things to do in lymington

Welcome to Lymington, a charming Georgian town situated on the southern edge of the New Forest. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a fan of leisure activities, Lymington has something to offer for everyone. From exploring its fascinating maritime heritage to enjoying a stroll through its cobbled streets, there’s never a dull moment in this picturesque town.

Looking for attractions to visit in Lymington? You won’t be disappointed! Dive into the town’s rich history at the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, where you can explore intriguing exhibitions that showcase Lymington’s past. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in some retail therapy at Lymington’s vibrant high street, lined with antique stores and independent retailers. And if you’re a foodie, you’ll be spoilt for choice with a wide range of dining options, from gourmet cuisine to traditional pubs and cozy cafes.

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the walking trails and natural beauty that Lymington has to offer. Take a leisurely stroll along the Solent Way, enjoying breathtaking coastal views, or explore the Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve, home to a diverse range of bird species and rare plants. For a relaxing day out, head to Woodside Park, where you can unwind amidst tranquil surroundings.

Getting to Lymington is a breeze. With excellent transport links, including the A337 for those arriving by car, and two train stations within the town, you can easily access this delightful destination. If you’re coming from the Isle of Wight, there are ferry services available too, ensuring a seamless journey.

So, whether you’re seeking historical landmarks, outdoor adventures, or a taste of local culture, Lymington has it all. Plan your trip now and immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of this captivating town.

Getting to Lymington

Lymington, located on the southern edge of the New Forest, is a charming Georgian town that attracts visitors from far and wide. If you’re wondering how to get there, you’ll be pleased to know that Lymington is easily accessible by various modes of transport.

By Car

If you’re traveling by car, the A337 offers a direct route to Lymington from both the west and east. This scenic drive will take you through the picturesque countryside, allowing you to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

getting to lymington

By Train

Lymington has two train stations – Lymington Town and Lymington Pier – which make it convenient for visitors to reach the town without relying on a car. These train stations are well-connected to major cities and towns in the region, allowing for a hassle-free and eco-friendly holiday experience.

By Ferry

If you’re coming from the Isle of Wight, there are ferry services available that will take you directly to Lymington. This provides a unique and scenic way to reach the town, offering breathtaking views of the Solent along the way.

Once you arrive in Lymington, you’ll find that the town is easy to navigate on foot. The compact size of the town means that all the main attractions, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance, allowing you to explore at your leisure.

Whether you choose to drive, take the train, or hop on a ferry, getting to Lymington is a breeze. So start planning your trip and get ready to immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of this delightful Georgian town.

History of Lymington

Lymington is a town with a captivating past that can be traced back to the 6th century BC. The presence of an Iron Age hill fort in the area stands as evidence of its ancient roots. Over the centuries, Lymington steadily grew and became renowned for its salt-making and shipbuilding industries, which played a vital role in shaping the town’s identity. Today, Lymington’s historic cobbled streets bear witness to its fascinating history, while tales of smuggling add an air of intrigue to its past.

If we delve deeper into the history of Lymington, we can uncover the stories of generations that have shaped the town. Its maritime heritage is particularly noteworthy, with the town once being a key trading port. Lymington’s shipbuilding industry flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries, with several shipyards operating along the river.

One famous shipyard in Lymington was owned by Thomas Inman, who built vessels that participated in the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars. The town’s shipbuilding legacy can still be seen today, with the tradition continuing at the Lymington Yacht Haven, a bustling marina that attracts sailing enthusiasts from all over.

Legendary Smugglers of Lymington

“Lymington’s history is peppered with tales of daring smugglers who operated along this stretch of the coast. Their cunning tactics and evasion of the authorities have become the stuff of legends.”

Throughout its history, Lymington became a hotbed for smuggling activities due to its proximity to the Isle of Wight and the English Channel. Smugglers would take advantage of the town’s secluded coves and hidden paths to transport contraband such as tea, alcohol, and tobacco.

One notorious smuggler who left his mark on Lymington’s history was Isaac Gulliver, a shrewd and elusive character who operated during the 18th century. Gulliver was a master of disguise and managed to outwit the customs officers time and again. His daring escapades and ability to outsmart the authorities have become the stuff of local legend.

Today, Lymington embraces its rich history and showcases its intriguing past to visitors. The St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery provides a fascinating glimpse into the town’s heritage, featuring exhibits that highlight Lymington’s maritime connections, smuggling history, and local culture.

history of lymington

Things to Do in Lymington

Lymington offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking adventure, history, or simply a relaxing day by the water, this charming Georgian town has something to suit every interest.

1. Lymington Sea Water Baths

For water enthusiasts, a visit to the Lymington Sea Water Baths is a must. Dive into the gentle waves of the saltwater lagoon, perfect for swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking. With stunning views across the Solent, it’s a picturesque spot to enjoy a day of aquatic fun.

2. Lymington High Street Market

Explore the lively market on Lymington’s High Street, where you’ll find a vibrant mix of stalls selling fresh produce, local crafts, and unique gifts. From fresh seafood to handmade jewelry, there’s something to delight every shopper.

“The market is a treasure trove of local produce and handmade delights.” – Local resident

3. St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery

Step back in time at the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, where you can immerse yourself in the rich history of Lymington. Discover fascinating exhibits showcasing the town’s maritime heritage and local art collections. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, there’s something to captivate every visitor.

4. Lymington Marina

Take a leisurely stroll along Lymington Marina and admire the picturesque waterfront scenery. Watch as sailboats glide by, or simply relax on a bench and soak up the tranquil atmosphere. With stunning views of the Solent and the Isle of Wight, it’s the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature.

With its diverse range of activities and attractions, Lymington truly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, a taste of history, or a leisurely day exploring the town, Lymington won’t disappoint. Plan your visit today and discover the wonders that await.

Walking and Nature in Lymington

Lymington’s coastal location and proximity to the New Forest National Park make it a great destination for walking and nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stroll or a more challenging hike, Lymington offers a variety of scenic routes that showcase the natural beauty of the area.

If you’re looking to explore the coastline, the Solent Way is a must-visit. This long-distance footpath stretches from Milford-on-Sea to Emsworth and offers breathtaking views of the Solent and the Isle of Wight. Along the way, you’ll discover sandy beaches, marshland habitats, and picturesque coastal villages.

For a more immersive nature experience, head to the Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve. This protected area is home to diverse habitats, including salt marshes, lagoons, and mudflats. Take a leisurely stroll along the trails and observe the abundant birdlife that calls the reserve home. Keep an eye out for wading birds such as lapwings, curlews, and redshanks, as well as rare migratory species like the little tern.

If you’re looking for a tranquil setting to enjoy a leisurely walk, Woodside Park is the perfect choice. This peaceful park offers well-maintained paths that wind through beautiful woodlands and grassy meadows. It’s an ideal spot to unwind, have a picnic, or simply soak in the serenity of the natural surroundings.

lymington nature reserve


“Lymington has some of the most picturesque walking routes I’ve ever come across. The Solent Way offers stunning views of the coast, and the Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise. I highly recommend exploring the natural beauty of this charming town!”

– Rebecca, Nature Enthusiast

Discover Lymington’s Natural Treasures

  • Experience the breathtaking views of the Solent Way
  • Explore the diverse habitats of the Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve
  • Enjoy a peaceful walk in Woodside Park
  • Observe a variety of bird species and rare plants

No visit to Lymington is complete without immersing yourself in its natural wonders. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll, the walking trails and nature reserves of Lymington offer a captivating experience that will leave you with lasting memories of this enchanting coastal town.

Dining and Shopping in Lymington

Lymington is a haven for food enthusiasts and shopaholics alike, offering a diverse range of dining and shopping experiences.

When it comes to dining, Lymington has something to suit every palate. **Lymington restaurants** cater to all tastes and budgets, with options ranging from fine dining establishments to cozy cafes. One popular choice is **The Elderflower**, a renowned restaurant known for its innovative and seasonal menus, showcasing the best of local produce. For those seeking a more relaxed atmosphere, the town is dotted with traditional pubs serving hearty British fare and satisfying thirsts with a variety of ales and ciders.

“The Elderflower’s commitment to showcasing the finest local ingredients truly shines through in their delectable dishes.”

After enjoying a delicious meal, visitors can explore the vibrant shopping scene in Lymington. The town’s high street is a shopaholic’s dream, lined with an enticing mix of independent boutiques, antique stores, and well-known retailers. Whether you’re searching for unique clothing, homeware, or gifts, Lymington’s shops offer an array of choices to cater to every style and interest. Don’t forget to **visit** the Lymington Market, where you can discover fresh local produce, artisanal products, and a treasure trove of items just waiting to be found.

Need a break from shopping? Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and indulge in some people-watching or enjoy a delightful picnic in one of the town’s picturesque parks. Lymington’s charming streets and friendly atmosphere make it the ideal destination for a day of retail therapy and relaxation.

Top Dining and Shopping Spots in Lymington

Dining Shopping
The Elderflower Antique Stores
The Mayflower Independent Boutiques
The Monkey House Well-known Retailers

Experience the culinary delights and retail therapy that Lymington has to offer. With a plethora of **lymington restaurants**, charming shops, and bustling markets, there’s never a dull moment in this vibrant town.


In conclusion, Lymington is a vibrant town with a multitude of exciting activities and attractions to offer. Whether you’re interested in immersing yourself in its rich history, embarking on thrilling outdoor adventures, or indulging in some retail therapy and gastronomic delights, Lymington has something to appease every taste and preference.

For history enthusiasts, the town’s fascinating past comes to life through its historic cobbled streets and intriguing maritime heritage. Meanwhile, nature lovers can revel in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes, with picturesque walking trails and nature reserves offering a tranquil escape.

When it comes to leisure activities, Lymington has it all. From sailing and watersports at the marina to browsing charming shops and dining at the finest restaurants, there’s no shortage of things to do and see. So, plan your visit to this enchanting town and get ready to discover the undeniable charm and excitement that Lymington has to offer.


Are there walking and nature opportunities in Lymington?

Yes, Lymington is a great destination for walking and nature enthusiasts. The Solent Way and Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve offer scenic routes for walks, while Woodside Park provides leisure facilities and a peaceful setting. The nature reserve is home to a variety of bird species and rare plants, making it a haven for wildlife-watchers.

What dining and shopping options are available in Lymington?

Lymington boasts a range of dining options, from gourmet cuisine at The Elderflower to traditional pubs and cafes. The high street is lined with shops, including antique stores and independent retailers, while the Lymington Market offers fresh local produce and a variety of items for sale.

What can I expect when visiting Lymington?

Lymington is a vibrant town with plenty to offer visitors. Whether you’re interested in exploring its history, enjoying outdoor activities, or indulging in shopping and dining experiences, Lymington has something to suit every taste.