New Forest Tour is back for the summer

Published Wednesday 30 May 2007

The popular New Forest Tour is being launched again this summer following its success over the past three years.

However don’t expect it to look the same as last year because it’s had a complete ‘green’ makeover!

The new-look open-top buses have already started travelling round the Forest again. They will be keeping to the same route as last year; however they will now be stopping off at Southampton Central Railway Station and West Quay first thing in the morning to pick up passengers before heading to Hythe and into the New Forest.

The New Forest Tour offers the opportunity for visitors and local people to see England’s newest national park from a different perspective, taking in the magnificent views of heathland, forest, countryside and coastline.

Taking the Tour is also a brilliant excuse to leave your car at home, helping reduce both traffic and carbon emissions in the Forest. The hop-on, hop-off buses are also low in emissions and join up with other car-free initiatives in the Forest and link with the local rail network and bus routes.

If you fancy exploring the Forest by bike, the tour buses have specially designed bike trailers to load your bikes into at no extra cost. The Tour route has been designed to link to the Forestry Commission’s gravel track network for cycling and walking.

If sightseeing and shopping are more your thing then the Tour’s two hour circular loop takes in the picturesque towns of Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, Lymington and Beaulieu and stops at numerous attractions along the way, including the stunning Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway and the famous National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

To accompany the Tour this year is the exclusive guide to the New Forest, available to everyone who purchases a ticket. This guide is packed full of information about the New Forest, walks and cycle rides and exclusive offers to visitor attractions, eateries and cycle hire. Solent Blue Line, who run the bus tour are offering everyone who purchases a ticket the opportunity to visit again and buy their second ticket for half price.

The Tour bus is not just for visitors to the Park, local residents are also encouraged to use the bus for short journeys around the Forest too but at a reduced cost.

The New Forest Tour bus is jointly supported by the New Forest National Park Authority, New Forest District Council and Hampshire County Council.  

Chris Gregory, Transport Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The Authority is delighted to support the New Forest Tour during its fourth season. It’s the New Forest’s most high profile car free visitor experience and helps to reduce the number of car based trips both to and within the Forest. It offers fantastic views of some of the best parts of the New Forest and is a must for all visitors to the National Park.’

Paul Fulford, Sustainable Tourism Officer (Community & Environment) at New Forest District Council, added: ‘We are all working together to make the New Forest the greenest destination in the UK. The New Forest Tour supports our car-free tourism programme which includes day-out packages with Virgin Trains.’

John Sorrell, New Forest Transport Strategy Officer for Hampshire County Council, continued: ‘The New Forest is a wonderful destination that needs careful management to ensure its special qualities are protected but also at the same time, offering visitors the opportunity to come and enjoy the Forest. The Tour achieves both these purposes by offering an alternative means of transport to the car and a unique experience of how to enjoy the Forest.’

Tickets for the New Forest Tour bus can be purchased on the bus, from Visitor Information Centres and online at and cost £9 per adult, £4.50 for children aged between five and 15 and a family ticket for five people travelling together at £22.50. The service will be operating throughout the summer until 2 September 2007.


Notes to Editors:
1.In 2006, over 9000 people used the New Forest Tour bus
2.More information is available at
3.Additional car-free offers can be found at
4.Customer testimonials are available from the New Forest National Park Communications Department.

Media Contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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