Choosing a self catering cottage for a mainly outdoors holiday in the New Forest

There are many and varied outdoor sport and activity options on both land and water in the New Forest

New Forest for an outdoors holiday

Choosing to holiday in the New Forest suggests an interest in the outdoors - or at least should do so!   From a holiday perspective whether for weekend, short break or longer the New Forest is above all about lots of open outdoor space in which along with the animals you can roam more or less at will. 

Relatively flat, incorporating a myriad of gravel and tarmac tracks and trails which provide circular routes of varying lengths and accessibility for all including baby buggies and wheelchairs, the New Forest must be one of the best holiday destinations for enjoying the outdoors.

It’s not surprising that so many nationally organised marathon, triathlon and cycling events take place within the vast New Forest National Park area of nearly 220 square miles – there really is enough space for everybody to enjoy a fantastic range of outdoor activities in the forest itself, from the obvious walking and cycling to pony trekking, archery, battlefield live, bushcraft, segway and high ropes - and even skiing!

There’s also a vast water playground which stretches all along the southern New Forest border from beautiful Poole Harbour in the west, through the harbours of Christchurch and Keyhaven offering a host of beach based water sports from fishing to stand up paddleboarding to wakeboarding; then Lymington and Beaulieu rivers and the yachting mecca of the Western Solent... right through to the colourful beach huts and kitesurfers  of Calshot on the edge of Southampton Water.

Good weather makes nearly every outdoor activity more enjoyable but since this can never  be guaranteed it’s best to come prepared with warm layers and wet weather gear whatever the time of year.

Focus on the north and west of the New Forest

The New Forest looking west from Picket Post

We’re focussing for a change on the northern and western parts of the New Forest which include the towns of Ringwood and Fordingbridge. (This photo was taken by local photographer Alison Lester, looking west from near the Picket Post junction on the A31.)

This high and scenic section of the forest also enjoys easy road access to the glorious sandy beaches of Bournemouth,  Poole Harbour with renowned Brownsea Island,  and Christchurch Harbour with Hengistbury Head for blustery walks, river trips, fishing,  crabbing and other activities for the kids, and its own very special Mudeford Sandbank Beach. 

Meanwhile Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is within a short drive as is the extensive Moors Valley Country Park and Forest at Ashley Heath to the west of Ringwood, with its fabulous walks, cycle tracks and activity trails including the more challenging Go Ape course which families find such fun to complete together.  And, come summer or winter, fine or inclement weather there's also the excellent Alpine Activity Centre between Ringwood and Christchurch. 

New Forest Holiday Lets self catering properties in the western part of the New Forest

The large and prestigious apartment at 1 Avon Castle  is well placed for cycling trails through to Moors Valley and Go Ape. It’s also close to Ringwood Town Centre, and offers the attraction of river fishing which is permissible in season from the apartment itself. 

Lakeside on the outskirts of Ringwood with is glorious lake view is similarly conveniently located, close to New Forest Waterpark  with its host of watersports entertainnment and activity for all ages. 

Meanwhile picture perfect Remnants  with every creature comfort catered for by its incredibly considerate owners nestles in a pretty village opposite the pub, on the north western edge of the Forest,  also convenient for the Waterpark and close to some of the most spectacular scenery and walking terrain you’ll find in the whole of the New Forest.

Whatever you’re looking for, talk to the local self catering holiday experts!

We’re on hand in our Brockenhurst Office every weekday and Saturday mornings to answer any query you might have about self catering holidaying in the New Forest,  and happy to offer our suggestions and recommendations for every outdoor pursuit too.  As ever please call us for a chat about your self catering cottage  needs on 01590 622449 or email us:






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