Visiting the pubs in the New Forest makes for a great reason for a tour around. Obviously you need to have a ‘Dez’ (designated driver) or at least stick to the lemonade, but whether you’re drinking or not, the New Forest pubs are a joy to behold. I’ve spent years trying the New Forest pubs out, but last weekend I went for a road trip – specifically to take pictures of them all.
Cute, quaint, some with thatched roofs, and many with open fires in the winter, there are some great pubs in the New Forest.
Here are the best pubs in New Forest for your day out.
Best Pubs in the New Forest
1. The White Buck Inn, Burley
This ancient and classic country house was built just at the turn of the 20th century, but it wasn’t until the 60s that one family took on the project to bring it back to life.
The White Buck Inn, named after a majestic forest animal that runs around nearby, soon became a popular, and musical, place for people to visit.
This is one of the most famous pubs in the New Forest, where you can enjoy the end of a day of sightseeing with a foamy pint of tap beer. The White Buck Inn has a good range of beer brands – you can also enjoy cider, seasonal ale and some exclusive bottles of wine too. Great car park here by the way.
Burley is such a cute village in the New Forest – one of my favourites. There’s a really lovely village centre, and it’s great for a park up and look around.
2. The New Forest, Ashurst
If you’ve reached the end of a particularly active day and you didn’t even have the time to get a proper lunch, The New Forest in Ashurst is the ideal choice for you.
One of the best New Forest pubs in town, here you’ll find a mouthwatering menu as well as an endless drink menu that includes wine, cask ales, draught beer and cider, bottled beer, gin, vodka, scotch, assorted cocktails and even non-alcoholic beverages if all you’re looking for is a calm dinner and great atmosphere.
The New Forest usually has attractive promotions like a burger and a beer for £15 or a bottle of Prosecco for £15 each Friday. It’s right at the edge of the New Forest, on the way back to Southampton – kinda a last chance saloon.
3. The Forest Inn, Ashurst
I got this one confused with The New Forest pub above when I was road tripping round the New Forest taking my photos. They’re very close, but also very different. This is the actual last pub before you leave the New Forest Southampton bound.
The Forest Inn is a traditional pub serving home cooked food with daily specials. From the beer garden here you can see stunning views of the New Forest National Park, and there’s a log fire inside too.
4. The Oak Inn, Lyndhurst
From the warmest evenings to the coldest nights, The Oak Inn pub in The New Forest will always welcome you with open arms – whether you’re a slider, rambler or regular customer.
From the moment you walk through the door, the scent of the most delicious dishes will reach your nose. Indulge in great pub meals such as steaks, fish, roasties, kids’ meals and a fair selection of sweets and desserts too.
But no pub is complete without its most important element: a refreshing drink. Tap beers, bottled beers, wine and sweet cocktails made with fresh fruit and only the best liquors.
5. The Pilgrim Inn, Marchwood
What makes New Forest pubs the best? Their amazing facilities that host tourists all year round. If you visit the New Forest in the hottest months of the year you can lounge in the garden seating area of the pub, but if you’re planning on a winter wonderland trip you can curl up near the fire and enjoy a hot cup of coffee or a steamy chocolate.
The Pilgrim Inn in Marchwood offers the best meals from breakfast ‘till dinner, and you’ll also enjoy one of hundreds of beverages: from beers and liquors to sparkling champagne and fresh refreshing tonic water.
Need more reasons to visit The Pilgrim Inn? Live music will get you dancing and singing along!
What to do on a day out in the New Forest?
Check out this video I made about the New Forest!
You can plan your New Forest pubs around a fun outdoorsy schedule in the forest. So much to do there!
6. The New Forest Inn, Lyndhurst
The New Forest Inn is a traditional pub with a unique green facade and some outdoors garden benches to enjoy fresh drinks during the hottest months of the year. Love to sit here and watch the people and traffic go by.
The New Forest Inn menu contains some real local ales, a huge selection of the finest wines, cider and all sorts of cocktails. When the weather starts to drop and you just want to curl up next to the fire at the end of your touring day, there’s also a cosy sitting area on the inside.
You’re not far from The Swan here and you could walk between the two for a bit of a pub crawl, if you fancy.
7. The Hare and Hounds, Sway
If you’re looking to visit the best pubs in the New Forest, you absolutely have to go to The Hare and Hounds, in Sway.
This pub has everything to make you feel at home even if you‘re traveling from far away. With friendly staff and a chilled vibe you can pick one of two different seating areas to enjoy a brisk summer night in the garden, or take cover on rainy and cold days in one of their inside tables and comfortable seating areas.
The Hare and Hounds is a family friendly place and serves different types of menus to serve all culinary desires and diets.
8. The Plough Inn
One of the best New Forest pubs IMHO, is The Plough Inn. This rustic yet hip place is the hangout spot for all types of people who enjoy good music and even better drinks. Their beer garden is FAB.
So, if you want to experience the infamous English party nights, don’t miss a visit to this pub. From high-end dishes that look like they belong on a fancy restaurant to the many, many brands of ale, cider and beer, The Plough Inn has all you need for the perfect end of the day.
This pub is family friendly so don’t hesitate to bring the kids along.
9. Fleur de Lys, Pilley near Lymington
Not only is this one of the best New Forest pubs, it’s also the oldest one in town. Fleur de Lys served its first mouth-watering pint of beer in 1096 and has a traceable list of landlords that begins in 1498. Also known as the Grand Old Lady of the Forest, this pub has a very rustic exterior with a thick thatched roof and a lovely, welcoming interior.
During cold winters you can enjoy comfortable seating by the fire, and in the summer, you can chill by the garden with your pets and kids. Fleur de Lys serves chilled exclusive wines and all types of local ales.
There are a lot of cute thatched cottages in the New Forest, and the Fleur De Lys pub is the stunning epitome of this. The road it’s on is really beautiful too – lots of lovely photo ops here!
Definitely my favourite looking of all the New Forest pubs, or maybe, the Royal Oak. I’ll take both.
10. Green Dragon, Brook
If you want to indulge in a foamy beer and you’d like to learn more about England’s most iconic places, you have to pay a visit to the Green Dragon pub.
This cosy New Forest pub dates back to the 15th Century, but it became a beer house about 200 years ago. From the moment you get closer you’ll notice a calm stream and an old-fashioned hump-backed bridge spanning to the entrance.
Enjoy one of their specialty cask ales while you get the chance to spot wild ponies, pigs, cows, donkeys and more farm animals walking nearby. The house opposite is AMAZING.
11. The Royal Oak, Fritham
To fully live the rural pub experience in England, you must pay a visit to The Royal Oak. Located in Fritham, this picturesque pub shares space with a working farm, so it’s most likely you’ll end up meeting some friendly livestock such as ponies and pigs.
In spite of its simple and modest appearance, The Royal Oak has some delicious lunchtime meals, seven real ales, wines by the glass, country wines, local cider and even a fun September beer festival.
If you’re looking for fun activities on your visit to this pub, there’s always board games, darts and even books available for those who want some alone time. One of the best New Forest pubs for the traditional, English pub experience.
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12. Master Builder, Bucklers Hard
Who said pubs can’t look luxurious?
The Master Builder in Bucklers Hard is a house hotel that serves everyone from the most casual bystanders to the fanciest customers who want to have a special dining experience. With a neat and ample garden, you can have a brisk summer evening with friends enjoying some of the most delicious local ales or all sorts of cocktails while you enjoy delicious meals.
There’s also a lovely terrace where you can enjoy the weather at the end of a day of sightseeing in the New Forest.
13. Red Shoot Inn, Linwood
With an authentic rural and hunting-themed decor, the Red Shoot Inn is a country pub located right in the heart of the New Forest National Park. The vibes in this place are completely homey, and you can see it from their home-cooked meals such as beer battered fish & chips, Hunter’s board and rustic bread.
Another cool thing about this New Forest pub is that it has its own Micro Brewery, where they work on 4 different ales, all of them with character and flavour for all types of palates.
14. Crown Stirrup, Lyndhurst
Another lovely, picturesque pub that looks like it comes straight out of a movie, the Crown Stirrup pub is located in the outskirts of Lyndhurst, off the Lyndhurst Parish Circular Walk. The Crown Stirrup also dates back to the 15th century, and you can see it through its low ceilings, log fires and ultra-traditional decor.
This pub welcomes cyclists, walkers and even pets into their homey garden. Enjoy some of the most refreshing and traditional drinks by the fire or while stargazing in the summer.
15. Waterloo Arms
A friendly and welcoming ambience awaits you on your visit to the Waterloo Arms pub. This place dates back to the 17th century, and it serves the most mouthwatering home-cooked English traditional meals.
Live music, social gatherings and a beautiful decoration are part of this pub’s history.
The Waterloo Arms is kinda dark inside, but cosy too. It doesn’t matter if you visit in the winter or in the hottest months of the year, this pub offers you a cosy fireplace and a lovely beer garden to enjoy some fresh air.
16. The Alice Lisle, Ringwood
I haven’t actually been inside the Alice Lisle, but I spotted it from the roadside while I was touring the New Forest pubs for photos. The beer garden looked great, the staff came out and were very friendly. And there was little horses outside too.
17. The Swan, Lyndhurst
The Swan is a great pub in the New Forest, located on a pretty crossroads in Lyndhurst. If you cross over the road there are some really pretty thatched cottages there, well worth a little looksee.
As for The Swan, you’ll enjoy the usual range of food and drink from an English pub, as well as some great coffee. The nice, big car park here makes it easy to find a safe spot for your car. Parking can be tricky in the New Forest!
Before you hit the pubs in the New Forest – how about going to Milford on Sea for some of the best paddleboarding in Hampshire?
18. The Ferryman, Lymington
The location of The Ferryman is all part of the joy. Just over the road you’ll find the Lymington River – and all the lovely wildlife and waterlife that goes with it. You can hire a kayak or canoe, and take to the water to choose your yacht from the many parked up there.
As for The Ferryman, not only is it one of the best located New Forest pubs, it’s also one of the best foodie pubs too. Seasonal foodie highlights include Braised Beef Blade, Twice Baked Cheese Souffle and Fisherman’s Stew. Another pub in the New Forest with great parking, as there are spaces back and front. Enjoy!
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