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A Child Friendly Guide to the New Forest

Taking a trip to this stunning part of the country is unsurprisingly a popular choice for families all across the nation. With the lovely scenery, wonderful walks, and historic sites available, visiting really is a no-brainer. The New Forest National Park is a real delight and the independent guide, Explore the New Forest, is a great resource to find out what’s on offer.

But the New Forest is also a wonderful destination for children, with a plethora of top kids’ attractions on offer. With that in mind, we wanted to run down just some of the great days out and activities available for children to enjoy. Before you explore our list, why not get to know the New Forest a little better by visiting the official visitor website for this much sought-after English location? Once you’re up-to-date, and even more excited about your impending visit to a New Forest holiday cottage, take a look below to plan just where you want to visit for a wonderful kids’ day out.

Beaulieu

This award-winning family attraction is situated at the centre of the New Forest National Park and can offer kids and their families a whole host of things to see and do. One such Beaulieu attraction that is bound to excite is the National Motor Museum which has everything from iconic F1 cars and historic vehicles to a wonderful collection of motorcycles and general motoring memorabilia. The Beaulieu estate also showcases the Secret Army Exhibition and the World of Top Gear where kids can get a glimpse of the cars and challenges made famous by the TV show. Go Karts are also on offer, along with a series of fun family puzzles to tackle.

For more information on Hampshire’s many exciting family destinations, head on over to Hampshire Attractions, a great resource for visitor information, events, news and more.

Forest Leisure Cycling

A perfect way to entertain the kids, provide the family with some exercise, and to explore the New Forest while you’re at it, is to take the children down to Forest Leisure Cycling. Suitable for all ages, the friendly and experienced staff welcome all visitors, helping families to choose the right bicycles, and allowing you to then enjoy a glorious day out in this most beautiful of National Parks. Forest Leisure Cycling is located in Burley Village and has over 300 bikes and other hire items available, along with nine varied cycle routes to traverse. And with all the wonderful spots to stop at for refreshments, and some New Forest inns for the parents, this really is a perfect way to spend the day.

Adventure Wonderland

Located in the village of Hurn, Adventure Wonderland is a top family theme park that has a series of child-friendly rides and attractions aimed at those up to the age of 12. Kids enjoy nothing more than the ability to let loose and play for hours on end, and Adventure Wonderland’s indoor play centre provides that very opportunity (not having to worry about the weather is of course a big plus!). The rides themselves provide a great way to spend the day when the weather is on your side, with rocking ships, tea cups, climbing walls, and a maze all waiting to be enjoyed. There is even an outdoor adventure playground for kids to perfect their obstacle course skills.

Wacky Warehouse at the Vine Inn

The Wacky Warehouse at the Vine Inn is the perfect blend of great food, drink, and indoor kids’ playing activities. This fully air conditioned attraction has a full kids’ menu available in its restaurant while also offering children between the ages of six months and 10 years the ability to work up their appetite by playing in the multiple levels of play equipment. There’s also a zone tailored to younger infants so there is no need to worry about the safety of the smallest members of your brood. And with a full menu of burgers, hot dogs, fish fingers and more available, Romsey’s Wacky Warehouse at the Vine Inn will more than satisfy your needs.

Avon Tyrell Outdoor Centre

If you are looking for more of an outdoor experience for you and your kids, Avon Tyrell Outdoor Centre will certainly be an attraction you want to take a look at. This adventure hub, located deep inside the New Forest, is a true one-stop-shop for all things outdoor adventure. Kids are able to enjoy a true bevy of activities, including kayaking, canoeing, archery, climbing, and high ropes in the canopy of the forest itself. Suitable for children of all ages, Avon Tyrell is dedicated to helping the development of young people, and their outdoor adventure and learning facilities are aimed at achieving just that.

Hurst Castle

For families that have the intention of providing their kids with a little history to go along with fun times on their New Forest holiday, then a trip to Hurst Castle meets these requirements and then some. Situated just 1.5 miles from Milford-On-Sea, this historic castle is quite the sight and will surely be just as fascinating for the kids as it will for the adults. This ancient castle was built by Henry VIII in 1544 as a coastal fortress and has seen its fair share of prisoners, including Charles I. It has been modernised throughout the centuries and now houses 30 ton guns, a WW2 theatre, a D-Day exhibition, café, and offers a fascinating audio guide. With stunning views of the Isle of Wight also on hand, a trip to Hurst Castle ticks all the boxes for a fabulous family day out.

New Forest Activities

The New Forest is such a wondrous location to spend your time in that any opportunity to entertain the kids while being in its picturesque environs can’t be passed up. Another chance to do this is with New Forest Activities, located in the historic Beaulieu Estate. The expert instructors and guides on hand will lead you through fun team-building exercises, myriad water sports, archery, bush craft, cycling and more. And for families looking for a full planned day of activities, the Family Adventure Day will be just the ticket. This packed day out includes exploring the Beaulieu River Nature Reserve, cycling through the National Park, and a 90-minute guided canoeing trip.

As you can surely tell, there really is a wealth of possibilities for parents and their children to enjoy when visiting the New Forest. And the list above only touches on what is available. The surrounding areas such as Bournemouth, and New Forest towns like Lymington, all offer plenty to occupy the little ones with during your much deserved break away, and we hope we’ve helped just a little in inspiring your future visit to the area.

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