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Voted South & South East England In Bloom Coastal Town of the Year 2012 Christchurch boasts two rivers, two castles, an 11th century Priory Church, a mill of Saxon origin, a medieval bridge and the site of a civil war siege in 1645.
The historic Priory Quarter is in the heart of the town centre so you won’t have to walk far to enjoy the fascinating heritage. Close to the Priory Church is the Red House Museum and Gardens, the Convent Walk and the ruins of the Norman Hall and Christchurch Castle.
There is a wide range of places to eat and drink and a good selection of independent shops. Many events take place in Saxon Square and The Quay throughout the year and every Monday there is a large traditional market in the High Street.
There’s fun and activity on Christchurch Quay where you will find Place Mill, the Bandstand, motor boat hire, ferry trips to Mudeford and Tuckton, children’s play area and the Splashpark.
The New Forest is right on the doorstop – for walks and bike rides, it’s hard to beat. Many people like to spend time walking in the woods or across the beautiful heathland. Go on a country hike, play Pooh-sticks over a steam, try out a couple of cycle tracks, or simply enjoy a cream tea or an ice cream.
A beautiful Georgian market town situated on the southern edge of the New Forest. Renowned as a sailing resort; there are two large marinas and an open-air seawater bath. Lymington has a number of interesting independent shops and on a Saturday a market is held in the High Street. At the bottom of the High Street a cobblestone road leads down to the Old Town Quay.
Slow down for donkeys and ponies strolling around the narrow streets of this ancient village, best known for the National Motor Museum and Palace House, the village, with tiny shops and a pub, is built around a wide tidal river, attracting all kinds of wildlife.
Brockenhurst is peaceful with a pretty green often full of grazing ponies and cattle. Many of the main walks and cycle trails through The New Forest start in Brockenhurst, which is set in some of the loveliest scenery in the district.
Burley is legendary for dragons, witches and smuggling! The village is great for a potter – you can enjoy riding on horseback, in a horse-drawn wagon or on bikes. There are also plenty of shops and tearooms here too.
Lyndhurst became the natural ‘capital’ of The New Forest when William the Conqueror established his hunting grounds here. Now there’s much to keep you busy, from the New Forest Visitor Centre to shops, pubs and cafes. Don’t miss the grave of the original Alice in Wonderland (Alice Liddell, later Hargreaves) in the churchyard.
Milford-on-Sea offers wonderful views of the Needles and Christchurch Bay from this seaside village with its shingle beach, a favourite place with sea anglers. There are lots of shops, cafes and pubs in the village which has a traditional green.
Ringwood is the forest’s main market town, with a charter dating back to 1226, Ringwood stands on the western edge of The New Forest at a crossing point of the River Avon. The town has a mixture of modern shops, historic inns and thatched cottages and provides an ideal touring base.
Bournemouth and Southbourne offer picturesque cliffs, and a beautiful sandy beach with a long pier and several jetties. It is ideal for those who enjoy beach-side holidays, and for sea-sport enthusiasts. The estuary of the Stour offers opportunities to enjoy exploring tiny creeks and for watching some of the areas wildlife.
Minimum stay: Three nights
Arrive: Monday or Friday.
Weekend breaks: Friday, Saturday and Sunday night
Mid-week breaks: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday night
Check in: 4.30pm Check out: 11am
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