Getting Around, New Forest Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(New Forest, Hampshire, England, UK)

Photo of Lymington train stationThere is an extensive network of interconnecting roads and pathways through the New Forest, enabling visitors to travel around this national park with ease. Those with their own transport should note that some smaller side roads in the New Forest can often become quite narrow and windy, with the occasional wandering pony, so do travel with extra caution.

Due to the potential hazards, the whole of the New Forest has a speed restriction of 40 mph. Bus transport is on hand for short journeys and guided tours, while for longer journeys, Brockenhurst is known for its busy railway station, where trains regularly travel to Beaulieu and Bournemouth, amongst other destinations.

Airports / Arriving by Air

The closest airports to the New Forest are as follows:

Bournemouth Airport (BOH)
Address: Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6SE, England, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1202 364 000
Directions: Lyndhurst - 19 miles / 31 km (30 minutes, north-east), Brockenhurst - 16 miles / 26 km (30 minutes, north-east)

Southampton International Airport (SOU)
Address: Wide Lane, Southampton, Hampshire, SO18 2NL, England, UK
Tel: +44 870 040 0009
Directions: Lyndhurst - 15 miles / 24 km (25 minutes, south-west), Brockenhurst - 19 miles / 31 km (30 minutes, north-east)

View of countryside lane

Car Rental

If you have brought your own vehicle, or choose rental car transport for the duration of your holiday, then the whole of the New Forest really is at your fingertips. Those driving down from the north-east will likely approach the New Forest by taking the M27 motorway to Cadnam, leaving at Junction 2 if you are headed for Beaulieu. To reach both Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst via the M27 motorway, travel to Cadnam, leave at Junction 1 and then simply follow the signposts.

Those arriving in the New Forest from the west generally pass Bournemouth and use the A337 to travel to destinations such as Lymington, Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst. Other prominent A-roads include the A31 between Ringwood and Cadnam / Ower, the A35 from Christchurch to Totton and Eling, and the A336 between Cadnam and Fawley.

WG Car Rental Logo Book your Bournemouth Car Rental here.

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Image of open-top tour bus

Buses and Coaches

Bus transport in the New Forest is quite reasonable and often targets tourists and day-trippers. The New Forest Tour is especially popular and this tourist bus travels to the towns of Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Lymington and Lyndhurst, and well as transporting passengers to a wealth of rural locations, such as Exbury, the Denny Wood Campsite and the Hollands Wood Campsite. These open-top double-decker bus tours are only available during the summer season and run on a daily basis. Cycles are allowed onboard, since the bus stops at some of the park's very best cycle trails en route. Even better, when you purchase your bus ticket for the New Forest Tour, you are automatically given a guide book, complete with discount vouchers for local attractions.

Close-up picture of Lymington train station


A convenient railway line travels through the very heart of the New Forest and runs between Bournemouth and London, via Southampton.

Along the way, there are train stations located at Hinton Admiral, New Milton, Sway, Brockenhurst, Beaulieu Road, Ashurst, and Totton and Eling. There is also a railway line branching off at Brockenhurst and heading south, reaching Lymington.

Picture of Wightlink ferry boat

Boats and Ferries

From Lymington Pier on the Undershore Road, regular ferry transport connects the Isle of Wight. These Wightlink car and passenger ferries travel throughout the day at 30-minute intervals, reaching the town of Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.

Long-stay car parks are available at the port, being charged per 2, 8, 16, 24 and 48 hours. From Southampton, the Hythe ferry connects the small town of Hythe, on the south-easterly outskirts of the forest, close to Beaulieu.