Sharing the history of the New Forest

Why is the Forest ‘New’? Who owns the ponies? Who are the Commoners and what are their rights?

You can find the answers to all these questions and more in our free entry, fully accessible museum with its interactive displays and family fun tree. Whether you’re a visitor to the New Forest, or just want to learn more about this unique area, the New Forest Heritage Centre Museum is a great place to start.

“Very informative. Wonderful museum with hundreds of years of history including wartime history, the history of farming and links to Alice in Wonderland. A lovely introduction to the New Forest!”
Eimeargency – TripAdvisor

Forest History and Traditions

Learn about the social and cultural history of the New Forest. Discover ancient laws which are still in place today and find out the impact of wartime on the Forest.

Follow the history on the panels of the New Forest Embroidery or take a look through Alice’s Looking Glass – the mirror which once belonged the Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Wildlife and Conservation

Can you match the Forest animal with its tracks and its poo? Find out which animals make which noises and which ones are allowed to roam the Forest.

Learn about the organisations and agencies which work together to help conserve the unique nature and environment of the New Forest National Park and preserve it for generations to come.

Discover what industries have shaped the Forest’s past and what pressures it will face in the future.

Family Activities

There’s plenty for the whole family in the Museum. Our Family Tree is filled with interactive activities and there are always quizzes, trails and colouring sheets available.

We have a selection of New Forest costumes for our younger visitors who like to dress up as well as building bricks and wooden shapes and animals perfect for tiny fingers.

On every Tuesday and Thursday during school holidays (except the Christmas break) we have Family Discovery Days with extra craft activities taking place in the Museum from 10am. Please note that these activities are currently paused but we hope to bring them back soon – please keep checking for updates.

View our Museum Guide here.

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