The New Forest Walking Festival, taking place from 12 October – 3 November, will feature dozens of guided walks that will help participants to discover more about the wonderful history, heritage, landscape (particularly spectacular in autumn) and wildlife of the New Forest.

The three-week festival includes half term so that children can get join in the fun and, what’s more, having recently been voted the second-best place in the UK for dog walking, the family pet is also welcome!

Smuggler’s trails, wild play activities and fascinating wildlife are just some of the treats awaiting walkers, with many being led by knowledgeable local experts.

Run by the New Forest National Park Authority (the NPA is celebrating its 70th year in 2019) with support from forest organisations and businesses – the festival has proved popular with residents and visitors since it began in 2013.

In 2018 more than 1,600 people enjoyed 75 behind the scenes family strolls, history hikes, wildlife walks and more.

Walks cover topics including:

  • Free-roaming pigs, ponies and the traditional rights of commoning
  • Wild play activities for children
  • WWII experimental sites
  • A secret forest
  • Top tips for bird watching.

Many of the walks are free or discounted, thanks to the festival being supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

It is run in partnership with many local organisations including the Forestry England, Hampshire County Council and New Forest Ramblers.


For full details, including booking, visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk. For ideas of places to stay, from holiday parks to B&Bs and hotels of every price and description – and at the lowest prices guaranteed – visit www.thenewforest.co.uk

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