You may have heard Lymington mentioned before on this blog, for this is where we arrived on Monday by ferry from the IOW.
Three Wightlink ferries have run from Lymington to Yarmouth since the 1970s, named after Anglo Saxon Kings: Cenred, Cenwulf and Caedmon. In February 2009 they were replaced by larger vessels built in Croatia, Wight Light, White Sky and White Sun. These ferries are owned by the company that also owns the M6 Toll. They run on average every hour, from a port south east of the old town on the far side of the Lymington River.

Today we are signing our books at Waterstones on the High Street. For avid fans of ‘DI Dylan’ you may remember we came here last year and since some of our readers couldn’t be here in person, there were already books ordered and waiting to be signed. Thank you! 

 The Team at Lymington Waterstones with Bob!

As soon as we arrived the mobile rang. BBC Radio Leeds want Bob on air tomorrow morning to be part of the a week of programmes they are doing on cold case reviews and Crime and Justice in West Yorkshire and beyond.  We have to be at Solent Radio for 6.45am tomorrow morning… now I’ve just to tell Bob what I’ve agreed he’ll do! ;-)

 Carol book signing!

Lymington has a long history in fiction. Do any of you remember Howards Way or Worzel Gummage? 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.  It is also mentioned in The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat and features in the historical novels of local writer Warwick Collins (namely The Rationalist and The Marriage of Souls) and 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 is extracted in heavy seas. Several men on board the ferry are murdered.

It started off not such a bad day… as we embarked from our hotel – The Stanwell House Hotel which was conveniently more or less directly opposite the store. There was no parking as such… so carrying the luggage and promotion boards was quite a task but the food, staff and hotel far made up for the inconveniece. We were offered a lift with our luggage by Lucy from the hotel who was not even on duty and Alexis you are a star! WE will be back!

This was outside our room – an omen perhaps?

 Even I don’t remember using one of these, although I do remember using the blue carbon copy paper to make duplicate copies of custody sheets and such for court files … them were the good old days! (Or not!)

Our hotel last night…

Today I got to meet my best friend from childhood – Hello Daniella! Bob very kindly suggested we went for a cup of coffee and a cake… big mistake. We could talk for hours! Luckily, for him Pipi (Daniella’s childhood nick name only had an hour for lunch). See you soon BF!

Around 3pm the heavens opened. What a shame for the lovely people we had been speaking to all day who were there on holiday. At least they had ‘DI Dylan’ to keep them company when they went back to their hotel rooms and caravans

A bit more information for you about Lymington.

And now we set off for Southampton, through Beaulieu and past the famous motor museum. We were going to call there for dinner but it is far too wet. The New Forest looks more like a swamp.

For now,

 Night All!

C x

The earliest settlement in the Lymington area was around the Iron Age hill fort known today as Buckland Rings. The hill and ditches of this fort still remain, and an archaeological excavation of part of the Walls was carried out there in 1935. It has been dated to around the sixth century BC. There is also another supposed Iron Age site at nearby Ampress Hole. Evidence for later settlement (as opposed to occupation) however is sparse before Domesday. Lymington itself began as an Anglo-Saxon village.[1] The Jutes arrived in what is now South West Hampshire 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 elm-tree.[2]

The town is recorded in the Domesday book of 1086 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 whilst Old Lymington comprised the rest of the parish. He gave the town its first charter and the right to hold a market.[3] The town became a Parliamentary Borough in 1585 returning two MPs until 1832 when its electoral base was expanded. Lymington continued to return two MPs until the Second Reform Act of 1867 when its representation was reduced to one. On the passage of the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 Lymington’s parliamentary representation was merged with the New Forest Division.

From the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century Lymington was famous for making salt. Saltworks comprised almost a continuous belt along the coast toward Hurst Spit.

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century Lymington possessed a military depot that included a number of foreign troops – mostly artillery but including several militia regiments. At the time of the Napoleonic Wars the King’s German Legion was based here. As well as Germans and Dutch, there were French émigrés and French regiments[4] were raised to take part in the ill fated Quiberon bay expedition (1795), from which few returned.

From the early nineteenth century it had a thriving shipbuilding industry, particularly associated with Thomas Inman the builder of the schooner Alarm, which famously raced the American yacht America in 1851.[5] Much of the town centre is Victorian and Georgian, with narrow cobbled streets, giving an air of quaintness. The wealth of the town at the time is represented in its architecture.

Lymington particularly promotes stories about its smuggling history; there are unproven stories that under the High Street are smugglers’ tunnels that run from the old inns to the town quay.

Lymington was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. In addition to the original town, 1932 saw a major expansion of the borough, to add Milton (previously an urban district) and the parishes of Milford on Sea and Pennington, and parts of other parishes, from Lymington Rural District – this extended the borough west along the coast to the border with Christchurch.[6]

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

 Lymington today

Due to changes in planning legislation, many traditional areas of the town have been redeveloped; older houses have been demolished and replaced with new blocks of flats and retirement homes. In a Channel 5 programme, Lymington received the accolade of ‘best town on the coast’ (in front of Sandbanks) in the UK for living, due to its beautiful scenery, strong transport links and low crime levels.

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


Lymington is famous for its sailing history, and in recent years has been home to 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, it 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 now plays host to major keelboat and dinghy events. The Lymington Town Sailing Club, founded in 1946, plays host to the popular Lymington Winter Series known as the Solent Circuit.



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