new forest heritage centreThe 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, cafe,  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 is free to enter and 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. The New Forest Gallery presents a varied programme of exhibitions including local artists, customs 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 Christopher Tower Reference Library, situated on the upper floor of the New Forest Heritage Centre, houses one of the most comprehensive collections of material about the New Forest. The library can be accessed Wednesday to Friday throughout the year by appointment. To arrange a visiting time, you need to contact the library on 023 8028 6150 or by emailing

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