One of the most interesting features of Lymington is the Sea Water Baths, which was built in 1833, and would have been one of the largest on the south coast. Mrs Beeston, who took over the baths in November 1872 following her husband’s death capitalised on the growing public health interest in sea water and mud by using an inlet from the Salterns and advertising her “strengthening sea baths”
The baths continued under several different owners until 1929 when they were taken over the by the Lymington Corporation. The 1930s were something of a golden period for outdoors baths and lidos with people flocking to bathe on bank holidays in the summer - look at those amazing costumes!
This was the off-season baths when we visited (with some foreboding rain clouds naturally!) You could still clearly see some of the 1930s Art Deco influences in the design. I would love to see it in use during the summer, i bet it's quite chilly! The bottom of the pool is covered in sand and shells from last years sea water.
We also took a bracing walk around the salt marshes, which is a top birdwatching spot and very popular! For hundreds of years until the mid 19th century a major salt industry thrived along this coastline. As you walk along there are a series of lagoons that were used to collect the seawater. Once evaporation had taken place the brine solution was drawn off by wind pumps into metal basins, and heated until only the salt remained. Amazing that once such a busy industrial operation can now be such a natural beauty spot!
I came home with quite a few new books, here were some that had beautiful covers, but i had to sadly leave behind! I would highly recommend a few days stay in Lymington, we were at the lovely Stanwell House Hotel.