport on the Isle of Wight from Keyhaven.
To the South West
Sandbanks (17 miles) At the Western end of the sweep of Bournemouth bay, this famously expensive peninsular has wonderful sandy beaches on one side and Poole Harbour on the other. You can cross the mouth of Poole Harbour on a car ferry (if it’s working) to get to Studland Bay and the Isle of Purbeck.
Studland Bay (30 miles without Sandbanks ferry) is a National Trust nature reserve with unspoilt sandy beaches. Studland village has a pub and restaurant. Old Harry Rocks are three dramatic chalk formations near Studland marking the Eastern Point of the Jurassic Coast.
The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site stretching from Studland to Exmouth in Devon. Highlights include Durdle Door, the arched rock formation in the sea, Lulworth Cove, the almost circular bay with unique geology and West Bay cliffs (which featured in the TV drama Broadchurch).
TOWNS AND CITIES
Lyndhurst (16 miles) is actually a village – the largest in the New Forest and the ‘capital’ of the area. The New Forest Heritage Centre (free to visit) is here, the New Forest Reptile Centre is two miles east and the New Forest Wildlife Park is five miles to the east.
Lymington (20 miles) is an elegant Georgian town with a bustling high street, old cobbled walkways and several quays, along with galleries, venues and a museum, plus an large outdoor seawater swimming pool. Ferries to the Isle of Wight go from here. Nearby are Beauleiu, home of the National Motor Museum, and historic Buckler’s Hard (see below).
Wareham (20 Miles) is the gateway to the Isle of Purbeck. It’s a historic market town on the River Frome near Poole Harbour. It has plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants plus massive earth ramparts built by Alfred the Great.
Blandford Forum (20 miles) was rebuilt after devastating fires to create a fine example of a Georgian town. Worth seeing:
- The Blandford Town museum a wealth of artefacts and archives from Prehistoric to the present day
- Royal Signals museum
- Blandford Fashion Museum – three centuries of ladies’ clothing and underwear
Salisbury (20 miles) has a famous cathedral, a theatre and cinemas. It’s a beautiful City to walk around with quaint alleyways and numerous waterways. You’ll find a good selection of shops and and places to eat and there’s a park & ride. Worth a visit:
- Salisbury Cathedral with the oldest spire in England and which houses the best preserved copy of the 1215 Magna Carta.
- Old Sarum, site of the first settlement in Salisbury
- Magnificent Norman Abbey housing the tomb of the Lord Mountbatten of Burma, great-uncle of Prince Charles.
- King John’s House and Heritage Centre, a medieval house with a family history
- The Signal Box, an intriguing slice of railway history preserved by volunteers
- Broadlands home of the Earl and Countess Mountbatten of Burma. The house is open to the public for a limited time each year. Check website for details.
Shaftesbury (24 miles) is accessed by a minor road across scenic Cranborne Chase. You’ll encounter Zig Zag Hill on the way, one of the bendiest roads in England! Great for walks, the town his the famously steep Gold Hill (think Hovis adverts).
Southampton (25 miles) usually has at least one gigantic cruise ship in its terminal. There’s excellent shopping and the Mayflower Theatre with West End shows, plus historic sites and fascinating museums. This is the historic port where both the Mayflower and the Titanic set off for America. The city suffered badly from bombing in the war, but a large portion of the medieval city walls are still standing. Places of interest include:
Hythe (25 miles) on the Eastern edge of the New Forest and its surrounding area, known as Waterside, is on the edge of Southampton Water. Take a wander up the Georgian High Street or catch the passenger ferry into Southampton. To the north of the area is the 500 year old Eling Tide Mill Experience, one of only two tide mills still working in England.
Swanage (31 miles without the Sandbanks ferry) is a traditional seaside town with sandy beaches, surrounded by the Purbeck Hills and famous for the Swanage Railway steam railway which runs to Wareham.
Dorchester (32 miles) has numerous visitor attractions with museums, shops, walkways and a popular market on Wednesdays. Nearby is Maiden Castle, one of the largest and most complex Iron Age hillforts in Europe. (Dogs must be kept on a lead as sheep graze the site.)
Winchester (33 miles) is the county town of Hampshire and the former capital of Wessex, kingdom of the Anglo Saxons under King Alfred the Great. It has a park & ride and there’s a lot to see here, including:
Weymouth (40 miles) is a traditional seaside town with a sandy beach and beautiful sea front as well as a harbour. Attractions include the Sealife Adventure Park and RSPB reserve. There are cycle routes around the town and a Sandworld Sculpture Park. Worth a visit nearby are Nothe Fort and Bennetts Water Gardens.
Portsmouth (44 miles) is a great day out. At the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard you can go aboard Nelson’s warship HMS Victory and view King Henry VIII’s Mary Rose ship, rescued from the sea bed. Next door is the designer outlet shopping centre, Gunwharf Quays, and nearby is the impressive Emirates Spinnaker Tower.
Places of interest and attractions
Breamore House and Museum (12 miles) is an Elizabethan Manor house with many original features and a Countryside Museum with a fine collection of steam powered farm machinery.
Kingston Lacey (14 miles) stately home and gardens
Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum (16 miles) New Milton is a world class collection of restored motorbikes
Wilton House (24 miles) is a magnificent, beautifully restored country house and set in landscaped parkland just outside Salisbury, still home to the earls of Pembroke
Corfe Castle (25 miles without the Sandbanks ferry) is a fairytale ruin on a hill with a picturesque village nearby. The Swanage steam railway stops here.
Monkey World (25 miles) is the ape rescue you may recognise from the TV programme Monkey Life.
Beaulieu (26 miles) National Motor Museum, Abbey and stately home, plus Buckler’s Hard shipbuilding village.
Old Wardour Castle (27 miles) was once a lavish home that got destroyed in the Civil War.
The Tank Museum (27 miles) at Bovington has an impressive collection of tanks and weaponry.
Stonehenge (31 miles) is the Druid’s iconic monument dating back 5,000 years.
Marwell Zoo (32 miles) has hundreds of animals in as natural a setting as possible, with an emphasis on conservation work.
Stourhead (35 Miles) is a stately home run by the National Trust with stunning grounds famous for autumn colours.
Longleat (41 miles) magnificent stately home with famous safari park and other attractions including a maze.
Abbotsbury (42 miles) historic and picturesque village with Sub-Tropical Gardens (dogs welcome on leads) and the Swannery, the only place where you can walk among nesting mute swans. Chesil Beach is one of several walks near here.
Jane Austen’s House (48 miles) the writer’ home – a must for Jane Austen fans.
Knoll Gardens near Ferndown (7 miles) specialise in ornamental grasses under the UK’s leading specialist, Neil Lucas, who sometimes gives tours.
Compton Acres (16 miles)has 10 acres of formal gardens in different styles with a highly rated cafe, located between Bournemouth and Poole at Canford Cliffs near Sandbanks.
Furzey Gardens (17 miles) are informal woodland gardens with a thatched seasonal cafe run by a local charity that supports people with learning disabilities.
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens (24 miles) near Romsey have a stunning collection of trees and shrubs, with interesting events throughout the year.
Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway (29 miles) offers 200 acres of dog friendly woodland gardens plus a small 12.25″ gauge railway located in the South East Corner of the New Forest.