The New Forest Museum and Visitor Centre (the Centre) first opened its doors to the public in June 1988. 

The dedication of a small band of trustees who sought to find a way to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the Forest in 1979, resulted in a fundraising campaign that led to the building of a museum of the New Forest. 

The Centre underwent a further extension in 2003 with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a new reference library was built.  In 2005, the New Forest became a national park and the Centre is proud to be at the heart of what is now, the second newest national park in the country.