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The historic 'Capital of the New Forest'

did you know?

Lyndhurst is also the name of a town in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Lyndhurst until the 1980s had another pub - the Volunteer Arms, located where Austin and Wyatt is now.
Lyndhurst smithy used to be close to the current post office.
Buzzards can often be seen soaring high over the centre of Lyndhurst.
Lyndhurst had its own cinema, the Plaza, which was where Budgens supermarket is now.
Bolton's Bench, on the outskirts of Lyndhurst, was named after an 18th century Duke of Bolton.
Roe deer visit many Lyndhurst gardens - to sample plants and shrubs.
Pikes Hill, to the north of Lyndhurst village centre, is shown on old maps as Pigs Hill.
Lyndhurst's Crown Hotel was once a coaching inn.
Lyndhurst used to be the centre of a thriving butterfly collecting trade.
Lyndhurst: summer flowers brighten the High Street.
Lyndhurst: summer flowers
brighten the High Street

Lyndhurst is often thought of as the Capital of the New Forest - it enjoys a broadly central location, is surrounded by relatively fertile land, and stands at a junction of historic routes.

Lyndhurst had its own Royal manor house, and was - and still is - home of the Verderers’ Hall, the meeting place of the ancient Verderers’ Court whose history stretches back to at least the 13th century.

Lyndhurst race ground was, until the late-19th century, a popular attraction; and Lyndhurst used to be the home of the New Forest pony sales.

Lyndhurst: Capital of the New Forest? Absolutely!

Lyndhurst - what's in a name?

Lyndhurst: the name in its earlier form, Lindhyrst, dates back to at least Anglo-Saxon times, and means ‘lime wood’, although Lyndhurst now, in common with much of Britain, has few lime trees.

Lyndhurst - landscapes

Lyndhurst was well-described in the mid-19th century by John Wise, who remarked: ‘The people of Lyndhurst ought, I always think, to be the happiest and most contented in England, for they possess a wider park and nobler trees than even Royalty. You cannot leave the place in any direction without going through the Forest.

And today, John Wise's comments still apply - woodlands lap against the outskirts of Lyndhurst, inviting exploration by walkers and cyclists along many miles of gravel tracks and countless lesser used paths.

Lyndhurst: the view from near Bolton's Bench
Lyndhurst: the view from near Bolton's Bench

But the area around Lyndhurst comprises heathlands, too, heathlands that in spring are yellow with gorse, and in summer richly purple with heather blooms. These are places that hold abundant wildlife, including many species that are not often encountered elsewhere.

Lyndhurst - families and fresh air

Lyndhurst is a great place for families to enjoy fresh air and wide, open spaces, for around Bolton's Bench, within walking distance of Lyndhurst village centre, are extensive grasslands with turf kept short by commoners' stock - the ponies, donkeys and cattle that can be seen throughout the area.

Here, there is ample room to play football, cricket and other ball games; to fly kites, watch the cricket or just relax with book or newspaper.

Lyndhurst - landmarks

As befits the Capital of the New Forest, the local Forestry Commission headquarters are located in Lyndhurst - in Queen’s House, at the very top of Lyndhurst High Street; whilst close by is Lyndhurst's splendidly Gothic, Victorian parish church of St. Michael and All Angels with its impressive 49 metre (160 foot) spire.

Lyndhurst also hosts the New Forest Centre. Situated in Lyndhurst's main car park, it is a purpose-built red brick building housing the New Forest Museum, Gift Shop, Reference Library and New Forest Tourist Information Office.

Opened in 1988 by the Duke of Edinburgh, the museum has displays illustrative of New Forest life in days gone-by, and is a ‘must-visit’ for anybody with an interest in the New Forest and its history. The Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library on the upper floor also has a wide range of local interest books and other documents.

Lyndhurst: cottages at nearby Swan Green
Lyndhurst: cottages at nearby Swan Green

At the opposite end of Lyndhurst car park, Lyndhurst Community Centre offers refreshments on Saturday mornings, and is the year-round venue for a wide range of events and activities - antique auctions, craft and gift fairs, book fairs, farmers' markets and more.

Lyndhurst - places to eat, drink and stay

Lyndhurst today is well-served by shops, tea rooms, pubs and restaurants. There are six pubs, for example, all of which serve food; whilst the nearby hamlets of Bank, Emery Down and Swan Green boast another three pubs that also have well-respected kitchens.

Those seeking out a restaurant in which to eat will not be disappointed, either - Lyndhurst has Italian, Indian and Chinese restaurants, and others associated with the local hotels - a veritable gourmet's delight.

And those wanting accommodation in Lyndhurst can choose from a number of hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfast establishments; whilst nearby Pondhead Farm offers its own camping facilities.

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Great value and fast delivery on a range of New Forest visitor guides, local maps, walks books and lots more
New Forest ponies
New Forest ponies in the road
New Forest ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene and an important element of the local economy. But 65 were killed and 18 injured on the roads in 2012. Always take care, then, when driving.
New Forest 'what's on' - a small
selection of local events and activities
March 2014
Friday 7th - Lyndhurst Health Walk: take a gentle stroll with a friendly group of like-minded people.
Friday 14th - Brockenhurst Cinema: Philomena. Award-winning comedy drama with Steve Coogan and Judi Dench.
Sunday 16th - Exbury 10k: starts and finishes in Exbury Gardens.
Saturday 29th - Community Choir Concert, Lyndhurst.

April 2014
Saturday 5th - Craft Fayre, Burley Village Hall.
Thursday 10th - Spring Open Day, Countryside Education Trust, Beaulieu.
Thursday 17th - Brockenhurst Cinema: a Mary Poppins double bill.
Sunday 27th - Bird Watching walk at Needs Ore Point with the Countryside Education Trust.
View the full 'What's on' programme.
New Forest seasonal highlights
Lesser celandine blooms illuminate the woodlands and heathland edges.
Fallow deer remain in single sex herds, the bucks at this time always separate from the does.
Curlews return from the coast to breed in and around the New Forest's wetter areas.

Red admiral butterflies are often increasingly seen.

Redstarts are amongst the many returning long distant migrant birds that arrive in April.
Large red damselflies take to the wing, the first of many such species soon to be seen in the Forest.
Bluebells blossom, sometimes in good numbers in ungrazed woodlands.
Badger cubs often first appear above ground towards the end of the month.
All content produced by Andrew Walmsley