What job do you do at NFE?
How long have you been local in the area?
I’m a local girl and have the best childhood memories of riding my pony in the New Forest. I lived in London for 6 years but then moved back to Lymington to start my family. I now have a little boy who is in school and we spend all our family time exploring the forest. It means I get to help guests with properly tested and up to date local knowledge so that they don’t have to learn the hard way.
Where is your favourite place to go for friends/family in the forest?
For family walks, we head to Longslade Bottom. It’s an open heathland valley bordered by thick beech and oak forest. We stop to build dens, climb trees and spot all kinds of the wildlife.
For a coastal treat, we head to The Haven at Lymington Yachthaven. It attracts all sorts and is great for people watching. After we’ve finished we walk around the sea wall in Lymington. The boats are so pretty, the wall gives you great views over the marinas and it’s flat so good for kids and prams.
Where is your favourite place to eat in the forest? Top 3 please.
Greedo – Lymington
Red Lion – Milford
Noisy Lobster – Mudeford beach (see pic – the sand here is just beautiful for little ones to play in)
Which places do you like to avoid?
- Lymington has a historic market every Saturday through the year so the high street becomes pedestrianised for the day. It’s well supported and has a huge variety of local producers. It’s great – but don’t even try to drive through, or park near it.
Which is your favourite beach in summer and also in winter?
Mudeford beach in summer, we avoid the beach in winter (it can be too windy for little ones!) so tend to stick to the forest then. Much more fun splashing in muddy puddles!
Where do you go to get away from the crowds and escape for some downtime in the National Park?
Setley Pond near Shirley Holmes is a lovely, relaxing spot in the forest. Henry Szwinto’s pic of the trees here is very similar to those in that area.
We normally pop in to Setley Ridge Farm Shop in the way home to pick up some fresh, local produce. It’s surprisingly good value and the deli selection is superb.
Where do you go to get lovely gifts in town?
Willow Lifestyle in Lymington is one of my favourite shops anywhere. One of my favourite houses that we manage is Brockwell which was styled exclusively by Willow. They’ve done a great job and it shows in the amount of bookings we get. I barely sell it. The styling and location in Brock’ is in huge demand. It’s walking distance to the Pig Hotel and Brockenhurst Village for local produce!
Who does the best takeaway (during CV19)?
Lanes of Lymington do a great 3 course meal – we ordered this for my lockdown Birthday.
The best local event…
Smoked and uncut at The Pig Hotel in Brockenhurst! It’s a family festival, buzzing celebration of food and music hidden away in the New Forest.
Sarah – last question – what’s your Desert Island Discs selection….?
I’m not a radio person, sorry! Can I have a great Gin and Tonic selection instead?