Known as the capital of the New Forest, Lyndhurst is the largest of the many pretty Hampshire villages sprinkled throughout the national park.

The village dates back to the time of the Domesday Book, when it formed part of the New Forest lands established by William the Conqueror.

Today, it’s a magnet for the many visitors who come to enjoy the region’s arts and culture, as well as the natural beauty of the forest.

With trains from London taking only 90 minutes to nearby Brockenhurst, it’s an extremely popular holiday destination, particularly at half-term, when large numbers of visitors from across the country head there to enjoy a family break.

And why not? Wild ponies, gorgeous scenery and outdoor activities make this a great place to get away from it all. Lyndhurst itself lies in the heart of the forest, with plenty to enjoy in the area and easy access to the many surrounding villages and attractions.

Charming buildings in Lyndhurst

Where to stay in Lyndhurst

Black Knowl CAMC site is a superb site in a beautiful setting for Caravan and Motorhome Club members, with excellent access to a great choice of scenic New Forest walking trails.

Alternatively, Denny Wood Campsite is found in a delightful forest location with heath, grassland, rivers and ancient trees. Perfect for outdoor adventures.

Or The Mill House is a CL (for CAMC members only) near Lyndhurst that offers coarse fishing (check out our best campsites for fishing guide if you’re interested in similar destinations) and welcomes families and pets.

What to do in Lyndhurst on Day 1

9am Fuelling up

Fortify yourself with a delicious New Forest breakfast at Peggy May’s Café, where you could also enjoy excellent cream teas.

10am Read all about it 

Now it’s a short walk to the New Forest Heritage Centre, a free museum where you can find out all about the forest in exhibitions and the library.

11am Pedal power

Enjoy all things two-wheeled at The Woods Cyclery bike hire shop and café. Bikes are available for daily hire from £22 (ebikes from £45).The staff can also advise on local trails.

For example, you might like to try the five-mile forest route to Bolderwood, where there is also a deer sanctuary, or longer trails such as the one to Burley, a pretty little village of thatched cottages and interesting shops.

Cycling in forest
Cycling is a great way to explore

1.30pm Pub grub

If you do get to Burley, stop off at the Queen’s Head, a fine old pub dating back to 1685 and offering a great selection of traditional pub fare.

Then if your cycle trip takes you back to Lyndhurst, The Oak Inn has a great menu, from pub faves to excellent sandwiches.

3pm Scale up

For something a little different, discover the work of the New Forest Reptile Centre, which helps to conserve and protect rare snakes and lizards, and encourages the reintroduction of these endangered species back into the wild.

New Forest Reptile Centre
Rare animals at the New Forest Reptile Centre

5pm Swanning around

Time for a late afternoon stroll: Swan Green Circular Walk is a 10.5km loop taking in forest, moorland and heath. You’ll have the chance to see ponies along the way – and pause at the odd pub for refreshment breaks!

What to do on Day 2

9am Gourmet breakfast

With its traditional hearty breakfasts and contemporary brunches, including such delights as Italian omelettes and Eggs Blackstone, The Forage, in Lyndhurst, provides a delicious start to the day.

10am Break for Brock

Take a 10-minute drive to Brockenhurst (if you prefer public transport, the number 6 bus goes there), where you can explore the inviting shops and tearooms.

12.30pm A real treat

Visiting Brockenhurst also offers you the chance of lunch at award-winning café The Retreat, where you can choose from a superb menu of soups, wraps, toasties and jacket potatoes. There’s a take-away service available, too.

2pm Pony pictures

Drive east to Hatchet Pond, where the wild ponies gather to drink, and you’ll have plenty of good photo opportunities. Hatchet Pond car park is at the junction with the B3054.

3pm Motoring magic

From Hatchet Pond, it’s a short drive to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. Here you’ll find a wide selection of vehicles and several collections, including that of the Caravan and Motorhome Club.

National Motor Museum
Historic cars at Beaulieu’s National Motor Museum

7pm Say cheese!

After a busy day of exploring, it’s time to go back to Lyndhurst and to visit Renoufs Wine Bar, where you can enjoy a fine selection of artisan cheeses and choose from a cellar of 200 wines.

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