Things to Do in Ashurst, New Forest

things to do in Ashurst New Forest

The New Forest is a nature-lovers paradise. You’ll see heathland, ancient woodland and of course – those gorgeous ponies roaming free thanks to commoner’s rights.

You can get to the New Forest from London via train with four local stations – Ashurst is just an hour and a half away from Waterloo!

1. Take a walk in the forest

With its own railway station and a variety of trails to explore, Ashurst is a great spot to enjoy a walk in the New Forest. This particular trail begins from the village railway station and explores a range of landscapes, including woodland pasture, ruins and the Churchplace Inclosure.

Featuring some of the most famous oak trees in the New Forest, this short hike is ideal for those looking to spot native wildlife and enjoy some peace and tranquillity in the heart of the countryside. You’ll also be able to see an example of inosculation – when the branches of two adjacent trees unite.

There are a number of other fun activities and attractions near Ashurst including the New Forest Reptile Centre on Deerleap Lane, where you can bottle feed calves, piglets and chicks. Alternatively, a visit to Longdown Activity Farm is an excellent option for animal lovers with lots of hands-on activities and events during half terms, Easter and Halloween.

2. Visit Longdown Activity Farm

Located on Deerleap Lane on the edge of the New Forest, Longdown Activity Farm is a great family day out with a full schedule of animal activities running throughout the day. You can try your hand at bottle-feeding kid goats and calves, hold fluffy chicks or visit the Animal Encounter Barn to meet friendly small farm animals.

There’s also a big adventure playground and plenty of play areas for little ones including a straw den, indoor soft play frame and trampoline barn. The kids will love it!

Another fun thing to do near Ashurst is stand underneath a wind turbine at Te Apiti Windfarm Lookout. It’s easily reached by car or by bike along a winding road through the forest with lots of walkways and views over conservation wetlands.

3. Go horse riding

There are plenty of horse riding stables in the New Forest, so saddle up and explore the national park on horseback. The Brockenhurst and Ford Farm Stables offer lessons and hacks directly into the forest, as well as livery for those who want to bring their own horses along.

If you’re visiting with kids, head to Longdown Activity Farm on Deerleap Lane on the outskirts of Ashurst. Here, you can bottle feed kid goats and piglets, hold chicks and more. There’s also crazy golf, tractor rides and indoor play areas. The Farm also runs exciting half terms, Easter, Halloween and Christmas events.

If you’re a keen cyclist, the New Forest is home to a network of gentle off-road trails. Take a leisurely tour around the local forest, or try something more challenging, like a mountain bike ride. It’s a great way to get some exercise and soak up the scenery of the forest. It’s an ideal choice for families with children, and even seasoned riders can enjoy the experience.

4. Explore the Manawatu Gorge

With a mix of forests, farms and classic Kiwi towns, Manawatu has a healthy supply of things to do. Whether you want to take on the rugged trails in Ruahine Forest Park or explore a glowworm cave north of Ashhurst, there is plenty of adventure waiting.

If you prefer a scenic walk, try the Manawatu Gorge Track or the shorter Tawa Loop. Both offer impressive views of the gorge. Keen mountain bikers can also try the Te Ara o Mahurangi trail in the area.

The Tawa Loop is a short walk that takes about an hour. Along the way you can see native trees and plants including tawa, tarata, rewarewa and kawakawa. There are also a few side tracks to a massive landslip and a metal sculpture of Whatonga (an ancient Maori warrior). The riverside path is flat and ideal for kids and pushchairs. The bespoke pedestrian bridge, He Ara Kotahi, offers stunning views as you cross over the Manawatu River.

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