With its thatched cottages and quiet primrose lanes, it’s easy to see why the idyllic village of Brockenhurst is considered one of the region’s most desirable places to reside.
What’s particularly lovely about this charming setting is the way it blends effortlessly into its beautiful New Forest surroundings; ponies, donkeys, ducks and deer all often seen wandering freely along the honeysuckle byways.
Visitors to Brockenhurst adore its gentle pace and rustic charm, from its picturesque ‘watersplash’ ford to its olde-worlde inns, this really is one of the most enchanting corners of the New Forest.
The history of Brockenhurst can be traced back as far as the Bronze Age burial mounds that bespeckle the surrounding heathland. What today is the largest village in the New Forest used to amount to four modest Saxon manors which fell between the boundaries of William the Conqueror’s vast hunting ground.
One of the village’s most venerated residents stands rooted in the graveyard of St Nicholas' Church; a mighty yew tree, believed to have cast its shade for a thousand years or more, the oldest tree in the forest. Also keep an eye out for the grave of Harry ‘Brusher’ Mills, the legendary New Forest snake-catcher, hermit, and authority on countryside lore.
The village has upheld its colourful and longstanding tradition of fetes and festivals, playing host to the annual New Forest and Hampshire County Show which runs for three days during July.
A holiday in Brockenhurst places you in the heart of the magnificent New Forest with breathtaking scenery at every turn. One of the most stunning New Forest bridleways, the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, forges its path through the leafy outskirts of the village on a route lined by glorious rhododendrons, azaleas, giant redwoods and Douglas firs.
One of the best ways to explore Brockenhurst’s gorgeous surroundings is by bike and you’ll find an impressive range of bicycles and accessories for hire at Brockenhurst’s cycle centre, from electric mountain bikes to dog trailers.
The South Taste Trail is a popular excursion local to the village, combining a scenic walk to the charming neighbouring parish of Burley with various stops at tea rooms, delicatessens and traditional country pubs - burning off the calories as you go.
If you’re of the opinion that four legs are better than two, the Brockenhurst Riding Stables offers pony trekking experiences for all abilities, or you might prefer a round of golf at the prestigious Brockenhurst Manor Golf Club.
While away an hour or two with a mooch around Brockenhurst’s traditional high street, where you can stock up on supplies at the local butchers, bakers and greengrocers, as well as the artisan outlets, independent shops, cafes, bistros and takeaways that line this ancient thoroughfare.
Brockenhurst serves as one of the New Forest’s eight train stations and is on the Weymouth to London - Waterloo Mainline. Local bus services run regularly to Lymington and Southampton, while the New Forest open-top bus (June to September) is an exciting way to travel between the area’s towns and villages.
Take a look at some of our delightful Brockenhurst holiday cottages.
The best way to explore the New Forest? On a double decker bus of course! New Forest Bus Tours give you an (almost) bird’s eye view of this spectacular part of the world, pottering through towns, villages and around its famed National Park, with all the planning done for you. Make sure you’re selfie ready and simply pick your tour!
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Very enjoyable ride on the red route. Lovely views of the New Forest. We stopped at a couple of locations and had a meal in Fordingbridge. Ride on top gets a bit breezy taking a coat or jumper is a good idea.
An established family business in Brockenhurst, Cyclexperience has bicycles and electric bikes available to buy for all levels and skill sets, with hire centres nearby. They also host a number of competitive mountain bike events and off road adventure races both locally and nationally for more competitive cyclists, not to mention workshops at their stores to keep your bike in good health.
Fab value, excellent map, comfy bike, easy access to Balmer Lawn, fab day for us two inexperienced cyclistsb
On the outskirts of Brockenhurst, Ford Farm Stables is in the heart of the New Forest, surrounded by acres of heath and woodland but still within 10 minutes walk of the local railway station which serves Southampton, Bournemouth and London Waterloo. The riding stables caters to both novice and experienced riders and hosts children’s clubs and special days during the holidays as well.
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An 18-hole golf course in the village of Brockenhurst, surrounded by the New Forest National Park, Brockenhurst Golf Club is blessed with an abundance of wildlife and beautiful landscapes. Designed by Harry Colt, it is within easy reach of Southampton and Bournemouth, has a welcomeing bar and restaurant, is ideal for families, and green fees start at £40.
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A patchwork of ancient woodland brimming with pastures, ponds, heaths and the Lymington River, Roydon Wood Wildlife Reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife and from flora and fauna to tawny owls. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust manage the nature reserves and its ideal territory for walking with the dog and enjoying this beautiful environment.
Absolutely great for peaceful walking.
Lovely tearooms on Brockenhurst High Street, serving delicious homemade cakes beautifully presented on vintage china. You can sit outside and watch the cars splashing through the ford – they provide blankets and hot water bottles when it's cold – or at one of cosy tables inside. Dogs welcome.
Rosie Lea's (T: 01590 622797) Brockenhurst SO42 7RA
A real taste of old fashioned tea room chic. Great tea, lovely surroundings and if you're lucky enough to grab a seat outside and the weather is good, you can watch the world and its animals walk past while cars plunge through the ford.
Really good tea and cakes with gluten free options as well!
Lovely tearoom, we were able to sit outside with our dog as it was a sunny December day but we were invited to sit inside if we wanted to. We both had pannis which were very nice and came with crisps in a vintage teacup and a side salad.
Fantastic tearoom ,really friendly staff. Cakes are wonderful ,meals are good aswell and all excellent valu. Tuely dogfriendly. Highly recommend this spot
If you’re a gin lover, you will love this quaint bar nestled in the centre of Brockenhurst within the Thatched Cottage Hotel. Try a range of gins from their extensive list, including some excellent cocktails.
Escape Gin Bar (T: 01590 622005) 16 Brookley Road, Brockenhurst SO42 7RR
Britannia Thai serves their dishes cooked fresh and to order. Their highly-experienced chefs have sourced traditional recipes and ingredients from all over Thailand, to ensure you receive only the best authentic Thai taste.
Britannia Thai (T: 01590 622459) 26 Lyndhurst Road, Brockenhurst SO42 7RL
Called on a Saturday evening and they managed to squeeze me and my husband in at short notice. The food was excellent. Very tasty and reasonably priced. Staff were attentive and friendly. Would definitely recommend.
We ate twice during the week at Britannia Thai. The food was excellent and the service was prompt and friendly.
Possibly the greatest steak meal I have ever had. If you haven't tried the hot stone method of being served your steak dont miss it.
Good food and good service. Music was a bit loud for us.
Self cooked steaks on hot stones. Cook it just how you like it. I loved it. Been before - will certainly go again.
Very good meal on 23rd December.
Sadly looking tired and in need of a makeover We did not eat , but heard people on table next to us complaining, there food looked average at best and certainly didn’t inspire us to eat
Lovely pub, the food was extremely nice and the service was warm and friendly, very welcoming.
Excellent. Good service, good food reasonably priced.
Nice Italian restaurant with great selection of wines.
A beautiful shingle beach with pretty painted beach huts, plenty of parking, and excellent coastal walks along Hurst spit to Hurst Castle with clear views of the Isle of Wight and needles. The superb Raft Rocks Restaurant is worth a visit with its Art deco style and roof terrace. You can also walk across the wildlife marshes to Keyhaven harbour and (in season) take the boat to Hurst Castle or the Isle of Wight.
Lovely village, plenty of shops and places to eat - no post office though.
Fantastic sea location with goods pubs, shops etc
Great for a dog walk along the spit to Hurst Castle. Needles Eye cafe is a welcome break, quite good food but very busy and a bit basic.
great walking area, small cafe-the needles, children climbing play park- crashing waves over stoned beach
A stony beach with sandy areas as the tide goes out, and a great spot to do some fossil hunting. The cliffs are subject to considerable coastal erosion and at times parts of the beach can be cordoned off. The Beachcomber Café on the cliff top is one of the most popular cafés in the region. Plenty of parking in car parks along the cliff top as well as on-road parking.
A picturesque, tree-lined beach of shingle, and sand at low tide. Good facilities on the cliff top including an excellent tea room, award winning public toilets, baby change and a children’s play area in the Castle gardens. Plenty of parking, but there is no disabled access and quite a few steps to get down to the beach. Lifeguard cover from July to Sept. No dogs allowed.
Lovely clean sandy beach and a really i would highly recommend this spot for your car to break down takes the ouch out of waiting for the recovery truck
This is one of the most scenic of New Forest beaches. Lined with some of the most picturesque and expensive beach huts in the country! There’s no parking next to the beach, as it’s a traffic-free zone, but there’s pay and display parking at Hengistbury Head from where you can catch a little train to the sandbank, and Mudeford Quay which runs a small ferry (5 mins) over to the sandbank. Can also be reached on foot and by bicycle.
Beautiful place, our favourite beach in south of England. It feels like an island, when you go over on the ferry and at times (off-season!) on sunny days it can feel like a little piece of Heaven, it's so peaceful and beautiful- bit of a sense of New England. There's a super little 'restaurant', the Beach Hut, which does great breakfasts, meals all day and some evenings. Also takeaway eg pizzas, you can eat on the beach. Very simple surroundings, with a sheltered veranda that can be uncovered in fine weather, and amazing views. Quite pricey and often very busy (and you are best to ring and check opening times and book since often weather and ferry-dependant) but the quality of the food and those stunning views make it more than worthwhile!