The New Forest is an area of southern England which includes the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in south east of England. It covers south-west Hampshire and extends into south-east Wiltshire and towards east Dorset.
Lyndhurst is a village and civil parish in the New Forest, Hampshire, England. It is a popular tourist location with many independent shops, art galleries, cafés, restaurants, pubs and hotels. The nearest city is Southampton located around nine miles (14 km) to the north-east. In 2001 Lyndhurst had a population of 2,973 people. The village is the administrative capital of the New Forest, with the district council based in the village.
The name also refers to the New Forest National Park, created in March 2005 which has similar boundaries. Additionally the New Forest local government district is a subdivision of Hampshire which covers most of the Forest, and some nearby areas although it is no longer the planning authority for the National Park itself. There are many villages dotted around the area, and several small towns in the Forest and around its edges.
The New Forest was created as a royal forest by William I in about 1079 for the royal hunt, mainly of deer. It was created at the expense of more than 20 small hamlets and isolated farmsteads; hence it was ‘new’ in his time as a single compact area