Hardly a local custom now, but smuggling was a huge industry in the past. There is allegedly a filled in tunnel leading from the Angel Inn to Stanwell House Hotel, from where sumgglers could then easily get to the town quay. Local history also records another tunnel (though less likely) that runs from an area near to the Angel Inn all the way up to the area around the polic station, which is right at the Northern end of the town.
The pub the Thomas Tripp claims to be named after a famous smuggler, but he was in fact a lifeboatman (although that is not to say that he couldnt have used the job to his own benefit!)
For more information on the history of smuggling in the area, visit St. Barbe's museum, New Street, Lymington.
Apparently there is also a legend of piracy in local village Hordle. There is a hill there called Golden Hill where pirates allegedly hid their cache of gold. More on this is on Wikipedia.
Appearances can be deceptive
We visit Lymington quite often to visit family, and have always loved the look of Stanwell House Hotel and quite frequently go in for a morning coffee. Our most recent visit to Lymington meant we had to stay in a hotel and we decided to treat ourselves and stay at Stanwell as the main public areas are always quite luxurious.
The cost of a double room is £135 so we were expecting a really lovely room. Our room was on the main corridor for 12 other rooms and so every couple of minutes the fire door was opening and closing. Our room also faced the high street which is great for people watching but awful for a good night's sleep. At 4 am the hotel staff decided to run a trolley up and down the pavement outside the room and as it was a Friday night stay we had the market people setting up from 5.30 am - no chance of sleeping after that!
The room was ok, but the carpet was very dirty and had some very questionable stains. The bathroom was tiny with a toilet seat that never stayed up, lack of toiletries and a shower cubicle so small my husband had to bend down to have a shower. For the cost of this room we were really disappointed and would not really recommend this place unless you can get a very good late deal.
On the postive side, breakfast was included and the service was excellent and so was the selection - either traditional or continental. Service from the reception staff was also very good and they were happy to hold our luggage while we explored Lymington High Street.
Very disappointing. The room was not even properly clean. The hotel management reacted to our complaint in a hostile manner. The dinner was OK but the breakfast was inedible. This used to be a nice place, but under its new management it seems to be going downhill fast. There are many pleasant places to stay in the area at a fraction of the price, there is nothing to recommend this hotel any more.
This was our first visit to Stanwells and we'll certainly be returning. We had a lovely bedroom/suite that clearly had just been redecorated. The hotel is situated on Lymington high street and with the awful weather this past weekend it was a good base to enjoy the saturday market and then just wander back to the hotel for coffee. The food in the dining room was a good standard with the food being bistro style and not over fussy. Lymington is lovely and it will be good to return when the weather is kinder!
Good and not so good at the Stanwell
Firstly the good news about the Stanwell. All the staff are friendly, helpful, good mannered and very pleasant. The receptionists offer a charming welcome, and every person we met throughout our weekend stay greeted us in a genuinely warm and hospitable way.
Also there is a terrific terrace and garden to the rear of the hotel, which provides some lovely outdoor space and seemed to be ignored by most of the other guests, giving us the opportunity to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
On the other hand, we stayed in a twin room with the most uncomfortable and ancient beds that I have ever encountered in a hotel. Other reviewers have commented on the age of the TVs in their rooms. Since I don't go on holiday to watch telly, I wasn't too bothered that we had a new flat screen TV, but I do want 7 hours sleep after walking in the New Forest all day, and on those saggy and creaky mattresses it was impossible. I can see that the shabby chic style has charm, and I don't mind the rather faded look of the furniture, but there are some hotel elements that are non-negotiable, such as a comfortable bed and a decent bathroom.Unfortunately ours had a chipped bath, many broken tiles, an ancient hairdryer, a non-functioning towel rail with no apparent on/off switch and some frankly worrying wiring tacked around the scruffy peeling lino flooring.
If it is the case that the hotel is now under new management then they have great assets in their staff, the garden and the high street location, but need to spend some money to get the fundamentals right. I'd be happy to stay again, but I'd discuss the state of the room in detail before making a booking.
Never felt so ripped off!
This hotel has a great location in the centre of lovely Lymington.... unfortunately that's were the compliements stop. It was by far the most expensive hotel in the area. We arrived late in the evening and even though they told us they had many rooms available, they would not negotiate on the rate at all. Nor would they allow us a late check out to 12pm. We paid £135 for one night in a small double room which was shabbily deocorated (there was unfinished tiling in the bathroom, mouldy walls and a loud exhaust fan outside the window). No tea or coffee facilities, no bathroom products, no hair dryer. Breakfast was OK but there was only one waiter and he was struggling to serve everyone - hence the breakfast room was a mess. I've stayed in 100s of hotels for work and pleasure and have never felt so ripped of as during my stay at the Stranwell. Avoid like the plague.
We stayed in the hotel fat the end of May for a birthday weekend away. I was a little concerned after reading some reviews but we had a very pleasanrt experience.
The staff were wonderful and the food and drink was excellent. We ate in the Bistro on our first night and it was of superb quality. The wine list was also very good.
The room was interesting. Shabby chic is certainly the right description and I loved it. We had a chat with the new management and they inidicated all rooms will be re-furbed soon so hopefully it shouldn't be so hit and miss in the future.
I would recommend this hotel.
The title says it all...Never again. What can I say!! Stayed in room 24, double posted bed....afraid not. The bed was up against a wall with two so called posts of wood the other side. So it was not a four poster bed by any means. Have never felt so clostaphobic. The decor was peeling off the walls and the ceiling, net curtains were grubby. There was scaffolding up outside (never informed of this). The bathroom had mould around taps, tiles falling off, paint peeling off, towel rails falling off, the toilet was so close to the bath anyone rather on the large side would not of been able to sit on the toilet. The whole room was terrible and ruined our anniversary weekend. For £165 a night it was a total rip off, and did they care? no, complained on our arrival and was told there were no other rooms and that was that.
We have travelled far and wide and for the cost of what we paid for the room and the evening meal it was so expensive.
The only good thing the food was first class and would recommend the restaurant (bistro) but not the rooms.
We filled in an evaluation of our stay but have not been contacted about our points we raised so they obviously don't care.
Lymington:Home to.... Me!
"Lymington and all that jazz"
Lymington is my favourite English coastal town (and not just because I'm biased!). Situated right on the edge of the New Forest, it is known mostly for sailing, as the Lymington River leads out into the Solent (the sea between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight) which is known for yachting events throughout the year. The council are trying to encourage local businesses to the high street which has resulted in a pretty varied number of shops, some of which have an interesting heritage. I think, for example, that Elliots has been about for at least 80 years. Down from the high street is a gorgeous cobbled road leading to the town quay. The shops there are surprisingly non-touristy, although a couple do sell little more than buckets, spades and postcards. Once you are down on the quay, you can see across the river to East End which goes down towards the Beaulieu river.
Lymington is also home to Ben Ainslie, the Olympic gold medallist sailor, Alice from the Vicar of Dibley and ALLEGEDLY Johnny Depp! You can read all about this on Wikipedia. The Johnny Depp story is pretty funny actually - the local paper printed a piece saying that he had viewed a potential house to buy on Captain's Row. But it turned out that the people who lived in said house were slightly bemused and the whole thing was a mistake.
Lymington began as a community surrounding salt marshes, and the marshes can still be seen between the yacht clubs and Milford. This is a really nice walk. Begin in the car park on the corner of Bath road, walk past the outdoor pool and the yachts. At the end of the path walk through the yacht haven car park and on to the 'sea wall path' which will take you all the way to Keyhaven and Milford. This all forms part of the Solent Way Walk, and goes through a bird reserve.
My favourite walk is not actually IN Lymington but begins in Keyhaven/Milford on Sea. This is along Hurst spit, a 1.5 mile shingle peninsula that leads out to a castle. I walked the dog along here today - it was very grey and windy and remote.
Years ago, Lymington and the nearby villages were prime smuggling points. Rumour has it that there are blocked underground tunnels between the Angel pub, Stanwell house hotel and the quay. Very Famous Five-esque!! When I was at school there was a romantic story that a tunnel had linked the cliffs at Milford on Sea to the Isle of Wight and I secretly always wanted to be the one to find it. Unfortunately as I got older I realised that this tunnel was probably not there! Shame.... I could have been rich and famous.
If you see Lymington, you can imagine smuggling going on, especially on the lonely sea wall (not so lonely at the height of summer).
Nowadays, however, the only smuggling is of under 18s trying to get into the Thomas Tripp and the Angel.
"Other Lymington websites"
You can read a brief history of Lymington, explaining about the smuggling tunnels etc at the New Forest District Council website.
Alternatively, Tolik's Lymington pages are interesting and have quite a lot of details.
If you are simply looking for more info on what to do in Lymington, then try searching here.
There is a brilliant birds' eye view photo of Lymington here. I didn't want to steal it for this site in case I got into trouble.
The best website is probably lymington.com, a fairly recent site. And if you go to webcams you can spy on people on the town quay and at the yacht club. I just saw a mad rower go out in his shorts (today is 31st December!)