CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

A weekend on the New Forest coast - things to do, places to eat and where to stay

PUBLISHED: 10:11 08 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:11 08 June 2015

Archant

As the weather heats up, there’s no better place to visit than the glorious New Forest coastline. From cruises to campsites, walking tours to wildlife you’re guaranteed a full itinerary

LymingtonLymington

Cruise the coastline

After a pleasant stroll among the cobbled streets on Lymington, head down to the quayside for some fish and chips and watch the boats go by, or perhaps even attempt to catch a few crabs. If the weather’s on your side though, you simply can’t miss a chance to get out onto the water. Puffin Cruises can be found on the quay and Puffin Billi can take you out on a 30-minute river cruise, or how about one-hour picnic cruise? Taking in the river then out on to the Solent eastwards, you will have panoramic views of the western Solent while you enjoy your food. As the sun goes down, you could always decide to do an evening cruise, heading out on to the Solent for close-up views of Henry VII’s Hurst Castle, Fort Albert and Fort Victoria plus you will see the Needles in the distance.

Finally, you could choose the three-hour cruise, which combines all of the above and ‘the eighth wonder of the world’, the Needles and lighthouse. To find out times and prices visit www.puffincruiseslymington.com or call 07850 947618.

.

Luxury on the beach

Situated on the edge of the New Forest, The Beach House is nestled 200 yards from the beach in Milford on Sea and boasts breath-taking views of the Isle of Wight and the Needles. A Grade II listed Victorian mansion built in 1897, with restored oak-panelled interior, stained glass windows and vintage furniture, it was recently renamed (previously Westover Hall) by Blandford brewers, Hall & Woodhouse. The Beach House has 15 en-suite rooms, with stunning sea views available. See www.beachhousemilfordonsea.co.uk to book a room from £100 per night.

.

Feasts of the forest

Whether it is a cosy pub, fancy restaurant, or quaint tea room, if you are dedicated to supporting local producers and eating only the freshest ingredients, then look out for the New Forest Marque. What better way to start the day than with the official New Forest Breakfast, made up of at least three items of local produce from within the Forest. It was developed by top New Forest chefs and is now being served up at hotels, B&Bs, pubs and tearooms. There’s even bread that has been made using wheat that has been grown, milled and baked in the Forest. After a hearty start to the day, lunch or dinner at Pebble Beach in Barton-on Sea will not be a disappointment. This place has the most spectacular sea views looking out to the Isle of Wight – sip a glass of wine and enjoy some locally caught seafood dishes (www.pebblebeach-uk.com).There are food trails to explore across the whole of the Forest too. Try the Milford-on-Sea trail to enjoy a spectacular three-mile coastal walk taking in the foodie delights of The Marine Café, Lisa’s Larder pop-up farm shop selling Keyhaven lamb (among other things), independent grocer Hollands, sample The Raft’s locally made cakes and finally Braxton Gardens where you can buy New Forest produce to take home.

.

The Beach Bus

Why not ditch the car for the day and hop on board The Beach Bus, which runs from Hythe Ferry to Lymington, stopping at popular attractions such as Lepe Country Park, the stunning Exbury Gardens, the family friendly National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and historical Buckler’s Hard, where you can see the new Shipwright’s Centre bringing ship building to life? You can also enjoy great discounts with your ticket, including a free ice cream at Lepe Beach.

.

Under canvas

Set in five acres of parkland with a glimpse of the Isle of Wight, Lytton Lawn in Milford on Sea offers peace and relaxation. There is a play area for children, a games room and a well-stocked shop with off-licence. If you don’t have your own tent, there’s no excuse, as they have ready assembled Eurotents for hire. Plus, if you fancy a few hours of indulgence, just two-and-a-half miles away at Shorefiled Country Park, there’s a spa. Camping costs from £12 - £36 per pitch, per night.

.

Take a tour - Janette duke of Lymington Town Tours shares her top tips for the area

What’s your favourite thing about volunteering for the town tours?

• Although I have lived in the Forest for over 50 years and thought I knew a lot about the local area, I was really surprised at how much I have learned since joining.

If you had to choose one of the town tours, which would it be?

• If I was recommending one it would have to be ‘The Story of Lymington’ – it gives a brilliant overview of how the town came into being, and the highs and lows it has experienced during its history.

If visitors wanted to enjoy a coastal inspired walk, which should they choose?


• I think that it would have to be ‘Sea, Salt & Smuggling’ – so much of Lymington’s history has been connected to its location by the sea - a centre for trade, ship building, salt production and latterly as a vibrant centre for sailing.

Do you have any new walks for the summer season?

• With such a rich vein of history to tap into we are always trying to add something new to our programme. This season we have two ‘guest’ walks. The first looks at some of the inhabitants of the churchyard at Milford on Sea - everything from a Duchess to a scoundrel -with our ‘Voices from the Grave’ walk. We also have ‘Secrets of Pennington’ which abuts Lymington and still has an area of common at it’s heart. It is known as Donkey Town by the locals, and the gorse bushes were very useful for drying sheets on! When Lymington was a garrison town it is rumoured that the common was a popular site for duels.

What makes the New Forest coast so special for you?

• In a word, ‘diversity’. We have the stunning scenery and spectacular sunsets along the coastline and a little further inland the tranquility of the forest. It is no wonder it has, throughout time, proved a very popular place to live.

***

READ ON

Hampshire’s top 20 wedding venues - Choose from the best for your wedding venue

Best things about living in the New Forest - It has open countryside and seclusion but also an array of buzzing towns and villages. And if you know where to look in the Forest, you can still buy well says Emma Caulton

More from Out & About

Blow away the Christmas cobwebs on a walk with fine views and a striking memorial

Read more
Yesterday, 14:07

Treat yourself to lunch and tea with a visit to one of these fantastic Hampshire tea rooms.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:06

Is there anything more refreshing than a stroll on a crisp winter’s day? We don’t think so! Here are a few of our favourite rambles across the county to enjoy this season

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With 100 years since the last guns were fired during World War One, we remember the sacrifices Hampshire made

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With the New Forest, South Downs and a picturesque coastline, Hampshire is an amazing place for a walk. We round up a few of our favourites

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

There is so much to see and do in Hampshire over the festive season, from carol services to markets and of course amazing food and drink and our day-by-day guide brings you the pick of the best

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

If you’re planning to add a new extension, remodel the internal layout or create a brilliant new kitchen overlooking a landscaped garden, a visit to the South East Homebuilding & Renovating Show (19-20 January 2019) at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre is a must

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

Huge Christmas markets, frosty countryside and cosy pubs; winter in Hampshire is second to none…

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

When it comes to celebrating the festive season, Winchester is alive with the sound of music. From Cathedral choirs to community singers and from family musicals to classical concerts, there’s something for everyone

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Get in the festive spirit with our selection of the Hampshire's top dining experiences this Christmas…

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

This thriving community in North Hampshire is a desirable location for residents and visitors alike

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Running a successful regional theatre means thinking beyond the bricks and mortar to reach out to the community. We ask four of Hampshire’s leading impresarios, how do they ensure that the show goes on?

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Savour spectacular views of the Needles and Alum Bay and discover history tales on this invigorating walk on the Isle of Wight

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search