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Winter in the New Forest

Tour Code: GBR15

A weekend to enjoy the peace and the birds of the New Forest in winter, as well as of nearby Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes.

3 days from £350(flights not included) Land Only Price: £0 SRS: £55

The New Forest covers 144 square miles of Hampshire and Dorset, and includes Britain’s most important area of lowland heathland, as well as mixed forest and boggy hollows which together are home to a rich diversity of plants and animals. While most wildlife enthusiasts choose to visit during the spring and summer, the forest reclaims its wild charm in the winter, when many species such as Hawfinch are more easily seen, and hardy residents including Dartford Warbler remain on the heaths. We’ll search for flocks of finches, geese, waders such as Little Egret, birds of prey and woodpeckers amongst many other birds, from our comfortable base in the pretty New Forest town of Lyndhurst.

  • Goshawks begin their roller-coaster display flights in February
  • Dartford Warbler & Great Grey Shrike present during winter
  • Hawfinch, Crossbill, Stonechat, Treecreeper, Siskin, Redpoll & Meadow Pipit
  • Green, Great Spotted & Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers
  • Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine, Hen Harrier & Buzzard
  • Brambling among roving winter finch flocks
  • Brent Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, flocks of Dunlin & Eider
  • Led by expert naturalist guide


Breakfast and evening meals included. Allow around £10/£15 per day for a pub lunch.


Comfortable hotel in Lyndhurst - Forest Lodge Hotel. All rooms have private facilities.

Hen Harrier (Paul Marshall)

Hen Harrier (Paul Marshall)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Meet at hotel

Day 2 Exploration of the New Forest; Bishop's Dyke/Beaulieu Heath

Day 3 Pennington and Keyhaven nature reserves

The extensive rolling heaths and woodlands of the New Forest are home to a wealth of wildlife throughout the year and, whilst the majority of birdwatchers visit in the spring and early summer, ‘The Forest’ reclaims its wild and ancient charm during the winter months; a beauty accentuated by a hard frost on the trees or a sprinkling of snow on the ground. Hardy little Dartford Warblers remain on the heaths all year and these are joined in the winter by Hen Harriers and the occasional Great Grey Shrike. Hawfinches are more easily seen in trees free from leaves, whilst roving winter finch flocks frequently hold Bramblings. Goshawks start their roller-coaster display in late February and Merlin, Crossbill, and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker are also possible. For this weekend break we will base ourselves in the pretty coastal town of Lymington. From here we will not only explore the inland portion of the New Forest National Park, but also spend time birdwatching around the marshes and lagoons along the Solent — in particular at Pennington and Keyhaven Marshes — in search of wintering Brent Geese, Little Egrets, Peregrine, grebes, divers, ducks and a variety of waders.

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West Sussex
Phenomenal number of bird species seen in an area close to where I was brought up.
The balance of walking/fresh air/being ferried around effortlessly, made it relaxing, refreshing and stress free - ideal as a manageable short break from the hurley burley of normal day-to-day February life.
Excellent mix of 'quality time' in the forest and moving around to find the best birds. Great to have a guide with such a wide breadth of knowledge and passion for the wildlife and ecology of the area.
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Fri 1st March 2019 - Sun 3rd March 2019



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Flights: Flights are not included with this tourMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are limited. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £0 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: United Kingdom

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Paul Stanbury
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01962 733051

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Phenomenal number of bird species seen in an area close to where I was brought up.
J.T., West Sussex