COASTLINE AND BEACHES
Our New Forest caravans to rent are located just a 10 minute drive from the nearest beaches. We have listed some of our local beaches which we are sure you will enjoy
Barton on Sea – The beaches are easily reached via the Cliffside footpath. The beach is a mixture of stones (at high tide) and sand. The cliff top enjoys beautiful views over to the Isle of Wight and the prominent white chalk formation emerging from the sea called The Needles. Clinging to the edge of the cliff is a lovely little café called “the Beachcomber” which serves teas, snacks and meals and the most wonderful cream teas. Along the cliff top you can enjoy watching the paragliders and kite flyers. If you walk along the cliff you will come across “Barton Bunny” which is a small stream which meanders its way through the sandstone rock towards the sea. You can walk all the way to Milford on Sea along the cliff top taking in the breathtaking views along the way. There is an excellent golf course at Barton also.
Milford on Sea
Milford is a popular location with its beach café. There is a seafront car park. The beach is pebbles. The village which is set back from the sea has a lovely village green and quaint shop. The Smugglers Inn serves good food and is dog friendly.
Keyhaven is primarily a yatching marina. There is no beach, but there are some lovely walks through the Nature Reserve. This is an area of coastline which is not protected. The mudflats and saltmarshes are home to a huge variety of birdlife and wildlife. Pathways have been built up which allows easy access on foot to some great circular walks. There is also a cycle path. Parking is just opposite the Gunn public house. From Keyhaven you can catch the boat and visit the historic Hurst Castle.
Parking is in the cliff top car park. There is a gentle short slope to the beach which consists of some stones and lots of sand. There is a small café on the beach which serves teas, snacks and meals. From the car park you can enjoy a stroll along the cliff top through the Highcliffe Castle Nature Reserve. It is a lovely peaceful walk amongst the woodland which finishes at Highcliffe Castle
Highcliffe Castle has been described as the most important surviving house of romantic and picturesque style of architecture which flourished at the end of the 18th century. It is now a Grade 1 listed building of Special Architectural and Historic interest. It was built between 1831 and 1836 by Lord Stuart de Rothesay. During the 1990s a huge conservation and repair programme was carried out to preserve this beautiful building. There is a tea room and outside tables and chairs. A lovely setting to enjoy a cream tea on a sunny afternoon. From the tea rooms you can take the cliff path down to the beach.
Christchurch – Mudeford Quay and Avon Beach
Mudeford Quay is probably one of the favourite locations for crabbing. Hours of enjoyment are spent here by children. There is a convenient car park on the Quay. There is a café, fresh fish stall and gift shop where you can buy the crabbing lines and buckets. At this point the river Avon meets the sea. Hengisbury Head is just across the water only a few yards. Here the tides are strong rushing in and out of the narrow harbour mouth. Just outside the mouth of the river sand shallows have formed and at low tide you can see the sea birds and swans feeding. Christchurch Priory and Abbey ruins are a must to visit.
Avon Beach is a local favourite. There is a car park on the seafront and also over the sand dunes to the rear. The café there serve great food and beverages. There is also a gift shop and lots and lots of beach huts. The beach is mainly sand with a few pebbles.
Southbourne and Boscombe
These are located just the other side of Christchurch. They are both lovely sandy beaches accessed via the cliff path down to the beaches. Boscombe is the location of the new surfing reef.
PLACES OF INTEREST TO VISIT
The castle is located on the top of the Keyhaven peninsular. Access is via the boat from Keyhaven marina or on foot along the shingle bank causeway. The castle is steeped in history being built by Henry VIII. Charles I was imprisioned here before his execution. You can ramble through the castle and visit the tea rooms inside. It is a very interesting day out.
Lymington is a quaint riverside town and boating haven. From here you can catch the Isle of Wight Link ferry to the Isle of Wight. There is a large street market here each Saturday. There are many interesting shops and great places to eat down the High Street. A visit down the old cobbled street at the foot of the High Street down to the Marina is not to be missed. There are some interesting shops. Boats can be hired here for fishing or day trips.
Christchurch and the Priory
Christchurch is a very historic town. The Priory is 900 years old and is well worth a visit as to are the ruins of the old priory. From the Priory you can walk round the grounds alongside the small waterways. Christchurch Quay is worth a visit. There are some lovely riverside walks, cafes, childrens playground on the green, Tuckton Tea rooms and Tuckton ferry, boat trips and fishing. Here you can catch the ferry to Hengisbury Head – a great day out by the beach.
Beaulieu Motor Museum and House
Beaulieu is a great family day out with lots to enjoy for all ages. The motor museum is home to a vast selection of automobiles depicting the history of motoring through to modern cars. It is home to the Bond in Motion exhibition – the official home to the largest Bond collection in the world. You can also see the World of Top Gear collection (as seen on TV) The stately home of Palace House is well worth visiting as to is the Abbey which was founded in 1204 by Cistercian Monks. There is plenty to do in the ground – try a ride on the elevated mono rail to see everything.
The New Forest is a most beautiful place to visit and here are some of the places of interest
Rhinefield Ornamental Drive
Situated between Brockenhurst and the A35 – it is a narrow road lines with a mixture of rhodedendrons, azaleas and some very tall pines. It is best seen in late May/early June when the shrubs and in full flower. At the southern end of the drive is Rhinefield House once home to Richard Branson but now a hotel and conference centre. The driveway is lined by giant redwoods and Douglas Firs. In America redwoods are known to be up to 3000 years old, so at about 150 years old ours are mere youngsters. There are several walks that start and finish from the Ornamental Drive and most popular being the Tall Trees Trail which starts at Blackwater car park. It is a clearly marked trail. There is some interesting information about these trees along the walk. Here you can also take a walk round the Arboretum which contains a selection of trees from around the world. There is a gravel track which includes a number of points that encourage you to touch, smell and listen to the sound of certain trees, while a number of wooden benches provide pleasant resting places.
Just off the A35 2 miles from Lyndhurst at the turning to Bolderwood (opposite to the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive) the Knightswood Oak is located. The mighty oak is said to be 600 year old. It is just a short level walk from the car parking area.
Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
Just off the A35 (2 miles from Lyndhurst) take the Bolderwood turning. You will drive through 2 miles of lovely woodland. Bolderwood has a large car park and picnic area. Children can let off steam running through the woods, making camps, picnicking and eating ice creams here. Opposite is the deer viewing platform where you can view the deer in the paddock beyond. During the spring and summer months the Rangers come to feed the deer between 1.30 – 2pm each day. They often give an interesting talk about the deer and bring with them some rather large antlers.
On those wet days it is always good to have some inside fun. Serendipity Sams is a huge indoor play area for children of all ages. There are slides, climbing ropes and ladders etc and a café where the mums and dads can sit whilst the children amuse themselves. Located just through Christchurch – take the turning right at the roundabout towards the Station, just over the railway bridge at the traffic lights turn right to “Partyland” then next left.