Towns and Villages

Whether you are planning to visit for total relaxation or to explore the local area I hope you will find this brief insight into the history and how much the New Forest has to offer. There is plenty more information, maps and leaflets in the holiday accommodation ready for your arrival and I am always happy to help with ideas.


Sway, the closest village to Kings Hyde Cottage, is a spot of tranquility in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the other villages and towns in the New Forest. Just 2 miles from the holiday cottage.

The village is listed four times in the Domesday book of 1086 and dates from Anglo-Saxon times.

In 1888 the railway arrived in Sway and is still a working Station today, connecting the village to Southampton, London, Bournemouth and Weymouth.

From your holiday accommodation you can see Peterson’s Folly built by Judge Peterson following his visits to India. The 220 foot tall tower was built in the late 19th century and is still the largest non-reinforced concrete structure. 

Sway has what we believe to be one of the best butchers around. Sway butchers, a family run business offers not only great meat but also fantastic home cooked ready meals. I seriously recommend a visit during your stay.


Lymington is a five minute drive from Kings Hyde Cottage holiday accommodation where you can find the nearest supermarket but it also has so much more to explore.

The historic town of Lymington, started as an Anglo-Saxon village and too is listed in the Domesday book by it’s former name of “Lentune”

Situated on the banks of the Lymington River, Lymington is famous for the three “S”s. From the middle ages until the 19th century Lymington was well known for it’s salt making. The thriving ship building industry started in the early 19th century and with all this maritime history you would not be surprised to know it was infamous for its smuggling. A visit to St Barbe Museum allows you to journey through Lymington’s colourful history.

Lymington’s eclectic history can be seen in its buildings while walking down the high street. Whether you are staying at the cottage for a short break or longer why not visit Lymington’s traditional street market on a Saturday. Alongside the market there are many individual shops and boutiques and great places to stop for a coffee or lunch.

If you amble through the cobbles of the old town you will find the Quay where you can still see fishing boats and yachts coming and going. If you feel you would like to be on the water you can take a variety of boat trips from the quay.

If you are feeling more energetic why not enjoy a walk along the 10 miles of the Lymington to Keyhaven Nature reserve. Take in the views of the needles and the Isle of Wight and look out for the wetland birds.


There are records in the Domesday book of four Saxon manors around the Brockenhurst area. Brockenhurst derives it’s name from Broceste, one of these manors.

Brockenhurst is the largest village in the New Forest National Park by population. It is also very popular with the ponies, donkeys and cows. If you are lucky you will often see ponies waiting at the door of the old Lloyds Bank. 

Brockenhurst railway station arrived in the 19th century and today you can travel from London to Brockenhurst in just 95 minutes. If you fancy a car free holiday or short break why not get the train to Brockenhurst and then cycle or get a taxi to this holiday accommodation.

Brockenhurst had an interesting involvement with both the world wars. Injured soldiers from commonwealth countries were treated in hospitals in the New Forest in WW1. In WW2 Montgomery and Eisenhower had multiple meetings at one of the hotels to plan the D-Day landings.

There are many wonderful walks and cycle paths around Brockenhurst and it’s surrounding countryside. A favourite with many is the trail along the disused railway line to Burley. 

Just outside Brockenhurst is Whitefield Moor with a large car park, from here you can walk the Ober Water Trails


The New Forest village of Lyndhurst is colloquially known as the capital of the New Forest. Since it was established as a royal hunting ground by William the Conqueror in 1079, it has been visited by many Kings & Queens over the centuries.

In the graveyard of the St Michael and All Angels’ church you will find the grave of Alice Pleasance Liddell. It is believed that Alice, when she was a little girl, inspired Lewis Carroll to create her Alice in Wonderland character.

The Forestry Commission have offices in the Queens House which is still owned by the Crown. This can be found just a short walk from the church.

A visit to the New Forest Heritage Centre will give you a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of the New Forest.

Just a short walk heading out of the village you will find Bolton’s Bench. It has an elevated position allows visitors amazing views over the forest’s landscape.


The village of Beaulieu, dates back to the 13th century, initially it grew up around the Abbey by the Cistercian Monks. Given the land by King John, who had a royal hunting lodge there, the monks flourished as they traded goods and grew medicinal plants. Their gardens can still be seen at the Abbey today.

Following Henry VIII’s dissolution of monasteries the estates were sold and much of it was destroyed.

The Beaulieu estate, now owned by the Montagu family, has been the ancestral home for the same family since the 1st Earl of Southampton purchased it in 1538 for the sum of £1,304. Today it is well famed for the Beaulieu Motor Museum and Bucklers hard.

Take a walk from Bucklers Hard along the Beaulieu river to the village where there is a charming high street with lots of quaint shops, garden centre and good pub for a lunch stop.

Milford on Sea and Keyhaven

A short drive from the holiday cottage the charming villages of Milford on Sea and Keyhaven are worth a visit for the views across to the Isle of Wight and Christchurch Harbour.

Originating as a Saxon settlement, Milford on Sea, was solely inland until the 1800’s. Originally part of the Christchurch Priory it thrived on salt production, agriculture and of course smuggling. As the village grew and coastal erosion occurred it became a coastal village as can be seen today.

Walk from the village out to the shingle spit that leads out to Hurst Castle which has a long military history. From Tudor times, when it was built by Henry VIII, it has been used to defend the Solent. In WWII it was manned with coastal guns and search lights. It is now owned by English Heritage and offers a great day out. If you do not fancy the walk you can take the shuttle ferry service. Why not try the walk there and the ferry back.

To the west of the village you will find the Hordle Cliff Beach where you can enjoy the views and a great coastal walk.

Keyhaven is a hamlet of Milford on sea and was once a thriving fishing village. From Keyhaven you can walk the sea wall to Lymington. This nature reserve is made up of mud flats and salt mashes and is of international importance for the large numbers of breeding and feeding wetland birds. Along the walk you may see grey plovers or oystercatchers.

Barton on Sea

Along the coastline from Milford on Sea, Barton on Sea offers more stunning coastal walks. It’s geological beds offers visitors the opportunity to discover fossils along its coastline. It too has a smuggling history, it was so rife in the 19th century the government built cottages to house armed guards to try and stop this. These cottages can be still seen today.


It is believed that people have inhabited Burley since pre-historic times and more than twenty Bronze Age burial mounds have been found. At Castle Hill , just outside the village, you can find the site of an Iron age hillfort.

To date Burley is still full of old world charm and legends. If you visit the village you may hear the folklore legend that Burley Beacon was a dragon’s lair. You will also see the witchcraft shops originating from the 1950s when a white witch lived in the village.

Burley is surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the National Park with many beautiful walks on the heathlands.


Listed in the Domesday book as “Forde” the village is built on the banks of the river Avon. The medieval bridge, with its seven arches, spans the river. 

Once a thriving industrial town today Fordingbridge offers visitors a range of individual shops and cafes.

Just south of Fordingbridge you will find Abbotswell. From the car park there are multiple walks and cycle paths. As you walk you will find many remnants of where this area was used for bomb testing during WWII. This is one of our favourite walks over heathland and through the woodlands.

Hythe and Dibden

There has been a settlement in Hythe since 1293. Once a small fishing village today it is a small town on the edge of the Southampton water. The village grew into a town as the Fawley power station expanded and employment grew. 

Steeped in maritime history due to its ease of access to the english channel it was used in WWII by the Royal Air Force for the air and sea rescue boats and for motor torpedo boats. With views over the Southampton waters many have witnessed maiden voyages of the Titanic in 1912 and the QE2. 

Many guests have enjoyed a cruise on the Hythe Ferry. You board the ferry from the Victorian pier and enjoy a trip around the Southampton waters taking in the harbour. Hythe has a street market every Tuesday.

South Coast

The holiday accommodation offers you the choice of both countryside and the coast. Only a short drive away you can be on the beautiful south coast. Whether you want a cliff top walk or a day at the beach you will find whatever suits you.

The beaches of Milford on Sea, Barton on Sea and Calshott have the Solent Water Quality Award and feature in the Good Beach Guide.

We have found a real haven if you do not want the hustle and bustle of a busy beach even in the height of summer. Park at Highcliffe car park and walk down the path and you will find the a beautiful shingle, sand beach within a five minute walk. Great for a warm evening barbecue.

A little further afield you will find the beaches of Avon beach, Bournemouth, Sandbanks and Studland.

Historic Cities

Within an hour from the cottage you can also visit the historic cities of Southampton, Winchester and Salisbury with their beautiful Cathedrals. Just over an hour is Stonehenge one of the wonders of the world.