Free Things to do in the New Forest with Children

It is a beautiful part of the world, so we thought we would share what we think are 5 Great Free Things to do in the New Forest with Children.

The New Forest National Park is a little over an hour away from London. In easy reach by rail or road, it is a fantastic place to bring the children, let them run wild, trek in the woods, go for a walk or spot the donkeys and other wildlife.

There are also some great hotel deals to be had, especially if your young ones are small and you can travel during term time!

Free Things to do in the New Forest with Children

These are our favourite things, and what we love to do and where we love to go in our spare time.

Have a read, see if you agree, and perhaps let us know what your favourite free places are?

Walks, and lunch in the van

The New Forest, riddled with small, unknown little car parks that have a maze of footpaths and tracks. It would be easy to while away hours meandering around the paths, so this has to be on our list of Free Things to do when in the New Forest.

Be on the lookout for horses and cows and a plethora of other wildlife.

And before you know it, it will be lunchtime, so head back for a campervan or your car for a picnic.

Check out this link (opens in new tab) for a map of car parks and walks.

Free Things to do in the New forest
New Forest Walks – Look out for the Wildlife!

Lepe Country Park and Beach

Next on our list of Free Things to do in the New Forest is Lepe Country Park.

Our favourite place local to where we live.

A Beach, a Park, a Children’s Play Area and a brand new cafe, which opened in May 2018.

OK, so there is a charge for parking. But the park, the beach and the children’s play area are free of course.

With views like this while soaking up the sun, it is well worth a visit.

You can also see here for a more detailed write up on Lepe Beach.

Enjoying Lepe Beach

Calshot Beach

Brightly coloured beach huts adorn the beachfront here at Calshot.

Once parked you can again enjoy the beach, the views and hopefully the sunshine.

You also have an activities centre (chargeable) with a cafe inside.

A bit further along there is Calshot Castle, dating back to 1539, and courtesy of Henry VIII.

It is a great place to park up and chill. If you are in the Campervan, why not enjoy lunch there?


Home to Beaulieu Motor Museum, which we won’t talk about here.

This is because it will need some of your hard-earned money to visit. And that is not what this post is about.

But….you can’t go near the New Forest without going to Beaulieu. The village, the quaint shops, the garage with the classic cars for sale. The Donkeys…oh the Donkeys.

If you drive through Beaulieu without having to stop for a donkey, you have been both lucky and unlucky.

You may get to where you are going faster. But having to ease past a donkey, chewing on the roadside bushes is quintessential with Beaulieu.

Park your campervan or car, and go for a walk. You won’t be disappointed.

The pretty village of Beaulieu, in the New Forest

Hatchet Pond

And last but not least on our list of Free Things to do when in the New Forest is Hatchet Pond. Our favourite New Forest area to date with a body of water that isn’t the sea.

You can walk all around the lake. More of a challenge, but fun doing it in freezing temperatures and muddy ground.

You are likely to see horses and donkey’s, so be careful if you take a picnic, they will want some.

The sunsets are to die for if you are there late and mother nature is being kind.

Free Things to do when in the New Forest with Children

So there you have it, our favourite free things to do in the New Forest. What’s yours?

Let us know in the comments below and we will be sure to check it out!

Until then!!

Hey, just a heads up, this post may contains affiliate links to my favourite companies, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase.