Lymington’s Charter Market takes place along the length of the High Street every Saturday throughout the year from 8am to 4pm. It's by far the largest street market in the New Forest area and with a great deal of history behind it is nowadays a special experience for New Forest visitors to enjoy.
Click on the link to discover Lymington's regular Charter Market Traders and read on to find out more about the market!
The Market was originally granted a Charter (a document providing certain rights to the people of the town) in the mid-13th Century, which enabled Medieval Lymington to hold its own market. Farmers, traders and merchants would come from far and wide to sell their goods. This is still true of today’s traders. The High Street was deliberately designed to be wide enough for a market to be held regularly and this can still be seen in the current imposing Georgian architecture that lines both sides of the High Street, from the Quay in the East and up to St Thomas Church which holds a commanding position in the West.
...from hand crafted jewellery and souvenirs to take home plants, food produce, general household goods, craft items and bric-a-brac.
The market stalls include everything from fresh produce and flowers, shrubs and plants to general household goods, craft items and bric-a-brac. There are approximately 90 stalls every week selling all manner of edible treats from olives, breads, cakes, fudge, pies, to fruit and vegetables to take home. (If you're spending the whole day out, it's worth bringing a a cool bag to bring back local fish, cheeses and meats.)
There is something to suit all budgets, whether looking for a hand crafted gift for a loved one or a special souvenir of your trip. Jewellery, bric-abrac, clothes, shoes, plants and bedding - Lymington's market has it all!
Pick a sunny day, and you can spend a fascinating few hours exploring Lymington's Charter Market! Combined with exploring and soaking up the "By Sea and Forest Enchanted" atmosphere of Lymington, a trip to the market makes a great day out for visitors to the New Forest.
Visitors to Lymington should try and allocate a whole day to incorporate the superb independent high street shops and boutiques, together with the many independent and family owned cafes and artisan restaurants where you can have coffee, lunch and afternoon tea.
Allow time to explore Earley and Angel Courtyards among numerous little alleyways and streets off the High Street! And to stroll down the famous cobbled streets at the bottom of the High Street to the Quay and the Marinas beyond: watch the sailing boats and luxury yachts intermingle with the fishing fraternity.
Please note that there is no parking available on the High Street every Saturday between 6am and 6pm. Avoid a penalty charge notice by parking in one of the town's carparks.
For coach parking and drop off/pick up points in Lymington details can be found on the New Forest District Council’s web site
There are public toilets behind M&S and in New Street near St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery.
The Earl William de Redvers was quick to note the opportunity to profit from a market and fair, and his charter of priviledges, granted between 1184 and 1216 formed the Borough of New Lymington. It is thought that this first Charter applied to the area to the west of the Church (now St Thomas's Street) and probably a small settlement by the river, near the quay and salterns. This earliest Charter probably created the High Street.
Earl Baldwin added a second Charter around 1256, which it is thought extended the Borough north of the Church to include Barfields and perhaps created New Street. It was the monks of the Cistercian Abbey in Beaulieu who copied out the second Charter in about 1256 and referred to an earlier Charter and this survives in the British Museum. Interestingly no record of an '1150 Charter' which inspired the 800th anniversary celebrations in 1950 has been found!
So Lymington is one of the towns in England to receive a Charter from a feudal lord, with no intervention from the Crown. This map shows Lymington in about 1680.
Some reviews of Lymington Charter Market from Trip Advisor
"Great market ”
"This market has a good variety of stalls the vast majority are good quality. You can find local produce and crafts as well as everyday items. It brings lymington to life on a Saturday well worth a visit and if you get there early the fish stall is very good."
Visited July 2016
"... It's a great day out, you'll find most things you are looking for and if you are not shopping for anything in particular, it makes a great browsing day out. I'd certainly recommend it, best market day in Hampshire."
"I believe this street market was established back around 1250 and is held up the High Street every Saturday. Not sure how busy it gets during the winter months but on the warm day at the end of July we visited it was really bustling. Car parking can be a chore and initially I'd planned to park at Brockenhurst and catch the train for the short trip into Lymington. However, as we'd just missed one of the trains I decided to continue the 4 miles or so and see if we could find somewhere to park. A lot of on street parking is limited to an hour/residents and car parks were full. I drove to the other side of town and parked at the far end of a council estate about 10mins walk which was no problem.
The market is on both sides of the street and surprisingly, vehicular traffic is allowed (I think one way) so you have to stick to the pavements which makes it feel perhaps more crowded than it really was. Handily, there's a Wetherspoon's at the top end which is a convenient refreshment stop! There's quite a few food stalls selling local produce so take a cool bag with you as there's plenty of tempting stuff to take back with you!
Afterwards we strolled round the cobbled street at the bottom of town and round the quayside by the marina. The Isle of Wight ferry terminal is on the other side of the river which keeps a lot of traffic away from the centre."
Reviewed 30 July 2016
"Lymington is a lovely place to visit and the market is really nice. Lots of stalls. The market is on the high street and you can look at the shops as well as the market".
Trip Advisor - Review 7 July 2015
"A weekly market with stalls covering all types of goods from tools, snacks, clothing, fruit and veg and household goods. The road is reduced to one way traffic on Saturdays which is much safer. The stalls line the road and locals and visitors alike enjoy the business."
Photos - with thanks to Steve Elsom Photography for the use of many of these photographs. Steve can be contacted via Facebook.
Lymington Charter Market is owned and operated by Lymington and Pennington Town Council.
If you're a local business interested in having a market stall do get in touch!
If you are a small cottage industry looking to sell bespoke products, unique hand made crafts or new and different food products, the market would love to welcome you - it can be a great way to start your business.
For more details please see visit the Council website where you can also download the stall holder application form and regulations.
t: 02380 285893
t: 07585 607358 (Friday evening and Saturdays)