The New Forest National Park is just a short drive from Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World and is perfect for exploring if you choose to extend your short break. After all of the excitement of a day at the park, a relaxing day at a beautiful New Forest garden, wandering amongst nature can be just what you need before you head home.

Here are just a selection of parks and gardens in the New Forest to help you choose:

Parks and gardens in the New Forest. Image courtesy of Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway. Copyright Colin Roberts

Exbury Gardens is a lovely place to unwind with your family. Discover the world-famous Rothschild Collection of beautiful flowers where there are over 20 miles of pathways to explore and plenty of peaceful spots for a picnic. Keep a lookout for the local wildlife including rabbits, deer and wild ponies as they roam through the woodland.

There are family events throughout the year and the little ones will love the miniature steam railway which winds its way around the garden as well as the playground, gift shop and tearoom.

Only 20 minutes from junction 2 of the M27,  your journey to Exbury Gardens couldn't be more straightforward from any of the hotels near Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World.

Did you know: The steam train at Exbury Gardens has 10 carriages and each one has a woman’s name.

Parks and gardens in the New Forest

About a half an hour from Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World is Lepe Country Park. This country park offers more than a mile of beach, perfect for the warmer weather and there are far-reaching views across the Solent towards the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth. Can you see the Spinnaker Tower in the distance? Here’s a hint — it looks like a sail! Aside from the beach, there’s a children’s play area, D-Day remains to find and wildflower meadows to explore. Pack some sandwiches and have a picnic or head to the café for a special treat.

Did you know: one theory as to how Lepe got its name is from when the Isle of Wight was part of the mainland and it was possible to ‘leap’ across the Solent River.

Parks and gardens in the New Forest

Furzey Gardens is located in the heart of the New Forest. There are 10 acres of woodland gardens to discover, with a multitude of themed areas. Children can let off steam in the play area with its African-style round houses and tree house. The eagle-eyed may spot one of the secret fairy doors that are hidden around the gardens. Furzey Gardens has a coffee shop where you can tuck into a light lunch or pick up an ice cream for the kids. At the entrance to the gardens lies Forest Cottage, which is thought to have been built in 1560. It’s possible to see inside this piece of England’s heritage and see what it might have been like in the olden days.

Did you know: there is over 1000 square meters of thatch on the roofs of buildings in Furzey Gardens.

Home to 42,000 plants from around the world, the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens provide an outdoor adventure for the whole family. They host regular children’s activities, including trails and bushcraft lessons. If you visit on a family learning day, you can grab a net and have a go at pond dipping and see what creatures your kids can find.

Did you know: the area of the garden called The Pinetum was known in its early days as 'Little Switzerland' because of the amount of pine trees planted there.

Close up image of a snow lepoard

Get closer to the wonders of nature at Marwell Zoo! If you fancy seeing some more animals, this fantastic 140-acre zoo is home to over 170 exotic and endangered species.

There are plenty of well-manicured gardens to explore, as well as the immersive ‘Energy For Life’ exhibition at the tropical house.  Here you can get lost in an array of colourful, tropical plants and learn about the flow of energy through life.

The zoo has adventure playgrounds to explore and when it's time to re-fuel, plenty of food outlets.

Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World short breaks are now available to book! All packages include tickets with your 2nd Park Day FREE to Paultons Park and an overnight stay at a family-friendly hotel with breakfast. If you’re looking for more things to do near Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World, we’ve produced some handy guides about what there is to do in Southampton and Hampshire.

Your 2nd Park Day FREE ticket must be used within 3 days of the 1st day of Park entry during your break - for example: if you enter the Park on 1st of June, you must use your 2nd Park Day FREE ticket on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th June. 2nd Park Day FREE does not apply to themed weekends or winter packages.