Last year, hubby and I had a lovely break in Brockenhurst. It was so amazing that we decided to return to the new forest, but a different part. This time we stayed in a B&B just outside of Lymington and used that as base for exploring other parts of the forest. I was initially hoping that Lymington would be the perfect mix of both the ‘new forest’ and the seaside, which is why I chose it, as Brockenhurst was a bit far from the sea, however Lymington doesn’t really have the new forest feel, there are no wandering ponies (which in my mind what is most special about the new forest) and the seafront is not the most picturesque of places, plus the beach is shingle.
However, we didn’t let that deter us and instead spent time in Lyndhurst and Burley. However, before I discuss those I do need to say how absolutely amazing the food was at a pub in Lymington called “Thomas Tripp”. The outside has pretty hanging baskets and is very welcoming, unfortunately when I stepped inside I was put-off as the ambience was not quite right, and didn’t look like a place that would have amazing food, but I am so glad I was wrong. Thomas Tripp had, undeniably, the best ribs and BBQ sauce I have ever eaten in my life! And as a foodie, I have to say I have tried a fair many. They were so unbelievable I had to talk to the owner about them, he explained that they are slowly cooked for like 12 hours, and he came up with the BBQ sauce recipe himself. It was so mind-blowing we actually travelled all the way from Lyndhurst the next day, just to eat there again. The ribs were not the only special things, the garlic and tomato bread must have been made by an Italian because I have only had better in Italy, and the chocolate brownie for dessert was absolutely scrumptious. So if you are ever in the New Forest, find this pub because you will not regret it.
We spent a day in Lyndhurst, half of it shopping and half of it on the new forest open bus tour, which I highly recommend. We went on the red route, which was the longest at 2.5 hours. No matter how hot it is outside, if you are upstairs, in the open it gets very cold and windy, so bare that in mind. It was very beautiful and a great way to see the sights of the forest that we had yet to see. The only downside was that the bus did not have a toilet, which is tricky on such a long tour. There were lots of great touristy shops in Lyndhurst, and if you walk just 5 minutes toward the outskirts, cross over a grate, and there are the ponies, and to my great surprise, wild donkeys.
We only had time to stop off at Burley on our way home (as the New Forest Show was on), it was an intriguing little witchy hamlet. Again we were lucky enough to see 2 horses, waiting to use the payphone 😉 Burley was the smallest and probably the prettiest of the places we saw on the tour. If you like a bit of fantasy, this is definitely the place, as it has witches, smugglers and “dragons” in it’s history, and due to this many of the shops sell witch/fantasy themed goods.