Located in Hampshire, the New Forest is one of the UK’s most stunning national parks and exhibits the very best of nature. With a huge selection of walking and biking trails, not only is this popular destination great for exploring but it is also home to an array of wildlife, giving you the chance to get up close to some truly beautiful animals including deer, otters and wild ponies.

If you’re thinking of enjoying a staycation to this enchanting natural haven, here are some fascinating facts about the New Forest that are sure to make your stay that little bit more memorable:

How Big is the New Forest?

A person holding a pen looking at a map

The New Forest covers an area of 285 square miles and is home to a diverse range of scenery including dense forest, lush moorland and green pastures, all of which visitors are sure to fall in love with during their stay.

National Park Status

In 2005, the New Forest was granted national park status as a result of its exquisite natural beauty. In total, there are 15 national parks across the UK, all of which have been designated so to ensure they remain protected and unspoilt.

A Royal Hunting Ground

A grey dog hunting in the forest

While today, the New Forest is visited by many for its breath-taking scenery, it wasn’t always so open to the public. Originally, this extensive area was used as a vast hunting ground by the William the Conqueror in the early 11th century. With such a large variation of free-roaming wildlife, not only did the New Forest offer bountiful catches for his royal highness but it was also the perfect place to enjoy other regal pursuits such as horse riding.

Country and Coast

While much of the New Forest is based inland, 26 miles of the UK’s southern coastline is also included in this protected area, making it ideal for those who love both country and coast. Visitors can hike over moorland and explore thick woodlands or head to the coast to venture along towering cliff tops and beautiful sandy beaches. Wherever you go in the New Forest, there’s something for everyone!

Famous Residents

A wild pony eating grass in the New Forest

While wildlife is abundant in the New Forest, it’s most famous residents are undoubtedly the wild ponies, who can be seen in groups grazing in various locations around the area. However, while some of these horses are free, many are owned by families that live in or near the New Forest whose properties permit them ownership rights to these stunning creatures.

Inspired Authors

As a result of its enchanting scenery, the New Forest has inspired the work of several famous authors who have based their setting descriptions on this captivating location. These include the author of the famous Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, creator of Alice in Wonderland, and the renowned Florence Nightingale.

Rare Species

The wild gladiolus growing in between some long grass

Some of the UK’s rarest animals and plants can be found in the New Forest, making it a popular destination for those with a passion for nature. The frog-like sand lizard and the extraordinary southern blue damselfly both make their home in this idyllic location as does the wild gladiolus, a striking magenta flower.

Exotic Names

While many places within the New Forest have unique titles, several locations share their name with exotic destinations from around the world. These include Bohemia, Normandy and the little village of Canada, all of which are equally lovely!

If we have sparked your interest in this gorgeous location with these fascinating facts, why not enjoy the New Forest at its best with a spot of Hampshire glamping? To discover more, contact one of our team members here at Quality Unearthed today or reach out via our social media channels to start planning your New Forest escape.

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Facts Hampshire Nature Outdoors