Hythe and the New Forest
Discover the hidden gems of Hythe & the New Forest National Park
Islander's can now easily explore Hythe and the New Forest by bike or on foot thanks to our tie-up with the Hythe Ferry. We've introduced affordable off-peak through-fares (starting at £12 return for seniors) and published an integrated timetable which connects at Hythe with the brand new summer hop-on/hop-off Beach Bus.
The Beach Bus gives easy access to Lepe Country Park, Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway, Beaulieu (Beaulieu Abbey & National Motor Museum), the historic Bucklers Hard and Lymington. Beach bus users also enjoy discounted admission to some attractions and a FREE ice cream at Lepe Country Park.
Hythe village is a magical place, full of character and unspoilt by time. It is steeped in maritime history with buildings spanning every century as far back as the 1600's. Famous residents and visitors include T E Laurence (Laurence of Arabia) and Sir Christoper Cockerell (inventor of the hovercraft). The 640m Hythe Pier, opened in 1881 was used by King George VI prior to the embarkation of WW2 troops to Normandy and also Kaiser Wilhelm during visits to see his Grandmother Queen Victoria. Today, visitors arriving by ferry get to ride the World's oldest electric pier train!
There is plenty to see in Hythe, take a stroll along the waterside promenade to the prestigious marina - with an array of restaurants, eateries and picnic areas, it's the place to relax and people watch. In the Georgian High Street you will find Hobbits, a cosy bar & restaurant and The Lord Nelson pub which has intimate bars, snugs and a sunny garden overlooking the promenade, with views of the pier and ships on Southampton Water. Bargain hunters can enjoy the bustle of the outdoor market every Tuesday.
- For Hythe history walks and talks call 07971 272477 or email
- For cycle hire in Hythe pre-book with Cycle Experience on 02380 840765
Lepe Country Park
Lepe Country Park offers stunning views across the Solent. With over a mile of beach, pine fringed cliffs, historic D-Day remains and wild flower meadows, Lepe is a great day out, whether you want to relax and take in the view or do something a bit more energetic. The park is popular for walking, swimming, fishing, windsurfing and bird or boat watching. There is a children's play area, picnic areas, barbecues for hire, toilets, ample parking and a café - Beach Bus customers get a FREE ice cream if they show their ticket!
Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway
Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway is a magical place in the New Forest set in a spectacular 200 acre (100 hectare) site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. This earthly paradise offers a riot of colour in spring, an oasis of tranquillity in summer followed by a splendid show as the leaves change in the autumn. Let the train take the strain on a 20 minute journey or ride a chauffeur driven buggy to tour the Gardens.
Situated at the head of the Beaulieu River, the tiny picturesque Beaulieu village dates back to the 13th century when the village grew up around the abbey. Today there's a garden centre offering good food, some tiny boutiques and village shops selling specialist gifts, chocolates and art & crafts. The Montagu Arms Hotel and pub is extremely popular with visitors.
Learn about the lifestyle of the Cistercian monks who founded Beaulieu Abbey in 1204 on land given to them by King John. Wander through the serene Cloisters and Herb garden in which the monks grew a number of aromatic plants for both cooking and medicinal purposes including penny royal and lavender. Although much of the Abbey was destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII, visitors can still learn about the magnificent buildings of the Abbey, originally called Bellus Locus Regis - the beautiful place of the King. Enjoy 20% off admission with a Beach Bus Ticket.
National Motor Museum
The world famous National Motor Museum is home to a stunning collection of automobiles telling the history of motoring through modern rally cars and F1 Grand Prix machines, BOND IN MOTION - the world's largest official collection of original James Bond vehicles, WORLD OF TOP GEAR featuring vehicles from some of the most ambitious challenges and ON SCREEN CARS where the car is the star and includes TV and film favourites. Enjoy 20% off admission with a Beach Bus Ticket.
Beaulieu Palace & Gardens
Formerly the 13th century Great Gatehouse of Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House is set in glorious grounds and gardens with immaculate spreading lawns and walkways overlooking the Beaulieu River. This charming house, kept in the style of its later Victorian additions, has been in Lord Montagu's family ownership since 1538, when Sir Thomas Wriothesley, later 1st Earl of Southampton, bought the Estate after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Enjoy 20% off admission with a Beach Bus Ticket.
On the banks of the Beaulieu River, you will find the peaceful haven of Buckler’s Hard. The exciting Maritime Museum gives an insight into the history of this 18th century shipbuilding village focusing on its vessels including those built for Nelson's Navy. You can take a trip on the river or a walk beside the riverbank for an opportunity to see some of the abundant wildlife that inhabits its banks. Visit the Apple Orchard where apples are picked to make Beaulieu Apple Juice and enjoy a refreshing glass in the Captain's Cabin Tea Room. Enjoy 20% off Bucklers Hard admission with a Beach Bus Ticket.
Lymington is a colourful Georgian market town on the coast with an ancient seaport and rich maritime history. On Saturdays, enjoy the hustle and bustle of the traditional street market selling everything from local fine foods to craftwork and antiques. Take a wander through the pretty cobbled streets of the old town and on to The Quay to watch the luxury yachts and fishing boats come and go. Boat trips are available along with bracing walks along the 10 miles of nearby nature reserve. There's also the famous sea water baths, a popular health and leisure centre with a heated pool and the St Barbe Museum and art gallery. Visitors can relax afterwards in one of the many fine dining establishments - or simply enjoy afternoon tea.
Adult £6 / Group £15
Hop on and off all day for just £6 adults or £15 for a group/family of up to five. Tickets from the driver.
Exclusive Discounts with a valid Beach Bus ticket
Get a FREE Ice cream at Lepe cafè & 20% off at Buckler's Hard, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace & Motor Museum