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Brockenhurst area recommendations(19 Posts)
We've booked an Airbnb near Brockenhurst for early June. Any recommendations for pubs/cafes? Things to do/walks suitable for a 2yo?
There are two animal parks I know of in the new forest. The new forest wildlife park and Longdown activity farm (which is great for a 2 year old). Hope that helps
Paultons park if your 2yo likes peppa pig.
Oh yes, we planned on Peppa Pig world - bonus as he can also see the dinosaurs at the other part of the park
In terms of pubs, I’d recommend The Snakecatcher, The Huntsman of Brockenhurst and The Pig. All three of them have a children’s menu and the Snakecatcher has an outdoor play area.
There’s a place near Balmer Lawn Hotel also known as ‘The Brockenhurst Beach’ which is perfect for small children. In summer the stream is broad, shallow, surrounded by grassy banks and trees for climbing. Float things down the stream, dam it, jump it, paddle, splash... It’s lovely. The parking can be tricky on a hot weekend. Look for the parking area just opposite the entrance to the hotel, the stream is just behind.
Goodall’s Strawberries is a pick your own fruit farm near Lyndhurst. The strawberries should be perfect in June!
Cyclexperience hires bikes with child seats and tagalongs has a selection of routes with good maps.
The play area at Beaulieu motor museum has recently been revamped and it’s amazing www.beaulieu.co.uk/attractions/little-beaulieu/
Furzey Gardens and tea rooms is a nice day out with small children as there are loads of fairy doors to spot.
For walks with a toddler, I’d recommend Blackwater Heartwood Trail and the shorter loop at Whitefield Moor.
If he likes trains, then I’d take him to Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway. The gardens themselves are also fun for exploring and there’s a nice little play area.
We walked an alpaca! That was quite local to there. Obviously you would need to do the walking of it but not sure if there are any age limits on children attending.
Moors Valley country park ( has a lovely play trail and playground)
Go Ape at Moors Valley
Beaulieu (museum with play park/monorail etc)
Hengistbury Head (there's a land train, visitor centre and a lovely cafe)
Ferry to Isle of Wight
Wilverley Plain or Bolderwood deer sanctuary both good for animals ( deer, cows, ponies etc) although ponies everywhere to be fair !
Afternoon tea at Chewton Glen ( various hotels offer it)
New Forest reptile museum
Exbury Gardens and steam railway
Longdown activity farm
Crabbing at Mudeford (also ferry across Quay)
Tuckton tea gardens has boats you can hire to go up and down the river
Hire bikes at Burley. They give you a map of suggested routes.
Defo The huntsman and snake catcher ! 2 great pubs !
I recommend the bucklers hard walk from beaulieu
Stroll through Lymington ( think market day is Tuesday )
Long down dairy farm
New forest wildlife park
Peppa pig world
Some great walks you can do if you download the new forest app
Some great suggestions, thanks!
Possibly a silly question - but I've not been to the new forest before. Will there be the wild horses at the pubs, like The huntsman and snake catcher? Or are there others that are more "in the wild"?
No you won’t find animals roaming around those two pubs, they’re on the main road through Brock, cattle grids will keep them to the quieter roads/areas.
Royal Oak Fritham is a little way but one of my favourite ever pubs, Hare and hounds in Sway is good too.
For splashing in the river I prefer Ober corner car park as there is more space and it’s also nicely shaded. The one by the hotel gets absolutely heaving on a nice day.
@Lonelycrab we love Balmer Lawns - but it's been a couple of years since we went and my kids are a little older now. We will definitely check out Ober Corner.
Do you know anywhere the river is a bit deeper and good for swimming rather than paddling?
Mum diva no sorry I don’t, you might find the odd bit which gets a bit deeper but most of the rivers are only knee deep in the summer- they’re big streams rather than rivers really.
Lymington sea baths is really good though, older kids will love the inflatables. There’s a smaller kids area too that is around 3ft deep.
Thanks @Lonelycrab. We are planning Lymington - we went last time but the kids were a little nervous of the inflatables so stuck in the kids area - they have now done this sort of thing in other places and are well up for a return trip.
Romsey is lovely for a look around and has a great park with a cafe and duck feeding
Thanks @Lonelycrab ! We're actually staying close to Sway so will check that one out. I really love the idea of sitting outside a pub with wild horses wandering around
I guess the problem is that those ponies and donkeys are probably always on the lookout for a snack, so not the best for a pub beer garden! The rising sun near New Milton often has stock roaming right outside though, as a pub it’s only ok though, a bit character less compared to some but really good garden play area.
Beachcomber cafe in Barton is really good too, excellent food, good ice cream parlour and the beach just below it is sandy at low tide. Beach house pub in Milford is gorgeous, stunning views and building, nice garden and not as pricey as you’d think considering how plush it is.
Good point @Lonelycrab ! Maybe it's sitting out with a drink rather than food with the ponies...
The Royal Oak on the hilltop at Beaulieu is out on the forest, so has ponies and donkeys in the car park. They're not allowed in the beer garden though as that would cause chaos, they are very food focused! You get good at remembering to close gates when you live in the New Forest.
Other good pubs are the Red Lion at Boldre (massive beer garden and nice food) and the Mayflower in Lymington (down by the marina).
The beach at Milford has lovely views of the Needles and is usually ok for parking, even when Mudeford, Barton etc. car parks are full.
Lepe Country Park/beach/cafe is lovely too.
If you want to do some stream paddling, Puttles Bridge/Ober Water (between Brockenhurst and Rhinefield) is lovely as it is right out in the forest. Brockenhurst beach is always very busy and next to the main road.