Little Pub Group Scenic Driving Route: Lymington to Frogham
A scenic driving route for a fabulous day out and about in the beautiful New Forest
There is a lovely forest driving route which will take you across some of the less well known yet most beautiful parts of the New Forest. The Little Pub Group Scenic Route offers its fabulous hospitality at each end of the route between Lymington and Frogham. It also gives you easy opportunities to stop along the way and visit some special parts of the forest. This driving route avoids main roads and is perfect for when you have a little spare time to enjoy the beauty of the Forest as part of your day out, incorporating a very enjoyable lunch stop too!
Two New Forest Pubs with delicious freshly cooked food and hospitable customer service
Our scenic driving route links two popular New Forest pubs: the Waggon & Horses Lymington, and the Foresters Arms Frogham. Both of these pubs provide a lovely destination lunch for a day out lunch out, providing perfect relaxation and refreshment at the opposite end to where you start.
They are both owned by the Little Pub Group which also owns a number of pubs in Winchester (and also has a great loyalty scheme). The watchword of the group is delicious freshly cooked food from locally sourced ingredients, served with enthusiasm and professionalism. Landlord Nick at the Waggon, and landlady Jade at the Foresters, will be equally happy to greet you.
So this route is perfect for a relaxing day out exploring the New Forest by - whichever end you start from! You may find it helpful to refer also to the Ordnance Survey map of the New Forest.
Waggon and Horses Pub, Lymington
The Waggon and Horses, close to the Isle of Wight ferry terminal in Undershore Road Lymington, is a charming Lymington riverside pub with top quality restaurant food at pub prices. It has ample parking in 2 car parks one either side of the pub (a rare treat in Lymington!), and is a stone’s throw from both the beautiful Lymington River and the historic Admiral Sir Harry Neale Monument. The Waggon today is particularly renowned for its Sunday Fare - from Brunch through Lunch to Dinner.
For address and contact details – see end of article.
Foresters Arms Pub, Frogham
The Foresters Arms Frogham is a proper “Forest” pub in the heart of the northern New Forest not far from Fordingbridge. The pub has a large car park and lots of different seating areas both inside and out. You’ll usually be greeted by donkeys outside the door before Jade gets a chance to greet you in person. The great pub food is freshly cooked, from locally sourced ingredients.
For address and contact details – see end of article.
Foresters Pub Walk
The Foresters also has its own “Pub Walk”, a superb 3 mile circular route starting from and ending at the pub which you can undertake either to work up your appetite or to digest your lunch. It encompasses some of the most remote forest heathlands, with fabulous views from Hampton Ridge from where you can survey most of the rest of the Forest. You can pick up the “Pub Walk” leaflet at either the Waggon or the Foresters. Here are some more photos to tempt you to walk this walk!
The quickest route between Lymington and Frogham takes you along relatively main roads and gives you a choice between either the westerly route via Burley and Ringwood, or the easterly route via Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst and Cadnam. Either way it’s approximately 22-23 miles and a 40-45 minutes drive in good traffic conditions.
There’s a vast expanse of New Forest between these two routes, including some of the most beautiful landmarks of the New Forest. So this longer route is for you if you have time to allow for a little meandering, taking in a couple of stops on the way. Start at one end of the Route, and meander to the other for a leisurely lunch at either the Foresters Arms if starting from Lymington, or the Waggon & Horses if starting from Frogham. Return the same way in reverse and stop in different places en route or take a more direct route back, the choice is yours! You'll discover some of the best secrets of the New Forest on your day out.
The Little Pub Group scenic route takes you via lesser known roads all the way from Lymington to Frogham. There are ways of shortening this route - eg at the beginning you could take the main road from Lymington to Brockenhurst - but our full scenic route takes you through some of the forest villages between Lymington and Beaulieu too. They are attractive in their own way and have lots of history too.
Waggon & Horses Lymington to Foresters Arms Frogham – Overview of Scenic Route
The Little Pub Group scenic route takes you from the Waggon & Horses past the Lymington Isle of Wight Ferry Terminal, via the villages of South Baddesley, East End and East Boldre to Hatchet Pond, then through the outskirts of Brockenhurst. It takes you along the Ornamental Drive with the tallest trees in the New Forest, across the busy A31 into another woodland area including Bolderwood and the deer hide where at various times of day you can view different types of deer grazing peacefully. You’ll then emerge from woodland and drive across vast tracts of open heathland, and see virtually no buildings for many miles. Whether you’re visitor or local it will give you a chance to see some of the special scenic spots and hidden gems of the New Forest which lie either literally “en” route or at least minutes away from the road. All the while driving with a purpose towards a delicious lunch! It’s worth stopping a couple of times, to take in the special atmosphere of the Ornamental Drive and Bolderwood. In fact you must be prepared to amble, because some of the roads on this route are narrow with passing places.
Waggon & Horses Lymington, to Brockenhurst
• Turn left out of the Waggon & Horses, pass the Isle of Wight ferry terminal on your right.
• Follow this road for 6 miles to the T junction at Hatchet Pond. Among many picturesque scenes starting rural and becoming open forest you will pass Goodalls Strawberry Farm and Pick Your Own on your left round the bend just after the ferry terminal – if it’s between May and August stop for a few minutes to pick or buy the most delectable strawberries in Britain!
• Follow the road past the Pylewell Park Estate on your right (also home to the now annual Curious Arts Festival in July)
• Drive through the tiny hamlet of South Baddelsey with its thriving South Baddesley Primary School, popular with Lymington parents.
• At the junction at the end of the Pylewell Estate you can if you wish turn right and make a detour to take in Bucklers Hard, it’s like stepping into time a couple or so centuries ago. However you may prefer to leave this for another day and combine with a visit to Beaulieu.
• But what you could do for 5 minutes is turn right and immediately right again down a tiny no through road calledTanners Lane. If you drive to the end you can take a look at the Isle of Wight from the Solent shore. You may also see some kite surfers practising. But please note the only easy place to turn your car is actually on the beach - so forewarned is forearmed.
• Otherwise just carry straight on and you’ll drive through the village of East End and out on to the open forest and through the long “ribbon” village of East Boldre, originally built by squatters along what’s known as the “Beaulieu Rails”. If you’re short of diesel you’ll find East Boldre Garage very helpful! And nearly opposite the garage is East Boldre Village Hall
which was in summer 2015 was the scene of a spectacular 100-year anniversary of the arrival of the Royal Flying Corps in the tiny village. More about East Boldre here And for a gallery of images from the 100 years anniversary click HERE
• Turn right at the T junction with the B3054 and pass part of Hatchet Pond on your left.
• Hatchet Pond is the largest body of water within the Crown Lands of the New Forest, managed by the Forestry Commission. Created in the 18th century to provide power for an iron mill, the pond today provides valuable habitats for wildlife as well as being a scenic backdrop for a picnic or wildlife watching. Worth a brief stop especially if it’s sunset – the sunsets over Hatchet Pond are renowned by photographers and enjoyed by everybody, because they’re simply some of the best sunsets you’ll see in this country!
• Almost immediately you’ll reach the T junction with the Brockenhurst to Beaulieu road (B3055). Turn left for Brockenhurst, and if you’ve time turn immediately left again into the Hatchet Pond car park, and spend a few minutes gazing at Hatchet Pond!
• After 6 miles you’ll reach the outskirts of Brockenhurst at the Balmer Lawn Hotel.
Brockenhurst to Frogham, via Ornamental Drive and Bolderwood
This part of the journey is very straightforward to explain because most of it is basically one long road. However it will take you through some of the most admired parts of the New Forest including the wonderful ornamental drives of Rhinewood and Bolderwood Arboretum.
• Turn left at the junction on to the busy A337 heading into Brockenhurst, but before you get to the village itself take the first right turn into Meerut Road, and drive to the end.
• Turn right at the T junction and drive past the Forest Park Hotel on your left, straight on you’ll reach a big open green space. Carry straight on towards the ancient forest!
• Drive past first the rhodedendrons and on into the heart of the amazing avenue through the Douglas Firs and giant redwoods of the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive
• There are several stopping places along the way and it’s worth a small break to see the two tallest trees in the New Forest. If you stop at Blackwater car park you can stroll to the Blackwater Arboretum – a relatively small area that nevertheless contains a selection of trees from around the world.
• Cross over the A35 straight on through more tall trees of the Bolderwood Arboretum Ornamental Drive and towards Bolderwood
Here you will find a large Forestry Commission car park on the right with lots of information about the New Forest especially the deer population, and you can follow the pedestrian route to the Deer Hide. It’s one of the best places to see deer in the whole of the New Forest, with a purpose built platform which overlooks a large meadow. Also, there are toilets here if you need them!
Westwards across the top of the New Forest
The same road now passes under the A31 and out onto the high and open heathland of the northern part of the New Forest. The views in all directions are glorious. It’s a very open landscape with not even a hamlet en route, but there are various stopping places along the way and you’re likely to see a lot of cyclists – this is a very popular part of the New Forest for road bikes. You will then bear to the left towards civilisation at Linwood, and eventually descend off the high plains to the valley below.
Down and northwards along eastern side of the Avon River Valley
You’ll come down off the high plain in a steep descent to turn right at the ford at Rockford - which can be quite exciting after rain but there is a detour which avoids the need to drive through it.
(If you have small children or dogs with you, make a short stop at the bottom of the hill for the steep sand escarpment on the left - which both of these love to climb up and run down.)
You then need to follow signs for North Gorley and then Frogham or just use your satnav for the Foresters Arms Frogham. Effectively you’re winding your way north via forest villages, and driving parallel to the busy A338 which is just a couple of miles to your west taking drivers in a hurry between Ringwood and Fordingbridge. You however will be blissfully unaware of this busy-ness, as you pass through one scenic village after another.
Back up the hill to Frogham and the Foresters Arms
When you get to Frogham itself, if your map reading and satnav both fail it’s a very friendly place and probably easiest to just stop and ask for directions to the Foresters Arms – or call Jade at the pub on 01425 652294. You’ll find plenty of car parking space and quite likely a herd of donkeys, to greet you when you arrive.
Finding the Waggon & Horses Lymington and the Foresters Arms Frogham
Waggon & Horses Lymington
Undershore Road, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 5SB
Telephone: 01590 672517
Foresters Arms Frogham
Abbots Well Rd, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 2JA
Telephone: 01425 652294