Area Guides

Top 5 Instagrammable Autumn Activities

The New Forest is one of the most Instagramed destinations in the UK. Here are some Instagram-worthy activities just waiting for #NewForest.

#NewForest has been used over 700,000 times on Instagram, placing our national park in the top 5 most Instagramed destinations in the UK. The New Forest in autumn is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK, so lace up your walking boots and make sure your iPhone is charged; here are our top Instagrammable autumn activities.

Pannage Season

Explore the endless miles of heathland and spot the New Forest pannage pigs snuffling for acorns. Autumn marks the start of Pannage, which is a beautiful and quite mesmerising sight. Pigs are let out onto the forest in late September to gobble up acorns which are poisonous to the native ponies. Be sure to take your camera to snap sows and their piglets trotting through Brockenhurst village or out in the forest. Warning: never touch any New Forest animal for your own safety please.

Pumpkin Picking

Halloween is almost upon us and that means trick or treating, fancy dress and, most importantly, pumpkins! Pumpkin picking is a fantastic day out, and the fun continues all the way home when you get to carve it too. There are ‘pumpkin patches’ less than 10 miles from our New Forest Hotel including Cat and Fiddle Farm, with wheelbarrows to hire and pumpkins ready to be picked, or Sunnyfields Farm in Totton, with thousands of pumpkins to choose from, from big ones to tiny munchkins. You can even stay and carve your pumpkin there and enjoy a hot chocolate in their Pumpkin Cafe. Or a little further away, pop on the wellies and head to Pickwell Farm in Southampton for your Halloween haul. Wherever you choose, wrap up warm, pack the wellies and don’t forget to take lots of snaps!

New Forest Walking Festival

As the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness rolls across the ancient moorlands of the New Forest, the landscape becomes a riot of colour creating a thrilling adventure for ramblers and photographers alike. The popular New Forest Walking Festival provides a great opportunity to explore the forest like a local with more than 80 guided walks to choose from. All walks are expert-led by the New Forest National Park Authority, helping you to learn more about the National Park and capture those Insta-worthy moments.

Visit Exbury Gardens

Whether you’re an avid horticulturalist or not, Exbury Gardens are a spectacular 200-acre site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees, and shrubs. During Autumn, the intense greenery of the garden turns to amber and gold, whilst ornamental trees begin to bear rich red fruits and maples turn a striking russet. You can also explore the garden via a 20-minute Steam Railway trip for you to continue snapping away with the weight of your feet. Why not pop in to view a stunning collection of sparkling Nerine sarniensis ‘Jewel Lilies’ during your autumn getaway.

Head out at Golden Hour

You can’t get more ‘gram’ than a sunset or sunrise, and a sunset in the New Forest is certainly worthy of a post, especially with an autumn glow. A photographer’s greatest weapon, ‘Golden Hour’ is the first hour after the sun has risen and the last hour of light before the sun has set. It is an ideal time to capture the dewy leaves on an autumn morning or the blanket of red and orange on an autumn afternoon. Get a New Forest Pony in there and you’ve got the winning shot.