New Forest: A weekend before Christmas

It was Sharon’s last weekend before flying off which led us to visiting the New Forest.

Our first stop drove us straight through the heart of the New Forest to reach Lymington – a small Georgian town by the sea. With credit to the friendly local at the church, it had built its wealth through the trade of sea salt and, whilst no longer dominated to the trade, it was home to a bustling market scene with every member of the community seemingly participating. People could be seen either selling their wares, tending to a community centre or selling fresh crab rolls. In fact, the number of people selling wares was so surprising, we wondered who was actually doing the buying!

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Afterwards we headed to Burley, a  small quiet village, with no more than a school, pub and a few shops. We rented bicycles and immersed ourselves within the tranquility of the forest.

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We had Dinner at Ashurst where en route we passed through Lyndhurst, a large village. The one and only Chinese restaurant seemed to be a popular eatery for the locals – and filled to the brim!

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The following day we headed to Salisbury – renown for its gothic-styled cathedral and home to a rare edition of the Magna Carta. The clean streets and presence of buildings survived through the ages made it a joy to explore. Within the market itself, the musky smell of warm mulled wine, the smoke from freshly baked chestnuts and various ornamental items were apparent around every corner.

We didn’t intend to visit Winchester on the return journey, but in traditional style, we decided to rush there just in time to catch a glimpse of a spectacular and wonderful Christmas market.

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We were exceptionally glad to have visited Winchester. Its aura was enchanting.