New Forest National Park

New Forest National Park

National Park · England, United Kingdom


New Forest is a local government district in Hampshire, England. Its council is based in Lyndhurst, although the largest town is Totton. The district also includes the towns of Fordingbridge, Lymington, New Milton and Ringwood. The district is named after and covers most of the New Forest National Park, which occupies much of the central part of the district. The main urban areas are around the periphery of the forest.

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The New Forest is surprisingly old: William the Conqueror named it when he used to hunt deer and wild pigs here nearly 1,000 years ago. Confusingly, this picturesque corner of southern England isn’t completely covered in woodland either – it also has acres of purple-flecked heathland and miles of pebbly, marshy coast. The terrain is gentle, and you’re guaranteed a sighting of its free-roaming ponies and horses.
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NEW FOREST DAYTRIP — WHY IT'S GREAT: Don’t be fooled by the “new” in the name: William the Conqueror created the woodlands to hunt after his successful invasion in the 11th century. A thousand or so years later, it’s a nature retreat, with more than 5,000 wild ponies roaming freely around the national park, making it a memorable place to go on a hike.
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Contrary to its name, the New Forest is actually not very new at all. Created as William the Conqueror’s hunting ground and featured in the Domesday Book, the New Forest is one of the largest remaining patches of pasture land, heathland and forest in southern England. Covering some 300 square miles – it stretches from the Solent all the way up to Salisbury – it’s a beguiling, wild tapestry of woodland, heath and shoreline.
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The New Forest – made up of heathland, woodland, bogs, farmland and coastline – is neither new, nor totally forest. Don’t be surprised to see ponies, cattle or donkeys stroll casually into the road. They roam free in the Forest, let loose by commoners, who are local landowners with the right to allow their livestock to graze in the national park.
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