The New Forest Tour is an hourly, open-top bus service, running a circular route around Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, Lymington, Beaulieu and Exbury Gardens. It is run by Solent Blue Line (now Bluestar) in a partnership with Hampshire County Council, using two East Lancs Myllennium Vykings.
The tour was set up in 2004 by Solent Blue Line
and City Sightseeing
. The aim was to get traffic off the roads in and around the New Forest
. When started, Solent Blue Line used a Bristol VR
on a circular tour around the forest with a bike trailer. The tour continued like that for two years until the last day of operating in 2005.
In 2006 Solent Blue Line operated the tour with two nearly-new open-top buses from Wilts & Dorset
. Supported by local funding from New Forest District Council
, this meant the tour could run hourly instead of two hourly. The buses were low floor and accessible to wheelchair users. The Bike trailer was continued on the updated service, and buses served Exbury Gardens.
The same buses as 2006 were used on the tour this year but with a with a new green livery, with ponies on the side. It is essentially a green version of Southern Vectis
' Island Breezers
livery. A slight route change was in operation, with a diversion in Lymington due to roadworks. The tour became no longer associated with City Sightseeing.
Prior to the 2008 service starting, Solent Blue Line
re-named all of its services to run under the Bluestar
brand. The New Forest Tour remained separate, but details now appear on the Bluestar website. The tour ran from 24 May to 31 August, and the connections to the tour were been withdrawn.