Take One Adventurous Girl…
A weekend away in Lymington seemed like the perfect pre-Christmas idea. A chance to relax, away from the absolute need to be writing cards, wrapping presents etc.
Lymington is a place I love and I wanted to take Jamie along to share it with him. For this adventurous girl a weekend break is never going to mean total relaxation. Knowing I only have a few days to pack lots into means me jumping out of bed annoyingly early and then refusing to stop all day. Luckily Jamie takes this quite well, especially if I head out for a run and leave him to have a lie in!
A Coastal Walk
Lymington, for those who don’t know, is on the South coast, in Hampshire and is part of the New Forest. I love to be by the sea and so a walk along the salt marshes on day one was the perfect start. I had actually remembered my ‘proper’ camera and so was able to zoom in on the various sea and wading birds and get some great pics. We even spotted my crème de la crème of British birds – a kingfisher!
Six miles of walking brought us to Hurst Beach and we were able to hear waves crashing for the first time. One of the most relaxing sounds I can ever hear. We both love a good pub and real ale so it would have been rude not to visit The Gun, in Keyhaven, before heading back. And boy was I glad we did! The landlord was roasting chestnuts on the open fire and we were soon presented with a bowl. Fresh roast chestnuts are a favourite of mine and we happily burnt our fingers peeling them.
We chose a slightly different route home. Footpaths took us past wild deer and into Pennington. I don’t like to over dramatize but I believe The Chequers here serves the BEST nachos in the world! It had been three years since I last had them but they were as good as ever!
After filling up on nachos we strolled back into Lymington, ending a fantastic eleven mile stroll.
Don’t Stop Moving
Ok, we did stop for a couple of hours! Staying in an Air BnB for the first time, we had been unsure of what we would find. But, my gosh, we were lucky. Our host, Tracey, could not have done more to make our stay relaxed and pleasant. Her house was the kind you feel you could happily move into and change nothing. Little touches, such as mini stollen left with the tea and coffee and an invitation to ‘help yourselves to the Disaronno’ really set our stay off perfectly. If you are thinking of visiting the town do take a look at availability here.
So a little relaxation was followed by a stroll under the Christmas lights of the high street for dinner and drinks. Lymington high street runs downhill to a cobbled street which, in turn, takes you to the sea. On a Saturday the high street is closed to allow the weekly market to take place. Coupled with lots of lovely gift shops this makes for perfect Christmas shopping territory.
A soggy morning run, led to a few hours of shopping and then an investigation into a few more of the pubs of Lymington. There are a lot of pubs in the town and we do love real ale!
Squeezing In A Little More Fun
We had hired bikes the day before, from Figgures Cycles and I had plotted a round route to Buckler’s Hard. Heading out across Beaulieu heath the ponies soon delivered. They were everywhere; grazing by the side of the road, hiding behind the gorse or dozing in the distance. I was struck by how much space there is in the New Forest. Gardens are large and lead onto open heath or woodland. Wildlife surrounds you at each turn of the pedal.
Buckler’s Hard is an old shipbuilding village in an idyllic location, on the Beaulieu River. It now hosts a museum and hotel, as well as The Master Builders Pub. On a summer day it is heaving with people but we found it quiet and almost empty.
Locking up our bikes, we took a stroll along the river, encountering a very friendly robin. We felt like we were turning into twitchers, with the number of bird photos we took for later identification purposes!
The second leg of our cycle carried us through tiny villages, past many more ponies and beautiful houses. It became a running joke that I had bought Jamie to this terrible, run down place .
Bye Bye Lymington
I hate leaving the New Forest. It always feels as if you are heading back into real life and all the stresses it brings. But now we take with us many happy memories. We also managed a grand total of ten pubs and two curry houses visited (if you like a really hot curry, as I do, the Ceylon at Lal Quila is perfect).
I am so glad to have shared my love of the area with Jamie. We will be back and you should go too!
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