Open-top New Forest Tour returns for 2022 seasonPUBLISHED ON: 22 JUNE 2022
Visitors to the New Forest can soon experience the many gems the National Park has to offer from the open top of a double decker bus.
The New Forest Tour returns for the 2022 season from Saturday 25 June and runs for nine weeks to Sunday 18 September.
The partnership between the New Forest National Park Authority and bus operators Morebus and Bluestar is expected to be more popular than ever, helping to support the local economy, and encouraging more sustainable visits to the Forest.
The open-top Tour offers a panoramic perspective on wandering ponies, picturesque villages and tranquil heathland. Passengers can sit back and enjoy an audio commentary about the area’s culture and history, as well as learning how to protect this special place.
The best deal for all is the multi-day ticket as it gives customers more time to hop on and hop off the three intertwining routes. Plus, the New Forest Tour ticket acts as a Go New Forest card, enabling passengers to grab discounted goods and services, as well as 20% off visitor entrance fees at Beaulieu National Motor Museum and the New Forest Wildlife Park. For further details, visit the Tour website.
The Tour is easily accessible by train, stopping outside Brockenhurst station, which is on the main south coast rail line, as well as Lymington and Ashurst stations. It also passes local cycle hire centres within the Forest, with each Tour able to carry up to four bikes, giving access to the area’s country lanes and 100 miles of waymarked cycle tracks. With many stops located near camping and caravan sites, it enables visitors to have car-free days across the Forest.
Morebus and Bluestar managing director, Andrew Wickham, said: ‘After a challenging couple of years, we are delighted to be inviting people to explore the beautiful and spectacular New Forest once again, on our open-top double decker buses.
‘Voted the number one National Park in Europe in the 2022 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards for Destinations, the New Forest offers something for everyone – with spectacular open countryside, pretty villages, wonderful beaches and an abundance of wildlife roaming free.
‘The New Forest Tour plays a key role in encouraging people to leave their cars at home while enjoying all the delights the area has to offer using sustainable transport.’With this in mind, we are responding to feedback and offering residents a heavily discounted Tour ticket, with a season ticket working out at just over £2 per day (based on daily travel on a concession ticket). This is easily available from the Morebus app to those who pay their council tax to New Forest District Council.’
‘Accessing this special discount is straightforward – with a one-off verification process asking customers to upload a photo of their council tax bill from their phone.
Accessing the Tour is easy. Hythe Ferry remains free of charge for people travelling from Southampton when they buy a combination ferry and Tour ticket at Town Quay. Connecting service buses are free too, when customers request a Tour ticket from their bus driver. And cyclists can also bring their bikes on board, where space allows.’
Covering the length and breadth of the National Park, the three scenic routes – Red, Blue and Green – also provide a boost to local businesses, contributing £900,000 to the local economy, while stopping at local villages and attractions.
Gavin Parker, chair of the New Forest National Park Authority said: ‘The New Forest Tour is a key part of the Authority’s aim to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and is kindly sponsored by local businesses. It’s one of the ways we’re addressing the climate and nature emergencies locally, allowing customers an enjoyable car-less day. Multi-day tickets are excellent value, and the flexible hop-on, hop-off aspect gives lots of freedom of choice.
‘People can also learn about what makes the New Forest National Park so special and how we can all help protect it by sticking to the New Forest Code.’
‘This year, recognising the interest from residents, we are pleased to offer all New Forest District Council residents 25% off the daily ticket price encouraging the ‘shop local’ campaign.’
The New Forest Tour partners thank all the sponsors and supporters of this 2022 season: Beaulieu National Motor Museum, Marwell Zoo, Paultons Park, New Forest Wildlife Park, New Forest Cottages, Exbury Gardens, Adventure Golf, Burley Fudge, New Forest Heritage Centre, Hoburne Bashley, Love the Forest, and Camping in the Forest.
For more information on how to buy tickets for the New Forest Tour, please visit thenewforesttour.info