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Car parks

The best way to explore the National Park is without your car. You can arrive by train very easily and walk or cycle from villages such as Brockenhurst, Sway and Ashurst. From May 29, the New Forest Tour provides three routes to explore which you can hop on and off at any time. There are a great number of rights of way to explore too, our New Forest Walking app has details of where you can access over 20 beautiful and quiet walks in the National Park. There are more details about visiting without your car below.

Car parks and toilets

Many local residents and visitors travel to the New Forest by car. At peak times, some car parks are full by mid-morning, if your chosen car park is full when you arrive, please find another one nearby. Do not park on the verge or block gateways.

Parking on verges causes damage. They might only look like ordinary grass or gravel but are protected habitats in their own right. Find out more about why New Forest verges are so special.

It’s also important not to obstruct gateways or car park entrances. The National Park is a working Forest; access is needed at all times by people who care for the animals, manage the woodlands and for emergencies.

Remember that due to Covid-19, not all toilets may be open. Check the links below in advance and have a backup plan.

New Forest District Council car parks and toilets

There are more than 50 New Forest District Council car parks in the New Forest –  which include coastal parking as well as town and village centre parking.

These offer many short stay, long stay and disabled spaces.

For a zoomable map of New Forest District Council car parks, go to NFDC Web Map (newforest.gov.uk). Once in the map, click on ‘What would you like to do?‘, ‘Map features’ and then ‘Car parking’.

To find NFDC toilets use the same map link but click on ‘What would you like to do‘, ‘Map features’, ‘Leisure’ and then ‘Public conveniences’.

Forestry England car parks and toilets

Forestry England has over 130 car parks on what’s known as the ‘open Forest’. You’ll recognise them by their distinctive green signs.

You can find a list of the larger car parks here – click for more details of each site and to find out if they have toilets. There is also a map of all Forestry England car parks which will be useful if your first choice is full on arrival. The car parks are also shown on the zoomable map above.

Each year a very small number of Forestry England car parks are closed between March and July to protect vulnerable ground-nesting birds and in winter for maintenance. See where car parks are currently closed.

National Trust car parks

There are National Trust car parks at Bramshaw, Rockford, Hale Purlieu and Hightown Commons.

More on National Trust car parks in the New Forest

Hampshire County Council car parks and toilets

You can find information about Abbotswell car park in the west of the New Forest and Lepe Country Park. There are toilets at Lepe.

Leave your car at home!

To help reduce climate change, local pollution and traffic congestion please consider other ways to reach and explore the New Forest.

Cycling

The National Park has many quiet country lanes, perfect for cycling. You are also allowed to cycle on bridleways and over 100 miles of way-marked cycle tracks across the Crown Lands of the Forest.

More about cycling in the New Forest

Walking

You don’t have to travel into the middle of the New Forest to enjoy a good walk. There are many footpaths where you’ll enjoy great scenery and wonderful wildlife.

More about walking in the New Forest

Train

Let the train take the strain – while enjoying unforgettable views at the same time. There are four stations within the National Park, all with great walks nearby.

More about trains to the New Forest

Bus

The New Forest National Park is well-served by a public bus network from Bournemouth, Southampton and Salisbury.

More about buses to the New Forest

The New Forest Tour

Hop on and off the open-top tour buses wherever you like and catch the next Tour, or switch between routes, all on the same ticket! Hear the stories of the people, places and animals of the New Forest at the same time.

More about the New Forest Tour

 



Aynsley
Clinton
Sustainable Visitor Experience Officer

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'Enjoy bird's-eye views of the National Park on the open-top New Forest Tour.'

More New Forest Travel

From beautiful scenery to free roaming animals, fascinating history to scenic coastline, there's something for everyone in the New Forest National Park. We'll help you find your way around the Forest and enjoy all it has to offer while caring for this fragile and important landscape.

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