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Local pub guide: drinks, dogs, fires and fodder.

Which is the best pub where? Here’s our guide for winter pubs in the New Forest:

In no particular order:

The Angel and Blue Pig on Lymington High Street.

Ancient, wobbly of wall and floor, full of staff beardie and smiley, with good wifi, even in a storm (honestly this is important around here) and best of all – they make a wicked coffee. I’ve only every had great meals here. Service is always delivered with a smile and best of all any kids won’t be made to feel awful if they want to stretch their legs (I just watched a family of 16 through their meal and the kids played with Lego in the corner for 20 mins to no ones bother – AND THE FLOOR WAS CLEAN!)

The pub has a restaurant that faces the High Street, a bar and more tables to both sides, a small terrace out the back toward more shops. It’s a great spot.

The pub was an important part of the local stage coach system in the 1800’s and the London Mail used to leave at 4.45pm every day from the front and took 2 days to reach London – the super fast service. Now it’s Brockenhurst to Waterloo in 1hr 48mins. Thank god for the Industrial Revolution…

This pub is the local for Number Two, Lymington.

The Ferryman, down by the Lymington – Yarmouth ferry terminal.

Recently totally renovated this pub is having something of a renascence. The sister pub to the famous Kings Head in Lymington (also with a v good reputation). Part of the building is reputedly haunted by Henry Card, a 38-year-old gamekeeper who accidentally shot himself on the premises in September 5, 1893 People say they have seen him out of the corner of their eye, wandering around. I sat there for a quiet afternoon working (good wifi there too) and it was most pleasant. Fire was stacked and stoked, acoustics good, lunch was superb, geneous portions but tasty and service was spot on. Very impressive and absolutely going back.

Pic by Steve Elson.

East End Arms, East End village south end.

Our local, this is a pub that has featured in my life for 9+ years. Always loved by locals and visitors, the sun sets on it in the summer which means that the street vibe on summer evenings is particularly happy and relaxed. You get all sorts here too. And dogs are welcome in the bar. The restaurant side is definitely ‘proper’ and you need to book for any weekend slot. The bar side can get noisy with local enthusiasm and it’s small so no good for escaping to work or read a book. A few years ago, they put sofas on the restaurant side and it’s a great place to escape the family for paper reading without having to drive anywhere or buy the papers.

The drinks are apparently well priced but the food is more expensive than most locally – although it is very good. Do book early here for food.

This pub is next door to Ploughmans Cottage 

And just up the road by 10 minutes walk from Eat me Drink me Cottage. It’s 20 mins walk from Pitts Deep Cottage and Beckheath House. 

The Turf Cutters – (or The Turfs), East End village – the northern end.

Famous in ye olde smugglers times, and very well regarded now, this pub is great fun for an inexpensive and weekend meal. It’s all home cooked, a generous size and is cheaper than most, and best of all is very unpretentious. It’s a forest favourite and locals flock to this place. There is easy parking for tractors, trailers, bikes, horses (good tie-up spots here) and a very relaxed policy on dogs which contribute to making it easy access for all. The staff here are jolly and sometimes loud. Space at the bar is a premium, you might have to wait a bit. Don’t come hear for peace and quiet. Absolutely do come here for a fun, good value meal. Right behind the pub is a massive and wildl stretch of heath, miles of it. Walking from here is great and if kids are bored and finish eating early, send them out to get muddy and jump the small ditches and streams on the heath behind the pub. They could go for about an hours walk before finding a road.

This is the local pub for Beckheath House – and the best dog friendly pub around. In fact your dog   is likely to have more chat than you. There are usually more dogs than people here – especially at weekends.

6. The Mayflower, Lymington Marinas.

Great spot just behind the marinas, the Salt Water Pools and the coastal path. Recently renovated and huge inside, it sprawls for a large bar area with lovely tables for coffee, food and drinks, and a separate restaurant which is much smarter. Dogs are welcome in the bar area. Outside there is extensive decking and relaxed dining.

This is a favourite spot of ours for warming up after chilly walks on the coastal path. But our guests from the Boat Shed tell us that they come here for breakfast and supper very often.

This is the local pub for The Boat Shed. 

Picture of Lymington marina by postman Steve Elson. Read our blog about him to find out more.