October half-term offers the last chance to step on board the Beaulieu River Cruise to explore the Beaulieu River which recently featured in Channel 4’s The UK’s National Parks with Caroline Quentin.
Follow her paddle along the Beaulieu River to spot returning wintering waders and wildfowl – and maybe even see a seal!
River cruises* run daily until October 29 and are the perfect way to feel the breeze in your hair, while you get close to nature and explore the unspoilt New Forest haven which is home to more than 200 species of birdlife.
This year, the maritime village of Buckler’s Hard remains open for free visits throughout the autumn and winter – offering the perfect destination for riverside strolls.
Blow away the cobwebs, then take Caroline’s top tip of dropping anchor after your cruise to sample the tasty pub menu at the Master Builder’s House or warming hot chocolate and new winter menu at The Captain’s Table.
Free access to the village includes entry to the original Shipwright’s Cottage and charming St Mary’s Chapel, with a smugglers’ cellar under the altar, as well as the HMS Agamemnon – Navigating the Legend exhibition about nations working together to preserve the world’s only surviving wreck of a ship built at Buckler’s Hard.
Dogs have always been welcome at Buckler’s Hard on a lead – but you can now take them inside Buckler’s Hard Museum with you. With an admission ticket to the museum, discover more about the maritime history of the village where ships for Nelson’s fleet at Trafalgar were built, see exhibits including Nelson’s original baby clothes, then listen in on conversations between villagers of the past and follow residents’ stories in the exhibition of village life.
Buckler’s Hard is accessible by foot, car, motorbike – or boat! A parking charge contributes to the upkeep of the historic village.
* River Cruise tickets are sold on board the boat for £7 an adult, £5.50 a child aged 5-16 and £7 a senior. Or buy a family ticket, for two adults and up to three children, for £21.50. Under 5s go free.