Lymington on the Solent is a picturesque little Hampshire market town nestling in an area of outstanding natural beauty between the southern fringes of the New Forest and the Solent, just east of Bournemouth. It’s a superb place for sailing having two large marinas and two yacht clubs with easy access to some attractive holiday homes in the town. If you just want to relax onshore and watch others sailing, then bag a bench on the harbour wall by the slipway and watch the constant bustle of boats heading out to and back from the Solent. From the harbour a car ferry also makes the short trip across the water to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight every day. Also on the seafront is the town’s open-air saltwater swimming baths, first opened in 1833. Now fully restored and with the addition of more modern facilities the Grade II listed pool is open from May to September.

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From Lymington, it’s an easy drive for day trips to resorts such as Bournemouth, Poole, and Swanage on the Isle of Purbeck. Inland, a day exploring the sights of Winchester is highly recommended or along the waterfront at Southampton.

Being a small town, the shopping centre has been largely overlooked by national High Street chains. As such, it boasts plenty of local independent shops including many designer boutiques as well as chandlers, restaurants and cafes. The market is still in existence, taking place in the High Street every Saturday. As well as shopping, discover the fascinating history of the town by joining one of the guided walks that take place daily between May and September. These explore themes such as smuggling, pens and personalities, courts and alleyways or Trains, Tolls and Tributes.

If you’re not visiting to participate in water sports, there are still plenty of choices for inland activities. Lymington sits on the Solent Way, a 60-mile foot and cycle path along the Hampshire coast from Emsworth Harbour to Milford on Sea. There are plenty of access points to the trail with carparks along its route. Part of the walk near Lymington passes through a beautiful nature reserve made up of mud flats, reedbeds, lagoons and salt marshes, which plays host to a wide variety of resident and migratory birds.