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Falling in love with Lymington

PUBLISHED: 11:58 12 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:32 14 May 2014

Lymington Quay © Herry Lawford

Lymington Quay © Herry Lawford


Known for its sunny quay and cobbled streets, Lymington is the perfect place to spend a weekend

Lymington is full of indepedent shops © James StringerLymington is full of indepedent shops © James Stringer

A beautiful, Georgian market town, Lymington is situated on the southern edge of the New Forest, between Southampton and Bournemouth and at the western end of the Solent. The town is world renowned as a sailing resort; there are two large marinas Berthon and Haven and two sailing clubs RLYC and Lymington Town. Close by the sailing clubs is an open-air seawater bath that was built in 1833.

Lymington has a number of interesting independent shops including some designer boutiques and on Saturday a market is held in the High Street, the origins of which date back to the 13th century. At the top of the High Street is the Parish Church, St Thomas Church (circa 1250) and at the bottom, a cobblestone road leads down to the Old Town Quay, still used as a base by commercial fishing boats.

Lymington is surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; to the north are the ancient woodlands and heathlands of the New Forest, covering an area of about 145 square miles, and to the south, the Solent and the Isle of Wight; Wightlink operate a car ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth, visit for timings and fares.

Going west are four miles of coastal nature reserve ending at Hurst Spit which has received European and national recognition as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The Ship Inn is a great place to enjoy the river views © Martin EdgeThe Ship Inn is a great place to enjoy the river views © Martin Edge

Hit the shops

Lymington is the perfect place for a browse, with its abundance of independent boutiques; you can lose yourself for hours amongst the cobbled streets. Coastal Gallery on Southampton Road is run by three artists and features an exciting collection of contemporary paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramics, much of which is inspired by the surrounding coast – a great place to find a souvenir. If you’re looking for a bargain, head to Jubbly’s on St Thomas Street and rifle through the knick knacks and ornaments adorning the shelves, you never know what you might find. Whilst on St Thomas Street, Cloud Cuckoo Land is the place for gifts and interiors whilst Lesley Pope Antiques has a variety of beautiful furniture and jewellery. Make your way down The High Street and you will find the likes of Willow, selling everything you could ever imagine for the home and Elliotts, a traditional department store. Just off The High Street, don’t miss Old’s Cool, a wonderful shop selling collectables, transport memorabilia and retro items and if you need a pick me up, Truffles, on The High Street will keep you going with their range of sweet treats and chocolates.

Find a bed

There are several excellent hotels in and around Lymington, ranging from quaint B&Bs to luxury four star hotels. Stanwell House (01590 677123) is situated right in the centre of the town on The High Street and boasts its own seafood restaurant and bistro. Prices start from £120 for comfortable, well decorated rooms. On a similar level is Passford House Hotel (01590 682398) on Mount Pleasant Lane - a welcoming hotel with beautiful grounds and rooms starting from £160. For something a little bit different Rhinefield House Hotel (0845 072 7516), just outside Brockenhurst, is a grand country house in one of the best situations within the New Forest whilst Careys Manor (01590 623551) comes with its own Thai inspired spa, Senspa. For a bit of history, The Angel & Blue Pig (01590 672050) on The High Street, is thought to be the oldest coaching inn in Lymington. Prices here start from £70 for lovely rooms with four poster beds. If you’re looking for a hideaway for two then try the Studio by the Sea (01590 670173), a lovely little B&B just off the Solent Way – perfect for walkers and cyclists.

Fill up

Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, pasta and pizza, crispy duck and noodles or a burger by the bay, Lymington has it all. Lanes of Lymington (01590 672777) on Ashley Lane offers a menu full of local and seasonal produce whilst La Viña (01590 674010) on The High Street is the best place to enjoy authentic tapas in their courtyard sun spot. For a nautical theme, try The Ship Inn (01590 676903) on the quay and enjoy excellent views of the river. And for traditional pub grub, The King’s Head (01590 672709) on Quay Hill is very popular with the locals. If you’re looking for a bit of live music, The Thomas Tripp (01590 689047), on Stanford Road, has a great folk club on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 8pm.

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