Visit Lyndhurst and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Lyndhurst, Hampshire, known as the “capital” of the New Forest, is a busy tourist centre, and consists mainly of one street, dominated by the Victorian Gothic style church. The spire soars to a height of 160 ft. and inside is some splendid pre-Raphaelite glass and a fresco by Lord Leighton. Alice Liddell, the original Alice in Wonderland, is buried here.
Queen's House, an attractive l7th-century building, used to be the home of the Lord Warden of the forest, and the Verderers, who administer the forest, still meet here. Their Court Room, a panelled room hung with antlers, is open to the public. In it is the old dock, which has obviously been shaped with an axe, and an old stirrup, measuring about 10½ inches by 7½ inches, which according to legend, once belonged to William Rufus. In reality it is much later, and in the old days only dogs which could pass through it were allowed in the forest.
The forest lies all around, and once stretched from the Wiltshire border to the coast and from the River Avon to Southampton. Today it covers over 92,000 acres. It was thought once to have been “full of habitations and thick set with churches”, until destroyed by William the Conqueror. However, this is not true, and William was the first monarch to order more afforestation. Over the centuries, however, more and more timber was illegally felled and the forest shrank, until in the 17th century Charles II and William III both ordered more planting. Even so abuses continued until a commission was appointed in 1848. In the 20th century the forest passed into the care of the Forestry Commission.
The New Forest is not just a dense wood stretching for miles; it consists of immensely varied countryside of woods, glades, streams, ponds, heath and moorland, with villages dotting the clearings. Old earthworks and barrows are scattered in the district. Trees of many varieties - oak, chestnut, ash and beech among them - grow in the woods, where the paths are clearly marked. Many kinds of wild animals, including deer, make their home here. There are also rare birds and insects and a rich variety of flowers.
Lyndhurst is surrounded by delightful villages. Cadnam, 3½ miles north, has some attractive cottages and an inn. Minstead, the “Place where Mint grew”, is about 3 miles north west, a completely unspoilt village. The church looks almost like cottages, and has a l3th-century nave and chancel with Georgian additions. There are box pews, galleries and family pews with their own fire-places. Not very far away is the stone which marks the place where William Rufus was killed by an arrow in 1100.
For a good view of the whole area go to Bramble Hill, 414 ft high, to the north west of Lyndhurst, and to see the biggest oak in the whole of the New Forest go to Knightwood, just south west of the town.
Nearby cities: Southhampton
Nearby towns: Christchurch, Fordingbridge, Lymington, Totton
Nearby villages: Ashurst, Bartley, Beaulieu, Bramshaw, Brockenhurst, Burley, Cadnam, Eling, Fritham, Hythe, Lyndhurst, Minstead, Redbridge, Redbridge, Stony Cross Inn
Have you decided to visit Lyndhurst or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Lyndhurst bed and breakfast (a Lyndhurst B&B or Lyndhurst b and b)
- a Lyndhurst guesthouse
- a Lyndhurst hotel (or motel)
- a Lyndhurst self-catering establishment, or
- other Lyndhurst accommodation