70a – Lymington to Keyhaven

Lymington River looked spectacular this morning.  Wow!

Lymington RiverTo the south east of the town is a large marina.  It went on and on for some two thirds of a mile in an endless clang of ropes slapping against masts.  Just beyond the marina, however, it became much quieter.  We entered the Salterns Nature Reserve and the Lymington and Keyhaven Marshes.  The entire area used to be the site of old saltworkings which existed from Roman times.  These workings stretched all the way down to Hurst Castle, over 3 miles away, and were once the largest area of salt works in the country.  Shallow lagoons called salterns were used to hold sea water to start the evaporation process.  This reduced to a briny solution which was then put into pans and heated until only the sea salt remained.

Lymington & Keyhaven MarshesAlthough they lasted for some 2,000 years, the saltworkings here eventually fell into decline due to the popularity of cheaper rock salt from Cheshire.  By 1865 they had disappeared.  Still, we found that lagoons here still served a good purpose for some local inhabitants.

GullAnd as the lagoons continued to bake in the sun, they provided a glaze of glorious green across the spring landscape.  Beautiful!

Lymington & Keyhaven Marshes

Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):

  • Bridge over the Lymington River:  N 50° 45.785 W 001° 32.212
  • Salterns Nature Reserve:  N 50° 44.650 W 001° 31.750
  • Lymington and Keyhaven Marshes:  N 50° 43.585 W 001° 33.112

Walk #70 Statistics (of which this post forms the first part):

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4 Responses to 70a – Lymington to Keyhaven

  1. Beautiful. And finally some good coastal walking. I remember enjoying a pint of cider in Keyhaven 🙂

  2. Agree – VG gull shot! RH

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