Frequently Asked Questions

There are just a few things you’ll need to know before you head out on an adventure with us. Here you’ll quickly find the answers to some common queries, allowing you to get on and have some fun! 

Top FAQs

What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my activity?

Generally our activities go ahead in all weathers (yes even in the rain!) However if New Forest Activities do cancel your activity due to bad weather conditions, we will offer to move you to a new session, or issue a full refund.

We never issue refunds if a customer decides not to attend (or wants to cancel their activity) when New Forest Activities deem conditions to be safe for the activity to go ahead.

Customers can, however, opt to pay our optional ‘Poor Weather Insurance’ fee at time of booking. This enables you to cancel your activity or course up until 5pm the day before your booking and you’ll be eligible to move dates or receive a full refund (minus booking fee and insurance fee). Our ‘Poor Weather Insurance’ fee is £2.50 per person. This is only available at the time of the booking and not applicable to same day bookings or special events. Please see our full terms and conditions for our full cancellation policy.

What should I wear/bring for my activity?

Details of what to wear and what to bring can be found in your confirmation email, so please do read this carefully. However, as a general rule we advise the following:

Clothing appropriate for the weather; shorts and a t-shirt if it’s warm and dry, trousers and waterproofs if it’s cold and wet
Closed-toe shoes that can get wet and muddy (no flip-flops or sandals allowed)
Hats, drinking water and suncream if it’s hot
Hats and gloves with a flask of hot drink if it’s cold
‘Energy’ food such as fruit and chocolate

A towel and a change of clothes/shoes are advised for water-based activities, just in case!

Important: All members of your party must bring any medication they need. Failure to bring needed medication will result in that person not being allowed to participate in activities.

Can I just turn up on the day?

We do require you to book and pay in advance for all of our activities so that our instructors are able to prepare for their sessions. You can book online or call us on 01590 612377 to do this.

Can I bring my dog?

We welcome dogs on our canoeing and archery sessions. For canoeing, we ask that you bring a towel or blanket for your dog to sit on. This ensures that their paws don’t scratch the inside of the boat. We also ask that you keep your dog on a lead at all times.

COVID-19

How can you ensure that the activity will be safe?

We are taking extra precautions when it comes to running our activities during this time and our instructors have been trained to deliver them in the safest possible way. Social distancing will be paramount throughout your session and we are thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting our kit after every use.

Will I have to share a boat with someone I don't know?

No. We will never make you share boats with people outside of your household. All sessions will be delivered with social distancing measures in place.

What happens if I have to cancel due to Corinavirus?

We have outlined in our terms and conditions what should happen if you have to cancel your session due to COVID-19, which you can see here.

Do you provide plastic gloves and/or face masks?

Currently, we don’t provide these as we believe that the measures we have in place are adequate enough to ensure your absolute safety during your time with us. However, if you would like to bring your own, you’re very welcome to do so.

Do you offer private sessions?

We certainly do! Please click here for more information.

Will there be access to toilets and changing rooms?

Yes, toilets are open at all of our sites and will be stocked with anti-bacterial handwash. We encourage all our customers to wash their hands regularly whilst visiting us.

Unfortunately, changing rooms are unavailable during this time.

How do you clean your kit?

We’ve ramped up our cleaning regime, with kit being cleaned after each individual use. For water-based activities, kit such as paddles and buoyancy aids are dunked into disinfectant and paddle handles are sprayed with disinfectant spray. For land-based activities, all kit is thoroughly wiped down and sprayed with disinfectant spray after every use.

What happens if I capsize or need first aid?

We understand that social distancing is paramount, however so is your physical safety. In the unlikely event that you do capsize your boat, instructors will be on hand to show you how to get back into your boat, from a distance. Should an instructor need to make contact with you (such as those struggling to get back into boats, or those that require first aid) they will do so to ensure your absolute safety at all times.

Why would I bother if it's safer to stay at home?

Outdoor activities are beneficial for both your physical and mental health, and we welcome those that would like to make the most of their time in the great outdoors again. We also have extra safety precautions in place to ensure your safety at all times, however we understand that people may still not want to take part – and that’s ok!

How many people will be on my session?

We’re limiting the number of people we allow to book on to each session, and there will never be more than 12 people taking part at once.

Will there be anti-bacterial hand wash available?

Yes, anti-bacterial hand wash is available at all of our activity sites and we ask that customers do their bit, with regular hand washing throughout your visit with us.

Booking

Why is there a booking fee when booking online?

Booking fees on our website go directly to our booking system provider, Fareharbor and not to New Forest Activities.

What happens if I have to cancel on the day? Can I get a refund?

We do not issue refunds to customers cancelling on the day of their activity. We will, however, issue a refund if New Forest Activities cancel the activity or that you’ve taken part in the activity and you are not 100% satisfied with your experience. For more information on cancellations, please see our full terms & conditions.

Where will my activity be taking place?

We will send you a confirmation email as soon as you book an activity with us which contains a postcode and detailed directions to your activity site. All of our activity sites can be found in Beaulieu at the following locations:

Canoeing, Kayak Hire and Battlefield LIVE – Bailey’s Hard, Bailey’s Hard Lane, Beaulieu, Hampshire, SO42 7YF
Sit-on-top Kayaking Tours – Ashlett Mill, Ashlett Road, Southampton, SO45 1DT
Battlefield LIVE (June – Sept) – Bull’s Wood, East Boldre, Hampshire, SO42 7PD (Some sessions do still run from Bailey’s Hard between June – Sept. Always check your confirmation email).
Kayaking – Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu, Hampshire, SO42 7XB
Archery and Cycle Hire – Hazel Copse Farm, Beaulieu, Hampshire, SO42 7WA
Low/High Ropes and Bushcraft – Hartford Woods, Beaulieu, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN

How can I book?

You can book online here, or you can call us on 01590 612377 and we can process your booking over the phone.

Do I need to book in advance?

Yes, we require our customers to book and pay in advance for all of our activities.

How much will my activity cost?

Prices vary for all of our activities dependent on activity, group size, etc. For sessions that you book online, you can find prices online whilst booking. For groups, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Preparing for your adventure

What should I wear/bring for my activity?

Details of what to wear and what to bring can be found in your confirmation email, so please do read this carefully. However, as a general rule we advise the following:

Clothing appropriate for the weather; shorts and a t-shirt if it’s warm and dry, trousers and waterproofs if it’s cold and wet
Closed-toe shoes that can get wet and muddy (no flip-flops or sandals allowed)
Hats, drinking water and suncream if it’s hot
Hats and gloves with a flask of hot drink if it’s cold
‘Energy’ food such as fruit and chocolate

A towel and a change of clothes/shoes are advised for water-based activities, just in case!

Important: All members of your party must bring any medication they need. Failure to bring needed medication will result in that person not being allowed to participate in activities.

What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my activity?

Generally our activities go ahead in all weathers (yes even in the rain!) However if New Forest Activities do cancel your activity due to bad weather conditions, we will offer to move you to a new session, or issue a full refund.

We never issue refunds if a customer decides not to attend (or wants to cancel their activity) when New Forest Activities deem conditions to be safe for the activity to go ahead.

Customers can, however, opt to pay our optional ‘Poor Weather Insurance’ fee at time of booking. This enables you to cancel your activity or course up until 5pm the day before your booking and you’ll be eligible to move dates or receive a full refund (minus booking fee and insurance fee). Our ‘Poor Weather Insurance’ fee is £2.50 per person. This is only available at the time of the booking and not applicable to same day bookings or special events. Please see our full terms and conditions for our full cancellation policy.

When do I need to arrive?

We require our customers to arrive 30 minutes before their session is due to start. This allows adequate time for your safety briefing, and for you to get kitted up for your activity.

Can I bring a camera?

You are more than welcome to take a camera or camera phone along with you for your activity, however, this is at your own risk and New Forest Activities cannot accept liability for any damage that may occur during your activity. 

Can spectators watch me take part in my activity?

We welcome spectators for our land-based activities, however, for water-based activities we do cover some distance, sometimes out of view of spectators and the riverbank. Because of this, we would usually advise against inviting spectators along for water-based activities.

Our Activities

What's the difference between a canoe and a kayak?

Canoes are Canadian style, open-top boats that can fit up to three people per boat. They are very stable and suitable for families with young children. Kayaks are single-seater touring boats which fit one person and are suitable for those aged 10+ years. A canoe paddle only has a blade at one end whereas a kayak paddle is bladed at both ends. We also provide single and double sit-on-top kayaks for our Kayak Hire sessions.

How many people can fit in a canoe?

We have both 2 and 3 seater canoes available as part of our fleet. For families with small children, we can sometimes fit two little ones on the middle seat of a 3 seater meaning that in some instances, up to 4 people can fit in a boat. This will be decided on the day by your instructor, once they’ve got an idea of the size of your children.

How wet will I get when canoeing or kayaking?

Our canoes are very stable and whilst we can’t guarantee you won’t get wet, the chances are very slim. With kayaking, there is more splash but we provide spraydecks and over trousers to help minimise the chance of you getting very wet. If you’re worried, there are always wetsuits available, which we provide free of charge!

What kit do you supply?

We will equip you with all of the kit that you’ll need to ensure that you are safely and adequately prepared for your session. We do advise that you dress for the weather and activity.

Canoeing and Kayaking – We’ll provide you with a buoyancy aid, boat, paddle(s) and if needed, spraydecks and extra waterproofs.
Battlefield LIVE – We’ll provide you with complete overalls to protect your clothing during gameplay. It’s worth wearing suitable footwear for the weather and having a spare pair just in case.
Archery – Bow, arrows and arm guard.
Cycle Hire – Bikes (various sizes available), helmet, bike lock, puncture repair kit, spare inner tube(s) and free bike map.
Ropes Course – Safety helmet and harness.

Do you have off-road cycle routes?

Yes! We have a variety of off-road cycle routes suitable for all ages. We can talk you through all of our routes and recommend the best one for your group when you collect your bikes from us.

Is there shelter at your activity sites?

All of our activities take place outdoors however, there are sheltered picnic areas at all of our sites should you wish to use them. Due to being a seasonal site, our Bull’s Wood Battlefield LIVE site does not have a sheltered area.

Gift Vouchers

How can I buy a gift voucher?

Head to our Gift Vouchers page to order a gift voucher online. You can order a monetary gift voucher which will be emailed to you so that you can add a custom message before forwarding on to the recipient. If you’d like a physical voucher, give us a call on 01590 612377 and we can process this over the phone and post out to you free of charge.

How do I redeem a gift voucher?

It’s super easy! To redeem your gift voucher online, just enter the code during checkout and the voucher amount will automatically be deducted from your booking. If redeeming over the phone, just tell us your voucher number and we’ll apply it to your booking.

Can I use multiple gift vouchers on one booking?

Yes, you can apply more than one gift card to payments on the website, or by calling our team on 01590 612377.

How long is a gift voucher valid for?

New Forest Activities gift vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. You can find the date of purchase written on physical vouchers and in the confirmation email for digital vouchers. Please note, although the voucher must be redeemed within 12 months of purchase, your activity can take place at a later date.

Can I exchange a gift voucher for money?

New Forest Activities gift vouchers cannot be exchanged for money.