A grand day out
James Bond’s famous submarine car, spectacular ice cream, Charles I’s prison cell and arguably the best shopping experience in southern England, await those strong enough to tear themselves away from our doorstep. Be warned though, you may have to come back for another visit to fit it all in. Here’s a taster…
Location: Nr Brockenhurst (8.4 miles)
Great for: Everyone – especially families and motor enthusiasts
Visit: Beaulieu is no ordinary stately home. With a monorail, motor museum – featuring cars from the Bond films – an abbey, glorious gardens and a secret army exhibition, the grounds at this beautiful property are as exciting as the house itself.
Top tip: Take a look at the leaflet in your room before your visit. You can return for free within six days so it might be best not to try and see everything in one go.
Find out more: www.beaulieu.co.uk or 01590 612345
Location: North of Lymington, off the M27 (18.3 miles)
Great for: Shoppers, art lovers and families
Visit: The South Coast wouldn’t be as exciting without Southampton. The art deco City Art Gallery has 3,500 works of art; The Mayflower is the largest theatre is southern England; and the huge 326-acre Common is so beautiful it’s been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Top tip: WestQuay shopping centre is perfect for those in need of a quick shopping fix, but the Bargate Market every Friday is a real find for foodies – the New Forest sausages are great.
Find out more: www.visit-southampton.co.uk
Location: Nr Beaulieu (9.9 miles)
Great for: Swashbuckling family entertainment
Visit: Step back in time with a stroll through this charming 18th century village – complete with Bath House, Chapel and cottages. You can experience life as a shipbuilding family and even see where Nelson’s warships were built.
Top tip: A 30-minute river cruise is a great way to soak up the sights – not to mention the abundant wildlife.
Find out more: www.bucklershard.co.uk
Location: Just south of the hotel (1.9 miles)
Great for: leisurely walks, sailing parties and cream tea lovers
Visit: Walking down the cobblestone street that leads to the Old Town Quay, it’s not hard to see why this popular sailing resort was voted Britain’s most desirable coastal town in 2008.
Top tip: The harbour is the perfect place to sit and enjoy some New Forest ice cream – the Fudge Surprise is delicious.
Find out more: www.lymington.org
Location: West of Lymington (18.8 miles)
Great for: sun seekers, family seaside adventures, leisurely walks
Visit: With cleans beaches as far as the eye can see, a lovely pier, beautiful gardens and great entertainment, Bournemouth has a little something for everyone.
Top tip: If you walk along the promenade to Boscombe, you will be rewarded with a wonderful crazy golf course deep in Boscombe Chine Gardens. Just watch out for the bridges and water jumps!
Find out more: www.bournemouth.co.uk
Location: Nr Bournemouth (24 miles)
Great for: Young and old, boat cruise fans and homeware lovers
Visit: Poole Harbour may look like a stylish marina, but there’s plenty of room for great fish and chips, pleasure cruises, a miniature train (at the nearby Poole Park) and the wonderful Poole Pottery – perfect to take home as a souvenir.
Top tip: Take a cruise around the harbour to see Brownsea Island, peer into some of the most expensive houses in the world (at Sandbanks) and enjoy the sunshine.
Find out more: www.pooletourism.com
Location: Short ferry ride from Keyhaven (6.4 miles)
Great for: history lovers and picture postcard photographs
Visit: Once a prison for Charles I, this coastal fortress is simply packed with history. Its situation is spectacular and its 38-ton guns even more so.
Top tip: You can actually enjoy a refreshing walk to the castle along a shingle spit – just remember to bring a camera for those great views.
Find out more: www.hurstcastle.co.uk
Location: South of Beaulieu (11.7 miles)
Great for: Green-fingered guests and family fun and games
Visit: A 200-acre woodland garden – with pathways stretching for 20 miles – Exbury is a delight for those who know their rhododendrons from their azaleas and like to explore. Its steam railway is both good fun and a great way to rest those weary legs.
Top tip: Children under 16 are welcomed free of charge into the Gardens.
Find out more: www.exbury.co.uk
With our local highlights, we’ve only really scratched the surface so do ask any of the Passford team if you’re in need of a little more inspiration. There’s certainly something to satisfy all tastes and hobbies.