By train, go to Southampton, where you can make rail connections to a few centers in the New Forest. Where the train leaves off, you can make bus connections to all towns and many villages. Southampton and Lymington have the best bus connections to New Forest's villages.
If you're driving, head west from Southampton on the A35.
The New Forest Visitor Centre, Main Car Park, Lyndhurst (tel. 023/8028-2269; www.thenewforest.co.uk), is open daily from 10am to 5pm.