While we were on our glamping holiday a few weeks ago, we knew we wanted to explore the area, as it was fairly new to us. We also wanted to do some birdwatching and take Poppy on some amazing walks. So Phil found us a lovely circular walk from Keyhaven to Lymington that took in the Keyhaven Nature Reserve. There are a number of different walks you can take, as you can see here on this map, and we walked along the coast on our to Lymington, but we were knackered on our way back so went on a shorter route to get back to the car.

Keyhaven Yacht Club Keyhaven Nature Reserve Coastal Flowers

The weather was a bit chilly and overcast to begin with, but straight away we spotted a reed warbler by the yacht club. It was a sign of things to come. The views across to the Isle of Wight were amazing and I had no idea we were so close to it. As we neared the nature reserve, we could see more and more birds that we hadn’t seen before. We turned a corner to find a little egret, two spoonbills and quite a few shelducks. Having never seen these birds before, we spent a long tim watching them. Poppy was brilliant, as she must have been very, very bored!

Little Egret ShelduckSpoonbill

When we finally got moving again, we noticed how busy the walk was. There were lots of people walking, cycling and dog walking along the coastal path. (Dogs should be kept on leads as there are some ground nesting birds about.) The different pools used to be used to make salt so it’s lovely to see so many different species enjoying their return to nature, including the painted lady and lapwing below.

Painted Lady Butterfly LapwingKeyhaven to Lymington walk

The walk was longer than we’d anticipated. We thought that it was 3 miles in total, but it isn’t. It’s three miles each way! We hadn’t planned particularly well and hadn’t brought any snacks. Rookie error! So by the time we arrived at Lymington marina, which is an amazing place in itself, we were desperate for some lunch. Phil had done some research and we headed for The Mayflower, where we enjoyed an amazing ploughmans lunch in the beer garden. The garden is pretty big so we were able to find a table in the corner where Poppy could rest up.

The Mayflower Ploughmans

As the walk had taken longer than anticipated, our return journey was via a shorter route, as we had to get back to the car (plus, I needed a lie down!) After a quick stop at the shop for a 99 each, we headed back. By this time, the sun was out and it was boiling. We were keen to get back to the hut and take our walking boots off. It was a brilliant walk and just looking at the pictures writing this post, I want to go back and maybe even take a boat trip over to the Isle of Wight!

The Walk: The walk is mainly flat and easy to navigate. There are a number of shortcuts you can do if you don’t fancy doing the 10 mile circular walk we started!
Cost: Free
Car Park: We parked at the car park in Keyhaven and paid using Ringo (a godsend!) It is easy to find and has toilets and plenty of spaces.
Refreshments: I highly recommend visiting The Mayflower in Lymington. They do a great range of food and it’s a lovely treat part way through the walk.
Toilets: There are some really fancy (yes, fancy!) toilets at the Keyhaven car park which are well worth a visit!

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