The large car park in the centre of the village of Lyndhurst is also home to the New Forest Heritage Centre which houses a museum, gift shop, small art gallery and a research library. The centre is run by a local charity and is housed in a modern building that was opened in 1988 by the Duke of Edinburgh but has been expanded since and now also includes purpose built classrooms for educational visits.
The museum contains imaginative displays that take you through the history of the Forest and its customs with something for all the family by means of interactive displays. A visit to the museum will provide you with the background information you need to appreciate fully this unique area and its gift shop stocks books of local interest plus other New Forest merchandise and unusual gifts. Situated within the complex is the Tip, Leaf & Bean Cafe is the ideal place to relax after your visit to the Museum or a long walk in the Forest.
A ticket to the Museum also allows you access to the Library which contains the most comprehensive collection of books, maps, and all sorts of information on the New Forest available to the public in a single location. For those researching aspects of the New Forest’s history, it contains a wealth of information plus an extremely informative librarian who knows everything you could wish to know about the area.
The New Forest Gallery presents a varied programme of exhibitions including local and natural history displays that relate to the New Forest. It also serves as a lecture theatre and plays host to a series of spring and autumn talks and lectures.
The New Forest Heritage Centre is open seven days a week from 10am until 5pm and is well worth a visit for visitors and locals alike. Admission is free. Postcode for satnav purposes is SO43 7NY