Spring has sprung and Easter is on its way, so we’ve put together a host of egg-citing ideas to keep you entertained this month.
You’ll find inspiration for all ages and every budget, from all-out luxury to free fun, right here in the beautiful New Forest.
This collection is eggs-tra special because all the ideas are all brought to you by members of the New Forest Marque, the sign of true local produce.
The New Forest Marque is a food and produce scheme set up to champion businesses who pride themselves on producing and providing food, drinks and crafts with clearly defined New Forest provenance.
If you buy produce from, or visit one of our members, you’ll be supporting the New Forest and helping its people, economy and nature thrive.
- Seek out more than 40 fairy doors at Furzey Gardens. Explore the informal winding paths and rustic play area, all while searching for secret doors including a post office, sweet shop and castle.
- Take part in gardeners question time at Everton Nurseries. Have all your gardening questions answered by a professional panel, with tea and cake to follow.
- Book an ocean adventure with the brand new Fliteschool at Cadland. Learn how to surf an efoil (a surfboard with an electric propeller) with lessons hosted from luxury beach houses on the Solent shore.
- Discover local artists who are inspired by the New Forest’s animals and landscape. View works by watercolour painter Sandra Binney and browse beautiful metalwork by designer Rosie Wesley at Chalk’s gallery.
- Distil your own unique blend of gin at New Forest Spirits. Create your own distinctive recipe and personalised bottle of gin, or join a distillery tour to see how Wyrd Gin is made.
- Search for minibeasts, go on scavenger hunts, model clay and more in ancient woodland. Forest school sessions at New Park, designed to encourage nature connection, build confidence, promote creativity and most importantly have fun.
- Join morning feeding rounds on the farm at the Countryside Education Trust. Fun for all the family collecting eggs, counting sheep, moving goats, harvesting vegetables and more.
- Enjoy an Easter activity trail and look out for the Easter bunny at Beaulieu. Experience remarkable vehicles including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and James Bond’s Aston Martin.
- Find secret beauty spots for yoga and swimming with New Forest Retreats. Relaxing day retreats with leisurely lunches and meditation.
- Play games galore and go pond dipping at Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s range of Wild Days Out feature outdoor play, exploration, adventure and wildlife.
- Experience the power of the tide at the historic Eling Tide Mill. Explore one of the few tide mills in the world still producing flour on a regular basis and stroll along Eling Creek shoreline.
- Surround yourself with spring flowers at one of the New Forest’s nurseries. Pick up perennials to plant, then stop off for lunch or afternoon tea at Shallowmead Nurseries, Everton Nurseries or Stewarts Garden Centre.
- Have a divine dinner party delivered direct to your door. The Forest Foodie’s Easter menu is now live and packed with locally-sourced ingredients from local Lamb to New Forest strawberries.
- Peek into the world of the chocolatier at Beaulieu Chocolate studio. Caramelised almond Easter eggs, handmade chocolates and more from this small-scale artisan producer.
- Indulge in an Easter-themed afternoon tea at Rosie Lea House. Tuck into hot cross bun scones and let the children play chef in the restaurant’s mud kitchen.
- Try an Easter egg alternative from Manns Cookies. Handmade, Easter-themed cookies in eco-friendly boxes posted through your letterbox.
- Try delicious Easter tipples at Burley Manor. The Burley Blue and Yummy Bunny are creamy, chocolaty cocktails available for a limited time only.
- Combine a cuppa with learning about the colourful history of commoning. You’ll find a cafe, museum and gallery at the fascinating New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst.
- Head to Setley Ridge Farm Shop for a one-stop Easter shop. Grab a lamb joint, pick up cute Easter cupcakes and treat yourself to local wine from the vineyard next door.
- Create a bespoke Easter-themed hamper for the ultimate personalised gift. Send someone an extra special gift from the New Forest Hamper Company.
In the New Forest, you’ll find a host of cafes, restaurants, shops and hotels who support local food, drink and craft producers. Look out for the distinctive New Forest Marque logo, awarded to produce which has been grown, reared, caught, brewed, produced or processed within the New Forest.
Main photo: Beaulieu Chocolate Studio