Your guide to the best pub restaurants & places for pub grub in the New Forest
After exploring the New Forest’s scenic trails, you will likely have worked up a good appetite. From Michelin-star dining to local boozers serving up family friendly favourites, tuck into some of the best pub grub in this neck of the woods. It’s our round and we’re serving you some of the best gastropubs in the New Forest for lunch and food.
The best gastropubs in the New Forest for lunch and food
Try The Rockingham Arms in West Wallow for an incredible Malaysian fish curry, or The Drift (nestled between Beaulieu and Lyndhurst) for award-winning seasonal dishes created from local produce. Sample pub classics or the carvery at Ringwood’s Old Beams Inn, tuck into a ploughman’s lunch at The Royal Oak (Fritham) or enjoy a seafood special at The Cartwheel Inn, Fordingbridge.
Despite the sweeping heathlands, towering woodlands and general sense of escape, you’re never far from the warm welcome of a local pub serving up fantastic home cooked pub grub. Let’s take a deeper dive into the culinary indulgences on offer throughout the region at just a few of our favourite gastropubs…
The Rockingham Arms - West Wellow, Romsey SO51 6DE
One of our favourite locals is The Rockingham Arms, a cosy old village pub just over the green from ours. With a dog-friendly beer garden with parking to the rear, local ales on tap and home-cooked food coming straight from the kitchen, it’s hard to ask for a better post or mid-adventure pitstop this side of Canada Common.
When lunchtime rolls around, this crowd-pleasing menu has something delicious to appease even the fussiest eaters. From mac and cheeses for the kids to fish finger ciabatta rolls for the big kids, this New Forest gastropub offers a wholesome taste of home. For something a little different, the Malaysian fish curry offers something special if you can handle a hint of spice.
The Drift Pub - Beaulieu Road, SOO42 7YQ
Nestled between Beaulieu and Lyndhurst, you’ll find The Drift Pub. Not only does this rustic gastropub offer a cosy place for a drink, but also cosy - and award-winning - dining. This relaxed eatery serves up a Great British classics menu that’s ever-changing yet remains consistently committed to quality pub grub.
To stay true to their New Forest Marque Food and Drink pledge, chefs at The Drift only use the best seasonal ingredients sourced nearby. The magic of the seasons helps them create every dish, from lamb shanks in the spring to a hearty squash, spinach, and feta mud pie come autumn. Round up your furry friends after your walk, or all pile in your car to get to The Drift; there’s complimentary parking at the front of the pub.
Old Beams Inn - Salisbury Road, Ringwood, BH24 3PP
Enjoy a pint, a pub lunch and a side of history with your furry friends at Old Beams Inn. Standing in the New Forest since the 11th century, this local watering hole has become a much-loved eatery since it began serving food 60 years ago.
Over six decades, this local has lovingly crafted a menu of British classics across its lunch and dinner menus. For daytime fuel, you can look forward to homely shepherd’s pie, jacket potatoes and more. And while it may only be lunchtime, the Old Beams Inn has a sticky toffee pudding that will make you want to bring your afters to after lunch rather than after dinner.
Every Sunday from 12-4 pm, the Old Beams Inn menu transforms into a hearty carvery that boasts a choice of three joints plus all the trimmings. The goose-fat roasted potatoes alone are worth the effort of booking ahead; we promise. It’s the perfect pitstop after a morning walking the New Forest or alternatively, you can park up at the on-site car park.
The Royal Oak - Fritham, Lyndhurst SO43 7HJ, UK
Snuggle up your furry friends by the log fire in Fritham and enjoy an equally warming lunch at the Royal Oak. With lunch served from 12 - 3pm each day, you can finish off a colourful walk through the New Forest with a menu equally full of colour. If you’d rather drive straight to lunch, you can do that too; there’s parking nearby at Janesmoor Pond Car Park. From fresh ploughman’s lunches to New Forest smoked trout pate, every bite to eat is bursting with flavour. We’ve also got our eyes on the pork pies…
The Cartwheel Inn — Whitsbury, Fordingbridge, SP6 3PZ
The Cartwheel Inn in Whitsbury welcomes walkers and their four-legged friends fresh off their New Forest trails. This quaint country gastropub has a foodie past as the village bakery in a former life. These days, it plates up family-friendly favourites. Think everything from Welsh Rarebits to the place’s own Cartwheel Platter, a tasty starter bursting with Dorset cured Meats with in-house treacle smoked chicken. You should also look out for Seafood Specials every Friday and Saturday; you'll be in for a treat. However, it’s worth finding somewhere else to eat at the beginning of your week’s holiday with us as this place is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. We’ll be right behind you in the car park to get in on Wednesdays, though.
The White Buck — Burley, BH24 4AZ
For a warm New Forest welcome and quality home cooked pub classics with locally-sourced ingredients in a stunning setting, be sure to stop by Burley’s The White Buck if you’re in the area. As a beautiful, grand country house, you won’t miss it, that’s for sure.
The whole menu is covered — whether it’s a full English breakfast, a lunchtime bite to eat (try the pulled couth coast pork shoulder sandwich), a Sunday carvery with all the trimmings, or their pie of the day with red wine gravy.
There’s no shortage of scrumptious options for vegetarian and vegan diners, and the little ones are also well catered for. We’d recommend booking if you’re visiting at a peak time; it’s popular, but for very good reason.
Whilst your furry pals won’t be allowed in the restaurant, dogs are allowed in the bar area. If the weather’s playing ball, be sure to enjoy a local ale in the huge (and we mean huge) pro-pup beer garden out back.
Formerly known as Holmehurst, did you know that the manor was used as a hospital during WWII?
Looking to feast your way through the New Forest?
We’re in the perfect place. Green Hill Farm Holiday Village is our luxury holiday park nestled at the heart of the New Forest, in Landford.
As well as a range of excellent amenities and accommodation — luxury lodges, cosy holiday homes, safari tents, glamping and camping and touring pitches — our park is also completely dog friendly. You can bring along up to two of your canine companions for your stay; many of these gastropubs are pup friendly.
If you’re wanting to return time and again, you might even want to consider holiday home ownership in the New Forest with us.