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Holidays in Sway

New Forest village with an iconic 220ft tall tower

Wilverley Inclosure near Sway

The friendly village of Sway sits within the New Forest National Park, surrounded by verdant countryside and woodland. With its own mainline railway station, it is easily reached from London, Bournemouth and Southampton, making it a wonderful place to escape to for an outdoor, nature-focused holiday.

The quaint village has roots which stretch right back to Anglo-Saxon times and it features four times in the Domesday Book. To the south of the village, Sway Tower, known by locals as Peterson’s Tower, is one of the most recognisable manmade landmarks in the New Forest. Rising up to a height of 67 metres, it is visible from many places across the National Park and is a feat of engineering: it is the tallest building constructed out of non-reinforced concrete in the world. Now converted into a home, you can still admire it from afar.

In the New Forest, walking is understandably one of the most popular pursuits, and with endless trails taking you through woodland, heathland, along rivers and beside the sea, there are routes for all abilities and interests. From the heart of Sway, you can walk out into the forest on a circular loop or head for Longslade Bottom for sweeping forest views and pony spotting. A little further afield, Wilverley Inclosure offers forest walks and open heathland, or head to Setley Pond for a waterside and woodland stroll.

"Sway Tower" by Ashley Basil is licensed under CC BY 2.0

If you’re looking for other active ideas for your stay, you can book lessons or treks from some of the horse riding centres local to Sway. There’s even a polo school where you can take lessons! If travelling on two wheels is more your thing, there are a variety of cycle tracks leading through the New Forest scenery, one of which is the Sway and Setthorns Loop.

"Experience the beautiful scenery of the New Forest one day, and head to the seaside the next!"

The coast is just a short drive away, with the beaches of Barton-on-Sea and Milford-on-Sea promising seaside adventures, and historic Lymington, (4.5 miles) which has a Saturday street market, pretty cobbled streets to explore and a lively harbour. In the summer, take a dip in the sea-water baths and try a whole host of water-based activities.

When you’re not out and about enjoying the local towns and scenery, there are a host of attractions to visit in the New Forest and surrounding area. Soak up some history at Hurst Castle (11.5 miles), have a tour and tasting at Setley Ridge Vineyard (3 miles), ogle the old automobiles at the National Motor Museum (10.5 miles) and enjoy exploring elegant Highcliffe Castle and Grounds (7 miles).

Returning to Sway after days out in the New Forest, you’ll find a choice of four pubs where you can fill up on a tasty meal. There’s a butcher’s, a little village shop where you can pick up essentials and a café, and with bustling Lymington just 4.5 miles down the road, you’ll never be far from town amenities. With so much to offer and plenty to see and do on the doorstep, Sway is a wonderful destination for a cottage holiday in the New Forest.

While you’re there

Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum

Named after a motorcycling legend, the Museum houses an impressive collection of beautifully restored motorbikes.

Sway Tower

A striking, 67 metre tower – the tallest in the world build from non-reinforced concrete.

Coombe Stables

Horse riding lessons and forest hacks in beautiful surroundings.

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