Our guide to luxury New Forest holidays

Wild horses couldn’t drag us away from this 140,000-acre haven of ancient woodlands and wild heathlands, where the pace of life slows from a canter to a trot. This is the Unique guide to luxury holidays in the New Forest.

As the late English novelist H. E. Bates once wrote: “the New Forest is a naturalist's paradise... For sheer beauty and variety, I doubt if any other area in the British Isles can equal it." Frankly, one wonders who could disagree. The New Forest isn't just a pin on the map; it's a living, breathing sanctuary where nature reigns supreme and the spirit of adventure beckons with every winding trail. There's ancient canopies, forest floors that come alive with a kaleidoscope of wildflowers, and glades where wild ponies graze. All that, plus bakeries tumbling with hot bagels and forest delis selling made-to-order chocolate slabs.

From the haunting ruins of Beaulieu Abbey and the historic shipbuilding village of Buckler’s Hard to bucket and spade days in nearby Barton-on-Sea, there’s a whole host of reasons you might be tempted to down tools for a last-minute long weekend. No time to carefully curate your itinerary? These home-from-homes in Hampshire have left no stone unturned. Heated pool? Check. Private chef? Consider it done. Secret garden for sundowners? Say no more. We’ve uncovered the best things to see, do, and where to dine in our guide to luxury holidays in the New Forest, so you don't have to.