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Lymington is a pretty Georgian market town in the south of the New Forest, Hampshire. It is surrounded on three sides by the New Forest National Park, offering a delightful combination of wooded forest and open heathland. The town sits on the western bank of the beautiful Lymington River, leading onto the Solent, with idyllic views of the unspoilt coastline and the Isle of Wight.
According to the 2011 census, the Lymington urban area had a population of 15,407. With the nearby parish of Boldre, including Walhampton, the population in 2011 was 17,410.
A major yachting centre with three marinas; Lymington is the heart of the UK’s acknowledged Sailing Mecca and famous for its connections with Sir Ben Ainslie and other sailing Olympians. To the west of Lymington is a coastal nature reserve to Keyhaven and Hurst Castle, recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Lymington’s town centre was predominantly built in Georgian times and has a number of very fine and attractive Georgian buildings, which lend an air of history and elegance, in particular along the High Street, with its hotels, inns, shops and other businesses. There are a number of excellent boutique shops and independent cafés, with a good choice of well-known retail outlets.
The large and busy Charter Market has origins back to the 13th century and fills both sides of the High Street from Church Street to Quay Street all day every Saturday, come rain or shine. The cobbled Quay Street leads down to the Old Town Quay, still used as a base by local fishing boats.
Lymington boasts a variety of restaurants for all tastes, and many excellent pubs, both in the town centre and on the outskirts, as well as further afield in many of the nearby New Forest villages.
With all this in mind, it’s not surprising that Lymington is one of the “Best UK Coastal Towns in Which to Live”. Combined with accessible road and rail links north to London, west to Bournemouth and east to Southampton and beyond, as well as the car ferry service to Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, the town combines practicality with pleasure; the perfect work-life balance. There are many excellent schools and a wealth of local sports, clubs and activities.
The town has a large tourist industry, based on proximity to the New Forest and its harbour. There is holiday accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes; excellent hotels, pubs with rooms, bed and breakfasts, self catering holiday cottages, holiday parks, campsites - you can even stay in one of the marinas on a luxury yacht!
The open-air Sea Water Baths date from 1833 and has recently been restored, making a popular activity for locals and visitors throughout the summer months.