England-Hampshire Flag

Lymington >  Google™ Map Sep 2022  Hampshire Coat of Arms

limen (name of) river + tūn Old English enclosure, farmstead. Population - 15,726.

England-Hampshire Flag UK > England > Hampshire

Sep 2022

Hampshire Coat of Arms

It's a fine-looking High Street here in Hampshire although the jelly legs might kick in after the initial lug up. The flags are at half-mast due to last week's passing of HM ER II and speaking of masts...

Lymington - St Thomas Street

It has been noticed that there are quite a few of your nautical-themed, and higher-end, outfitters along here but more on that in a minute.

  St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery (New Street)

Half hidden down a lane off the high street and doing pretty much as advertised with all your local history and the rotating showcasing of local artists' work.

The St Barbe family got wealthy from the mercantile and have strong links to Lymington and, inevitably, the slave trade. Anne St Barbe, however, broke from type in the 19th century and founded a school for the downtrodden in this very building.

Besides, there's a top-notch caff and gift shop and isn't that how you like your cultural destinations to be rated, these days?

The lack of activity can be put down to a sleepy, Sunday morning but a word of warning. Don't drive along here on a late Saturday afternoon trying to locate your lodgings when the weekly market is packing up. Seriously!

Lymington - St Thomas Street
  The Angel & Blue Pig (High Street)

Formerly just the Angel Inn, the pig was added after a major refurbishment and represents, well, gawd knows what it represents? Beer, beds and burgers, although other main courses are available, and a covered area outside for hardy northerners who can still tolerate a temperature in the low double digits of an evening.

  The Six Bells (St Thomas Street) wetherspoon

The Spoons have a tradition of naming their pubs based on the history of the town or the old building they invariably inhabit. The inevitable offering in a town of this size is called the Six Bells, the former favourite haunt of the bell-ringers from St Thomas'.

There are no awards for their nearly-out-of-date ale but the Director of Contrived Waterhole Naming gets a (3/5) for incorporating a cohort of half-cut campanologists.

Lymington - Church of St Thomas the Apostle

The church bell, on the other hand gets a (0/5), the dampened clank, quite frankly, a disappointment ding-dong-wise.

The high street drops down to a Cornish fishing village where an opportunity still exists to sell people things they don't really need.

Lymington - Quay Hill
Lymington - Quay Hill

Quay Hill is the clue so hang on to your Breton caps and jumpers over the shoulders for here be boaty folk, this being right on the Solent, of course. Some kind of sailing event suggests an influx of stripy tops next week and the high street suppliers are busy dusting down the Out of Stock signs, no doubt.

Not that any of that apparel is necessarily mandatory, landlubbers are catered for with leisurely cruises on the 'Puffin Billi' or more adventurous types can take a pirate-themed option with a suitably suited skipper and what's that you ask?

Lymington - Puffin Cruises

No, just for once, we didn't, actually!

  Ship Inn (Quay Road)

Right on the river with outdoor decking but how much? Just north of £13 for a pint and an admittedly large wine is nearly twice what was paid last night near Nottingham. Another North-South divide indicator, perhaps, but by the time you're reading this, that'll be £113 wherever you are, eh?

Look closely and there's an Isle of Wight Ferry over there, somewhere, and will have you across in 40 minutes, they say. It sneaks out down the river past an even bigger marina, which is where the really big boys are moored, and past, get this, the UK's oldest lido[1][2].

Wightlink - Lymington Ferry
Lymington - Sea Water Swimming Baths

Only this one is no longer a real lido, really, repurposed to a fun-for-all-the-family, inflatable splash-fest, when in season.

Wet n' Wild[3]? Not really, today is surprisingly sunny and that ferry crossing isn't expected to be too choppy.

[1] Well, they could claim that until an even older one recently reopened near Bath.
[2] Is it lee-doh or lie-doh? Never quite sure but, either way, just call it an outdoor pool man!
[3] If you're not from near North Shields then this probably means nothing.

The streets behind the marina and lido are home to some of Lymington's swankier dwellings and an enticing fleshpot, the Mayflower.

Lymington - The Mayflower

It's newer than it looks and named not from the pilgrims' progress but a beacon ship that beamed the very first radio signal to the Isle of Wight. In keeping with jibes about the isle, that was in 2001, right?

They've a beer garden as big as the New Forest and a seasonal 'Cocktail Bar' that's a hint to Lymington's popularity during the sailing season, whenever that is, but it's handy for sustenance before you head out onto the marshes.

The marshes?

The land to the south of town stretches down to the Solent and Oxey marshes and Normandy Lagoon are clues to the type of terrain to expect.

It looks not a little unlike this and is part of the larger Lymington and Pennington Marshes Nature Reserve with a strollable seawall looping to within touching distance of the Isle of Wight.

Lymington and Pennington Marshes Nature Reserve

The enclosed area is a haven for wading birds and is being eyed enviously by a lost-at-sea Great crested grebe, none shown, and it is all, quite frankly, fantastic.

Returning via the Salterns Sailing Club, a group of schoolkids are learning the ropes hoping one day to follow in the wake of champion of the ocean Sir Ben Ainslie. For the wetsuit-clad instructors wading waist deep and watching and waiting for child overboard, however, that ship might have already sailed.

Ainslie may have been born in Macclesfield but Lymington stakes a claim, him having served his Sixth Form near here, and you'll find that he's celebrated on the high street with a gold post box outside of a pasty shop.

  Mine's a Pasty (High Street)

Pick of the pasty providers on the high street, probably, although some of their fillings could be considered blasphemous by the Cornish. An acceptable alternative to the Mayflower before you head out on the marshes, again.

Meanwhile, back in Lymington, what an ideal base for bumbling around the New Forest and this part of the South Coast. With that, however, comes a downside and that involves paying somebody's mortgage for a week and depriving a local family from living locally.

If you thought they were a bit Health & Safety-heavy at the Salterns Sailing Club, the owner of this property has taken ensuring against suing to another level. Careful now as you head outside to access the terrace and you did check that the red light is on, didn't you?

Lymington - Health & Safety
Lymington - Health & Safety
Lymington - Health & Safety

This is just the half of it with no mention of the pull-down garage door that MUST be secured come sleepy-time or the final warning to check the red light is on before you go out, you did check, didn't you?

As for the rather delicate matter of, erm, sanitation, there's a waste water pumping system in each of the, one too many, bathrooms and grievious warnings of blockages.

After last night's visit to Rivaaz, it's just hoped there's a McDonald's up on the high street?

  Rivaaz (St Thomas Street)

The Dom Pukta isn't quite as great as they claim but the Toofan is greater than they don't. A slick operation that effortlessly handles the numbers, this looks to be the town's preferred tandoori provider so reservations are recommended unless you don't mind traipsing down to the rival Lal Quilla.

As for the McDonald's up on the high street? There isn't one.