Lymington: THE picturesque seaside town to visit in 2016!
Gateway to the Solent on the edge of the New Forest
Spring time, longer days and warmth in the sun - time to plan a day out!
Sailing haven and elegant Georgian market town, Lymington sits on the southern edge of the New Forest and provides a gateway to Solent. It's not surprising that the Daily Telegraph named Lymington the "best seaside resort town, ahead of Sandbanks", based on a study, using government statistics, which measured house prices and lifestyle factors including school league tables, the crime rate, local employment, amenities and transport links. Weather statistics including hours of sunshine and temperatures were also taken into account, along with the quality of the waterfront.
Lymington has much to offer visitors, with its bustling marinas, picturesque town and proximity to the New Forest National Park. The weather is generally better than in nearby Bournemouth as the town is sheltered by the Isle of Wight.
Leisurely Day Out in Lymington
Lymington is a perfect destination for a leisurely, even a lazy, day out! You can enjoy boutique shops on cobbled streets, coffee and cake and tasty lunches in hidden cafes or historic pubs, an ice cream mooching along the Quay...plus if you’ve time you could take a trip out on the river or indeed out to sea... or, see what you like best and make a date to return!
Browsing and Shopping
Lymington is a veritable treasure trove of great little shops for every day of the week. Many of them are open on Sundays especially the smaller independent shops, of which we’re lucky to have lots in our lovely Georgian High Street and in the little courtyards off to the sides - which you must explore during your visit!
Lymington is especially good for ladies fashion and ladies clothes generally.
A very special Lymington shop is our own fashion department store Elliotts of Lymington which offers very wearable fashion women and men too - including a number of favourite brands. Elliotts also has its own cafe on the first floor where you can take a break for coffee or a light lunch, and browse the day’s newspaper of your choice.
For Jaeger ladies we have a very well stocked, locally owned Jaeger concession just off the High Street in Rashley Mews (nearly opposite ). Anne always has the latest Jaeger range on display, in a very nice layout with plenty of space for browsing and good trying on facilities too. Jaeger also stocks a good range of the latest Jaeger menswear.
Anne also owns Esprit Fashion Although not so well known in the UK Esprit is an international brand which offers a good range of extremely well priced clothes for work, leisure and fun too. Jennifer and Marion look forward to welcoming you.
A personal favourite of ours is Frock Shop on the opposite side of the road to Esprit, a little further down and almost at the bottom of the High Street. Their favoured brand Great Plains offers a great range of fashion basics and specials too, and once again prices are very reasonable.
There are also ladies boutiques Stanwells (lots of designers usually only found in London), Thirty Three Boutique and Loose Ends on Gosport Street. For outdoorsy types there are quality names such as Quba & Co on the High Street and Musto down on Town Quay. And that’s still naming but a few – mooching and exploring is the order of the day!
Lymington Market - Saturday
If you’re visiting on a Saturday, Lymington is also well known for its Saturday market, which takes over the High Street from early on a Saturday morning through to 4 pm or so when the stall holders start to pack up. Stalls include a great mix of food: greengrocer, butcher, fish stall, plus more exotic delicatessens and any tasty things to eat right now, plus lots of locally produced crafts and art.
More information about Lymington Market
Tea and Coffee – Cafe your way around Lymington!
Looking for coffee, tea or a light snack? Take your pick from traditional tea rooms and relaxed cafes. There are lots of really good cafes in Lymington and actually it would be quite feasible, to spend your entire day in Lymington just moving on from one cafe to another!
Some of our favourites include Ciao Belli at the bottom of the High Street (on Gosport Street), a lovely Italian cafe which serves probably the best coffee in town. Also Cafe Grande, in Angel Courtyard in the little parade between Tesco and the car park, where Keith will cook to order the most delicious panini(s) with delectable fillings - and also offers free, reliable wifi for those needing to log in and check emails. Find more cafes here.
And whatever the weather, treat yourself to an ice cream, particularly as New Forest Ice Cream is made in Lymington and there’s a parlour at the top of Quay Hill. Flavours include ‘oriental ginger’, ‘mince pie’ and ‘Old Thumper’ real ale!
A light lunch or something more substantial to eat at lunchtime...
Within the town centre you can certainly get a good light lunch at many of the cafes as above. For something more substantial we’d suggest Lanes (centre of town), or if you like curry, we highly recommend Rivaaz.
Find more restaurants or pubs for a leisurely lunch.
Wandering about: Cobbles and Quay
Wandering about in Lymington is a most enjoyable pastime. If you’ve strolled down one side of the High Street to the bottom of the hill, carry on across the road and follow the cobbles to the Quay.
The Quay is the perfect place to sit and do nothing except perhaps eat the ice cream you’ve bought on the way and watch yachts drifting down river and families crabbing at the water’s edge.
Lymington Arts and Culture
St Barbe Museum and Gallery is one of Lymington’s best kept secrets – not even all the locals seem to know about it, but it’s actually a great little museum and a brilliant place to discover the heritage of Lymington. It’s in New Street, a short stroll from the High Street (turning almost opposite Elliotts). The museum retells local stories of smugglers, salt makers and boat builders working along the Solent shore. The gallery enjoys the support of organisations such as the Tate, V&A, and British Museum, shows work from national collections, holds major exhibitions and hosts work by renowned artists. For more about St Barbe: Link to St Barbe article on lymington.com
(then link to St Barbe website from there!)
There’s actually lots of art in and around Lymington, including Stephen Lees whom you can literally watch at work in his studio on the cobbles on the way down to the Quay.
To view see some more modern and dramatic local art including beautiful local abstract artworks for sale, make sure you pop in to Coastal Gallery, right up at the top of the town nearly opposite Waitrose.
And it’s worth popping your head inside our lovely St Thomas Church - although it’s currently surrounded by scaffolding, it is also probably THE iconic image of Lymington Town. It also needs our help right now to foot the bill to repair its historic Cupola. All contributions welcome!
The Lymington Waterside
Quayside, river, marinas, sailing clubs, ferry and to the sea...
The Town Quay is easily accessed on foot from the bottom of the High Street as above.
It’s a little further to walk to the marinas and the town’s yacht clubs although if you’ve travelled by car there’s the big Bath Road car park which serves the Royal Lymington Yacht Club and the Lymington Town Sailing Club. If you’re walking from the Quay, you’ll pass the internationally renowned Berthon Marina (which unfortunately blocks your view of the river!) then you can get off the road again into the gardens beside the river and past the Lymington Bandstand (live music most weekends) and on to where Lymington’s water based life really begins!
And as spring turns to summer you could think about taking a dip in the historic Lymington Sea Water Baths - which also has its own brand new website.
You could even consider fitting in a half day on the ocean wave with Escape Yachting who offer fabulous half day cruises on the Solent with lunch or dinner at anchor in a lovely spot – you might even see a seal!
That might be a bit much for one day - but gives you even more reason to come back again.