Fordingbridge

all you need to know

The riverside market town of Fordingbridge, once an industrial and commercial centre, offers a picturesque base for your New Forest holiday.

About Fordingbridge

Known as ‘The Northern Gateway to the New Forest’, Fordingbridge is a picturesque town on the banks of the River Avon. The town is known for its majestic medieval bridge which features seven elegant arches dating from 1286AD and was once noted for its smuggling. The infamous Captain Diamond, the "Smuggler King", spent much of his time in a local hostelry. Today, Fordingbridge is home to an eclectic mix of interesting, independent shops and boutiques. In Kings Yard, you’ll find The Towns Visitor Information Centre and Fordingbridge Museum which houses an impressive collection of exhibitions and local history.

There are plenty of really good pubs and restaurants in and around Fordingbridge. In the town centre try The George and The Bat and Ball. Close by in Whitsbury is The Cartwheel Inn, and in Rockbourne, The Rose and Thistle.

The Avon Valley footpath runs for 34 miles from Salisbury to Christchurch. The surrounding scenery is the essence of stunningly beautiful English countryside, winding through high chalk downlands and water meadows.The River Avon is a celebrated and well known fishing destination with scenic backdrops and inspiring views. You can buy day permits to fish from Riverside Park Recreation Park from the Visitor information Centre, or Q8 service station. Keen fishermen may also like to try Rockbourne Trout Fishery, a short drive north of the town centre. There are six stunning lakes for fly fishing and a tributary to the River Avon, all set in over 55 secluded acres of woodland.

The New Forest is great for star gazing its inky black skies. Enthusiasts may like to contact Fordingbridge Astronomers online. They’re amateur astronomers of all ages and abilities who are keen share their interest of astronomy and regularly meet up. 

Just south of Fordingbridge in Midgham are outdoor activity specialists Insight Activities. They offer archery, crossbows, combat archery and axe throwing! During the summer months you can visit the excavation of a Roman Villa in Rockbourne, and to the north is Breamore Estate, an Elizabethan manor house, countryside museum and a fine example of an Anglo-Saxon church - open April - October.

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Fordingbridge Museum
(Less than a mile)

Preserving the rich history of the village of Fordingbridge on the edge of the New Forest, the former market town’s famed folk including artist Augustus John, its role during the Second World War, and its trade past are all documented in this former granary run by volunteers.  They have a collection of temporary and permanent exhibitions available to see, as well as seasonal events.

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Insight Activities
(2 miles)

Feeling active?  It’s Insight Activities for you then!  Archery, combat tag, crossbows, axe throwing and woodland weaponry are all part of the game as you explore the New Forest in Robin Hood style.  It’s perfect for anyone over the age of six, and is a chance to learn something new and have fun at the same time!

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New Forest Water Park
(2 miles)

When it comes to water sports and activities in the New Forest, the New Forest Water Park is hard to beat.  From wake boarding to inflatables, it is an adventurer’s paradise.  It’s family friendly and with camping available you can visit for a few hours or a few days, depending on your endurance levels!

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Firtree Farm Equestrian Centre
(3 miles)

A family run business with a warm welcome and a friendly atmosphere, Firtree Farm Equestrian Centre offers indoor and outdoor riding options for people of all ages and abilities, whatever your riding goals.  There is also a Pony Club Centre - more on that when you get in touch - and access to bridleways and the beauty of the surrounding area.

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Rockbourne Roman Villa
(3 miles)

Take a step back in time to visit this Roman villa which was discovered in 1942 thanks to the remains of oyster shells and tiles.  Once excavated, the treasures kept coming with a mosaic floor and foundations making themselves apparent until the entire villa was uncovered, not to mention the remains of an Iron Age timber roundhouse as well.  Visit, explore, and see what you discover!

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The Crown - Fordingbridge
(Less than a mile)

A friendly, town centre pub in Fordingbridge, with some tables to the rear for when it’s warm. Inside there’s a nice open fire and plenty of tables. The menus are pub classics at a very reasonable price, which can be washed down with a good pint of real ale.

The Crown (T: 01425 652552) 62 High Street, Fordingbridge, SP6 1AX

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The Ship Inn - Fordingbridge
(Less than a mile)

In the centre of the town is the popular pub - The Ship Inn.  Inside there’s an open fire, and traditional bar which stocks a good selection of drinks and cask ales. During the warmer months, you can sit outside in the walled beer garden. The main menu offers the usual pub fare which is supplemented by an extensive specials board. There’s live music at the weekends and monthly theme nights which are great fun.

The Ship Inn (T: 01425 654371) Fordingbridge, SP6 1AX

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The George
(Less than a mile)

This friendly, riverside gastro-pub in the centre of Fordingbridge overlooks the towns famous ‘Great Bridge’, and reputed to be Fordingbridge’s oldest surviving inn. The George is open for food all day including cream teas.  Menus feature plenty of local produce and change regularly, centring around pub classics with a few surprises and twists on traditional plates. It gets busy, so best book ahead.

The George (T: 01425 652040) 14 Bridge St, Fordingbridge, SP6 1AH

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The Augustus John
(Less than a mile)

A funky, shabby chic, cottage style pub with a huge heart and lovely friendly service. Food is delicious - you can even order a take away to take back to your cottage. The seasonal menu features lots of star ingredients from local producers, accompanied by a great selection of drinks including some amazing cask ales. Expect creative and imaginative dishes cooked really well. There’s also an active events calendar of live music and food themed evenings.

The Augustus John (T: 01425 652 098) 116 Station Road, Fordingbridge SP6 1DG

 

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The Three Lions
(Less than a mile)

Very much a gastro pub with a good size bar. The Three Lions is a real treat and very popular, so it’s advisable to book. The owners, one of whom is a former Michelin starred chef, have created a foodie haven, accompanied by an excellent selection of drinks and friendly service. Well worth a visit.

The Three Lions (T: 01422 400089) Stuckton SP6 2HF

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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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(1)

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



Barton on Sea
(15 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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Mudeford Sandbank
(15 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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Boscombe Beach
(15 miles)

Boscombe is a popular family beach with plenty of sand, and a small pier with extensive facilities including a children’s play area, several seafront shops and cafés, crazy golf, plenty of parking and a safe traffic free area perfect for cycling and scooters.

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Milford on Sea
(15 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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(3)

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


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Head Office

Toad Hall Cottages

Church Street

Kingsbridge

South Devon

TQ7 1BY

Email: thc@toadhallcottages.co.uk

Call: 01548 20 20 20

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Toad Hall Cottages

Talland Street

Polperro

Cornwall

PL13 2RE

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Devon & Dorset Cottages

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Lyme Regis

Dorset

DT7 3DA

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