“Heaven with the Gates Open...” Exbury Gardens
Is how one visitor described Exbury Gardens - a spectacular 200-acre site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees and shrubs. Paths meander down to the Beaulieu river and there is a small steam railway if you would prefer to rest weary feet!
Go back in time and experience the shipbuilding history of the Beaulieu River
Buckler’s Hard is a unique 18th century village where warships for Nelson’s navy were built. Visit the Maritime museum or take a trip up the river on the Jenny R (Easter-Nov) The Master Builder’s Pub and Hotel is a good place to stop for a drink or lunch, with a bbq in the garden in the summer. Twist our arm to take you there by boat from Exbury!
Beaulieu is the next village and there's plenty to do. Visit the famous Beaulieu Motor Museum, Palace House (home of Lord Montagu) and the ruined Cistercian Abbey. Browse the lovely art gallery. Treat yourselves at the Michelin starred Montagu Arms hotel. Enjoy tea & cake at the friendly cafe.
Take the little ferry from Keyhaven Quay or walk up Hurst spit to Hurst Castle, Henry VIII’s fortress and prison of Charles I. The Marine Cafe in Milford, near the entrance to the spit is a great spot to stop, with incredible views out over the Solent to the Needles.
Get into the Great Outdoors
Horseriding, cycling, walking, sailing, kitesurfing, wild swimming, off-roading – The New Forest is an outdoor lovers' playground. Share it with the ponies, cattle and even pigs that roam freely across the forest.
There are so many walks from the Old Barn. Footpaths lead directly from the door and the walk to the beach is less than a mile. The New Forest has over 146 miles of marked trails and maps are available to borrow in the cottage, along with advice on the best snug country pubs to stop at on the way!
Bikes can be hired from nearby Brockenhurst on a daily or weekly basis, and there are over 100 miles of gravelled tracks in the New Forest suitable to explore by bike.
Bustling Lymington with its waterfront and marinas is a short drive away. There are plenty of shops and galleries to browse and cafes & pubs to linger in.
The New Forest- is packed with fantastic farmers' markets, gastro pubs & farm shops. The Old Barn has masses of information on all the best places to go.
New Forest Events
An up to date magazine listing site featuring everything going on in the New Forest.
The New Forest was originally commandeered in 1079 as a deer hunting area by the king, William the Conqueror.
The New Forest ponies, donkeys, cattle & pigs that roam freely are owned by "Commoners".
Bucklers Hard was the birthplace of many British naval vessels, including many of Admiral Nelson's fleet.
Lepe beach was the scene of rehearsals for the D-Day landings.
The classic TV series of Enid Blyton's Famous Five was filmed in and around Exbury.
The Old Barn is in a fantastic location with beaches and forest
right on the doorstep.