Having done a kayaking and archery experience with New Forest Activities, I know just what fun days out they have to offer – but that doesn’t mean you do! Below is an interview with Laura, talking about their fantastic outdoor adventures and exciting plans for the future.
1) Please explain your journey as 'New Forest Activities' so far.
When I started at New Forest Activities we had a small team of 5 and worked from a small building, which was an old dairy, in Beaulieu. Over the past few years the company has grown massively and now has 12 permanent staff that grows to 20+ over the Summer months. I really enjoy working for such a fun and proactive company. The tourism industry is never dull and working to provide fun activities that bring people an experience they'll remember fondly is really fulfilling.
We are always thinking of ways to enhance people's experiences with us, creating new products such as paddle to the pub, and new courses so people can grow with us. We want to give people a reason to keep coming back year after year.
2) What has been the biggest or most memorable event you’ve provided?
There have been loads of events over the years. We've done lots for big corporate companies such as Vodafone and Microsoft, giving them team-building days and fun away days. We had the team from GAME down who did a military style training event with our Battlefield LIVE, this included full army get up and drill sergeants!
We've had the local radio station Breeze FM in to meet the team and report live from our offices for a week. We've even had a few celebrities out on the water; one was booked on in secret and taken out by the team...Kerry Katona!
We regularly have youth groups down and do a lot of work with Princess Trust groups. It's very satisfying to see the kids develop skills and really grow with confidence over the week they are with us.
3) Is there any inside information you can give us?
New Forest Activities is open all year round but obviously are at our busiest in the Summer. During the Winter months our paddle sports especially aren't quite so popular. If I'm honest this is where people are missing out! The Beaulieu River is stunning throughout the year and on a crisp Winters day it is truly beautiful. There's also different wildlife and a different feel to the experience. It's a shame people shy away from it when a few decent layers and you'll be just as warm. As they say, there's no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothing!
4) Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you'd like to tell us about?
New Forest Activities have grown so much over the past few years and don't intend to stop! We now have activities available all round the New Forest and surrounding areas. This year alone we started offering Kayak hire at Sopley Lake and another Archery session in Burley. We are also developing new packages that are perfect for groups such as Stag & Hens and children's parties. Who wouldn't love a Pirate party as a kid?! Not to mention we now have a mini bus which is ideal for group hire or collecting people from their accommodation. The paddle sport side of things is more exciting than ever with more trips and courses available. The Winter will be used to work out more products and even more activities for next year. Watch this space!
5) What would you say is your most frequently asked question?
Will I fall in?! A lot of people are worried about falling out of their Canoe or capsizing their Kayak, but the boats we use are very wide and stable making them perfect for beginners. You really do have to try hard to tip them! We obviously have more advanced kit such as our Sea Kayaks that allow people to develop their skills and progress in the sport.
We often get asked if our Battlefield LIVE game hurts...not at all! The guns use an infra-red technology which means there are no projectiles, no lasers, and no pain!
Lastly we often get asked when we close for the Winter. We don't. New Forest Activities is open all year round and just as fun in the Winter as in the Summer!
Check out the range of experiences, here:
Dorset Sea Kayaking Half Day Trip
Hampshire Canoeing Taster
Archery Experience – Adult
Archery Experience – Child
Archery Experience – Family (4 Tickets)
New Forest Sea Kayaking BCU 3 Star