• Celebrate Bastille Day at Le Blaireau in the New Forest

    Celebrate Bastille Day with french regional menus in the new forest

    Le Blaireau Bar & Bistro will be a Brexit-free zone this summer

    Themed meals at Le Blaireau Bar and BistroWith a special celebration planned for Bastille Day, head chef Jean-Raymond Dijoux, has also launched monthly seasonal menus celebrating the most famous regional French cuisines.

    The relaxed, quirky, Brockenhurst bistro in the grounds of Careys Manor & SenSpa, with a quirky interior inspired by Paris street café culture, will be celebrating Bastille Day with a three-course Bastille Day menu, accompanied by a traditional French accordionist for £29.95 per person.

    Bastille Day on 14 July, Quatorze Juillet, is the highlight of the French events calendar. In 1789, troops stormed the Bastille, the medieval fortress and prison in Paris, marking the turning point in the French Revolution.

    During June, the stunning, sophisticated Loire Valley is the focus region – and a speciality dessert, Nougat de Tours is a highlight on the menu this month. Contrary to its name it is not a nougat but a cake filled with confit fruits and an almond meringue, macaron-style mix. Goat’s cheese is hugely popular and the small cylindrical shaped Crottin de Chavignol is served warm with lardons and tomato salad.

    La Rue at Le Blaireau in the New ForestIn July, Francophiles will be equally impressed – with the Nouvelle Aquitaine region being the focus. In August diners have Région d’Occitanie to look forward to.
    The changing dishes on the regional menus can be seen at and all can be paired with regional wines such as Sauvignon Blac, Val de Loire, L’Abbaye (Loire Valley), Cote de Provence Rose (Provence) or Merlot Cabernet Organit Duberny (Rousillon and Languedoc) from Le Blaireau’s all-French wine list. Designed to offer a trip around France, these wines will introduce diners to different classic and regional French wines.

    Find out more about Le Blaireau

    French themed restaurant in the New ForestThemed menus for the rest of 2017 are as follows:

    July – Région de la Nouvelle Aquitaine

    August – Région d’Occitanie - Midi Pyrénées-Languedoc

    September – Région de Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur

    October – Région d’Auvergne-Rhône Alpes

    November – Région de Bourgogne-Franche Comté and Beaujolais Nouveau

    December - Allo Allo Christmas Celebrations

  • Conserving the New Forest

    Look after the New Forest for everyone - including the animals

    Follow the New Forest Code of Conduct

    New Forest ponyThe New Forest is one of the highlights of a trip to Lymington, there are so many places to go, and it's free. However, it becomes a lot more costly to the environment and the New Forest National Park when you start to mistreat it. Here are some basic guidelines to ensure an amazing experience for you, the animals and the forest…

    Don't touch or feed the ponies

    The ponies are semi-wild although some may not appear so.  It is important that you do not feed them either by hand or by throwing food on the ground.  The ponies do not need it and some things may make them ill.  Unfortunately, hand feeding also makes some ponies aggressive and every year people are attacked because people feed the ponies and they become greedy and demand more.  A pony which causes injury to a person is usually removed from the Forest permanently.  That is unfair to the pony whose home is the Forest and it is unfair on its owner.  Remember the ponies belong to someone else.

    Learn to recognise when a pony is feeling grumpy

    Ears laid back means “go away and leave me alone” or it may mean “give me your sandwich”!  In such situations it is wise to retreat as quickly as possible!  A bite or kick from a pony hurts and the latter could break your leg.  A child could be killed.

    baby donkey in East Boldre New ForestDon't drop litter

    Apart from being unsightly (and illegal), dropping litter in the Forest is harmful to the animals.

    Leave your binbags inside your gate

    If you live or stay in a property with Forest animals just outside the gate, leave your bin-bag inside the gate and out of reach of inquisitive animals.  The animals make a horrible mess when they tear open a bag of rubbish and of course, they may injure themselves on a sharp tin or become ill if they eat the wrong things.

    Don't dump hedge clippings or grass cuttings on the forest  

    Strange though it may seem, as lawn mowings are after all “grass”, they are LETHAL to ponies and donkeys.  Lawn mowings left in a heap heat up and start to ferment.  If they are eaten by ponies and donkeys gas is released into the animal’s stomach and intestine.  Their stomach or intestine may then rupture and the animal dies in agony.  Clippings from yew, laburnham, rhododendron, some conifers, azaleas and many other garden plants are poisonous to animals and for these reasons all garden waste must be disposed of properly and not dumped on the Forest.

    Shut gates behind you

    Whether a gate goes into an inclosure, a field or a garden, it is there to keep the animals out.  Animals have come to serious harm through getting into places where they shouldn’t be. Occupiers of property within the Forest have a duty to fence against legally depastured stock.  That means if your fence is rotten or your gate is left open and a pony gets in and tramples your beautiful lawn or eats your shrubs you cannot claim compensation from the animal’s owner.  Indeed, if the animal is injured or is poisoned in your garden the owner may claim compensation from you!  There have been cases of animals falling into swimming pools (especially if they are covered with plastic sheets) and apart from the poor animal drowning, the owner of the property has been successfully sued. 

    Dog on branch in New Forest HampshireKeep dogs under control  

    Every year Forest animals, particularly young ones, are injured by dogs.  Some are even killed or die later from infected bites.  We all love to let our dogs run on the Forest and provided they are reliable around animals that is fine.  If in doubt, however, keep your dog on a lead.  Remember also that at certain times of year some quite rare birds nest on the ground and a nest which has been destroyed is a sorry sight.  In spring the deer have their young and a fawn left whilst mum goes to feed is very vulnerable.

    Enjoy the forest and its animals  

    Watch from a safe distance and enjoy the animals and the unique beauty of the Forest.  Remember that the Forest is the animals’ home and it is only fair to respect it and let them live in peace.


    Reward raised to £5,000 to stop pony deaths in the New Forest. Click to read more.

  • Dementia Home

    Dementia Matters 

    Dementia signpost showing confusion

    Couple worried about dementia

    Dementia friendly lymington Update

    2 AUGUST 2017

    • Lymington Dementia Action Group will be at the Rotary Club of Lymington Summer Spectacular in Woodside Park on Sunday 6 August, with an information stand providing helpful advice, guidance and “signposting” for anybody who has any concerns at all about dementia.  This will be particularly useful if you are or know somebody with possible early stage dementia.  The New Forest Dementia Art group will be proudly displaying some of its art – five artists won awards at the recent New Forest Show!
    • This week’s DEMENTIA SUPPORT GROUP MONTHLY COFFEE MORNING at the Coates Centre was  extremely well attended and is beginning to provide a really positive place where people with dementia can take part in fun activities and their carers can meet and chat, including sharing their particular needs and concerns with others with similar issues.   First Tuesday of every month - do come along to the September meeting if you can . 

    News and Links

    • Dementia is a  "Glorious Opportunity" - uplifting words and advice for all from Dr Jennifer Bute who herself has Alzheimers 


    Worried about dementia?

    Dementia is not a normal part of ageing and is not confined to the elderly. The term dementia describes a set of symptoms that occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, such as Alzhimers or a series or small strokes. Find out more about dementia.

    Dementia friendly events

    Dementia friendly organisations

    Lymington Dementia Action Group

    The Lymington Dementia Action Group (LDAG) is a group of volunteers based in and near Lymington. It was formed initially as part of a national initiative to encourage communities to recognise that the increasing number of people living with dementia and their carers need our understanding and support. Learn more about LDAG.

    Dementia friendly Lymington

    Events organised in Lymington and surrounding areas by LDAG and other local organisations, including music events, sports events, tea dances and Dementia Friends meetings. Find out what's on in our Events Calendar.

    A number of shops, places and organisations in Lymington are now 'dementia friendly' - for details, see Dementia friendly Lymington

    Find dementia help and support

    If you’re worried about possible dementia symptoms, or if a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia and you need support or information about local facilities available, click here.

    Whatever your needs or concerns about dementia, Lymington Dementia Action Group will try to point you in the right direction to get more information, advice or support. The team would also be interested in hearing your comments, suggestions or experiences related to dementia services and facilities in the area. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    news of recent events 

    Quiz boosts Dementia Action

    Team members from five New Forest care homes went into battle for a ‘fiercely competitive but fun’ quiz in aid of the Lymington Dementia Action Group. Read more.

    Tea Dance Delight

    On Saturday 6th May 2017, people in our local community living with dementia, together with their families and carers, attended Lymington Dementia Action Groups 4th Tea Dance. Held at the Lymington Centre from 2-4pm, guests enjoyed tea and cakes supplied by Colten Care, on vintage bone china which had been supplied very generously by Jane Rowlatt. The fabulous entertainment, which got everybody singing and dancing, was provided by Retro Rita, who sang a selection of songs from the 40's and 50's. The event was attended by over 62 people and thanks also goes to members of the Lymington Lions Club for their continued help and support on the day.

    LDAG trip to Exbury Gardens

    Lymington Dementia Action Group organised an outing to Exbury Gardens in June, with picnic and train rides on the steam railway. It was a great success and more trips like this are planned. 

  • Help Lymington care homes knit their way into the record book!

    Help Lymington care homes knit their way into the record book!

    Colten Care are attempting to knit the world's largest tea cosy and need your help

    Sew cosy!

    Colten Care home residents and Priestlands pupils knit squares for the record attemptColten Care are attempting to knit the world's largest tea cosy and are already a third of the way to knitting 3,000 8 x 8 inch squares. If successful, the eventual tea cosy will be bigger than a 4 x 4 family car once all the squares are put together.

    The current world record stands at 1,924 squares or 11.1 metres in circumference.

    Time for tea!

    Once they have knitted the tea cosy, the aim is to build a giant teapot in which tea parties can be held. The Colten Care team will then take it out on the road, to each of their homes and into the community with the aim of raising funds, and publicity, for Dementia UK.

    Colten Care is absolutely passionate about raising awareness of dementia which touches all our lives. Residents at several Colten Care homes are already taking part in the world record bid with relatives and the wider community also being encouraged to get involved, including Belmore Lodge and Court Lodge in Lymington.

    Now that the record attempt has been launched, Colten Care has two months to complete the tea cosy challenge and submit it to Guinness World Records.

    How can you help:

    Would you like to help the Colten Care residents to acheive their world record?  You can help by knitting some squares and dropping them off at your nearest Colten Care home. All squares should be 8 inches by 8 inches, no particular stitch or needle size.

    Any wool that you would like to donate would be greatly appreciated, again, please drop it to your nearest Colten Care Home.

    See below for details of your local Colten Care home.


    Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the local area, including three in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House. There are also homes in Brockenhurst (Woodpecker's), New Milton (Kingfisher's) and Mudeford (Avon Reach). Click on the links to find out more about each home...

    Colten Care Belmore Lodge Lymington  Colten Care Court Lodge Lymington  Colten Care Linden House Lymington

    Colten Care's Avon Reach  Colten Care Kingfishers New Milton  Colten Care Woodpeckers Brockenhurst



  • Holiday childcare in and around Lymington


    Looking for childcare in Lymington over the holidays?

    School holidays are great! Except when you have to work.

    updated 6 July 2017


    girl and boy at childcareFinding things for the children to do whilst you are working can be a real chore. In a bid to try and make things slightly easier for you, here is a summary of holiday children that is usually on offer in and around Lymington.

    Do get in touch with us if you know of any other holiday childcare clubs that could help local parents juggle school holidays!


    Full day childcare

    • Freedom Childcare can help with overnight childcare, inset days, short-term, long-term, back-up, training days, shift patterns, respite care, weekends, evenings, school holidays, before and after school, nanny recruitment, supply care for preschools and nurseries and any other childcare requirements you may have.
    • Stay and Play at Lymington Junior School are open during the school holidays. Please contact Danielle on 07867 534398 or Karen on 07885 821234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and to make a booking. See also
    • Milford School Holiday Club is open school holidays, from 8.30am to 3pm. Whole days or afternoons possible. Contact 01590 644684 for further information about the club. See also
    • Sway Playscheme returns again this summer: Bookings being taken for Summer Holidays for children aged 2-7 years from 27th July to 18th August (spaces limited).  Find out more.


    Children's holiday sports and activities in and around Lymington

    • Ballard School are holding Summer Holiday Camps which are open to everyone between the ages of 5 and 15 from 19th July to 25th August. There are a range of courses on offer including  a range of sport, dance, drama, music, crafts, skills and academics.  Find out more.
    • Lymington Tennis Club are running a Summer Holiday Tennis Club every day during the holidays from 8.30 to 4pm or 8.30am to 12pm. Kids sessions involve technical coaching, fun games, competitions and more. Please supply a pack lunch and drink for your child. Find out more.
    • New Milton Rugby Football Club's Summer Camp will be running from Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd August. Participants do not need to be a member of NMRFC nor do they need to have played rugby before. Find out more.
    • New Forest Hockey Club are running a summer hockey camp on 14th, 15th and 16th August in Lymington at the astroturf. For 7-15 year olds, beginners to experienced. Find out more.
    • Lymington Cricket Club are running a summer camp on Tuesday 22nd, Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th August at their sports ground in Lymington.  Full days 9am-3pm or half days. Find out more.
    • There is also a summer cricket camp at Pylewell Park with Andy Harris on 1st, 2nd and 3rd August. Find out more.
    • New Forest Academy of Dance are running a summer school from 31st July to 3rd August. Find out more.
    • Rising Star Academy are running 3 days of workshops - sing and dance - from 26th-28th July. Find out more.

    Activity days near Lymington for children

    • New Forest Activities are holding Holiday Adventure Days at Hartford Woods on 6th, 9th, 16th and 22nd August. If you cannot make these dates then New Forest Activities are willing to put on extra Holiday Adventure Days for 4 or more children (If you have a group of 4 or more give them a call, or for 1-3 children register your interest for another date via the website). Two age groups (8-12 and 12-14) are at the same site but their activities will be separate. A full day of activities from 9am to 5pm. Learn new skills, make new friends and have fun in the stunning New Forest. Day includes bushcraft skills such as foraging and shelter building, target archery and high or low ropes depending on age. All equipment will be provided. Packed lunch & drinks will be required but water top ups available all day. Find out more.
    • Calshot have a range of Activity Days for the holidays - choose from skiing, snowboarding, track cycling, canoeing, archery, climbing, skiing and windsurfing - and much more! 
    • Hengistbury Outdoor Centre have a range of multi-activity days and watersports courses available.
    • Avon Tyrrell have fun days and half-days for children aged 5+. 


    If you are running school holiday childcare and/or activity days that could help parents juggle work and holidays, and would like to be featured in this article, please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • International Beer Day at the Montagu Arms, New Forest

    Raise a glass to International Beer Day at the Montagu Arms.

    Sample local Ringwood ales in the heart of the New Forest.


    Montys Inn Beaulieu New ForestBeer lovers around the world will gather in pubs, back gardens, breweries and bars to celebrate the glories of their favourite tipple on International Beer Day this August 4.

    And the Montagu Arms Hotel in the heart of the New Forest is now offering Ringwood Beer Tasting flights at the quaint and welcoming Monty’s Inn pub next door to the hotel.

    Guests at the beautiful historic country house hotel in Beaulieu will be able to nip around the corner for a relaxed meal at Monty’s Inn, where they can try three different glasses of Ringwood beer alongside their delicious, traditional pub food.

    With a choice of the wonderfully-named Boondoggle, Razorback, Old Thumper and Fortyniner, beer lovers can choose how they wash down their famous Monty’s burger, fish pie – or chef Robbie Maclean’s favourite Scotch egg.

    The blonde Boondoggle is a deliciously fruity ale that works well with a few nuts before your meal. Old Thumper is full-flavoured with a moreish maltiness; its spicy, hoppy undertones perfect paired with beef.

    One of the original 1978 brews, Fortyniner is a bitter-sweet golden ale that’s great with a barbequed sausage, and Razorback’s tempting hop aroma with fruity notes is the perfect supping beer.

    The beer flight costs just £7.50.


    Find out more about Monty's Inn at the Montagu Arms Hotel.


    And if you enjoy real ales and beer festivals, make a date as well for the Turfcutters Arms Summer Beer Festivalin nearby East Boldre 18-20 August!  

    It's a lovely happy, family friendly all weekend event with fantastic live music and lots of activities for the children....


  • Lost and Found in Lymington and the New Forest

    Lost and Found in Lymington and the New Forest

    Have you lost something precious or found an item that someone could be missing? 

    Email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or message us on Facebook ( with details.

    Lost - Pearl Drop Earring

    On 10 August - pearl drop earring, between High Street and  Bath Road Park.  Debbie parked up the high street on same side as joules etc and walked down to the Quay, then along to Bath Road Park (which was subsequently the scene of the Lymington Seafood Festival!)  She was sitting next to the children's park. It was her birthday and a present from her husband that very day. 

    Bit of a long shot!  But you never know - somebody may have picked it up and been wondering what to do with it... so just in case you found it, please contact  Debbie on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    medical bag lost in LymingtonOn 9th July 2017 on Lymington Quay: small light green medical bag (pictured). Please contact Matthew Barnes if you have found it on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






  • Major works at London Waterloo 5-28 August

    Major works at London Waterloo from 5th to 28th August

    Plan your train journey from Lymington, Brockenhurst and other New Forest stations


    Waterloo disruption 2017From 5 to 28 August platforms 1-10 at London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest station, will be closed so work can start to extend platforms for longer trains.

    If you regularly travel to London, or are planning to visit during the summer holidays, do take note and avoid commuter times as trains and stations will be busier than usual.

    Information from South West Trains:

    Although the number of passengers travelling in August is lower than other times of the year, passengers should still expect:

    • Severe disruption
    • Extremely busy trains
    • Queues at stations

    If you are able to avoid travelling on this route, either by using alternative options, working from home or taking annual leave, you should consider doing so. Passengers are also strongly advised to avoid changing trains at Wimbledon, Vauxhall and Clapham Junction as queuing and one-way systems will be in place. You will have a better and more comfortable journey if you are able to travel outside of these times.

    For more detailed information; including ticket acceptance options for other routes, timetables, advice and a regularly updated FAQ, please click here for more information.information.

    South West Trains are doing everything they can to reduce inconvenience and make your journey as smooth as possible, including:

    • Working round the clock to get the works finished as quickly as possible
    • Running longer trains throughout the day to provide more space and help you travel outside of the busiest times.
    • Temporarily opening platforms 20-24 (the former Waterloo Internati onal Terminal) to reduce some of the impact of closing platforms 1-10.
    • Providing over 1,000 extra staff at stations to help you during the works.


  • New Forest Business Show 2017 at Brockenhurst College



    New Forest Business Show team at the openingThe third annual New Forest Business Show on Wednesday 31 May took place in beautiful weather which combined with the excellent all day catering by Appetite for Adventure and coffee by Ahh Roma helped to ensure that exhibitors and visitors alike enjoyed a very pleasant day of relaxed networking and contact making at Brockenhurst College.

    A steady stream of visitors throughout the day stopped to talk with each of the 50 exhibitors from a wide variety of business sectors in the B2B Expo. Exhibitors commented that the quality of engagement was very high and many felt they had generated some useful leads. Some even reported actual on the day sales. Graham Bell from Absolute Graphics said: “Although the Show was not packed with people, I feel it’s all about quality not quantity and I was very pleased with the level of business I did on the day. I sold 4 artwork prints and had a number of enquiries for art commissions and also numerous enquiries for graphic design.”

    As usual it was also a great opportunity for exhibitors who don’t meet each other in the normal course of business to chat and find common ground for future collaboration.


    Useful marketing workshops at the New Forest Business ShowBite size briefings and new workshops

    Visitors enjoyed half hour “bite size briefings” in Brockenhurst College’s new state of the art STEM Centre on subjects which included better cash flow management (Argentum Capital), HR tips and pitfalls (HR Dept), Microsoft Office tips and traps (Vivid Connections), prevention of postural problems in the workplace (Brockenhurst Chiropractic), health and safety in the workplace (Six Moves Ahead) and opportunities offered by the new Apprenticeship Levy (Brockenhurst College).

    New for this year was a series of one hour workshops on various aspects of marketing and selling given by members of the Bartley Marketing and Forest Forge teams, which was well attended and received positive feedback from those who took part.


    Business support from Enterprise First and Enterprise M3 Growth Hub

    New Forest Business Show 2017Also new for this year was a business support area.

    Enterprise First has been supporting startups and existing businesses since 1981 and offers offer a range of free support including independent advice, mentoring, practical workshops on marketing and finance. New Forest District Council have come to an agreement whereby Enterprise First can provide free advice and support to new and existing businesses in the New Forest.

    The Enterprise M3 Growth Hub is a business-led Local Enterprise Partnership working with private and public sector partners to realise the full growth potential of the area by supporting individual businesses in their growth ambitions and plans.

    New Forest Business Show 2017Matt Callaghan, Economic Development Manager for New Forest District Council said: “The Show provides an excellent opportunity for local businesses to network, collaborate and learn. It is vital that we continue to provide environments in which businesses can work together to facilitate a strong and growing local economy.”
    New Forest Business Partnership encourages local businesses to support each other."

    The Show organisers, all members of the New Forest Business Partnership, are committed to supporting New Forest businesses by helping them in practical ways to grow their businesses locally. Speaking for the organising team Jane Porter of Bartley Marketing said: “The Business Show is primarily about giving local businesses the opportunity to meet other businesses with whom they can do business, which is the first step towards choosing local suppliers and partners wherever this is feasible.”

    NFBP Membership - a great deal for business owners

    All local businesses, however small, are encouraged to join the New Forest Business Partnership where they will soon recover their £50 membership subscription when they attend the regular breakfast meetings held in locations around the New Forest, which include talks on topical relevant subjects from which everybody learns something and which also lead to a very natural and productive networking forum.

    Find out more about the New Forest Business Partnership

  • New Forest nursery just keeps on growing!

    New Forest nursery just keeps on growing!

    Experts in Agapanthus, Fairweather's export throughout Europe

    A business in the heart of the New Forest is having an influence over the way gardens throughout Europe are going to look in the future. Fairweather’s Nursery in Beaulieu now export more than 25% of their turnover to France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The export sales have been developed over the past 10 years and are made up entirely from the sale of young Agapanthus plants.

    Agapanthus plants at Fairweather's in Beaulieu New ForestFairweather’s have developed many new strains of Agapanthus that offer new colours, more compact selections, improved hardiness and extend the traditional flowering season. Agapanthus gets their name from the Greek word agape=love and anthos= flower and are also called Lily of the Nile.

    In order to offer uniform and vigorous plants all the 60 varieties that are commercially offered are produced in vitro, using tissue culture techniques that are also used on human cells. Initiation of the plants takes place in a UK laboratory with volume production then transferred to India and China.

    Fairweather’s hold the Plant Heritage National collection of Agapanthus which contains over 500 named cultivars that are gathered from breeders across the world. The breadth of genetic variation and range, help the company make judgments about the introduction of new selections. Unique new plants that have good commercial prospects are protected in Europe by Plant Variety Rights and in the US by a patent.

    Visit the Fairweather's Nursery on July 29th and 30th

    Fairweather’s Nursery opens its doors once a year for the public to see the collection and its wholesale production nursery on July 29th and 30th 2017. Tours of the nursery with Patrick Fairweather will start at 11.30am and 2.30pm, including a demonstration of how to get the best from your Agapanthus, including tips on watering, feeding and dividing. Agapanthus, Lavenders and other perennials will be on sale throughout the weekend at special prices.

    Visitors will also be able to see plants that form part of the Royal Horticultural Society Agapanthus trials which are also being held at RHS Wisley, that are being judged for the Award of Garden Merit.

    The adjacent garden of Aline Fairweather who runs Fairweather’s Garden Centre in Beaulieu with her son is open all day for Cream Teas and refreshments.

    Entry is £3.00 per person to the National Gardens Scheme. To date Fairweather’s have given over £10,000 to the charity which provides valuable support to Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Hospice UK plus other worthwhile charities.

    Find out more about Fairweather's Garden Centre

  • New Forest teenagers swim Solent in memory of their friend

    A dozen New Forest teenagers swim the Solent

    Swim in memory of schoolfriend and to raise funds for the Piam Brown Paediatric Oncology and Haematology Ward


    Lymington's Solent swimmer after their amazing achievementThey did it! Congratulations to Ava, Delfi, Dougie, Georgia, Hattie, Issy, Maya, Millie, Olivia, Oscar, Sonny and Ted for their brilliant swim across the Solent.

    On Thursday 13th July a group of 12 New Forest teenagers swam the Solent in memory of their beloved schoolfriend Lizzie Murt who died in October 2015 aged 13.

    solent swim nm

    Their aim was to swim the 2.3 nautical mile crossing from Yarmouth to Lymington in under three hours - and on the day all 12 children swam the distance in under 2 hours, in spite of the currents, the cold and the wind!

    The day started well with interviews with BBC Radio Solent and Wave 105. Speaking to reporters before the event, the team admitted to feeling very nervous. "Hopefully we'll be ok! We'll be watching out for dolphins - and hopefully we won't be near the ferry - if we are, then we've gone wrong!"

    New Forest teenagers set off on RIBS to the start of their Solent Swim

    The team left the Royal Lymington Yacht Club at 11.30 in a flotilla of boats. The kids started their swim, from Hamstead point at 1.02. Conditions were good - a bit choppy around the middle section - but generally quite calm.

    First to finish was thirteen year old Sonny Chamberlain-Hyde, who completed the distance in just 1 hour and 9 minutes! 

    Then the rest of the team followed, with the last swimmer landing along Beaulieu Shore at 14.59. All of them swam the Solent in under 2 hours, an amazing achievement. The swimmers were then taken by RIB back to RLymYC, where friends and family were there to congratulate them.

    A team of kayaks, RIBs and "motherships" with parents and supporters accompanied the swimmers across the channel.

    "It's been a very emotional but amazing day," shared Helen Squibb, mum to Georgia. "A big thank you to everyone supporting the swim. The money rased too has been wonderful. It would not have been possible without the support of the kayakers and RIBs so a big thank you for their dedication and effort. To 12 plucky, strong teenagers - just simply - well done." 

    Well done and congratulations to you all for such an amazing acheivement! 

    New Forest teenagers at the start of their Solent Swim

    The group have already raised more than £10,500 for the Piam Brown Paediatric Oncology and Haematology ward in Southampton, which cares for children from birth to 16 years. The wonderful staff at Piam Brown helped Lizzie and her family through that desperate time.

    The money raised will provide outings for young cancer patients and their families as well as crafts and activities for teenagers. The charity also provides accommodation facilities for parents, allowing them to experience a home-from-home while caring for their children in hospital, sometimes for several months.

    “The charity pays for things that are over and above the NHS. Without it, families would have a completely different experience,” says Piam Brown charity co-ordinator Rachel Funnell. “This money will make a massive difference.”

    The swimming group started training under the guidance of Lymington athlete Valeria Sesto shortly after they came up with the idea themselves in January. They trained 5-6 days a week in the open sea as well as indoor and outdoor pools. 

    Solent swimmers in aid of Piam Brown ward at Southampton Hospital“I am excited about doing the swim,” said Dougie Benson before the swim. “But the sea swimming has been hard – when you’re just swimming in one direction for ages and not going anywhere because of the strong current.”

    Valeria Sesto said: “These teenagers convinced us and begged us to do this. When something comes from them they will do it with dedication, responsibility, team-spirit, drive and self-motivation. There’s a lot more to the ‘Snapchat generation’ than we sometimes fear!”

    Ava Robinson (15), Delfi Cosby (14), Dougie Benson (15), Georgia Squibb (15), Issy Moyles (16), Maya Williams (15), Millie Martin (15), Olivia Kerr (15), Oscar Cain (15), Sonny Chamberlain-Hyde (13) and Ted Ward (13) are all pupils at Priestlands School and Hattie Wheeler (14) is at King Edward VI in Southampton.


    Any donation you are able to make will be so gratefully received: please visit their Justgiving page by clicking this link:

    You can also text a donation, text: SSFL99, plus your donation amount to 70070. 

    Solent swimmers in aid of Piam Brown ward at Southampton Hospital

     Solent swimmers in aid of Piam Brown ward at Southampton Hospital Solent swimmers in aid of Piam Brown ward at Southampton Hospital

    12 Lymington teenagers swim the solent in memory of their friend Lizzie



  • New Forest Verderers, Agisters, Commoners and Rangers

    New Forest Verderers, Agisters, Commoners and Rangers

    The New Forest is a natural masterpiece but there is much work that needs to be done behind the scenes. All in the name of conservation, everything must be monitored and amended. From clearing weeds to controlling vegetation, the verderers, agisters, rangers and commoners really are all important when it comes to keeping the land alive - they are the true heroes of the forest!

    The New Forest ‘System’

    Verderers Court New ForestVerderers are appointed by authoritative organisations and elected by the commoners. Agisters are appointed by the verderers to carry out instructions provided by the Court of Verderers. Commoners occupy land that is free for stock to graze upon. 

    New Forest rangers are something else. Not part of the historical 'system', rangers are appointed by the National Park to help to preserve and restore the forest.

    Recreation is vital in the New Forest and with a vast proportion of the forest being Crown land, access to the greater part is open and free to all. Conservation, preservation and protection are key to managing and maintaining the forest. Through a number of organisations working together, including the verderers, who protect the forest from development and safeguard the rights of commoners and the Forestry Commission, this is achieved. Read on to find out in greater depths about the roles that these people play in perpetuating the countryside.


    The Verderers Court is a statutory body set up under the New Forest act of 1877.  It is the last remnant of the old form of Forest Government which was at one time found in many parts of the Country.  The Verderers regulate commoning (the exercise of common rights such as grazing ponies) in the Forest.  They also have wide responsibilities in respect of development control and conservation.  The present Court consists of 10 Verderers.  5 are elected by the Commoners (people with common rights) and the other 5 are appointed, one each by DEFRA, the Forestry Commission, the National Park Authority and the Countryside Agency.  The Official Verderer is chairman of the Court and is appointed by the Queen.

    The role undertaken by verderers in the New Forest is to:

    • Conserve and execute the New Forest's exclusive arboricultural commoning practices;
    • Maintain the New Forest’s natural landscape, including it’s character and wildlife, flora and fauna, tranquility, natural allure and cultural heritage
    • Ensure a positive future for commoning

    To help them with their work, the Verderers employ a Clerk (administrator), a part-time Assistant to the Clerk and 5 Agisters.


    New Forest ponyThe word 'agister’ is derived from the word agist, which means to take in graze for payment. Agisters are responsible for supervising the day-to-day welfare of the ponies, cattle, donkeys, pigs and sheep which graze the Forest and are owned by the commoners. Should there be any ruptures to the laws that the Verderers set, it is the agister’s job to report it. They are often also commoners themselves, meaning that they have an outstanding knowledge of the workings and the systems of the forest.

    On standby 24/7, agisters are there to help with any dilemmas concerning livestock in the forest. When the autumnal ‘drifts’ occur, the agisters are called upon to care for any first aid needs that the livestock may have. Perhaps their most important job is to keep track of the numbers of stock on the open forest.

    The job of an agister originates from Medieval times, when the role consisted of collecting grazing fees (a charge for grazing a specific type of livestock on a monthly/annual basis) from people who let their livestock graze without permission. However, the commoners did not have to pay a fee because they owned the land. Nowadays, they collect an annual fee in the spring- a payment that each commoner has to make for every one of their animals. This is how the agisters are paid.


    New Forest poniesCommoning consists of occupying acreage to which the right to graze stock on the open forest is attached. This is also known as the ‘rights of common’. What are they? First of all, the right to gather wood for fuel, the quantity that each commoner takes is organised into ‘cords’ (stacks of wood) that are left at the side of the forest paths. The second right is the right to turn sheep out on the forest. Presently, no commoners practice this right as it is only applicable to very few properties. Thirdly, the right to pannage in the autumn (to enrol pigs into the forest). This is good for the pigs because they can feed on the fallen acorns and also good for the ponies and cattle because some acorns can be poisonous to them. The last right, and possibly the most important, is the right to pasture, to put donkeys, cattle and ponies out to graze in the forest.

    Since the Medieval times, Commoning has been a way of life for many in the New Forest. Unfortunately, the role no longer is fit to provide a satisfactory income, so those who remain in the industry only do so as a subsidiary role. In this modern age, relations and descendants of commoners are finding it progressively arduous to maintain the institution due to lack of funding, a large portion of the lands that have communing rights attached have become too expensive or are being used for other purposes. It is mandatory that the traditional occupation is continued, as the land will develop into forest should the animals discontinue to graze there. This will negatively provoke the activities that many enjoy all over the forest everyday.

    New Forest Rangers

    New Forest pony behind a treeMany rangers in the New Forest have been appointed by the New Forest National Park. There are other rangers and volunteer rangers in the New Forest National Park including from the Forestry Commission, National Trust and Hampshire County Council. They have three main jobs:

    • To be a ‘visible presence’ in the forest as a point of contact
    • To educate visitors and local people on what makes the National Park a unique place- from its wildlife and landscape to it’s culture
    • To help to progress local community projects that safeguard and boost the exceptional qualities of the National Park and enhance access to it

    Other jobs of theirs include:

    • Collaborating with community groups to support the development of local projects such as accessibility improvements and habitat management
    • Assisting with outreach projects aimed at under-represented groups such as people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, those from deprived areas and young people
    • Supporting the National Park education team with school visits or working with informal education such as youth clubs, specialist interest groups and children’s centres
    • Attending local events with the distinctive National Park Explorer mobile unit and mini-marquee. These include local shows and fairs, food festivals and farmers’ markets as well as partnership events and activities organised by the Forestry Commission and the New Forest Centre
    • Assisting with campaigns to encourage people to help care for the New Forest, for example, reducing litter, preventing animal accidents and protecting ground nesting bird
    • Developing and maintaining knowledge of individual areas including Local Information Points, facilities, key venues, libraries, parish councils, accommodation providers and retailers
    • Distributing National Park publications to local outlets and helping to identify new ones


    For more information about the New Forest rangers, visit the New Forest NPA website

    For more information about the New Forest verderers, visit the Verderers website.



  • Reward raised to £5,000 to stop pony deaths in the New Forest

    Reward raised to £5,000 to stop pony deaths in the New Forest.

    Do you have information on any hit-and-run incidents where New Forest livestock has been injured or killed?


    One of the distinctive features of the New Forest National Park are the open areas where ponies, cattle, donkeys, sheep and pigs roam free. All of the animals are owned by commoners and it is their free grazing across the forest that is vital to shaping the landscape that we know and love. 

    New Forest Animal Emergency HotlineThe New Forest is one of the few areas in England where drivers often come face-to-face with animals on the road, both in daylight and at night. Unfortunately accidents do happen. Every animal killed is a great loss to the New Forest, and to its owner. One of the issues most regularly presented at the Verderer's Court are concerns about the numbers of commoning livestock killed or injured on the Forest roads.

    This month, the Verderers announced an increase in the reward for information leading to the conviction of hit-and-run drivers who injure of kill New Forest livestock to £5,000. The move follows a series of fatalities this year. The hit-and-run scheme previously offered up to £1,000 but a cash injection from the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, the Commoner’s Defence Association and international charity World Horse Welfare has resulted in the increase.

    The reward will come into effect immediately and will be offered in connection with any incident occurring from 1st January 2017.

    The animals have right of way

    In a statement, the Verderers said the move was to encourage people to report drivers responsible for incidents involving New Forest livestock. A spokeswoman said: “This is a good moment to remind everyone who drives on the unfenced roads within the forest that the animals have right of way.

    Slow down as you pass animals 

    “Some of the more important measures that have been taken recently to reduce animal accidents include regular cutting back of roadside vegetation by the Forestry Commission to improve sight lines, making reflective collars available free of charge to all commoners for their ponies and donkeys and changing signs at various locations to warn drivers of the risks. We believe that if drivers slow down as they approach animals grazing on the verge and move over a little as they pass, a significant reduction in accidents would result.”

    You must report any incidents within 24 hours

    If you hit a New Forest animal, you must report the incident, even if the animal runs off. It may be in distress, have serious injuries that require immediate veterinary attention or have fatal injuries that would necessitate the animal being put to sleep. Some animals run away in fear and panic, even on broken limbs which can make you believe that it is unhurt. As a result the animal can suffer unnecessarily.

    Who to contact in an emergency with a New Forest animalThe Verderers state that if a collision with a Forest animal occurs (for whatever reason) drivers are required to report it to the authorities as soon as practicably possible, and certainly within 24 hours.

    Drivers must not leave the scene of an accident (unless it is to call for help), particularly if the animal is still on the highway as it may cause a further accident.

    Anyone with information regarding a hit-and-run incident in the New Forest, involving a commonable animal, is asked to ring the Verderers’ Office on 023 8028 2052, or Hampshire Police on 101.

    The Official Verderer also announced to the Court that drivers on the New Forest roads can also expect to see more activity from the mobile traffic cameras. 

    Download here a handy card with these emergency numbers.

    Remember, Forest animals have no road sense and they have right of way. Drive slowly, especially at night, and give animals a wide berth. 


    Learn more about the rules of the New Forest and how we can help to avoid injuring animals.


  • Tick bites in the New Forest

    Tick bites in the New Forest.

    Keep watch for ticks on you and your pets during late spring, summer and autumn. 


    Engorged tick after feedingLyme Disease, also called Lyme borreliosis, is an illness caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which live in the guts of some ticks. Most ticks do not carry the bacteria, but infection could be passed on to people bitten by infected ticks. To be safe you should assume that any tick bite is potentially infectious. Infected ticks are found in many parts of the UK, including the New Forest and neighbouring areas. They also occur in other parts of Europe and North America.

    What to look for

    Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures found in grassy or wooded areas. They attach themselves to passing animals (small and large domestic and wild animals, depending on the particular stage of the tick’s lifecycle) and people, and then actively crawl about until they find a suitable site; they then start to feed by biting through the skin and sucking blood. They may take three to five days to complete their blood meal, and then drop back into the undergrowth.

    tick sizesThe peak periods for tick feeding are in late spring and early summer (April - July) and to a lesser extent in the autumn (September - October). There may also be a risk of tick bites at other times of the year if the weather is mild.


    Prevention is Best - be tick aware

    When in grassy, brushy or woodland areas: Keep your skin covered. Wear trousers rather than shorts or a skirt. Tuck your trouser bottoms into socks, and wear shoes or boots rather than sandals. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, with the cuffs fastened. These precautions will keep ticks on the outside of your clothes, where they can be spotted and picked off. Insect repellents containing DEET are useful as an additional precaution.

    Examine yourself and your children for ticks every three to four hours and at the end of the day. Brush off clothing before going indoors and check that pets do not bring ticks into the home on the fur. Check your skin thoroughly for any attached ticks after returning from a tick-infested area, paying particular attention to armpits, groin, backs of knees, the waistband area and also the scalp and ears, especially in young children. Remove any attached ticks as soon as you can.

    Use veterinary tick and flea repellents or tick collars on pets. If you regularly work* in a tick-infested area don’t wear your work clothing to go home in. Work clothing can be permethrin-impregnated to reduce the risk of being bitten.

    *Lyme disease acquired through work involving exposure to ticks is a reportable occupational disease under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995)

    If you have been bitten...

    tick removalDon’t panic. Remove the tick as soon as possible.

    Even if the tick is carrying infection it is very unlikely to transmit it in the first few hours of its feed, so early removal is a very effective prevention measure.

    Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, using fine tweezers or finger nails, and pull firmly and steadily without jerking or twisting. Don’t rush. Try not to squeeze or crush the tick’s body. Sometimes, tick mouth parts can break off from the body and remain in the skin. This is unlikely to increase the risk of Lyme disease, but common skin organisms could cause infection. Apply a skin disinfectant once the tick has been removed.

    Specially designed tick extractors are available from veterinary practices and pet shops. They are inexpensive and particularly useful for people who are likely to have frequent tick exposure.

    Never apply heat, e.g. lighted cigarette ends or match heads, to attached ticks.

    Do not use chemicals such as alcohol, nail polish remover, petroleum jelly or aromatic oils to ticks prior to removal. These substances may possibly cause increased infection risk by stimulating the tick to regurgitate saliva into the bite wound. Check for redness around the site of the bite. If you are concerned in any way or become unwell, see your doctor as soon as possible.

    Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease

    Symptoms usually start a few days to several weeks after being bitten. The first sign is often a pink or red rash (erythema migrans) around the site of the bite. It can gradually spread to form a large circle or patch up to 50-75 centimetres (20-30 inches) diameter if left untreated. It is not usually raised, itchy or painful and clears up rapidly with antibiotic treatment. Sometimes the rash may be very faint, and it can also be difficult to see on darker skins. Rashes appearing within a few hours of a tick bite are not caused by Lyme disease, but could be allergic reactions or infections from common skin organisms.

    Flu-like symptoms may occur, with headaches, chills, tiredness, muscle pains, joint aches and fever. These symptoms could last several weeks without treatment, but usually settle quickly with correct antibiotic treatment.

    More serious complications sometimes develop weeks or months after an infected bite in patients who did not receive early treatment. These include; facial palsy, pain, tingling or loss of sensation or movement difficulties in arms, legs or trunk. Some patients may have been unaware of a tick bite or rash and the diagnosis of Lyme disease could be delayed or missed because of lack of recognition of their risk.


    Early treatment with recommended antibiotics is highly effective and should prevent complications developing. Longstanding infection may require longer courses or intravenous antibiotics, so early recognition and treatment is important.

    Life cycle of the Deer Tick (Ixodes ricinus)

    The relative size of the animals (including Man) approximates their significance as hosts for the different tick life cycle stages in a typical woodland habitat. Larvae rarely carry Borrelia and their bites are not a significant risk. The life cycle usually takes 3 years. Although the peak feeding time is late spring/early summer with a lesser peak in autumn, tick activity (and the risk of tick bites) can extend beyond these periods in favourable weather conditions.

    tick life cycle

    Useful websites:

    European Union Concerted Action on Lyme Borreliosis (EUCALB): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    Health Protection Agency:


    Download leaflet on ticks from Forestry Commission.

  • What to do in a week on holiday in the southern New Forest 2017

    What will you do on your New Forest holiday?  Here's a week's worth of suggestions!

    Planning your holiday week for visitors to the Lymington, Brockenhurst and Beaulieu areas (useful for locals too...) 

    The New Forest in summer at East Boldre - like an African plain


    Written by the owners of Bartley Barn New Forest, a self catering holiday cottage with far reaching, west facing views including glorious sunsets, on the open forest near Hatchet Pond in the historic “squatters” village of East Boldre.  And note: week commencing Fri 21 July 2017 is available due to a cancellation!


    New forest mare and newborn foal a typical  early summer New Forest picture

    You’ve arrived in the New Forest, discovering en route that the ponies, cows and donkeys roam very freely - including onto the roads.

    You’ve unpacked at your hotel, B&B or self catering holiday cottage and sorted your shopping in the case of the latter (see footnote*) and are now looking for a relaxing but also active, week’s worth of things to do, including the pick of the attractions about which you’ve already seen and read a little.

    As everybody knows it’s almost impossible to have a proper holiday at home because there are always so many jobs to do, but imagining the luxury of a week’s holiday in this beautiful area this is our “local” personal selection of things to include.  (In an area of outstanding natural beauty and enjoying walking, cycling, horseriding and watersports as we do, “our week” includes a healthy dose of active outdoor pursuits!) 

    In fact I think we’ve probably included too many suggestions to allow for any chill time.  But that’s up to you!

    At least one walking day

    It’s hard to imagine anybody visiting the New Forest for a week and not including a walk in their itinerary.  There are so many places you can explore - whether you want a wild ramble or need tracks suitable for buggies and wheelchairs of which there are several in this part of the forest including the old runways on Beaulieu Airfield very close to Hatchet Pond and Bartley Barn.

    You can also walk for miles opposite Bartley Barn without touching a road at all, just follow your nose and the tracks… you’ll soon get your bearings and can make your circuit as small or as big as you wish – incorporating “Green Patch” which in summer with the animals congregated looks like an African plain!

    Hatchet Pond New Forest for walking and beautiful skies

    A real favourite very local walk of ours is a big circuit of Hatchet Pond - about a 45 mins decent walk circuit back to Bartley Barn.  You can do this in either direction but especially if you have dogs I like this way best because they get a run straightaway before you have to cross a road.  If you’d like details get in touch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll be delighted to send our instructions.    

    Fellow self catering holiday provider New Forest Holiday Lets offers a selection of favourite New Forest walks which includes some of our favourites too.

     f you’re staying in East Boldre and considering the beautiful Beaulieu to Bucklers Hard river walk, we suggest adding a delightful rural section between East Boldre and Beaulieu -  an extra win-win because the road is narrow, busy and fast.   It starts at the bottom of Chapel Lane (first left after East Boldre Garage heading from Hatchet Pond towards the brilliant New Forest pub the Turfcutters Arms).  Go left over the stile through the woods and follow the field track, it’ll bring you out close to the road nearly opposite the Farm Shop – follow the track parallel with the road until it reaches a road crossing (take care) and from there brings you straight in to Beaulieu Village.  Same on the way back!

    a day on a bike in the New ForestA day on a bike - with a nice pub stop included

    The New Forest is just fantastic for cycling, both the on- and off-road - although the latter is much more relaxing. Some motorists get VERY impatient and even if you’re trying to keep out of trouble this can be humour challenging at best.

    Road racers will almost certainly bring your own bikes, and for track and trail riding too it’s best if you can to do the same as you’ll be free to cycle at will.  
    But bike hire is easy in the New Forest at Brockenhurstand also at New Forest Activities in Beaulieu- which is very good! 

    It’s probably best to hire for the day or even half day where you want to ride.  

    Many rides centre on Brockenhurst but there’s a nice loop including Beaulieu and Hatchet Pond which will give you a varied New Forest experience of open forest, gravel tracks through the wooded “inclosures”, easy riding across the old Beaulieu Airfield steeped in world war history, and gentle countryside viewed from the back lanes behind East Boldre and beside the Beaulieu River including part of the Solent Way.  If you’re staying at Bartley Barn or the Turfcutters Arms(which has rooms too) you can start and finish at either as both are on the route.  In any case do enjoy a drink and meal break at the latter on your hire bikes too. If you hire bikes at New Forest Activities they’ll give you the leaflet for this ride – and we have stocks at Bartley Barn too.

    A day at Beaulieu – National Motor Museum, Beaulieu Abbey and Palace House

    Everybody has heard of the National Motor Museum and there is something for all the family, not just the motorheads, at Beaulieu. If we had a week’s holiday here we would definitely allow for a full day to explore it properly, incorporating the special exhibition of the season. The grounds of the 800 year old Abbey ruins are simply magical you can almost feel yourself walking in the footsteps of the monks.  If you get the chance to enjoy the open air Shakespeare productions by the visiting Castle Theatre group during your stay so much the better.

    What to do on a rainy day in the New Forest?

    Like everywhere Beaulieu is better in the sunshine of course but it’s also a suitable destination for a rainy day in the New Forest, so also worth bearing in mind if you’re unfortunate with the weather.  Other rainy day options must include going further afield e.g. to Marwell Zoo, the New Forest Wildlife Park or the Isle of Wight (see below!) -  but in principle if you're visiting the New Forest and it rains, you'll miss out if you haven't brought your waterproofs and wellies with you!  Our own recent guests enjoyed a walk in the drizzle through the woods from East Boldre to Brockenhurst finishing with a pizza at the Huntsman - but we did give them a lift back as by then the rain was torrential!

    A day exploring Keyhaven and Hurst Castle

    The Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve is an area of coastal grazing marsh ("Keyhaven" means “harbour where cows are shipped”),  lagoons and former salt marshes particularly important for wintering birds.  Keyhaven is a small fishing and sailing village nestling behind Hurst Spit, which marked by its evocative tall white lighthouse extends out to form the smallest sea gap between the Hampshire coast and the Isle of Wight.

    keyhaven-harbour-new-forest-holiday-lets-web-banner.jpg - 107.97 kB

    It’s a very special place.  It’s also a fabulous walk along the shingle spit to Hurst Castle, great exercise and with fantastic views in all directions from the end of the spit - we would definitely include this in the week’s itinerary for our holiday in the New Forest.   (If you don’t feel like walking both ways or even either way, you can catch the ferry which runs regularly between Keyhaven and the Castle.)

    The Castle itself is interesting and steeped in history from Henry VIII onwards – if you’re members of English Heritage don’t forget your cards!
    You could also explore more of the Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve (find out more here) while in this area and make a day of it, we probably would, it’s very special!

    A day at the beach

    For families with small - and not so small! - children a bucket, spades and castles day is almost a rite of holiday passage.

    Both Lepe to the east and Milford on Sea to the west offer popular shingle beaches with some sand at low tide, just take swimming shoes with you if you have tender feet! 

    For a real beach day on the sand you’ll need to travel a bit further west as far as Highcliffe Castle or if you like a couple of good beach cafes and restaurants on hand, Avon Beach or Steamer Point.  And the beaches further along at Boscombe and Bournemouth are fabulous.

    A day trip to the Isle of Wight

    If we had a week's worth of days in the New Forest, we wouldn’t leave out a trip to the Isle of Wight – the western end of the Island is like going back in time,A day trip to the Isle of Wight - Lymington to Yarmouth its restorative powers are magical and it’s nearly always sunny (even when it’s cloudy or raining on the mainland - so potentially another thing to do on a rainy day in the New Forest!)  

    The crossing on Wightlink from Lymington to Yarmouth is easy, you can take car or bikes but otherwise just catch the bus and walk on the island… book ahead if you’re taking your car.

    On foot we would walk along the valley to Freshwater then up onto Tennyson Down and along the chalky grassy crest heading for the Needles, there are unbelievable views in all directions and you can catch a bus back to Yarmouth from the Needles. Right on the western tip of the island, the Needles Battery (National Trust) is well worth a visit and includes a fascinating insight into missile testing in the 1950s.

    You could stop at Colwell Bay and visit the Hut for classy fishy sustenance with an amazing view across towards Hurst Castle and Lymington, again booking ahead necessary especially on the weekend.  

    By car we’d venture over to Ventnor via the Model Village and drive along the south western shore which in parts is a little like driving along Highway One in California.  Or we'd recommend a wander around Cowes and a visit to Queen Victoria's holiday home, Osborne House.

    Either way back in Yarmouth allow time before your ferry to walk out to sea along the wooden  pierand perhaps have a drink at the historic George Hotel with its own beach and lovely Solent views, where King Charles II frequently stayed. 

    One (at least!) day on the water   

    Kayaking and swimming at Lymington Lido! - Lymington Sea Water BathsIf you would like to go kayaking or canoeing you can take a leisurely family tour on the Beaulieu River or indeed opt for a full on kayaking course with New Forest Activities. 

    If you’ve always fancied kite surfing there’s a brilliant opportunity to learn it at Calshot with privately owned Nomadic Kitesurf who also offer SUP (stand up paddleboarding).  There’s also a SUP and kayak centre at Milford on Sea with lessons and tours to Hurst Castle.

    Other options for getting out on the water include Escape Yachtingwho offer relaxing half day sailing lunch or dinner cruises on the Solent for all:  families, groups, couples or singles.  You’ll be offered the opportunity to take the helm if you wish and depending on the tides you’ll enjoy a fabulous sail towards the Needles or in the other direction to Newtown Creek.

    And finally on the watery theme, if the weather’s good you could include a visit to the Lymington Sea Water Baths, our very own local lido which is is the oldest open air natural swimming pool in the UK - it’s enormous, with plenty of opportunity for both serious swimming and fun on the inflatables, zorbs and SUPs.


     A day on horseback 

    A day on horseback in the New Forest - photo Matt Callaghan

    Riding across the Forest on horseback is something else – a myriad of tracks across open heathland, through the forests and around the bogs mean the opportunities for varying your route are endless and the lack of road work required will delight both you and your equine companion.

    So if riding is your thing but you haven’t brought your own horse, book ahead at either Brockenhurst Riding Stables,  or Ford Farm Stables, both in Brockenhurst. 

    A half day or a full day in Lymington

    No holiday in the New Forest would be complete without a visit to the Solent sailing mecca of Lymington and there’s plenty to do for a day (see our article: a day out in Lymington).

    To see it Lymington at its best, there’s no better day than Saturday when its famous Charter Market fills the High Street. Arrive early as parking can be tricky later on.

    It’s a bustling town with loads of good independent shops, coffee bars and restaurants, some nice green spaces and of course the Quay and Marinas.  If you happen to visit when one of the walking town tours  is taking place you’ll also get a sense of its history, and St Barbe Museum will also be reopening soon after a large refurbishment. 

    A note about eating out in local restaurants and pubs

    If we had unlimited budget we’d probably eat out several times, at our favourite haunts which we like for different reasons and occasions. 

    For our special meal out we’d choose the relatively new The Shipyard in Lymington for its relaxed atmosphere and a delicious meal of freshly caught fish and seafood simply prepared and served with a combination of professionalism and informality which lends for a very enjoyable meal out.  Wines excellently chosen to complement the menu too.   

    For a VERY special meal out we’d go for Cambium at Careys Manor or The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu – both excellent in different ways...

    Another of our favourite places to eat is the Monkey House on the outskirts of Lymington near historic Buckland Rings – the food is reliably excellent and the atmosphere extremely convivial thanks to host Iain and his very competent and friendly team.

    We’ve already mentioned The Turfcutters Arms which is 10 minutes walk Bartley Barn, offers plentiful grub and good ales and actively welcomes well behaved dogs.  Nowadays it’s also great for families with a fabulous outdoor play station in the large garden at the rear of the pub.

    If you visit any of the above please do feel free to leave a review on this local website – it’s like a “local” Trip Advisor.   Just follow the instructions to register and log in then you can post your review.  And, if you’d like to know in advance what’s going on during the week of YOUR holiday, do sign up for’s weekly newsletters too.

    *A note about Shopping

    There’s a big Tesco on the way down the A326 at Applemore if you want to shop on your way.  There's a brilliant village stores with Post Office 5 minutes walk from Bartley Barn in East Boldre, and a farm shop around the corner on the road to Beaulieu.  We tend to do our main shopping in Lymington where there’s a good Waitrose, a small Tesco and an M&S as well as a really friendly independent butcherand greengrocer offering locally sourced meat and veg, fruit and salad respectively.  


  • What's on in and around Lymington during Half Term

    what’s on in Lymington and the New Forest

    Things to do locally over the half term week

    water fight

    For those of us not jetting off to sunnier climes, there are lots of exciting things happening in Lymington, the New Forest and surrounding areas this half term. Here is a roundup of things to do with the children in and around Lymington and the New Forest. Take a look also at our fun days out feature if you're looking to venture slightly further afield. For those having to juggle work with school holidays, we have information about holiday childcare.

    To see what's on day by day, take a look at our What's On section which details events in and around Lymington. Remember, if you're organising a local event then add your event to the calendar for free!



    Things to do in and around Lymington...

    • On Bank Holiday Monday, 29th May, New Park Manor are celebrating National BBQ Week with a Family BBQ also supporting Naomi House from 12-4pm. Bring your swimming things and have fun in the outside pool at this luxurious, family friendly hotel. Find out more...
    • Lymington Sea Water Baths is open throughout half term from 10am until 6pm. Inflatibles, kayaks, SUPs, zorbs - and check out the newly refurbished changing rooms! Fun times whatever the weather - just pop on a wetsuit if its chilly!

    • lego batman movie showing at the malt Cinema LymingtonLymington's Malt Cinema at The Lymington Centre will be showing Lego Batman Movie (certificate U) on Tues 30th, Thurs 1st, Friday 2nd and Sat 3rd June at 2:30pm, plus Weds 31st May at 7:15pm

    • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (certificate 12A) is showing at 2pm on Wednesday 31 May at Forest Arts.

    • Also at Forest Arts on Saturday 27th May is Messy Makes from 10.30am.

    • Pick your own strawberries at Goodall's Farm
    • Crazy Crafts at Lymington Library on Thursday 1st June for children aged 3+ and their parent/carer.
    • Learn about Lymington on a Town Tours walk: Sunday 28th May at 11am is the Walls Walk which includes the famous Crinkle Crankle walls, Wednesday 31st May at 7pm is the Story of Lymington walk, Sunday 4th June is the Pens and Personalities walk.
    • Lymington Charter Market is every Saturday 8am to 4pm on Lymington High Street - come and explore the wealth of different stalls! Find out more about Lymington's famous market...
    • Explore the bargains at the New Forest Car Boot Sale on Sunday 28th May and Sunday 4th June from 6.30am to 1pm. A great way to find some different pre-loved toys to play with!
    • Sunday 4th June is Artisans on the River at Bath Road Park. A fun family day for FREE! Free playground, entertainment and music. 
    • Discover Lymington's playgrounds! Find out more about where to play from some intrepid experts...


    Fun in the New Forest!

    • hands-on activities for half term at BeaulieuNew Forest Centre in Lyndhurst is holding Half Term Family Discovery Days on Tuesday 30th May and Thursday 1st June from 10am-4pm. New Forest themed trails, quizzes and craft activities for all the family, so come along and explore your crafty side. Suitable for all ages, small charge for materials. Standard Museum entry (accompanied under 16s go free), no booking required.
    • Visit the New Forest Reptile Centre on Wild Wednesday. 10.30am to 4pm. Come and see the ‘live’ video of birds on their nests as well as the reptiles and amphibians.
    • Hunt the Gruffalo at Bolderwood throughout half term. Downloadable app and also trail available from Bolderwood carpark.
    • Plant a sunflower at Furzey Gardens from Tuesday 30th May to Friday 2nd June. Visit the gardens and have fun in the Bug Barn!
    • The Tree Trail at Blackwater is a self-guided trail leading you around the stunning Blackwater trees, whilst testing your tree identification skills. From Sunday 28th May to Saturday 3rd June
    • Those with dogs will love the Walkies Workshop on Saturday 27th May at Deerleap.
    • Lepe Country Park have a half term trail. Pick up a trail card from the park office anytime between 10am - 3pm and return with correct answers to claim your prize. Cost: £2 per child, no need to book.
    • Also at Lepe Country Park, Lepe Into Action on Wednesday 31 May.
    • Garden Bug Hunt with Big Owls at the Countryside Education Trust on Friday 2nd June.
    • Try pond dipping at Moors Valley Country Park on Tuesday 30th May from 10am to 12pm. No need to book.
    • Wild about Ponies on Thursday 1st June 1-2pm at Bolderwood. Discover more about the New Forest ponies and why they are important.


    Days out in the New Forest!

    • Monday 29th May is the 999 Show at Beaulieu to celebrate Mary Montagu-Scott's appointment as the 'High Sherriff of Hampshire'. Learn about the fantastic work of the emergency services with police, fire & rescue, ambulance, judiciary, coastguard, National Health Service (NHS), prison and probation services giving demonstrations and displays. Your ticket includes entry to the Beaulieu attraction, including the National Motor Museum, Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey and World of Top Gear.half term fun at Beaulieu Motor Museum
    • Beaulieu have a focus on Time Travellers throughout half term, with interactive activities for the whole family. Find out more and link to the Beaulieu website to book tickets (if you purchase tickets in advance there is a saving) tip: go at the beginning of the week and visit again for free within 6 days!
    • Step back in time at Buckler’s Hard this half term as Living History characters take you on a tour of the once-thriving shipbuilding village.
    • Take a trip to Yarmouth between 2nd to 4th June for the Old Gaffers Festival


    Get active in the New Forest!

    • winter paddle with New Forest ActivitiesBased on the bank of the Beaulieu River, New Forest Activities have a great range of activities for all the family - choose from archery, canoeing, kayaking, cycling and Battlefield Open Battles (for age 8+). Find out more and make bookings online.
    • Throughout half term, New Forest Activities are running their Family Adventure Days - explore the Beaulieu River by kayak and the New Forest by bike! Find out more...
    • Meanwhile, find The New Forest Paddle Sport Company in Milford on Sea, who offer paddleboard and kayak tuition and hire. Find out more and book a session.
    • Every Saturday at Woodside is Park Run, a great way for families to run together, from 9am. Register online before arriving to get a barcode.
    • Have a go at archery at Moors Valley on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th May and Friday 2nd June.


    If you hear of any other exciting things to do locally this half term, do This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with us and let us know! 













  • What's on in and around Lymington over the summer holidays

    What’s on in Lymington and the New Forest over the summer holidays.

    Ideas of things to do for children and families, whether local or visiting Lymington and the New Forest.

    updated 17 July 2017

    Family things to do over the summer holidaysLast week we published our Summer Events in Lymington and the New Forest, with details of all the main events happening in July and August. There are lots of other exciting things happening in Lymington, the New Forest and surrounding areas over the school summer holidays, for visitors and locals.

    Here is a roundup of 'things to do' for families and children in and around Lymington and the New Forest. Take a look also at our fun days out feature if you're looking to venture slightly further afield. And for those having to juggle work with school holidays, we have information about holiday childcare.

    To see what's on day by day, take a look at our What's On section which details events in and around Lymington. Remember, if you're organising a local event then add your event to the calendar for free! We will be updating this page throughout the summer, so do keep checking back for ideas!


    Things to do on the water...

    • The Lymington Sea Water Baths are open throughout the school holidays from 10am to 6pm each day, whatever the weather. Inflatables, zorbs and SUPs are waiting... great fun, whatever the weather - and let's face it, once you're wetsuited up and in the water the rain doesn't matter! Snacks available
    • lymington sea water baths is now open for the summer season!Elmers Court also has an outside pool, open daily for non members as well as members and guests at the hotel from 10am to 8pm. Cold drinks and snacks are available to purchase either from the snack shack near the poolside or the Scottish Steak Club which is a short walk away.
    • Kayak or paddle board with the New Forest Paddle Sport Company at Keyhaven near Milford on Sea. A great family activity - SUP taster sessions and kayak taster sessions, as well as tours to Hurst Castle along the beautiful Keyhaven coastline. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
    • New Forest Activities offers kayaking and canoeing on the Beaulieu River and throughout the summer combine kayaking with cycling in the New Forest for Family Adventure Days.
    • Learn to sail! Find out more about learning to sail in Lymington.
    • Stay on a boat! Beds on Board have boats available in Lymington as well as all over the world! Find out more.

    For all sports holiday camps and clubs, see our Holiday Childcare article... 


    lymington pennington town council charter market shrubsThings to do in Lymington...

    • Pick your own strawberries at Goodall's Farm! And whilst you're there, try out the New Adventure Golf next door!
    • At Lymington Library, Rhyme Time continues throughout the holidays every Tuesday 2-2.30pm and every Wednesday 11-11.30am for children aged 0-4 with their parents/carers. The Construction Club also continues through the holidays 2.30-4pm every Saturday. All these events are free of charge.


    new forest pony eating grassFamily fun in the New Forest...

    • The New Forest & Hampshire County Show will be taking place on 25th, 26th and 27th July at New Park in Brockenhurst. There is 15% off tickets purchased online before 18th July and 5% off tickets purchased online thereafter. Frequent direct shuttle buses will be running between Brockenhurst Station direct to the heart of the Show (free for advanced ticket holders, otherwise £3 for adult return/£2 for child return).
    • The New Forest Tour buses are back in operation until 11th September, with three routes again this year. Two of the routes stop in Lymington: the green route (Lymington, Beaulieu, Exbury, Hythe, Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst) and the blue route (Lymington, Brockenhurst, Burley, New Milton, Barton on Sea, Milford on Sea).
    • It's Wild Wednesday at the New Forest Reptile Centre every Wednesday in August, with fun activities for the whole family. Quiz trail and ‘making’ activities for children. Come and see the ‘live’ bird on the nest and the reptiles and amphibians. Wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear. Booking is not required.
    • New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst is holding Family Discovery Days on various dates throughout the school holiday (check link for dates). New Forest themed trails, quizzes and craft activities for all the family. Suitable for all ages, small charge for materials. Standard Museum entry (accompanied under 16s go free), no booking required.
    • At Bolderwood from 29th July to 3th September, be a Gruffalo Spotter! £3 per pack, dogs welcome on leads. There is also a downloadable app. Whilst you're there, cross over the road and see if any deer can be spotted in the Deer Sanctury. A lovely walk on forest paths.
    • Also at Bolderwood on 1st, 15th and 29th August, Rock up and explore the New Forest with a volunteer ranger. Rock up and explore at Blackwater on 8th and 22nd August.
    • If you're wild about ponies, find out more at Bolderwood on 3rd and 24th August at Bolderwood and on 17th August at Hatchet Pond.
    • Big Owls, for 4-6 year olds will be taking place on 28th July at Home Farm: a morning of plant themed fun and games at the Farm. 
    • At Lepe Country Park there is a summer holiday trail available every day throughout the holidays. Plus Marine Wonders on 8th and 9th August, Seashore discovery trail on 3rd August, Nature Detectives on 1st and 17th August, Bat Walks on 23rd and 24th August. There is also a beach clean up day at Lepe on 3rd September.


    summer fun living history palace house BeaulieuLiving history

    • Head to Beaulieu for a fun-filled family day out this summer, as a fascinating programme of living history brings Beaulieu to life with the sights and sounds of the past this Summer from 22nd July to 3rd September. Transport yourself back to the middle ages and meet Brother Peter in the Beaulieu Abbey! Falconry demonstrations, discover what life was like in the 1800s and enjoy Victorian music in Palace House. See veteran and vintage cars driving around with occupants in period costumes. All included in the general admission ticket which includes the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and World of Top Gear. top tip!Save money by buying your tickets for Beaulieu online in advance. You can visit again for free within 6 days (there's so much to do, you'll have great fun twice!)

    • Just down the road from Beaulieu is Bucklers Hard. Discover the Maritime Museum and Bucklers Hard story, brought to life by living history characters.

    Take a look at our Fun Days Out article for more ideas on places to visit locally...


    If you hear of any other exciting things to do locally over the summer, do get in touch with us and let us know!

Go to top