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Get inspired by our hands-on history weekend

Lawrence Shaw, an archaeologist at the National Park Authority, picks his top five things to see and do at our New Forest Heritage Weekend this month.

What: New Forest Heritage Weekend
Where: Lepe Country Park, Exbury, SO45 1AD
When: 18 and 19 July, 10.30am to 4pm
Cost: FREE

If you’re looking to learn more about the exciting and intriguing past of the New Forest then this year’s heritage weekend is for you. It’s also the perfect way to get kids interested in the past, with activities for all ages on the beautiful beach at Lepe.

To help you get the most out of your day I’ve picked out my top five things to see and do at the event:

1. Caravans & Charabancs – Delve into the world of leisure motoring after World War Two and explore the untold legacy of this devastating conflict - charting how accelerated social and technological developments in wartime led to a revolution in leisure motoring in the decades that followed. This is a project from the National Motor Museum Trust in partnership with The Caravan Club and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

2. An interactive computer touch table will help people learn about archaeology in the New Forest, with quizzes, puzzles and games. This includes identifying real-life images created through our Lidar project (see video below), which beams harmless lasers at the ground from a plane that can see through trees and pick out possible archaeological features below.

3. You’ve seen images of buildings falling into the sea due to coastal erosion – but what happens when the sea threatens important heritage sites? CITiZAN (Coastal and Intertidal Archaeology Network), is England’s response to the loss of our cultural heritage through coastal erosion. You can sign up to be part of this project, or attend a session to help local people learn about the archaeology of their coastline or join a guided walk on the coast.

4. Pilot an underwater vehicle and try a range of other interactive activities with the Maritime Archaeology Trust. The Trust is a registered charity with over 20 years’ experience in research, investigations and pioneering techniques for the study of marine cultural heritage.

5. Discover Lepe’s Cold War history through their project to restore and open an underground nuclear monitoring post. The restoration phase has started and during the weekend they will be running some interactive family games based on the Cold War, giving people the chance to get up close and personal with artefacts from the recent past.

The New Forest Heritage Weekend runs between 10.30am and 4pm on 18 and 19 July and is a drop in event with no booking required. For more information visit  

The event is part of the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology - a national festival of more than 1,000 events between 11 and 26 July 2015.  

This entry was posted by Communications on Monday 06/07/2015


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