Minstead Village is located in the heart of the New Forest National Park just north of Lyndhurst and about 1 mile south of the A31. It has a small but vibrant community, mainly centred around the Village Green but with a number of dwellings spread out around the Parish which is one of the largest by area in the district. Much of the Parish lies within the Forest Central South Conservation Area.

Minstead is widely known for its Church, All Saints, the burial place of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as the Chelsea Gold Medal winning Furzey Gardens and a pub, the Trusty Servant which looks over the Village Green while nearby there is a large and much used Village Hall. Additionally, Minstead Study Centre provides unique residential and day experiences for schools while Minstead Training Trust provides care to adults with learning disabilities. To the north of the A31 but still within Minstead Parish is the Rufus Stone which marks the spot where William Rufus was accidentally shot and the nearby Sir Walter Tyrell pub, named after the person who is alleged to have fired the offending arrow.  See history to read more about the fascinating past of this historic village.

The New Forest District Council, Hampshire County Council and the New Forest National Park Authority are responsible for providing the majority of services within Minstead Civil Parish. Minstead Parish Council meets regularly to discuss local issues and to represent the views of the community to these authorities (see below).

Additionally the Forestry Commission manages most of the land and many of the amenities in the New Forest including Car Parks, Cycle Tracks, Camp Sites and various events some of which lie within Minstead Parish. Its website is full of valuable information and some useful maps.

Another group with a long history who have an impact on the locality are the Verderers whose roles are to: protect and administer the New Forest’s unique agricultural commoning practices; conserve its traditional landscape, wildlife and aesthetic character, including its flora and fauna, peacefulness, natural beauty and cultural heritage; and to safeguard a viable future for commoning upon which the foregoing depends.