Over the past couples of years, we’ve re-discovered the beauty of our own country, with staycations the primary form of travel as many of us avoided hopping on a plane to visit anywhere overseas. Whether it was visiting the beautiful Cheddar in Somerset, the Isle Of Skye in Scotland, or the coast in Devon, Brits remembered just how picturesque our lands can be.
In fact, one area of the UK has become so popular that it’s made its way onto Tripadvisor’s list of the top destinations for outdoors enthusiasts, rubbing shoulders with areas such as the African Serengeti and Kilimanjaro National Park.
That destination? The New Forest National Park in Hampshire.
‘If you need a word to perfectly describe New Forest, “welcoming” would be it’ says Tripadvisor, ‘The lowland park is filled with scenic views and wide trails that beg to be explored as they wind through centuries-old woodlands.’
Described as one of the ‘best of the best’ in these Travellers’ Choice awards, the New Forest comes in at number 10 on the list, and is the only European destination to make the grade. It’s particularly impressive when you see which other destinations feature – the waterfalls and hot springs of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park make it number one, followed up by the Jim Corbett National Park in India, which is home to tigers, among other fantastic wildlife.
The best activities in the New Forest include visiting Bolderwood, a protected forest and deer sanctuary that was once the hunting grounds of the Norman kings. You can also fish at Moors Valley before heading skyward for a treetops walk. Prefer the country-house life? Head to Beaulieu (below), where you can get lost in the Victorian-era at the Palace House before following in the footsteps of medieval monks at the property’s abbey.
See the full list of top outdoorsy destinations below….
- Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
- Jim Corbett National Park, India
- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
- Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
- Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
- Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania
- Westland Tai Poutini National Park, New Zealand
- New Forest National Park Hampshire, United Kingdom
Want to visit the New Forest? Check out our review of The Pig Hotel here.