Things to do in the New Forest for Adults

The New Forest captures some of Britain's most awe-inspiring landscapes and stunning stretches of coastline. With plenty of things to do in the New Forest for adults surrounding these things, there's loads to try out!


Though popular with families, the New Forest also makes for an exceptional adult getaway. Adrenaline junkies can ride the surf-size ramps at the water park or visit the towering forest canopy on an action-packed ropes course.

History unfolds through castle ruins and ancient footpaths trodden by kings. And with plenty more things to do in the New Forest for adults, here are 10 attractions to give you inspiration for your next New Forest holiday.

Top 10 things to do in the New Forest for adults:

A young boy and female enjoying a day at Go Ape.

Go Ape Moors Valley

Nestled between the New Forest and the south coast beaches, Moors Valley Country Park is a picture-perfect location for an active day. Go Ape is based here and is definitely one of the most fun things for adults to do in Hampshire. Plenty of adrenalin-filled activities here include zip lining, tackling rope ladders, and more!

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Aubrey's Forest Kitchen

Located in the Sandy Balls holiday park, you can indulge your tastebuds at Aubrey's Forest Kitchen, which has meals for all. Why not complement your meal with a handcrafted cocktail or glass of wine from the bar? Soak up the sunshine on the patio on those sunny days, and you can even bring your pooch along for the experience.

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A male enjoying some watersports at the New Forest Water Park.

New Forest Water Park

If you're after adrenaline-pumping activities, get adventurous at this aquatic centre in the New Forest featuring wakeboarding, kayaking, and more on their advanced cable wake systems. If you're a newbie, lessons are available for all skill levels – helping you become a pro in no time! You can even challenge each other on the Aqua Park.

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New Forest National Park image

New Forest National Park

One of the best things adults is to take a trip to New Forest National Park, which offers acres of open countryside to enjoy. Excellent for long walks in the ancient woodlands and heathland, you'll discover streams and ponds alongside some of the best coastal walks here. In the park, you can take an open-top bus tour of the New Forest.

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Hurst Castle image

Hurst Castle

For the history buffs among you, why don't you discover this artillery fortress built by Henry VIII, which offers some of the best views in England? It dates back to the 16th century when this artillery fort defended the sea passage. There are plenty of Hurst Castle displays where you can learn about this beautiful attraction's incredible history.

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New Forest Wildlife Park

If you're looking for great things to do in the New Forest for adults or have a keen interest in animal conservation, the New Forest Wildlife Park is for you. Extraordinary encounters await as you reconnect with the natural world. Explore the expansive grounds, marvel at diverse animal species, including wolves and wallabies.

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What about Brownsea Island? image

What about Brownsea Island?

Close to Dorset, you can catch a ferry to this small National Trust haven for an adventure-filled family day out. Explore Brownsea's magical coastal scenery bursting with wildlife. As one of the best outdoor things to do with the kids in Dorset, your little ones will enjoy the secret woodland trails, the lagoon filled with birdlife, and beaches.

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Furzey Gardens

Furzey Gardens is a secret woodland nestled in the New Forest National Park. There are options to explore everything that's here, like visiting the cosy thatched-roofed tea room. Alongside this, you can find some rare and unusual plants, and with over 40 fairy doors - there is something for everyone. Meander through these tranquil gardens as well.

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Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo is one of the best places to get up-close views of exotic wildlife like snow leopards, lemurs, wallabies, pygmy hippos, and more at this 140-acre park. Visit the interactive animal exhibits, talks, and feeding times that make for a fun day out. Why not stop off at the café and gift shop while you're here?

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Lepe Beach image

Lepe Beach

If you're seeking peace, quiet, and striking scenery, you will be sure to find this. You can take in views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight from the scenic cliff-top trails. Pack a gourmet picnic and watch the colourful fishing boats bob in the harbour. You can try out water activities at Lepe Beach, including kayaking and canoeing.

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Things to do in the New Forest for adults FAQs

After discovering these 10 things to do in the New Forest for adults, there may still be some thoughts on your mind to help you plan your next holiday. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions!

Where can adults go in the New Forest?

There are so many places for adults to go in the New Forest – this location provides some of the best experiences. You can even tailor your holiday park visits to suit an adult's holiday. But some of the top places to go in the New Forest for adults include:

  • New Forest National Park
  • Exbury Gardens
  • Furzey Gardens
  • Moors Valley Country Park and Forest
  • Beaulieu Motor Museum

How do you spend a day in the New Forest?

There are many ways to spend a day in the New Forest. An example of a day out is starting at Lepe, heading to Exbury, and then to Beaulieu. There are many different things to do in these places, like starting at the Lepe Country Park and ending with New Forest Activities such as 'Paddle to the Pub' for a fun-filled day out!

Where is the best place to see horses in the New Forest?

Many people love to visit the New Forest for the horses. One of the best places to see horses in the New Forest is Beaulieu village, where you can see wild ponies – around a 40-minute drive from Sandy Balls holiday park.

Why should you visit the New Forest?

The New Forest offers visitors a magical retreat back in time with no shortage of natural beauty and wonders to uncover, with plenty of things to do in the New Forest for adults, too. As one of Britain's newest National Parks, its protected forests and heathlands provide opportunities for everything from hiking and biking along remote trails to wildlife watching.

The fun is endless, from the picturesque coastal stretches to scenic nature reserves, historic ports, and more! But possibly what makes the New Forest such a gem is its tranquillity – meandering pathways and winding byways link together landscapes scarcely touched from centuries past.

Whether you're an adventurer, foodie, or looking to bask in England's nostalgic countryside at its best – the New Forest in Hampshire promises to capture your heart.

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