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New Milton

New Milton - Hampshire

New Milton is a lively and attractive little market town on the perimeter of the New Forest but also with a magnificent stretch of coastline at Barton on Sea.

Dating back to before the time of the Domesday Book, New Milton now includes Old Milton, Ashley and Bashley as well as Barton on Sea, resulting in a population of more than 21,000. The town came to prominence during the Victorian era when the railway station was opened. The railway line still operates today, linking the town with Bournemouth, Southampton and London.

Milton is, in fact, a derivation of the Old English word for Middle Farm but it was only designated as New Milton in 1896, purely to distinguish it from the numerous other Miltons scattered around the country. New Milton now provides a perfect base for people wishing to spend time exploring the New Forest or the south coastal resorts of western Hampshire and Dorset.

The New Forest is just a short drive away, where visitors can enjoy the verdant wooded and heath land areas and charming olde worlde villages or, for the more active, they can go for long cycle rides along the specially provided tracks or take advantage of the opportunity for some splendid horse riding facilities.

Bournemouth is 12 miles east of the town centre, with its wonderful beaches and first-class amenities, and the delightful town of Lymington, with its famous quay, is 8 miles to the west.

New Milton itself has a good selection of shops for the visitor as well as restaurants and pubs and a growing number of pavement cafés. It’s also the home of the impressive Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum, which many people consider houses the finest collection of fully-restored motorcycles in Europe – some of them extremely rare.

What was once a completely separate village, the coastal town of Barton on Sea, is now an integrated part of New Milton. Geologists have long had a fascination for this area, and even today many fossils can be discovered on the beaches.

There is a scenic cliff-top path which runs from Barton and the neighbouring village of Milton-on-Sea, from where the Solent Way reaches on to the West Sussex border.

Golfers will undoubtedly enjoy the memorably scenic 27 hole Barton on Sea Golf Club, which is situated on the coastal cliff between Highcliffe and Milton-on-Sea. The elegant and imposing club house has spectacular views, both to the Needles on the Isle of Wight and along to the Old Harry Rocks at Swanage.

Adult Green Fees are a very reasonable £44 per day for adults during the summer and £30 form the beginning of November until the end of March.

Barton on Sea is also the home of the Forest Arts Centre, located at the end of the Old Milton Road, a venue that is becoming increasingly well-known for the quality of its entertainment. One direction in which it has developed in recent years is to attract many top-line comedians to ‘trial’ their material before embarking on nationwide tours. Recent performances have been staged by the likes of Harry Hill, Phil Jupitus and Frank Skinner, amongst others.

New Milton is an area that is still relatively undiscovered by tourists – even many visitors to the New Forest or the south coast manage to miss it out. There is, though, plenty to interest the discerning traveller, who will find it well worthwhile to spend some time here.

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