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The New Forest is one of the most celebrated regions in the UK thanks to its beautiful natural surroundings and abundant wildlife. It has barely changed from when William the Conqueror named it his 'new hunting forest' in 1079, and this chance to step back in time and forget the stresses of the modern world is exactly why so many choose to enjoy a holiday in New Forest cottages every year.

This stunning, natural landscape offers plenty of different activities to enjoy whilst on holiday, and below are some of our top suggestions of what you can do to really get to know the New Forest.

Hire a bike, or bring your own – The New Forest is an ideal travel destination for those who love cycling thanks to the area's expansive cycling network. The well-signposted and maintained tracks cover over 100 miles and offer a great way for holidaymakers to explore deep into the heart of the New Forest. It is very important to keep to the marked cycle routes as cyclists who stray off the track can face penalties.

There are plenty of places for visitors to hire a bike for a holiday cycle ride; the villages of Brockenhurst and Burley have particularly well-used facilities.

Take a ride on The New Forest Tour Bus – This is a superb tour for anyone who is visiting the New Forest for the first time. Visitors can sit back in the comfortable seating of an open top bus and take in all of the sights, sounds and smells of the New Forest as they are introduced to the quaint villages, pretty coastline and thriving open countryside.

Tickets are available for 1 day, 2 days and 5 days and can be a useful purchase for the duration of your stay as they offer a hop-on hop-off service.

Bring your camera for some inspirational photography – There are as many paths which are ideal for walking as there are cycle routes, many of which can lead budding photographers through some of the New Forest's most spectacular natural scenery. Whether you are into photographing wildlife, quaint English country cottages, majestic stretches of scenery or just like to walk through life with your camera on hand to capture whatever springs into view, there are plenty of great photo opportunities in the New Forest.