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Brockenhurst is a small town south of Lyndhurst and north of Lymington, in the southern-central New Forest. Being centrally placed means that Brockenhurst is visited by most of those who come to the New Forest.
It is a pleasant-workaday town, that lacks major sights but is rather a typical village of the area, with many of the buildings in the local red-brick architectural style - many of these were built in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century, after the opening of Brockenhurst railway station in 1847 brought prosperity to the town.
A couple of noteworthy characteristics of the town:
- in Brockenhurst, it is the ponies that have right of way on the roads, a fact that they seem very aware of as they amble as slowly as possible down the middle of the road!
- there are two fords in the village where streams run across the road (although the one in Brookley road is diverted in winter to stop it becoming too hazardous to traffic).
- there are a sprinkling of older, pretty thached cottages
A little way south-east of Brockenhurst is the pretty Church of Saint Nicholas, a very ancient church dating back to at least the 11th century (but with significant later additions, including the 18th century tower and the 20th century stained glass windows), and a 1000 year old yew tree!
Behind the church, the Anzac War Cemetery contains the graves of WWI soldiers who died in Brockenhurst after being brought injured from the trenches to the hospitals here.
Rhinefield House is a manor house (constructed in the late 19th century) and now the impressive Rhinefield House Hotel - and one of the grandest properties in the region. It successfully incorporates many elements from earlier architectural styles, and is set in 40 acres of gardens and land.
Nearby, visit Whitefield Moor and Ober Water Stream, a pretty place for a picnic, a good opportunity for the children to play, and some nice easy walks through the countryside.