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Historic houses and gardens to wander around in the New Forest

Historic houses and gardens to wander around in the New Forest

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Whether you’re seeking places to visit during your staycation in the New Forest, or simply looking for the perfect destination for a day trip, we’ve gathered a few historic houses and gardens together to help you discover something new this summer.

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If you’ve booked some romantic couple holidays UK, a family trip away or simply live a short drive away from the stunning New Forest, here’s what you could be exploring soon…

Highcliffe Castle

Just outside the New Forest, Highcliffe Castle holds a Grade 1 status on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural and Historical Interest, which is clear to see as soon as your eyes gaze upon the building.

It is said to be one of the most important surviving houses of the Romantic and Picturesque styles of architecture era, which reigned towards the end of the 18th century until the beginning of the 19th century.

For anyone who loves finding out about the history of places, there’s certainly a lot to discover here within the 14 acres of land the castle sits within, including woodlands, manicured lawns and breathtaking viewpoints.

Plus, if you want to dip your toes in the sea whilst you’re here, just follow the zig-zag path down to the beach!

Buckler’s Hard

Step back in time into this 18th-century shipbuilding village, that’s steeped in history. From Cistercian Monks, Nelson’s Navy ships and so much more, Buckler’s Hard is the perfect place to immerse yourself in history, river cruises, workshops and breathtaking surroundings.

If you are one of the many watchers of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year, then you may recognise this stunning location from the semi-finals.

When looking for food with a view, there are two options for you at Buckler’s Hard – a picnic area overlooking the Beaulieu River, or a table at The Captain’s Table restaurant which serves breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch, all-day snacks and hot drinks.

Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway

If you have a train enthusiast or budding gardener and landscaper in your family, this could be the place to visit.

Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway is home to the Rare Space Garden, an RHS Chelsea Garden Show space, designed by Charlie Hawkes, and sponsored by Project Giving Back.

The garden won the coveted Gold Medal and was awarded Best Sanctuary Garden and Best Construction Award (Sanctuary Garden) in 2023. Taking inspiration from people living with dementia, the garden nurtures hope, whilst offering a balance between exploration and calm navigation.

To experience this slice of Gold medal RHS Chelsea Flower Show, you’ll find the Rare Space garden located next to the Five Arrows Gallery within the grounds.

For the train enthusiasts, a working narrow-gauge steam railway is ready and waiting for you to step aboard. Travel around the 1.5 mile track through the gardens and grounds, and catch a glimpse of one particular garden – the Summer Lane Garden – which can only be viewed from the train itself.

Could you see yourself wandering through the historic grounds and gardens of any of the places mentioned? You never know, you might just find your new ‘happy place’.

Disclosure: this is a post about historic houses and gardens in the New Forest is by Away Resorts

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