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Best Viewpoints In New Forest National Park


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Mariam Trice



The New Forest National Park in the United Kingdom is a nature lover’s paradise, boasting stunning landscapes and a wealth of outdoor activities. One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the park is by visiting its spectacular viewpoints. These vantage points offer breathtaking views of the forest, coastline, and surrounding countryside, providing an unforgettable experience for visitors.


From panoramic vistas to secluded spots, the New Forest National Park has a diverse range of viewpoints that cater to every preference. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, there is a viewpoint in the park that will captivate your senses.


Each viewpoint has its own unique charm and character, showcasing different aspects of the park’s natural beauty. From rolling hills covered in vibrant heather to ancient woodland filled with majestic oak trees, the New Forest National Park is a haven of tranquility and scenic wonder.


Visitors can choose to explore these viewpoints on foot, by bike, or even by car. There are well-marked trails and paths that lead to many of these viewpoints, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the surroundings.


Whether you’re looking for a spot to watch the sunset, enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature, or take stunning photographs, the viewpoints of the New Forest National Park offer something for everyone. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and embark on an adventure to discover the best viewpoints the New Forest National Park has to offer.


Next, we’ll delve into the top 10 viewpoints that you should make sure to visit during your time in the New Forest National Park.


Bolton’s Bench

Perched atop a grassy knoll in the heart of the New Forest National Park, Bolton’s Bench offers a panoramic view that encompasses the rolling hills, ancient woodland, and grazing ponies that make the park so iconic. This viewpoint is located near the charming village of Lyndhurst, making it easily accessible for visitors.


Legend has it that Bolton’s Bench was named after the Bolton family, who were known to have loved sitting on this bench and taking in the scenic beauty around them. Today, you can take a seat on the bench and continue this tradition while enjoying the breathtaking vistas.


The beauty of Bolton’s Bench lies not only in its sweeping views but also in its tranquil atmosphere. Surrounded by open grassland and surrounded by trees, it is the perfect spot to unwind and connect with nature. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely stroll, having a picnic, or simply basking in the serenity of the surroundings, Bolton’s Bench offers a peaceful respite from the busy world.


In addition to the stunning natural scenery, Bolton’s Bench is also known for its wildlife. Keep an eye out for New Forest ponies, deer, and a variety of bird species that call this area home. It’s a photographer’s dream, with countless opportunities to capture the beauty of the park in all its glory.


If you’re a history buff, you’ll be delighted to know that Bolton’s Bench is also located near the New Forest Museum and Visitor Centre. Here, you can learn more about the fascinating history, wildlife, and culture of the area, further enhancing your understanding and appreciation of this remarkable national park.


Whether you’re visiting the New Forest National Park for a day trip or a longer stay, Bolton’s Bench is a must-visit viewpoint that will leave you in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds you. So don’t forget to include this picturesque spot on your itinerary and be prepared to be enthralled by its charm.


Hurst Castle

Located at the far eastern end of the New Forest National Park, Hurst Castle offers a unique perspective on the park’s coastline and maritime history. This historic fortress sits at the entrance of the Solent, guarding the western approach to the port of Southampton.


Originally built by King Henry VIII in the 16th century, Hurst Castle has played a prominent role in British history. From defending against invasions to housing prisoners during the English Civil War, this fortress is steeped in fascinating tales of intrigue and warfare.


Today, visitors can explore Hurst Castle and enjoy its unrivaled views of the surrounding area. The panoramic vistas from the castle’s ramparts include stunning views of the Solent, the Needles, and the Isle of Wight. It is a photographer’s paradise, offering endless opportunities to capture the beauty of the coast and the wildlife that call it home.


One of the highlights of a visit to Hurst Castle is the chance to take a stroll along the shingle spit that stretches out from the castle. This narrow strip of land, known as Hurst Spit, is teeming with wildlife and offers breathtaking views of the castle itself. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely walk, go birdwatching, or simply soak in the natural beauty of the area.


Inside the castle, you’ll find a museum that showcases the rich history of Hurst Castle and the surrounding area. From exhibits on its military significance to displays on local maritime heritage, there is plenty to learn and discover during your visit.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a boat trip from the nearby town of Keyhaven to Hurst Castle. This scenic journey offers a unique perspective of the castle and allows you to fully appreciate its commanding position at the mouth of the Solent.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking stunning coastal views, Hurst Castle is a must-visit viewpoint in the New Forest National Park. Immerse yourself in the rich history, marvel at the breathtaking vistas, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary

The Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary, nestled in the heart of the New Forest National Park, is a hidden gem that offers a unique and enchanting experience for visitors. This sanctuary is home to a large population of fallow deer, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.


As you explore the sanctuary, you’ll find several purpose-built viewing platforms strategically positioned to maximize your chances of spotting the deer. These platforms offer panoramic views of the meadows and woodland where the deer graze, providing a perfect vantage point for observing their behavior.


Visiting the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary during the autumn rutting season is a truly remarkable experience. The sound of the stags bellowing and the sight of them locking antlers in battle is both thrilling and awe-inspiring. It’s a wildlife spectacle that shouldn’t be missed.


In addition to the deer, the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is also home to a variety of other wildlife. Keep an eye out for woodland birds, reptiles, and even the rare southern damselfly. The sanctuary is a haven for nature enthusiasts and photographers, providing endless opportunities to capture the beauty of the New Forest’s flora and fauna.


After a peaceful walk through the sanctuary, you can relax and enjoy a picnic in one of the designated areas. There are also nearby trails that lead to picturesque picnic spots along the scenic Blackwater Stream.


For those seeking a more active adventure, Bolderwood offers several walking and cycling trails that wind through the forest, allowing you to explore even more of the park’s natural wonders. The majestic trees, gentle streams, and diverse wildlife provide a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


The Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is a true sanctuary for both wildlife and humans. It offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and witness the beauty of the New Forest National Park up close. So, if you’re looking to experience the magic of the fallow deer and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the forest, a visit to Bolderwood is a must.


Highcliffe Castle

Perched on a cliff-top overlooking the beautiful coastline, Highcliffe Castle is a historic gem that combines stunning architecture with breathtaking views. Located just outside the boundaries of the New Forest National Park, this magnificent castle offers visitors a glimpse into the past while providing a picturesque backdrop for enjoying the surrounding natural beauty.


Originally built in the 1830s, Highcliffe Castle is a prime example of the Romantic and Picturesque architectural styles. Its intricate detailing, soaring towers, and sweeping views of the English Channel make it a must-visit viewpoint for history buffs and nature lovers alike.


As you explore the castle grounds, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of the coastline and the beach below. The castle’s cliff-top location offers unparalleled views of the sparkling sea and the rugged cliffs that stretch into the distance. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset, breathe in the fresh sea air, and soak in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.


Highcliffe Castle is surrounded by expansive and well-maintained gardens, which are a delight to explore. From manicured lawns and colorful flower beds to picturesque streams and tranquil woodland walks, the gardens provide a peaceful oasis where you can relax and connect with nature.


In addition to its natural beauty, Highcliffe Castle has a rich history waiting to be discovered. From its connections to royalty and prominent Victorian figures to its use as a hospital during World War II, the castle holds intriguing stories that are waiting to be explored in its museum and exhibitions.


Highcliffe Castle is also ideally located for those who want to combine their visit with a trip to the nearby beach or a walk along the stunning coastline. With its pristine sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and dramatic cliffs, this area offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.


Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply seeking breathtaking views, a visit to Highcliffe Castle is a must. Immerse yourself in the charm and elegance of this historic landmark, take in the stunning vistas, and create lasting memories in the enchanting surroundings.


Rhinefield Ornamental Drive

The Rhinefield Ornamental Drive is a captivating and scenic route that winds its way through the heart of the New Forest National Park. This picturesque drive takes you on a journey through towering conifers, ancient woodland, and enchanting landscapes, offering a truly immersive experience in the beauty of nature.


As you travel along the drive, you’ll be surrounded by majestic trees, including the towering Douglas firs and towering redwoods. The dappled sunlight filtering through the canopy creates a magical ambiance, transporting you to a tranquil and otherworldly setting.


One of the highlights of the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive is the opportunity to explore the tranquil Blackwater Arboretum. This arboretum is home to a diverse collection of trees from around the world, including towering sequoias, Japanese maples, and vibrant flowering trees. It’s a paradise for tree lovers and nature enthusiasts, providing a serene setting for a leisurely walk or a peaceful picnic.


Along the drive, there are several designated viewpoints where you can stop and take in the breathtaking scenery. From these vantage points, you can marvel at the vastness of the forest, the gentle rolling hills, and the serenity of the surroundings. It’s a perfect opportunity to capture the beauty of the New Forest in all its glory.


For those who want to delve deeper into the history and ecology of the forest, there are interpretive panels along the drive that provide information on the various tree species and the importance of conservation efforts in maintaining the integrity of this unique ecosystem.


The Rhinefield Ornamental Drive is not only a feast for the eyes but also a haven for wildlife. Keep an eye out for deer, wild ponies, and a variety of bird species as you traverse the meandering road. The chance encounters with these majestic creatures add an element of wonder and excitement to your journey.


Whether you choose to drive, cycle, or walk along the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, you’ll be treated to a captivating experience that highlights the beauty and diversity of the New Forest National Park. So, slow down, breathe in the fresh forest air, and immerse yourself in the tranquility and splendor of this remarkable drive.


Lepe Country Park

Tucked away on the coast of the New Forest National Park, Lepe Country Park is a hidden gem that offers a wealth of outdoor activities and stunning coastal views. This expansive park is a haven for nature lovers and provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


Lepe Country Park boasts a mile-long gravel beach, which is perfect for a relaxing stroll along the shoreline or a fun-filled day of building sandcastles and picnicking with family and friends. The beach offers panoramic views of the Solent and the Isle of Wight, with the iconic Needles visible in the distance.


In addition to the beach, the park is home to a variety of habitats, including salt marshes, meadows, and woodland. These diverse landscapes attract a wide range of wildlife, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for rare bird species, such as avocets and brent geese, as you explore the park’s trails.


For those looking for a bit of adventure, Lepe Country Park offers a range of watersports activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing. The calm waters of the Solent provide the perfect playground for these exhilarating water-based activities.


Lepe Country Park is also rich in history, with remnants of its past scattered throughout the park. Explore the remains of the D-Day Mulberry Harbour, which played a crucial role in the World War II allied invasion of Normandy. You can also learn about the park’s fascinating history in the visitor center, which provides insights into the area’s heritage and ecology.


Aside from the natural beauty and recreational opportunities, Lepe Country Park offers ample facilities for visitors. There is a café where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the breathtaking views. The park also has ample parking, picnic areas, and accessible facilities, making it a welcoming destination for all.


Whether you’re seeking a peaceful day at the beach, a scenic walk along the coastline, or an adventurous outing on the water, Lepe Country Park is a must-visit viewpoint in the New Forest National Park. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings, discover its rich history, and create unforgettable memories in this idyllic coastal haven.


Beaulieu River

The Beaulieu River is a picturesque and tranquil waterway that winds its way through the heart of the New Forest National Park. Known for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife, this river offers a unique perspective on the park’s enchanting landscapes.


One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Beaulieu River is by taking a leisurely cruise or boat trip along its meandering course. As you drift along the calm waters, you’ll be surrounded by lush green scenery, ancient woodland, and vibrant marshes. The peaceful ambiance and soothing sounds of nature create a sense of tranquility and relaxation.


The Beaulieu River is teeming with wildlife, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers, herons, and a variety of other bird species that call the river home. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a seal or two lounging on the riverbanks.


The river also offers excellent opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. These activities allow you to explore the winding waterways at your own pace, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced paddler, the Beaulieu River provides a memorable experience for all skill levels.


Surrounding the river are several walking trails that offer a chance to explore the diverse ecosystems and habitats. From riverside paths to woodland trails, there is a route to suit every preference. Take a leisurely stroll, breathe in the fresh forest air, and witness the beauty of the New Forest up close.


In addition to its natural beauty, the Beaulieu River is also home to the historic village of Beaulieu. Here, you can discover centuries-old buildings, visit the Beaulieu Abbey, or explore the world-famous National Motor Museum. Combining history, culture, and natural beauty, the Beaulieu River offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors.


Whether you choose to explore the river by boat, paddle along its serene waters, or hike along its scenic trails, the Beaulieu River is a must-visit viewpoint in the New Forest National Park. Immerse yourself in the serenity of the waterway, marvel at the wildlife, and create memories that will last a lifetime in this idyllic river setting.


Longdown Activity Farm

Located on the outskirts of the New Forest National Park, Longdown Activity Farm is a delightful attraction that offers a fun-filled and educational experience for visitors of all ages. This working farm provides a hands-on opportunity to interact with a variety of farm animals and learn about rural life in a captivating setting.


At Longdown Activity Farm, you can get up close and personal with friendly farm animals, including pigs, goats, cows, and sheep. The farm offers unique experiences, such as bottle-feeding lambs, grooming ponies, and even cuddling with fluffy rabbits. These interactive activities allow visitors to learn about animal behavior, care, and conservation in an engaging and enjoyable way.


In addition to the animal encounters, Longdown Activity Farm offers a range of other experiences and attractions. Take a walk through the farm’s woodland nature trail, where you can discover native wildlife and enjoy scenic views of the surrounding countryside. There are also tractor rides, farmyard play areas, and indoor soft play areas, providing endless entertainment for children and adults alike.


For those who want to delve deeper into farm life, Longdown Activity Farm offers educational demonstrations and talks. From milking cows to sheep shearing, these informative sessions provide an insight into the daily activities of a working farm and help visitors appreciate the hard work that goes into agriculture.


Longdown Activity Farm is not just a place to learn and play; it’s also a great spot for a family day out. The farm has picnic areas where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch and soak in the beautiful surroundings. There is also a farm shop offering locally sourced produce and handmade crafts, allowing you to take a piece of the farm home with you.


Whether you’re visiting with children, a group of friends, or simply want to reconnect with nature and farm life, Longdown Activity Farm is a must-visit viewpoint in the New Forest National Park. Immerse yourself in the joy of interacting with animals, learn about farm life, and create lasting memories at this charming and educational farm attraction.


Brockenhurst Village

Nestled in the heart of the New Forest National Park, Brockenhurst Village is a charming and picturesque destination that showcases the quintessential beauty of the area. This quaint village is renowned for its idyllic setting, vibrant community spirit, and close proximity to nature.


One of the highlights of visiting Brockenhurst Village is the opportunity to explore its enchanting surroundings on foot or by bike. The village is surrounded by vast expanses of heathland, ancient woodland, and meandering streams. There are numerous well-marked footpaths and cycling trails that crisscross the area, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the New Forest.


As you wander through the village, you’ll notice its traditional thatched cottages, pretty tea rooms, and independent shops. The quaint streets are lined with ancient oak trees, and ponies and deer roam freely, creating a unique and charming ambiance.


Brockenhurst Village is also home to some delightful eateries, ranging from cozy pubs serving traditional fare to trendy cafes offering contemporary dishes. Whether you’re craving a hearty meal, a relaxing afternoon tea, or a refreshing pint, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your appetite.


The village has a rich history, which can be explored at the local museum. The museum tells the story of Brockenhurst and its connection to the New Forest, providing insights into the area’s past, culture, and traditions.


For nature enthusiasts, Brockenhurst Village serves as a gateway to some of the New Forest’s most beautiful and untouched landscapes. Just a short distance from the village, you’ll find stunning heathland, ancient woodland, and serene rivers. It’s a haven for wildlife, with a variety of bird species, wild ponies, and deer calling this area home.


Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll, a nature retreat, or a glimpse into traditional village life, Brockenhurst Village offers it all. Experience the charm of this enchanting village, breathe in the fresh forest air, and embrace the tranquility of the New Forest National Park.


Buckler’s Hard

Tucked away on the banks of the Beaulieu River, Buckler’s Hard is a historic village that offers a glimpse into its maritime past. This hidden gem within the New Forest National Park is a living museum, preserving the rich heritage of shipbuilding and providing visitors with a unique and immersive experience.


Buckler’s Hard was once a bustling shipbuilding village, at the heart of England’s naval history. History enthusiasts will delight in exploring the Maritime Museum, which tells the story of the village and its significant contributions to the British shipbuilding industry. From the construction of warships for the Royal Navy to the building of vessels for the British East India Company, Buckler’s Hard played a pivotal role in shaping maritime history.


During your visit, you can wander through the village’s charming streets, lined with Georgian cottages that were once home to shipbuilders and their families. The period architecture and tranquil riverside setting create a timeless and nostalgic atmosphere.


One of the highlights of Buckler’s Hard is the opportunity to visit the historic shipyard. There, you can witness traditional shipbuilding techniques, explore replica ships, and gain insight into the craftsmanship and skills of the shipbuilders from centuries past.


The village is also surrounded by beautiful woodland, making it an ideal starting point for scenic walks along the river and through the tranquil forest trails. Along the way, you may encounter a variety of wildlife, including deer, otters, and a wide array of bird species.


For those seeking a culinary indulgence, Buckler’s Hard offers a charming riverside pub where you can enjoy a delicious meal or a refreshing drink. The idyllic setting provides the perfect backdrop for soaking in the peaceful ambiance and savoring the flavors of the region.


Visiting Buckler’s Hard is like stepping back in time. The combination of its historical significance, natural beauty, and riverside charm make it a must-visit viewpoint in the New Forest National Park. Immerse yourself in the maritime history, explore the village’s picturesque streets, and be transported to an era that shaped the course of British naval heritage.