Explore The New Forest
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.6/5)

Covering 145 square miles the New Forest is a place of ancient history, fascinating wildlife and stunning beauty. Originally a royal hunting preserve, the thriving working forest that you see today has survived for nearly 1000 years.

Whether you live locally and want to know more about the area you live in, or you are coming to visit us from further afield, this website will tell you all you need to know about the cultural history, fascinating wildlife and stunning beauty of the New Forest.

Dog on lead close-upDog Health

Top tips for a healthy and enjoyable visit with your dog, plus the latest information regarding dog health issues such as Alabama Rot and Seasonal Canine Illness - click here (transfers you to the national Forestry Commission web site).These notices are currently positioned around the New Forest.

New Forest Essential Guide

Download the 2014 copy of the New Forest Essential Guide.

Events & Guided Walks

We run a number of ranger led activities and events throughout the year. From guided walks, to fungal forays and wild wednesdays at the New Forest Reptile Centre. For details of New Forest Events please click here. 

Local News

The Forest Diary, published weekly in the New Forest Post, aims to encourage readers to get out and enjoy the forest, demonstrate sustainable forest management and introduce local Forestry Commission staff.


There a two barbecue sites available to hire at Anderwood and Wilverley. If you are planning on bringing your own barbecue to the New Forest or wish to hire one of our sites please view our barbecue pages.


For information on  where you can camp in the New Forest please visit our Useful Information page or click here.

Coarse Fishing

Coarse fishing is only permitted at Hatchet Pond and Little Hatchet. Click here for information on where to obtain your fishing permits.


 Exploring the forest by bike is the ideal way to discover the magnificent beauty and fascinating wildlife that can easily be missed by car.
For  information on cycling in the New Forest and the routes which start in Lyndhurst please visit our cycling in the New Forest pages where a copy of the Cycle Network map can be downloaded.

Educational Enquiries

If you are planning an educational visit to the New Forest and would like advice from a member of the Ranger team please contact us on 0300 067 4601 or e-mail us at .  Alternatively you will find lots of information about the New Forest throughout this site.

You may also wish to visit our Useful Information page, which has links to education providers and other organisations in the New Forest. 

Horse Riding

The New Forest, Ringwood and Wareham Forests are wonderful places to go Horseriding. Please click here for further information on Forestry Commission riding permits. For details of  local riding stables please click here.

Waymarked Walks

 If you are looking for a set route to walk we have provided a number of way-marked walks from our favourite spots. For information on these walks please visit our Waymarked Walks page. 

What do other visitors say?

Fantastic wild play day today! Thank you we loved

every aspect of it!

Anonymous, 19/Aug/2014

Please can you advise where I will find a map with forests that have disabled access and trails suitable for wheelchair users.

Anonymous, 6/Aug/2014

Thank you for your comment. I would first recommend checking the New Forest Access for all website. They have a great range of detailed routes and maps for all ages and abilities. The Forestry Commission also have way marked trails please visit this part of the website for more information - If you are looking for a set route to walk we have provided a number of way-marked walks from our favourite spots. These walks are also suitable for those who are less able and for pushchairs and buggies as they are on gravel tracks. Map reading is not required; just follow the wooden posts with the coloured markers on. Please note some of the longer trails are more difficult with some hills.

Forestry Commission Response

We went to do the Gruffalo Trail today only to find the hut closed with a sign explaining it would be closed during the New Forest Show. What a shame this was not noted on the website. 2 disappointed toddlers & mummies!

jo, 29/Jul/2014

Thank you for your message regarding your visit to the forest. I am sorry that you visited on the day the unit was closed. This was due to a staffing issue, as the volunteers who usually staff the unit were called upon to help at the New Forest show. The trail itself is still is position and starts next to the unit, so you can complete the trail without the unit being open. There are additional leaflets to purchase from the unit, but are not required to complete the trail. The trail will be in place until the October half term, so I do hope that you will be able to return to Bolderwood to complete.

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 02/25/2015

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What's Here?

  • Forest drive
  • Travel along the Bolderwood Ornamental Drive and visit the deer viewing platform at Bolderwood to see if you can spot the Fallow deer. Or cross the A35 and travel down the Rhinefield Ornamental drive. Stop off at Blackwater car park to visit the Blackwater Arboretum or walk along the Tall Trees Trail.
  • Information
  • The Bolderwood information centre is open from Easter until October (during weekends and school holidays), staffed by knowledgable Forestry Commission Rangers and Volunteers.
  • Parking
  • The Forestry Commission provides 134 car parks across the New Forest. We kindly request that vehicles are parked in one of these. A copy of the New Forest Car Park can be downloaded by clicking on the link under 'Related Documents'
  • Toliets
  • There are public toilets in the following Forestry Commission car parks; Anderwood, Blackwater, Bolderwood, Hatchet Pond, New Forest Reptile Centre, Wilverley Plain and Whitefield Moor.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SU297082

Get directions


General Enquiries

0300 067 4601

Opening & Parking

The Forestry Commission provides 134 car parks across the New Forest. We kindly request that vehicles are parked in one of these. A copy of the New Forest Car Park can be downloaded by clicking on the link under 'Related Documents'

Related documents

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified