The New Forest in Hampshire is aiming to attract more families this summer with a range of walks, picnics, wildlife rambles and other events – all free and, it’s promised, fun.

The area’s website, allows you to download a podcast for a do-it-yourself guided walk, find the ideal picnic spot, discover a whole new world on a bug hunt, go crabbing on the coast or simply to have a great day out at one of the country’s best National Parks.

Suggestions for days out include:

  • Enjoying the freedom of the forest with a shady walk under the forest canopy, where children can enjoy the freedom of 200 square miles of beautiful National Park.
  • Rambling with a ‘ranger’ by downloading one of a choice of podcasts for your MP3 player, then putting on your headphones and listening to a Forestry Commission ranger.
  • Enjoying the view at Lepe Country Park, where there are stunning views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and from Hurst Castle to Portsmouth’s Spinnaker tower. With over a mile of beach, pine fringed cliffs, historic D-Day remains and wild flower meadows, Lepe is a great day out.
  • Picking the perfect picnic spot from the top tips list at New Forest National Park
  • Giving your dog a beach walk – the New Forest has 43 miles of coastline to explore and dogs are allowed on the beach at Barton-on-Sea, Calshot, Hordle Cliff, Keyhaven, Lepe (part of) and Milford on Sea.