Exbury

all you need to know

Exbury is a serene hamlet, surrounded by stunning countryside and home to the world-famous, 200 year old Exbury Gardens.

About Exbury

To the East of Beaulieu River is Exbury, a rural and serene 19th Century hamlet next to the famous Exbury Gardens, a world famous 200-acre estate open to the public. The gardens are known for their collections of stunning flowers through the spring, summer and autumn – particularly Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias and Magnolias.

Exbury has a large Water Tower (used to irrigate the gardens) which dominates the skyline and many of the pretty houses, cottages and church were originally built for workers on the estate, though most are now privately owned. On your doorstep are two other local attractions: The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and Buckler's Hard Maritime Museum.

Exbury is surrounded by fields and woodland for walks and cycling. You’re just over a mile away from the shoreline and Lepe beach, which has wonderful views of the Solent across to the Isle of Wight.

Shops can be found in the next village called Blackfield, which is about 2 miles away. It’s here that you’ll find your nearest eatery - The Langley Tavern, which is a great little pub with a large beer garden serving good food. Head down Summer Lane on the road towards Beaulieu, and you’ll find the Royal Oak pub - for superb food, events calendar, summer beer garden and winter log fire. You can also head down to the coast and pop into the Beach Café at Lepe for delicious lunch, afternoon tea or just a drink. More shops and eateries can be found in the neighbouring villages.

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Exbury Gardens
(Less than a mile)

A magical world of gardens and woodland, Exbury Gardens is a feast of azaleas and camellias, riverside walks, a steam railway, tea rooms, a play area and art exhibitions.  It has over 20 miles of pathways, three woods, parkland to explore and a wealth of wildlife such as pheasants, squirrels, dragonflies and butterflies.  They welcome families and opening times are seasonal so check the website before you go.

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It has been my ambition for some years to visit Exbury Gardens and I finally achieved this last week. What a Birthday treat it was, just magnificent and at each turn the spectacular colours increased! It was made especially enjoyable because I was allowed to take my dogs in to the garden and also Mr Eddy's Tea Rooms. I would certainly recommend this garden to everyone - well worth the entrance fee! The garden also caters well for those less able than myself. A real treat and joy.

May 2017


Exbury Gardens Steam Railway
(Less than a mile)

Exbury Gardens 200 acres of earthly paradise, offer a riot of colour in spring, an oasis of tranquillity in summer followed by a splendid show as the leaves change in the autumn. The famous Steam Railway runs every day the Gardens are open, with trains departing Exbury Central Station at regular intervals for 20 minute rides.

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Buckler's Hard
(2 miles)

The  Maritime Museum and Buckler’s Hard Story gives an insight into the history of this pretty 18th century shipbuilding village famous for the vessels it built for Nelson's Navy. Explore the village which has remained unchanged for hundreds of years or walk beside the riverbank for an opportunity to see some of the abundant wildlife that inhabits its banks. Buckler's Hard has been voted by Visit England as one of the '101 Things To Do Before You Go Abroad'.

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Lazy Daze Fishing Charters
(2 miles)

A 25ft motorboat moored at Bucklers Hard in Beaulieu, Lazy Daze is available for river trips and fishing adventures whether you’re looking for a two hour jaunt or a 12 hour marathon. There’s free parking, pontoon access, a café and a pub on site and Lazy Daze is owned and skippered by Jeff Semple, who has extensive experience fishing and boating on the Solent.

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Lepe Country Park
(3 miles)

For the best views of the Solent, head to Lepe Country Park.  With a mile of beach, pine fringed cliffs and historic D-Day remains, you can take in the scenery from Hurst Castle to Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower surrounded by wildlife in the picturesque New Forest National Park.

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Mr Eddy's Tea Rooms
(Less than a mile)

Set within the beautiful grounds of Exbury Gardens is this bright and airy tea rooms. The tea room serves a variety of hot and cold drinks as well as a wide variety of sandwiches and cakes.

Mr Eddy’s Tea Rooms (T: 023 8089 8737) Exbury Gardens, Exbury SO45 1AZ 

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The Master Builders
(2 miles)

With two places to eat and fabulous river views, this is a great spot for a leisurely lunch or some serious fine dining.  The Yachtsman’s Bar offers light bites and a good range of local beer, or for a more sumptuous affair choose the 2 AA Rosette Riverview Restaurant and enjoy a menu full of beautifully crafted dishes using the finest local produce.

The Master Builders (T: 01590 616253) Bucklers Hard SO42 7XB

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Stopped for a drink here after a lovely walk from Beaulieu. Sit outside as the views across the river are stunning.

June 2017


Had an excellent Sunday lunch here, superb service and food. The Yachtsman bar part of the hotel was great for a casual drink and bar meal.

March 2018


Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms
(2 miles)

Tuck into a cream tea or a delicious light lunch at this lovely tearoom. Down at Bucklers Hard there’s lots going on, so this tearoom is the perfect pit stop when exploring this fascinating, historic village.

Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms (T:01590 616203) 75 Bucklers Hard, Bucklers Hard, Beaulieu SO42 7XB 

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Had a cream tea here which did not come up to the standard of a Sussex Cream Tea. The scones were not warmed up before serving and it was self service, so this was a let down.

June 2017


Had a lovely cream tea here, you get a choice of hot drinks to go with it, not stuck to just tea, you get 2 scones ( unlike other tea rooms who only give one scone) and if you ask they will warm the scones, not self service as stated by another reviewer, I would recommend this location as very good well worth a visit.

February 2018


Lepe Country Park Café
(2 miles)

Lepe Country Park Café – Right along Lepe beach is this inviting café and kiosk open all year round. The café offers a range of hot and cold snacks and drinks including delicious handmade cakes.

Lepe Country Park Café (T: 023 8089 2991)  Southampton SO45 1AD 

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Perfect pit stop after a walk along the beach. Serve tasty sandwiches. Sit outside to make the most of the views.

June 2017


The Royal Oak - Beaulieu
(3 miles)

Located on the outskirts of Beaulieu, this cosy pub is a welcoming stop off for walkers, cyclists, families and horse riders.  With plenty of comfortable seating, roaring fires, sunny garden and lots of choice on the menu, this is a great spot for an enjoyable holiday meal or a few well-earned drinks at the bar.  Children, dogs and muddy boots welcome. 

The Royal Oak (T: 01590 612228) Hilltop, Beaulieu SO42 7YR

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Excellent food and atmosphere - drinks very expensive though and 10% service charge added

April 2018


Lepe Beach
(3 miles)

Some of the best views of the Solent can be enjoyed from over a mile of beach and pine fringed cliffs. Historic D-Day remains, wildflower meadows and children's play area. Beach front car park.

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Milford on Sea
(11 miles)

A beautiful shingle beach with pretty painted beach huts, plenty of parking, and excellent coastal walks along Hurst spit to Hurst Castle with clear views of the Isle of Wight and needles. The superb Raft Rocks Restaurant is worth a visit with its Art deco style and roof terrace. You can also walk across the wildlife marshes to Keyhaven harbour and (in season) take the boat to Hurst Castle or the Isle of Wight.

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Lovely village, plenty of shops and places to eat - no post office though.

June 2017


Fantastic sea location with goods pubs, shops etc

November 2017


Great for a dog walk along the spit to Hurst Castle. Needles Eye cafe is a welcome break, quite good food but very busy and a bit basic.

December 2017


Barton on Sea
(13 miles)

A stony beach with sandy areas as the tide goes out, and a great spot to do some fossil hunting. The cliffs are subject to considerable coastal erosion and at times parts of the beach can be cordoned off. The Beachcomber Café on the cliff top is one of the most popular cafés in the region. Plenty of parking in car parks along the cliff top as well as on-road parking.

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Highcliffe Beach
(14 miles)

A picturesque, tree-lined beach of shingle, and sand at low tide. Good facilities on the cliff top including an excellent tea room, award winning public toilets, baby change and a children’s play area in the Castle gardens. Plenty of parking, but there is no disabled access and quite a few steps to get down to the beach. Lifeguard cover from July to Sept. No dogs allowed.

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Lovely clean sandy beach and a really i would highly recommend this spot for your car to break down takes the ouch out of waiting for the recovery truck

April 2017


Mudeford Sandbank
(17 miles)

This is one of the most scenic of New Forest beaches. Lined with some of the most picturesque and expensive beach huts in the country! There’s no parking next to the beach, as it’s a traffic-free zone, but there’s pay and display parking at Hengistbury Head from where you can catch a little train to the sandbank, and Mudeford Quay which runs a small ferry (5 mins) over to the sandbank. Can also be reached on foot and by bicycle.

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Beautiful place, our favourite beach in south of England. It feels like an island, when you go over on the ferry and at times (off-season!) on sunny days it can feel like a little piece of Heaven, it's so peaceful and beautiful- bit of a sense of New England. There's a super little 'restaurant', the Beach Hut, which does great breakfasts, meals all day and some evenings. Also takeaway eg pizzas, you can eat on the beach. Very simple surroundings, with a sheltered veranda that can be uncovered in fine weather, and amazing views. Quite pricey and often very busy (and you are best to ring and check opening times and book since often weather and ferry-dependant) but the quality of the food and those stunning views make it more than worthwhile!

March 2018

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