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The Country Punk Guide to the New Forest

Carla

The Country Punk Guide to the New Forest

Food scene
This is our favourite restaurant in the New Forest. It's an easy 30-minute cycle from the house and a less easy cycle back, depending on how many cocktails you have with your meal.
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The Pig
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This is our favourite restaurant in the New Forest. It's an easy 30-minute cycle from the house and a less easy cycle back, depending on how many cocktails you have with your meal.
About as traditional as a local New Forest pub gets, although the fact they have a dedicated gin & tonic menu, plus a few vegan options mixed in with the pub classics, makes it an excellent local.
Hare & Hounds
About as traditional as a local New Forest pub gets, although the fact they have a dedicated gin & tonic menu, plus a few vegan options mixed in with the pub classics, makes it an excellent local.
Great fish options with a view over the yacht yard and the sound of clanking masts to accompany your wine and lunch. Book ahead as it gets busy.
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The Haven Bar & Restaurant
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Great fish options with a view over the yacht yard and the sound of clanking masts to accompany your wine and lunch. Book ahead as it gets busy.
For a special occasion, Lime Wood is an amazing place for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea. In addition, the spa is, in my humble opinion, the best in the UK. None of it comes cheap, but if you're celebrating, it's worth booking in.
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Lime Wood
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For a special occasion, Lime Wood is an amazing place for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea. In addition, the spa is, in my humble opinion, the best in the UK. None of it comes cheap, but if you're celebrating, it's worth booking in.
One of the best vegan restaurants in the country. We love this place. Don't expect lavish interiors - it's a fairly cavernous space on a working farm - but the food is sensational.
Offbeet New Forest
One of the best vegan restaurants in the country. We love this place. Don't expect lavish interiors - it's a fairly cavernous space on a working farm - but the food is sensational.
Always buzzy, with a good menu of vegetarian, vegan, fish and meat options, plus you're in a great spot for a blustery cliff-top walk afterwards.
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The Cliff House
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Always buzzy, with a good menu of vegetarian, vegan, fish and meat options, plus you're in a great spot for a blustery cliff-top walk afterwards.
I'm not personally a big curry fan, but even I like the options here and my Indian-food-loving family adore it. You'll need to book, but they also do takeaway.
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Rivaaz Lymington
7 St Thomas St
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I'm not personally a big curry fan, but even I like the options here and my Indian-food-loving family adore it. You'll need to book, but they also do takeaway.
What was originally a tea room and bakery in nearby Brockenhurst has now expanded to a restaurant and pub within striking distance of Sway. Great for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
Rosie Lea's
What was originally a tea room and bakery in nearby Brockenhurst has now expanded to a restaurant and pub within striking distance of Sway. Great for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
A real local favourite combining a traditional bar if you just want a glass of wine or pint of beer, and more upscale dining room, plus lovely gardens.
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The Mill at Gordleton
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A real local favourite combining a traditional bar if you just want a glass of wine or pint of beer, and more upscale dining room, plus lovely gardens.
Another favourite with people who've lived in the Forest for years, as well as holidaymakers and visitors. Book in advance if you plan on eating there.
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East End Arms
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Another favourite with people who've lived in the Forest for years, as well as holidaymakers and visitors. Book in advance if you plan on eating there.
As traditional and classic as a Great British pub gets: think prawn cocktail, whitebait and Sunday roasts on the menu, and local ales on tap.
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The Chequers Inn
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As traditional and classic as a Great British pub gets: think prawn cocktail, whitebait and Sunday roasts on the menu, and local ales on tap.
Super-quirky, high-end fish restaurant. Make your way through a fishmonger into what appears to be someone’s living room, where you choose 4, 6 or 8 courses... and then sit back and see what they bring you. It’s not cheap, but absolutely delicious.
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Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant
98 High St
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Super-quirky, high-end fish restaurant. Make your way through a fishmonger into what appears to be someone’s living room, where you choose 4, 6 or 8 courses... and then sit back and see what they bring you. It’s not cheap, but absolutely delicious.
City/town information
One of the few British high streets still bustling with vitality. There's a good mix of independent shops, eateries and all your usual high-street names. The best day to visit is Saturday when the market is in full swing.
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Lymington
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One of the few British high streets still bustling with vitality. There's a good mix of independent shops, eateries and all your usual high-street names. The best day to visit is Saturday when the market is in full swing.
If you want a bracing beachfront walk, head to Milford on Sea. We often pick up fish and chips in the village centre and then take them down to the seafront to eat.
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Milford on Sea
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If you want a bracing beachfront walk, head to Milford on Sea. We often pick up fish and chips in the village centre and then take them down to the seafront to eat.
This is a bit of a tourist hotspot, with beautiful traditional buildings, including Palace House, and The British National Motor Museum.
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Beaulieu
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This is a bit of a tourist hotspot, with beautiful traditional buildings, including Palace House, and The British National Motor Museum.
Technically you're out of the Forest and in Dorset once you arrive in Christchurch, but we won't hold that against them. There's a healthy dose of history with what's apparently the oldest church in the country, but the real draw are the sandy beaches and quayside with its picture-perfect beach huts and crab shacks serving freshly caught seafood.
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Christchurch
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Technically you're out of the Forest and in Dorset once you arrive in Christchurch, but we won't hold that against them. There's a healthy dose of history with what's apparently the oldest church in the country, but the real draw are the sandy beaches and quayside with its picture-perfect beach huts and crab shacks serving freshly caught seafood.
A quick ferry ride away from Lymington, a trip to the Isle of Wight is a lovely way to spend a day. From Yarmouth where the ferry docks, you can jump on a bus to explore the rest of island. We often eat at On The Rocks, which is just a few steps away from the quayside, before getting one of the last boats back.
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Yarmouth
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A quick ferry ride away from Lymington, a trip to the Isle of Wight is a lovely way to spend a day. From Yarmouth where the ferry docks, you can jump on a bus to explore the rest of island. We often eat at On The Rocks, which is just a few steps away from the quayside, before getting one of the last boats back.
Neighbourhoods
This is our little village. There are far fewer tourists in comparison to others in the New Forest, but still everything you need is within walking distance, including our local pub, The Hare & Hounds, the region-famous Sway Butchers, mini market, coffee shop/deli and village hall.
Sway
This is our little village. There are far fewer tourists in comparison to others in the New Forest, but still everything you need is within walking distance, including our local pub, The Hare & Hounds, the region-famous Sway Butchers, mini market, coffee shop/deli and village hall.
Places to visit
This gorgeous little destination includes a vineyard, farm shop, cafe and garden centre. It's impossible to visit and come away without a bag full of local produce, a few bottles of wine and usually some plants, too.
Setley Ridge Farm Shop
This gorgeous little destination includes a vineyard, farm shop, cafe and garden centre. It's impossible to visit and come away without a bag full of local produce, a few bottles of wine and usually some plants, too.
If you like any of the vintage pieces in the Country Punk Annexe, chances are we picked them up here. Operating out of a little lock-up in Lymington, we love finding one-off antiques and unusual interior pieces here.
Elephant Antiques
If you like any of the vintage pieces in the Country Punk Annexe, chances are we picked them up here. Operating out of a little lock-up in Lymington, we love finding one-off antiques and unusual interior pieces here.
We've bought plenty of reclaimed pieces here including stripped pine chests and rustic shelving. It's pretty tiny and you'll need to rummage around, but a great find if you're renovating (or planning to!)
Gordleton Barn
We've bought plenty of reclaimed pieces here including stripped pine chests and rustic shelving. It's pretty tiny and you'll need to rummage around, but a great find if you're renovating (or planning to!)
This is a slightly random one, but my Sixty-something father loves at least one trip to Mole Stores when he visits so I feel compelled to include it. If you need screws, Wellington boots, fencing or random bits of timber, this is the place to come!
Mole Country Stores Lymington
This is a slightly random one, but my Sixty-something father loves at least one trip to Mole Stores when he visits so I feel compelled to include it. If you need screws, Wellington boots, fencing or random bits of timber, this is the place to come!
Local supplies
As two pescatarians, we can't personally vouch for Sway Butchers, but we do know the owners and they're lovely! People come from all over Hampshire to buy their sausages and steak here - and the queues outside speak for themselves.
Sway Butchers Ltd
As two pescatarians, we can't personally vouch for Sway Butchers, but we do know the owners and they're lovely! People come from all over Hampshire to buy their sausages and steak here - and the queues outside speak for themselves.
Surprisingly well-stocked for a little mini market, with supplies of wine from the vineyard which borders our property and other bits and pieces from local independent businesses, as well as all your essentials.
Budgens of Sway
1 Station Road
Surprisingly well-stocked for a little mini market, with supplies of wine from the vineyard which borders our property and other bits and pieces from local independent businesses, as well as all your essentials.
A good place to stock up if you're planning a picnic, with lots of homemade sandwiches and cakes, or just somewhere to grab a coffee on your way into the Forest.
Sway Deli & Coffee Shop
3 Middle Rd
A good place to stock up if you're planning a picnic, with lots of homemade sandwiches and cakes, or just somewhere to grab a coffee on your way into the Forest.
A short drive away from us at Mudeford Quay in Christchurch, and absolutely the best place to pick up fresh fish and seafood straight off the boat.
The Fish Stall
A short drive away from us at Mudeford Quay in Christchurch, and absolutely the best place to pick up fresh fish and seafood straight off the boat.
Things to do
The walk or cycle between Lymington and Keyhaven is a favourite of ours. Once you get to Keyhaven, head out to the fort, or stay near the shore and watch the kite-surfers making the most of the unique winds and flat water here.
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Keyhaven
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The walk or cycle between Lymington and Keyhaven is a favourite of ours. Once you get to Keyhaven, head out to the fort, or stay near the shore and watch the kite-surfers making the most of the unique winds and flat water here.
In the nearest enclosure to our house, you'll often spot deer hiding in the trees, but if you want to (almost!) guarantee a whole herd of them, then you're best off heading to the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary, where there's a special viewing platform over a large meadow and the keepers feed the deer daily between April and September.
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Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
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In the nearest enclosure to our house, you'll often spot deer hiding in the trees, but if you want to (almost!) guarantee a whole herd of them, then you're best off heading to the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary, where there's a special viewing platform over a large meadow and the keepers feed the deer daily between April and September.
If you're feeling really energetic, you can hire canoes and kayaks to take to the Beaulieu river at New Forest Activities. The 'paddle to the pub' option is our favourite!
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New Forest Activities
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If you're feeling really energetic, you can hire canoes and kayaks to take to the Beaulieu river at New Forest Activities. The 'paddle to the pub' option is our favourite!
Currently suspended due to Covid-19, when ParkRuns restart, our nearest offshoot take place in Woodside Park in Lymington each Saturday morning at 9am.
Woodside park, lymington
Currently suspended due to Covid-19, when ParkRuns restart, our nearest offshoot take place in Woodside Park in Lymington each Saturday morning at 9am.
I know zilch about golf, but can just about manage the crazy golf here and there's a nine-hole course for those who take it a little more seriously. Call to book the latter, but just turn up and play the fun version.
Lymington Golf Centre & New Forest Adventure Golf
I know zilch about golf, but can just about manage the crazy golf here and there's a nine-hole course for those who take it a little more seriously. Call to book the latter, but just turn up and play the fun version.
Coombe Stables are the nearest option to us for riding lessons and hacks through the Forest. It's a beautiful way to see the New Forest - make sure you book in advance.
Coombe Stables Ltd - Horse riding in the New Forest
Coombe Stables are the nearest option to us for riding lessons and hacks through the Forest. It's a beautiful way to see the New Forest - make sure you book in advance.
It's not quite the Med, but a decent enough beach for body boarding or catching a few rays when the sun makes an appearance.
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Highcliffe Beach
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It's not quite the Med, but a decent enough beach for body boarding or catching a few rays when the sun makes an appearance.
This is a bit of a drive from us, but if you've ever tasted Hambledon's English Sparking Wine, you'll know it's worth going the extra mile. Book a vineyard tour or wine experience... or you could just head to The Pig in Brockenhurst where this bubbly is always on the menu.
Hambledon Vineyard
This is a bit of a drive from us, but if you've ever tasted Hambledon's English Sparking Wine, you'll know it's worth going the extra mile. Book a vineyard tour or wine experience... or you could just head to The Pig in Brockenhurst where this bubbly is always on the menu.