The timeless beauty of the New Forest derives from its unique natural and cultural heritage. In 1079 William the Conqueror established the Forest and its strict laws to safeguard the deer for hunting.
Through the commoners' steadfast defence of their rights to graze their animals on the forest, it has survived as a unique example of medieval landscape. Now the various agencies managing the New Forest have a duty to safeguard it for future generations; a place of fascination and peace drawing millions of walkers and picnickers, who can help to protect the precious balance of nature in the forest by respecting its treasures.
The Museum and Visitor Centre in Lyndhurst is a perfect place to learn some of the secrets of the forest.
Cycling is another ideal way to experience the forest, which has a safe 40mph speed limit on most roads, and you can use certain permitted gravel tracks over the forest.
The New Forest is also a famous centre for horses and horse riding. Throughout the forest the wild ponies can be seen grazing.
It is always a good idea to carry a map when exploring the Forest, and the Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure map is an ideal companion.
There are a wealth of attractions and places to visit in the New Forest and more information can be found on these on our local attractions pages for Fordingbridge, Lymington, Lyndhurst, Ringwood and Romsey. Further information on planning your leisure time in the forest can be obtained from the official website of New Forest Tourism.