Lymington /ˈlɪmɪŋtən/ is a port town on the west bank of the Lymington River on the Solent, in the New Forest district of Hampshire, England. It faces Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, to which there is a car ferry service operated by Wightlink. It is within the civil parish of Lymington and Pennington. The town has a large tourist industry, based on proximity to the New Forest and its harbour. It is a major yachting centre with three marinas. As of 2015, the parish of Lymington and Pennington had a population of 15,726.[2]

Lymington, Hampshire, England-2Oct2011

From the air: yachts in the yacht basin can be seen on the left and the two other marinas; the New Forest fills most of the background.
Lymington is located in Hampshire
Location within Hampshire
Population15,726 (2015 Projection)[1]
OS grid referenceSZ3295
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSO41
Dialling code01590
AmbulanceSouth Central
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament


Cobbled streets in Lymington town centre

The earliest settlement in the Lymington area was around the Iron Age hill fort known today as Buckland Rings. The hill and ditches of the fort survive, and archaeological excavation of part of the walls was carried out in 1935. The fort has been dated to around the 6th century BC. There is another supposed Iron Age site at nearby Ampress Hole. However, evidence of later settlement there (as opposed to occupation) is sparse before Domesday book (1086).

Lymington itself began as an Anglo-Saxon village.[3] The Jutes arrived in the area from the Isle of Wight in the 6th century and founded a settlement called Limentun. The Old English word tun means a farm or hamlet whilst limen is derived from the Ancient British word *lemanos meaning an elm tree.[4]

The town is recorded in Domesday as "Lentune". About 1200, the lord of the manor, William de Redvers created the borough of New Lymington around the present quay and High Street, while Old Lymington comprised the rest of the parish. He gave the town its first charter and the right to hold a market.[5] The town became a parliamentary borough in 1585, returning two MPs until 1832, when its electoral base was expanded. Its representation was reduced to one member under the Second Reform Act of 1867, and it was subsumed into the New Forest Division under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885.

Lymington was famous for salt-making from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century. There was an almost continuous belt of salt workings along the coast toward Hurst Spit.

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, Lymington possessed a military depot that included a number of foreign troops – mostly artillery but also several militia regiments. At the time of the Napoleonic Wars, the King's German Legion-Artillery was based near Portchester Castle and sent sick soldiers to Lymington or Eling Hospital.[6] As well as Germans and Dutch, there were French émigrés and French regiments.[7] They were raised to take part in the ill-fated Quiberon Invasion of France, from which few returned (contrast the Battle of Quiberon Bay, or Bataille des Cardinaux, a 1759 victory).

From the early 19th century, Lymington had a thriving shipbuilding industry, particularly associated with Thomas Inman, builder of the schooner Alarm, which famously raced the American yacht America in 1851.[8] Much of the town centre is Victorian and Georgian, with narrow cobbled streets in the area of the quay.

Lymington particularly promotes stories about its smuggling. There are unproven stories of smugglers' tunnels running from the old inns and under the High Street to the town quay.

Lymington was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. In 1932 the borough was extended to include Milton (previously an urban district), the parishes of Milford on Sea and Pennington, and parts of Lymington Rural District, so extending it along the coast to the edge of Christchurch.[9]

The borough of Lymington was abolished on 1 April 1974 under the terms of the Local Government Act 1972, becoming an unparished area in the district of New Forest, with Charter Trustees. The area was subsequently divided into the four parishes of New Milton, Lymington and Pennington, Milford-on-Sea and Hordle.

Lymington today

Lymington, up Quay Hill - - 511271
Looking up Quay Hill.

Due to changes in planning legislation, many older areas of the town have been redeveloped. Houses have been demolished and replaced with blocks of flats and retirement homes. In a Channel 5 programme, Lymington received the accolade of "best town on the coast" in the UK for living (ahead of Sandbanks), for scenery, transport links and low crime levels.

Lymington New Forest Hospital opened in 2007, replacing the earlier Lymington Hospital. This has a Minor Injuries Unit but no Accident and Emergency facility. The nearest are at Southampton General Hospital, 16 miles (25.7 km) away, and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, 14.5 miles (23.3 km) away.

The main Anglican parish church is the St Thomas in the high street.


The northern neighbourhoods of the town are Buckland and Lower Buckland, the latter adjoining the Lymington River. However, due to confusion with Buckland, Portsmouth, also in Hampshire, many people refer to themselves and their businesses here solely as Lymington. The poet Caroline Anne Bowles (1786–1854) was born at Buckland Manor and died at Buckland Cottage.[10]

Pennington is a village near to Lymington, but is separated from the town by several schools with playing fields. Upper Pennington is a northern residential offshoot of Pennington, more rural in character, almost entirely surrounded by heath and farmland.

Lymington yacht basin and mudflats make up the former docks area known as Waterford.

All Saints' Parish Church, All Saints Road, Lymington, Hants - - 78454
All Saints Church

Woodside consists of a small southern triangle of residential roads, gardens and a cricket ground, which includes a manor house,[11] church community hall, and All Saints, Lymington. The church was built in 1909 by W. H. Romaine-Walker, architect of Danesfield House, Moreton Hall, Warwickshire and the Tate Gallery extension, and a student of the High Victorian architect George Edmund Street.[12]

Normandy is a coastal hamlet by a very small dock, salterns and estuary. It includes the buildings Normandy Garth, Little Normandy and Normandy Farm. The last backs onto De La Warr House, an early 19th-century listed building.[13]


St Thomas Street and St Thomas's Church

The high street has seen rapid change over the last few years, with an increasing presence of chain stores and coffee-shop franchises. There is a local market, one of the New Forest producers' markets, held at the Masonic hall once a month in the game season. There are several marine outfitters in the cobbled street leading down to the quay.

Lymington has a wide range of shops and a large street market in the High Street, as well as three supermarkets: Waitrose, a small Tesco in the High Street, and a Marks and Spencer Food Hall. Local campaigns resulted in the rejection of proposals for the opening of branches of the Argos retail outlet, and in 2010 of the Wetherspoon's pub chain.[14] However, a second proposal by Wetherspoons in 2012 was successful and a pub named The Six Bells opened in 2013.


Lymington, like the rest of the South of England, has a maritime climate of warm summers and mild winters. The nearest official Met office weather station for which online records are available is Everton, about 2 miles to the west of the town centre. Thanks to its coastal position, sunshine levels are high relative to the rest of Britain, and severe frost unusual. The coldest recorded temperature in 43 years of records was −11.1 °C (12.0 °F) in January 1963.[15] The highest locally recorded temperature was 33.5 °C (92.3 °F) in June 1976.[16]

Sports and leisure

The town's leisure amenities include several parks, a nine-hole golf course, a rowing club, a community centre, a library, St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, two swimming pools (one the Lymington Open Air Sea Water Baths built in 1833), a sports centre, a small cinema/theatre, a Skatepark (for skateboards), several tennis courts, and some youth football pitches. There is also a pétanque terrain near St Thomas's church.

The proximity of the New Forest makes Lymington a popular base for walking, cycling and riding.


Lymington is famous for its sailing history, and in recent years has been home to the world-famous regattas such as the Royal Lymington Cup, Etchells Worlds, Macnamara's Bowl, and Source Regatta. The strong tides make it a challenging race track, and together with the shallow depth of the river has resulted in Lymington losing a lot of regattas to the Central Solent, principally run from Cowes. Nevertheless, Thursday Evening Racing takes place with up to 100 boats registered to race every Thursday night during the summer, hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Started in the 1990s, this has become increasingly popular.

There are two sailing clubs in the town, both active. The Royal Lymington Yacht Club, founded in the 1920s as the Lymington River Sailing Club, now has over 3000 members and runs major keelboat and dinghy events.[19] The Lymington Town Sailing Club, founded in 1946, hosts the popular Lymington Winter Series known as the Solent Circuit.[20]


Lymington has a Non-League football club, Lymington Town F.C., which plays at the sports ground. The children's football club, Lymington Sprites, is based in nearby Pennington.

Rugby Union

Lymington has a Rugby Union club, Lymington Mariners RFC, whose two teams play at Woodside Park. It meets every Thursday evening for practice and most Saturday afternoons for tournament games in the Hampshire region, and friendlies around the South of England.


Lymington Town Station
Lymington Town railway station.


Lymington bus station is owned by Wilts & Dorset, who also owns a bus depot in the town. Numerous local services operate, as do routes to Bournemouth and Southampton. In the summer, the New Forest Tour serves the town with open-top buses.


Lymington has two railway stations: Lymington Pier (the terminus), on the east side of the river near the ferry terminal, and Lymington Town. These are connected to the national rail network by a branch line to Brockenhurst. Services are currently operated by South West Trains, which operated Lymington Branch Line as a heritage railway between 2005 and 2010.[21][22]


The A337 road links Lymington to Lyndhurst and the M27 motorway to the north, and to New Milton and the South East Dorset conurbation to the west.


Ferries have run from Lymington to Yarmouth since the 19th century. Since 1990 they have been operated by Wightlink, successor to the once nationalised Sealink, on this route.[23] The current fleet comprises three car ferries, which entered service in 2009: Wight Light, Wight Sky and Wight Sun. The service runs about once an hour from a dock south-east of the old town on the far side of the Lymington River.

In fiction and on screen

Lymington features in The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat, in the historical novels of the local writer Warwick Collins (The Rationalist and The Marriage of Souls), and in The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd.

In Tom Clancy's Patriot Games, a Wightlink ferry heading from the Lymington ferry terminal is intercepted and a prisoner extracted in heavy seas. Several men on board the ferry are murdered.

The 1980 Christmas special of the ITV children's show Worzel Gummidge was filmed in the town during the summer of that year. During filming a sudden wind blew the titanium dioxide that was being used as a replica of snow into homes, shops and businesses, causing damage and a large compensation bill for the producers, Southern Television.

Lymington was occasionally featured in the 1980s BBC series Howards' Way.

The 656-page crime novel 'Power Without The Glory,' published in 2007, was set in Lymington and its theme was yachts and smuggling.

Notable people

For a full list, see Category:People from Lymington

Twin towns

An active programme of exchange visits is coordinated by the local Twinning Association[24]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ King, Edward: A Walk through Lymington, 2nd e. (Southampton: Ensign, 1990)
  4. ^ Coates, R 1993.The Place-Names of Hampshire. Ensign Southampton
  5. ^ R. Bearman, ed.: Charters of the de Redvers Family and the Earldom of Devon, 1090–1217 (Exeter: Devonshire Records Society, 1994)
  6. ^ Gabriele Eilert-Ebke, Hans Ebke, Journal der KGL-Artillerie 1804–1808|date=December 2012
  7. ^ Huchet Patrick. 1795 – Quiberon, ou le destin de la France. Rennes : Ouest-France. 1995
  8. ^ L B Mackinnon. Atlantic and Transatlantic: Sketches Afloat and Ashore. 1852
  9. ^ Vision of Britain: Lymington MB
  10. ^ ODNB entry: Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  11. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1274531)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  12. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1277406)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1231907)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 June 2012. De La Warr House
  14. ^ Patrick Barkham "Is Lymington the snootiest town in Britain?", The Guardian, 13 September 2010
  15. ^ "1963 temperature". KNMI.
  16. ^ "1976 temperature". KNMI.
  17. ^ "Everton 1971–2000 averages". Met Office. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  18. ^ "Everton Weather extremes". KNMI. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  19. ^ Royal Lymington Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  20. ^ Lymington Town Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  21. ^ South West Trains Lymington Branch Request for Exemption from Railway Safety Regulations (1999) Archived 12 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Jones, Robin (2010). "End of line for Lymington slam-door stock". Heritage Railway (134 (18 February – 17 March 2010)): 61.
  23. ^ "History". Wightlink. Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  24. ^ Lymington International Twinning Association

External links

1998–99 Wessex Football League

The 1998–99 Wessex Football League was the 13th season of the Wessex Football League. The league champions were Lymington & New Milton, in their first season as a merged club. There was no promotion to the Southern League, and neither was there any relegation this season.For sponsorship reasons, the league was known as the Jewson Wessex League.

Earl of Portsmouth

Earl of Portsmouth is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1743 for John Wallop, 1st Viscount Lymington, who had previously represented Hampshire in the House of Commons. He had already been created Baron Wallop, of Farleigh Wallop in Hampshire in the County of Southampton, and Viscount Lymington, in 1720, also in the Peerage of Great Britain.

The third Earl declared himself King of Hampshire and his brother had him declared insane.The fourth Earl represented Andover and Devonshire North in Parliament. In 1794, he assumed by Royal licence for himself and his issue the surname and arms of Fellowes only.

The fifth Earl resumed, without Royal licence, the family surname and arms of Wallop.

The sixth Earl represented Barnstaple in Parliament as a Liberal.

Oliver Henry Wallop, the eighth Earl, had moved from England to the United States, and been living the life of a rancher in Sheridan, Wyoming, at the time of the death of his older brother, the seventh Earl. Known as O.H. Wallop, he had served two terms a state representative in the Wyoming Legislature. He had become an American citizen in 1891, and was allowed to take his seat in the House of Lords only after renouncing American citizenship.The ninth Earl sat as Conservative Member of Parliament for Basingstoke.

The current holder is Quentin Wallop, 10th Earl of Portsmouth, who succeeded in 1984, is the only son of Oliver Kintzing Wallop, Viscount Lymington (1923–1984).

The American politician Malcolm Wallop was a grandson of the 8th Earl.

The family seat is Farleigh House, near Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Gerard Wallop, 9th Earl of Portsmouth

Gerard Vernon Wallop, 9th Earl of Portsmouth (16 May 1898 – 28 September 1984), styled Viscount Lymington from 1925 until 1943, was a British landowner, writer on agricultural topics, and politician involved in right-wing groups.

John Donaldson, Baron Donaldson of Lymington

John Francis Donaldson, Baron Donaldson of Lymington, PC (6 October 1920 – 31 August 2005) was a senior British judge who served as Master of the Rolls for ten years, from 1982-92. He is best known in some circles for his role as presiding judge in the infamous Guildford Four miscarriage of justice, especially his closing remarks where he regretted his inability to hang those wrongly convicted.

Keyhaven, Pennington, Oxey and Normandy Marshes

Keyhaven, Pennington, Oxey and Normandy Marshes, also known as the North Solent Marshes, are three areas of saltmarsh in Hampshire, England. The village of Keyhaven lies to the west, the village of Pennington to the north, and the town of Lymington to the northeast. The marshes lie behind Hurst Spit and fall within the Hurst Castle And Lymington River Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Lymington (UK Parliament constituency)

Lymington was a parliamentary borough in Hampshire, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1584 until 1868, and then one member from 1868 until 1885, when the borough was abolished.

Lymington Pier railway station

Lymington Pier railway station serves the harbour area of Lymington in Hampshire, England. It is 98 miles 15 chains (158.0 km) measured from London Waterloo and is the terminus of the Lymington Branch Line from Brockenhurst and provides a connection with ferry services to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. It has one platform.

The station is served by South Western Railway, which operates two trains per hour all week. Until 22 May 2010, the Lymington Branch Line was operated as a "heritage" service using restored slam-door trains.

Lymington River

The Lymington River is a small river in Hampshire, England, flowing through the New Forest into the Solent at the town of Lymington. The river has a total length of 22 kilometres (14 mi), although the initial part, north of Brockenhurst, is known as Highland Water.

Highland Water rises north of the Ocknell Inclosure (SU243125) and flows for 10 kilometres (6 mi) to Bolderford Bridge (SU291041) where it meets Ober Water. From then on it is known as the Lymington River and flows for a further 12 kilometres (7 mi) until it enters the Solent (SZ3493).

Lymington Town F.C.

Lymington Town Football Club is a football club based in the coastal town of Lymington, Hampshire, England. Known as "The Linnets", they are currently members of the Wessex League Premier Division and play at the Sports Ground.

Lymington Town railway station

Lymington Town railway station serves the town of Lymington in Hampshire, England. It is 97 miles 57 chains (157.3 km) down the line from London Waterloo and is the only intermediate station on the Lymington Branch Line from Brockenhurst.

Celebrations were held at Lymington Town (as well as at Brockenhurst) in 2008 to mark the 150th anniversary of the line. The station is managed by South Western Railway, which also operates all trains serving it.

Lymington branch line

The Lymington branch line is a railway that runs from Brockenhurst to Lymington Pier, both in the New Forest. The railway line is around 9 km (5.6 mi) long, and is single track throughout its length. It diverges from the South Western Main Line at Lymington Junction; and, at Lymington Pier, trains connect with Wightlink ferry services to Yarmouth, on the Isle of Wight. The Lymington branch line is electrified using the 750 V DC third-rail system as is usual in the former Southern Region of British Railways.

National Cycle Route 22

National Cycle Route 22 (NCR22) runs from Banstead to Brockenhurst in the New Forest via Dorking, Guildford, Farnham, Petersfield, Havant, Portsmouth, Ryde, Yarmouth and Lymington. Due to the route going over the Isle of Wight, ferry connections are required from Portsmouth to Ryde, and again from Yarmouth to Lymington.

New Milton Town F.C.

New Milton Town Football Club is a football club based in New Milton, Hampshire, England. They are currently members of the Wessex League Division One and play at Fawcetts Field.

Quentin Wallop, 10th Earl of Portsmouth

Quentin Gerard Carew Wallop, 10th Earl of Portsmouth, (born 25 July 1958), styled Viscount Lymington until 1984, is a British peer and current head of the Wallop family.

His father was Oliver Kintzing Wallop, Viscount Lymington (d. 1984). Quentin succeeded his grandfather as the 10th Earl of Portsmouth in 1984. He is the great-grandson of Edward Bosc Sladen, a British army officer.

The Earl was a non-executive director of the Grainger Trust from 1987 until 2002.He lives at the family home, Farleigh House in Farleigh Wallop, Hampshire.The Earl is President of Basingstoke Conservative Association, patron of the Hampshire branch of the British Red Cross, and churchwarden of St Andrew's Church, Farleigh Wallop.

A supporter of hunting, he was Chairman of the Hampshire branch of the Game Conservancy Trust from 2001 to 2005.

He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers.

The Earl helped fund the legal expenses of Nikolai Tolstoy in defending his libel case against Lord Aldington. He also helped fund the legal expenses of Neil Hamilton in defending his libel case against Mohammed Al-Fayed.

RAF Lymington

RAF Station Lymington is a former World War II airfield in Hampshire, England. The airfield is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Lymington; about 80 miles (130 km) southwest of London

Opened in 1944, Lymington was a prototype for the type of temporary Advanced Landing Ground type airfield which would be built in France after D-Day, when the need for advanced landing fields would become urgent as the Allied forces moved east across France and Germany. It was used by the Royal Air Force, Canadian and the United States Army Air Forces. It was closed in 1946 after two years of being utilized as a storage area for the Royal Navy.

Today the airfield is a mixture of agricultural fields with a private grass airfield using the North/South runway.

Robbie Kay

Robert Andrew Kay (born 13 September 1995) is an English actor whose credits include Fugitive Pieces, Heroes Reborn, Pinocchio, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Peter Pan in the Once Upon a Time television series.


Walhampton is a hamlet in the New Forest National Park of Hampshire, England. It is in the civil parish of Boldre. It is approximately half a mile east of Lymington, on the east bank of the Lymington River. The Solent Way, a long-distance footpath, passes close to the hamlet.The Grade II* Burrard Monument, also known as the Walhampton Monument, is located in the hamlet. Erected in 1840 to the memory of Sir Harry Burrard-Neale, 2nd Baronet, a former Royal Navy Admiral and M.P. for Lymington between 1790 and 1832. The base of the 75-foot (23 m) tapered obelisk is designed to look like an Egyptian doorway.Walhampton has an independent prep school, the Walhampton School, which was founded after World War II. The school is housed in Walhampton House, a Grade-II*-listed building. A pub, the Walhampton Arms, is housed in the former dairy on the estate, listed at Grade II.

Walhampton School

Walhampton Preparatory School is an independent school situated in the hamlet of Walhampton, near Lymington, England. It is the result of the 1997 merger between Hordle House School, situated in Milford on Sea, and Walhampton School, which was based at the current site. The merged school was known as ’Hordle Walhampton’ until 2013, when it reverted to its previous name of ’Walhampton School’.

The Walhampton School was founded by Mrs. Brewer who was the last owner of the Manor after World War II. Walhampton School became a preparatory school in 1948 and was turned into a charitable trust in 1954. It originally had two joint headmasters, John Bradfield and Peter Lawford.Hordle House School was founded in 1926 by the Rev E Whately-Smith.

The school has approximately 400 children aged between 2 and 13.

Wessex Football League

The Wessex Football League is an English association football league formed in 1986, with its premier division currently at the fifth step of the National League System, or the ninth tier of the overall English football league system. The participating clubs are mainly based in Hampshire and Dorset but the league also encompasses clubs from adjoining counties such as Wiltshire, Berkshire, and the Isle of Wight. Under the terms of a sponsorship contract, the league is officially known as the Sydenhams League.

In 2004, it absorbed most of the clubs from its feeder league, the Hampshire League, which formed a new Division Two and Division Three. In 2006 the divisions were renamed as the Premier Division and Divisions One and Two. At the end of the 2006–07 season, Division Two was disbanded, and most of the clubs formed a new Hampshire Premier League.

Champions of the Wessex League who meet the relevant ground and financial requirements are eligible for promotion to the Southern League Division One South & West.

Climate data for Everton 16m asl, 1971–2000, extremes 1960–2003 (Weather station 2 miles (3 km) to the West of Lymington)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.5
Average high °C (°F) 7.9
Average low °C (°F) 2.6
Record low °C (°F) −11.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 81.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 61.7 81.1 121.8 181.5 223.2 212.4 231.6 223.2 160.2 120.0 80.7 53.3 1,750.7
Source #1: Met Office[17]

date=November 2011

Source #2: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI[18]

date=November 2011

Towns, villages and hamlets in the New Forest District of Hampshire, England
Unitary authorities
Boroughs or districts
Major settlements


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