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Best places to visit in Hampshire

Located in the heart of the New Forest, here at Balmer Lawn, we’re surrounded by acres of beautiful countryside. With a range of family friendly attractions nearby, our guests are never short of things to do. So that you can truly make the most of your time with us, we’ve pulled together a list of activities that you can take part in during your stay.

 1. New Forest National Park

New Forest National Park is a must visit for all animal and nature lovers. With a variety of wildlife to observe including wading birds, butterflies, reptiles and deer, this truly unforgettable experience is perfect for all the family, and one that’s on the hotel’s very doorstep.

2. Beaulieu National Motor Museum & Palace House

With over 250 vehicles to discover, the National Motor Museum has its own history to tell. The exhibition displays some of the earliest motor carriages and classic family saloons, in addition to legendary F1 cars. The museum is now also inviting visitors to experience new and unseen exhibits, which it has launched for one year only as a celebration of 50 years of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Whilst you’re there, be sure to pay a visit to the Palace House to discover family life in the 19th century. Home to the Montagu family since 1538, it was remodelled in the 1800s and is now a fine example of a Victorian country house. Featuring a restored Victorian kitchen, Montagu’s library and much more, this house is a must visit for those who enjoy gaining insight into how high society families used to live.

3. New Forest Wildlife Park

The New Forest Wildlife Park is another attraction ideal for those who love to explore nature. From giant otters and the Eurasian lynx, to the European hedgehog and the red-necked wallaby, there are a range of unique creatures to discover. You’ll also have the chance to get involved at feeding times and hear expert talks.

4. Lymington Sea Water Baths

With over 200 metres of inflatable obstacle courses and a range of water activities, Lymington Sea Water Baths is the perfect place for those who enjoy water sports. With aqua jousting and paddle boards amongst the activities on offer, there’s plenty of opportunity for visitors to try something new.

5. Hurst Castle

Those interested in learning about the history of Hampshire will enjoy a visit to Hurst Castle. Boasting views of spectacular historic ruins and the picturesque Isle of Wight, this castle tells the story of 17th century Tudor living.

 6. Longdown Activity Farm

Visit Longdown Activity Farm for a more hands-on farm experience. With opportunities to bottle feed kid goats and calves, and the chance to interact with friendly animals including donkeys and alpacas, this is an experience packed full with family fun.

7. Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Just a 20-minute drive from Balmer Lawn, a visit to Exbury Gardens will allow you to explore some of Hampshire’s most picturesque gardens. Displaying a vibrant array of seasonal colours dependent on the time of year you visit, this is a must for those who enjoy a relaxing walk in nature.

 8. Brockenhurst Riding Stables

Why not take the opportunity to explore the best of the surrounding countryside whilst experiencing a horse ride? Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced rider, there are rides available for all abilities.

 9. Paultons Park

Home to the world’s first Peppa Pig World, Paultons Park boasts over 70 rides and attractions. Bringing many famous children’s TV characters to life, this is a magical experience not to be missed.

10. Apple Court Garden & Nursery

Described by many previous visitors as a ‘plant lover’s paradise’, these gardens were expertly created over 30 years ago. Dotted with a range of unusual flowers and shrubbery, this picturesque haven is a must see.

11. Buckler’s Hard

Buckler’s Hard is a former shipbuilding village located on the banks of the Beaulieu River. With some of its output including ships for Nelson’s Trafalgar fleet, it’s now a peaceful hamlet with a strong maritime heritage, offering a range of attractions to its visitors – including a scenic apple orchard, a Maritime Museum and a place to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. If you do decide to visit, we recommend parking in Beaulieu, so that you can walk along the river path before reaching Buckler’s Hard. Be sure to stop for a drink whilst taking in the picturesque views of one of the only privately owned rivers in the world, before embarking on a tour around the historic museum.

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