The best way to enjoy the spectacular scenery, and spot the wild deer and ponies that roam wildly in the New Forest, is on foot. Whether you are looking for a short stroll to the village pub, an easy-to-follow footpath, or a long distance trail across ancient woodlands and open heaths, the miles and miles of footpaths and tracks means that all two and four legged walking abilities are catered for.
If you would like a pleasant stroll to a picturesque pub, head to the village of Lyndhurst. Not only will you find numerous walking trails from the village but you will be spoilt for choice with the number of dog friendly pubs within easy walking distance. If you are looking for a longer trek, walk part of the 34 mile long Avon Valley Path from Salisbury to Christchurch Harbour. If you are after something more suitable for little legs, both dogs and kids will love the two mile river and woodland walk from Buckler’s Hard to the picture perfect village of Beaulieu. There is a pub at each end, gorgeous gardens, dog friendly river cruises and even dog friendly canoeing down the Beaulieu River. To round the day off visit the nearby Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway where you can explore 200 acres of spectacular woodland gardens and enjoy a ride on a narrow working gauge steam railway.
With so much happening inland, it is easy to forget that the New Forest also has a beautiful coastline and plenty of beaches where your dog can have a paddle in the sea all year round. The traditional seaside village of Milford-on-Sea has a shingle beach backed by colourful beach huts. From here you can enjoy a two mile walk along Hurst spit to Hurst Castle, which is only accessible by foot or ferry. Dogs are welcome on the ferry if you don’t fancy the walk back!
For the ultimate dog extravaganza, why not come along to Dogstival - a festival designed specifically for dogs, if you are visiting in May. Enjoy dog treasure hunts, boutique doggy stalls, agility classes, dog friendly beaches and some top quality (dog and human!) food. Set in Pylewell Park, near Lymington, there are plenty of dog friendly cottages to rent nearby.
From castles to walks, gardens to pubs, and boats to festivals, the New Forest really does have something for everyone. You and your dog will be sure to return again and again to explore this magical part of the country.