The New Forest in Southern England has some impressive historic houses and gardens, here are out top 5 that you shouldn’t miss on your holiday the United Kingdom. We are able to create a bespoke group tour so you can follow your historical and horticultural passions and here are a selection of our favourites to visit.
Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway – Exbury Gardens in the New Forest National Park, are set in a spectacular 80-hectare location which is world famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees and shrubs. Throughout the seasons the colours of the garden are wonderful, but the rhododendrons and azaleas are at their peak in April and May. Walk along the beautiful Beaulieu River and explore the gardens on the many pathways. Enjoy a 20-minute journey on the 311mm gauge Exbury Steam Railway, it is sure to delight visitors of all ages. Exbury Gardens is a wonderful family and dog friendly day out in Hampshire, dogs are even allowed on the steam train. The Gardens and Steam Railway are open from March until November.
Beaulieu – Home of the National Motor Museum – Beaulieu Palace House in an idyllic setting in the New Forest has been the ancestral home of the Montagu family since 1538, the house which was extended in the 16th& 19th Centuries is a fine example of a Gothic country house. The Palace house is open to the public, even though it is still a family home. The beautiful gardens which lead to the Beaulieu River are delightful to wander around and the Victorian Kitchen Garden has been restored to its 1872 layout. There is something for everyone in the family at Beaulieu, and the National Motor Museum is a fantastic place to discover the history of motoring. There are over 285 vehicles, from the oldest which dates from 1875 to legendary F1 cars and land speed record breakers. Beaulieu is open every day of the year except Christmas Day and there is something to do whatever the weather.
Buckler’s Hard – Not just one historic house, but an historic 18th C shipbuilding village where the ships for Nelson’s Navy were built, the picturesque village of Buckler’s Hard is set on the banks of the Beaulieu River in the heart of the New Forest. Once a busy shipbuilding village it is now a tranquil haven in a unique setting, you can discover the history of the village in the Maritime Museum, step inside an historic shipwright’s cottage or watch the boats sail along the peaceful Beaulieu River. There are river cruises from March – October along the beautiful river which is rich in history and wildlife. Buckler’s Hard is open every day except Christmas Day and shouldn’t be missed on your holiday to Southern England.
Breamore House – an Elizabethan manor house near Fordingbridge in the New Forest. The house has been owned by the Hulse family for nine generations, and is still a family home today, it is open to the public from April to October. Set in beautiful parkland the grandeur and the magnificence of the house has changed little in the past 400 years. Breamore House is noted for its fine collection of paintings and furniture, as well as the House there is the Countryside Museum which provides a fascinating insight into village life through the centuries. Breamore House and grounds are unique, and its special location has meant that it is often used a film location.
Furzey Gardens – Set in the heart of the New Forest at Minstead near to Lyndhurst, Furzey Gardens which were established in 1922 are delightful and informal. The peaceful 4 Hectare woodland gardens which are renowned for their collection of azaleas and rhododendrons, include a lake, play area, a 16th C Forest cottage and a recreated Gold winning RHS Chelsea show garden. Hidden around the gardens are tiny fairy doors to open, there are over 40 tiny doors carved into the base of trees and children love to visit Furzey Gardens to discover these secret doors and post letters to the Fairy Queen in the special Fairy Post Box. The gardens are open all year, dogs are not allowed.