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: 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Search this site
The February meeting is on Friday 20th at 12.30pm. Tickets available as usual from the Community Centre office, where you will also be able to pick up a leaflet with dates for the rest of the year.
Looking ahead, Lyndhurst Twinning Association are having a barn dance at the Community Centre on Saturday 21st March, with caller Lynden Bowen. Tickets, which include a ploughman's supper, are £12 for adults or £6 for under-16s and are on sale at the Centre office. (Bring your own drinks and glasses).
George Bisson, Secretary of the Lyndhurst Village Decorations, writes:
I sincerely hope that the display brought pleasure and joy to both residents and visitors during what can be a gloomy season. Displays such as these do not of course just happen and my thanks go to all those committed volunteers and helpers who have braved the elements and donated their skills and time to ensure an excellent display for others.
I would also like to thank the organisations that have provided sponsorship and those of the local businesses who have subscribed to the overall festive experience.
Work continues throughout the year to test, prepare and refurbish the equipment for this coming year's display and the Lyndhurst Village Decorations Committee will also be maintaining some of the Village Flower Beds and erecting Summer Bunting plus decorations for special events.
The Lyndhurst Village Decorations Committee is an unpaid, self funding group of volunteers dedicated to enhancing the Village of Lyndhurst. With your support we will try to continue to provide first class displays for all to enjoy.
George Bisson can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone on 023 8028 2517.
Books for Sale!
With the weather cold and decidedly wintery, sitting by the fire with a good book seems an ideal way to relax! Don't forget the Community Centre has lots of second-hand books for sale. Prices start from just 30p each for a range of paperbacks. There are hardbacks, too, on quite a range of subjects. Why not pop in and have a look? All proceeds contribute to the maintenance of your Community Centre.
RBL Burns Night
The Lyndhurst and District RBL held another very successful Burns Night last month. An excellent buffet was followed by the traditional speeches, singing, and dancing. Proceeds from the event will be divided between branch funds and the Poppy Appeal. Plans are already under way for next year!