Explore the New Forest
With so much to see and do in the New Forest you’ll be spoilt for choice when you visit us. Whether you’re looking for adventure, perhaps discovering some of the New Forest’s history or simply exploring the beautiful landscape, there really is something to suit everyone. The villages Lyndhurst, Beaulieu and Brockenhurst surround the Drift Inn. These charming villages all have something different to offer.
Known as the capital of the New Forest since William the Conqueror established it as a royal hunting ground in 1079, Lyndhurst has been visited by kings and queens throughout the centuries.
There’s no better starting point than the centrally located New Forest Museum, which gives a unique guide into the forest’s history and heritage. Towering over the skyline is the pre-Raphaelite church of St Michael and All Angels. This is where the grave of former Lyndhurst resident Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, can be found.
Lyndhurst also offers a wide range of shops to check out.
Whether it’s exploring the charming High Street or visiting the world-famous motor museum, the village of Beaulieu provides a great day out.
Situated at the head of the Beaulieu River, the village dates back to the 13th century when the village grew up around the abbey, founded in 1204 by Cistercian monks on land given to them by King John, who had a royal hunting lodge at Beaulieu.
Following Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s, Beaulieu passed into ownership of present Lord Montagu’s ancestors and has remained with the family ever since.
The present Lord Montagu of Beaulieu founded Britain’s National Motor Museum, which houses more than 250 vehicles and includes legendary motor vehicles from all over the world, including the record-braking Bluebird.
In the village of Beaulieu, you can find many places to visit, with a variety of village stores, ranging from specialist gift and chocolate shops to art and craft. Down the road a little is the historic Buckler’s Hard, a pretty shipbuilding village along the Beaulieu River, which is well worth a visit!
Now we know ponies and donkeys aren’t usually found in your average High Street – but they’re a familiar site in Brockenhurst! Its one of the largest villages in the New Forest, yet we think it still retains its old world charm.
The centre has lots of little shops to have a look in and just a short walk away is the famous watersplash where animals stop to drink. Just beyond that is the open heathland and woodland, fantastic for walks.
With the railway station in the village and good road links, Brockenhurst is easy to get to – you can also enjoy exploring on foot, by bike, on a horse-drawn wagon tour or find a nice spot to sit and watch the ponies wander by.