Pilley, a peaceful little village infused with history and charm, is an enchanting destination for a New Forest holiday. The village is surrounded by a beautiful tapestry of forest and heathland where the famous free-roaming ponies, cattle and donkeys are often seen sauntering along the lanes.
This lovely little village comes with local provisions from Pilley village shop, a church, post office and village hall. What is reputed to be one of the New Forest’s oldest and arguably the best pub, The Fleur De Lys, dating back to 1096, sits in the middle of the village and has a reputation for outstanding food. As well as serving delicious food, the pub is picture-perfect with a thick thatched roof, vast inglenook fireplaces and a pretty pub garden.
There’s a lovely walk to Brockenhurst via Royden Woods Wildlife Reserve using the well signposted path which passes through ancient oak trees, wildflower grasslands and open heathland. In the springtime, this stunning walk and cycle route transforms into a spectacular carpet of bluebells.
The busy Georgian marine town of Lymington, with its wide selection of restaurants, pubs, shops and supermarkets, is an easy three miles away.
A patchwork of ancient woodland brimming with pastures, ponds, heaths and the Lymington River, Roydon Wood Wildlife Reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife and from flora and fauna to tawny owls. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust manage the nature reserves and its ideal territory for walking with the dog and enjoying this beautiful environment.
Absolutely great for peaceful walking.
A nine hole golf course in a tranquil New Forest setting, Walhampton Golf Course is an informal environment with a friendly clubhouse. The accessible links course welcomes all ages and abilities to take part on the course with green fees starting at £12.50 for visitors.
Puffin Cruises in Lymington is a fun and exciting way to explore this part of the world and see its natural beauty from the water, whether you’re merely enjoying the ferry service, taking a 30 minute river cruise or opting for an hour long picnic or sunset cruise - there’s something for every mood. Trips run daily from the town’s historic quay, weather permitting!
St Barbe Museum explores the unique history of Lymington and the New Forest Coast. The hands-on displays provide a fascinating journey of discovery for all ages, charting Lymington’s development as a market town and port and looking at the smugglers and boat builders who have used the Solent shore. The art galleries host an exclusive programme of exhibitions that regularly works on loan from national and regional collections.
Extremely interesting museum, enjoyed the art,. Very welcoming reception and good cafe. I fully recommend a visit
Really interesting small museum packed with information and an exceptional display in the art gallery
A vital summer attraction in this famous town, the Lymington Sea Water Baths have been welcoming visitors since 1833. These days the options are a little more varied with water sports including kayaking, paddle boarding, aqua jousting, zorbing and children’s splash pools all available. There is a cafe on site, all necessary facilities and entry prices depend on the activities you want to take part in.
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This pub is thought to be the oldest pub in the New Forest, and it is believed to have been serving drinks since the 11th century! Today it makes for a cosy spot to refuel when enjoying some of the beautiful walks around the picturesque village of Pilley, in the heart of the New Forest.
The Fleur de Lys (T: 01590 672158) Lymington SO41 5QG
Fantastic food, cosy interior and friendly staff - we went there on 3 occasions during our week's stay
A relaxed, informal atmosphere welcomes you at The Monkey House. The Bistro style, bright airy interior still retains lots character with beamed ceilings, wooden floors and open fireplaces. There’s also outdoor seating. Food here is good too, the menu mixing classic pub dishes, seasonal specials and superb range of puddings. There’s live music every Sunday night.
The Monkey House, (T: 01590 676754) 167 Southampton Road, Lymington SO41 9HA
Loved this place. It's friendly and efficient and the food was really really good. You can even take the dog!
A big, bright and spacious free house serving a good selection of well-kept real ales, wines and spirits. A popular haunt for the locals, who gather for the notorious daily carvery. There’s a main menu with all the usual dishes, or pick from the Specials Board which showcases local produce.
Walhampton Arms (T: 01590 673113) Walhampton Hill, Lymington SO41 5RE
Very friendly staff. Child friendly. Large portions. Serve food all day. Have high chairs.
Very friendly staff, good space. Food solid pub grub.
Low beams, horse brasses and a crackling log fire can be found in this 15th century gem! Outside is a large and spacious beer garden, just perfect to sip on a pint of delicious local ale, larger or wine. Menus change according to season, and daily specials boards highlight local game, vegetables and seafood. Dog friendly.
The Red Lion, (T: 01590 673177) Boldre SO41 8NE
One of the nicest pubs in the New Forest. Had a fantastic meal with wonderful beer, all set in a wonderful cosy atmosphere. Will definitely be back next year.
Very friendly. Food was excellent, sorry to have missed Friday Pie night, hopefully it will still be on when we return
The Ferryman is a stylish country pub situated on the far side of Lymington's harbour, on the edge of the New Forest, with a good choice of well-priced food served from either a fixed priced lunchtime menu or a la carte. Vegetarians will be glad to hear there’s also a menu just for them. Dogs welcome.
The Ferryman (T: 01590 672517) Lymington SO41 5SB
A lovely bar and a welcomed stop for refreshments following our IOW ferry trip.
Do not go there if you have to be somewhere else to bewithin the hour as the service was very very slow (and that was on a quiet day). However, all off the staff were very friendly, and very helpful.
We stayed in the Lymington area during August, and enjoyed our visits to the Ferryman. A couple of excellent meals, along with numerous visits for the odd G&T! Staff extremely friendly and helpful.
A beautiful shingle beach with pretty painted beach huts, plenty of parking, and excellent coastal walks along Hurst spit to Hurst Castle with clear views of the Isle of Wight and needles. The superb Raft Rocks Restaurant is worth a visit with its Art deco style and roof terrace. You can also walk across the wildlife marshes to Keyhaven harbour and (in season) take the boat to Hurst Castle or the Isle of Wight.
Lovely village, plenty of shops and places to eat - no post office though.
Fantastic sea location with goods pubs, shops etc
Great for a dog walk along the spit to Hurst Castle. Needles Eye cafe is a welcome break, quite good food but very busy and a bit basic.
A stony beach with sandy areas as the tide goes out, and a great spot to do some fossil hunting. The cliffs are subject to considerable coastal erosion and at times parts of the beach can be cordoned off. The Beachcomber Café on the cliff top is one of the most popular cafés in the region. Plenty of parking in car parks along the cliff top as well as on-road parking.
A picturesque, tree-lined beach of shingle, and sand at low tide. Good facilities on the cliff top including an excellent tea room, award winning public toilets, baby change and a children’s play area in the Castle gardens. Plenty of parking, but there is no disabled access and quite a few steps to get down to the beach. Lifeguard cover from July to Sept. No dogs allowed.
Lovely clean sandy beach and a really i would highly recommend this spot for your car to break down takes the ouch out of waiting for the recovery truck
This is one of the most scenic of New Forest beaches. Lined with some of the most picturesque and expensive beach huts in the country! There’s no parking next to the beach, as it’s a traffic-free zone, but there’s pay and display parking at Hengistbury Head from where you can catch a little train to the sandbank, and Mudeford Quay which runs a small ferry (5 mins) over to the sandbank. Can also be reached on foot and by bicycle.
Beautiful place, our favourite beach in south of England. It feels like an island, when you go over on the ferry and at times (off-season!) on sunny days it can feel like a little piece of Heaven, it's so peaceful and beautiful- bit of a sense of New England. There's a super little 'restaurant', the Beach Hut, which does great breakfasts, meals all day and some evenings. Also takeaway eg pizzas, you can eat on the beach. Very simple surroundings, with a sheltered veranda that can be uncovered in fine weather, and amazing views. Quite pricey and often very busy (and you are best to ring and check opening times and book since often weather and ferry-dependant) but the quality of the food and those stunning views make it more than worthwhile!