Overnight Visitors Guide

Thanks once again for booking to stay on Zen Dog.

Kirsty & I hope you enjoy your stay.

I’ve put together a YouTube video and the document below that explains how everything works.

There’s a printed copy in a folder on the boat.

Do please have a look as Zen Dog isn’t your regular holiday cottage. The central heating, the water heating, the loo, the sliding roof etc all have their peculiarities but are actually very straightforward when you know how.

So, just put the video on in the background when you can and it will save any stress when you arrive.

If you have any questions before or during your stay, don’t hesitate to call!



Don’t forget we can offer you an unforgettable day out on Zen Dog during your stay. Our charter trips are for up to 8 people so invite some friends to join you and share the cost! Full details on the Charters page or give me a ring!

07918 175713


Overnight Visitors Guide

Use the index below or click here to download a PDF copy that you can print if you want to

Risk Assessment

Take care throughout your stay – there are lots of hazards – particularly:

·        Car Parks – the car park traffic flow isn’t very well designed – take care

·        Pontoons – can be slippery in wet conditions

·        Finger Pontoons (between the boats) – keep off – they are not safe to walk on

·        Stepping Aboard – Mind the gap

·        Electricity Supply – the boat’s electricity supply cable is connected to the shore power outlet behind the starboard (right) corner of the boat. There’s a trip hazard with the blue cable.

·        Side Deck Access – If you venture onto the side decks (and we don’t recommend this) take extreme car – keep one hand on a handrail at all times. Only walk on the non-slip chequered surfaces – not the polished and slippery fibreglass services.

·        Steps down to saloon – very steep. Take care

·        Trap Hazard – electric sliding roof, sliding door to lower saloon, rear garage (you are not permitted to open this)

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Getting Help

Lymington Yacht Haven has a 24-hour reception and security. If you or a member of your party are involved in any emergency, call them on 01590 677071.

If a member of your party falls into the Marina don’t hesitate to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. This might seem ridiculous – your friend/child has merely slipped in. OK it might be dark and they’ve had a drink and they might have disappeared under a pontoon but you’ll find them… won’t you? Don’t take a chance – call 999 then call the Marina.

The Yacht Haven team will help with issues relating to mains power, mains water and mooring ropes. They will help you with access to the car park, pontoons, showers etc.

For all other issues, please call Mike on 07555 100950 – The video says I live a long way away. We moved! I’m now about 5 minutes from the boat!

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Fire Fighting

Escape routes are shown in Green

Fire extinguisher locations are shown in red

Emergency Exits are via the fore cabin hatch and the companionway steps (both shown green)

Zen Dog has 4 powder fire extinguishers – one in locker behind the helm, another beneath the companionway steps and one in each cabin.

Fire Extinguisher locations (shown in red)

1-below the companionway stairs

2-fore cabin starboard cupboard (not the wardrobe)

3 – Rear cabin wardrobe – with emergency glass break hammer to take out rear cabin window – hit all four corners hard then kick the window out.

4- automatic engine compartment extinguisher

5 – hand held powder extinguisher to the right of the steering wheel.

There are manual fuel cut-off handles below the helm seat (between the starboard side and the helmsman’s legs)

There are fire blankets in the wardrobes shown 2 & 3 plus the galley area.

There’s an interconnected Fire Angel smoke and CO detection system – 4 smoke detectors (including one in the engine compartment) and two CO detectors. if one goes off they all go off!

If fire detected:

·        Leave the boat by the quickest method.

·        Assemble by the loos on the pontoon

·        Call 999. Call the Marina Security on 01590 677071

·        Don’t tackle the fire yourself

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Expected Behaviour

You’ll find that other Berth Holders are very friendly. We all say “hello” to each other. However, they all like their space, peace and quiet. For this reason, Lymington Yacht Haven restricts the number of boats it allows to take overnight paying guests. All of our guests have behaved wonderfully, and our immediate neighbours say they have enjoyed meeting new people. However, there’s still some concern amongst other berth holders and the marina’s owners. So, please don’t disturb anyone else or do anything silly. Please keep the noise down – particularly after 10pm and please don’t use the pontoon as an extension of the boat’s social space. The marina security staff will have no hesitation in throwing you out regardless of the time of day or night if they receive a complaint.

These are BedsonBoard’s terms and conditions. I have included them here as a reminder.

1. General

a. Boats must not leave their mooring

c. Guests on board must not exceed the number of guests booked

d. Alcohol should be consumed responsibly

e. No parties or undue noise

f. No smoking on board

g. Remove all unsuitable shoes before boarding (dark soles or heels likely to cause damage)

h. Observe and follow all signs and rules onboard and onshore


a. Never run near the water or on board

b. Stay within the boat’s cockpit and living area

c. Wear suitable clothing and shoes

d. Watch for any trip hazards

e. Be careful getting on and off the boat

f. Be careful when walking on pontoons

g. Make sure you have a torch(s) for use when going ashore

h. Children and non swimmers should use lifejackets

Please Respect Our neighbours

a. Parties are not allowed

b. Make no more noise than our neighbours

c. Do not have loud music or TV

d. Do not invite other people onto the boat without our prior consent

e. Don’t board or peer through windows of other boats

Respect the environment

a. Observe and follow all signs and rules onboard and onshore

b. Do not throw anything into the water

c. Do not swim in marinas

d. Always dispose of rubbish responsibly

Respect the boat

a. Observe and follow all instructions

b. Do not use any equipment you have not been instructed on

c. Save power and water whenever possible

d. Do not try to move the boat or adjust the mooring in any way

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Tips for Travelling to and from Lymington

The Marina’s address is:

Lymington Yacht Haven

Kings Saltern Road



SO41 3QD

t: 01590 677071


I imagine most guests will drive. Everyone has a Sat Nav these days so I won’t bother with turn by turn directions.

However, if you are travelling from the M27, avoid Lyndhurst if you can. It gets very congested on summer weekends – 30 min delays are so common that the sat navs see this as normal traffic and don’t bother warning.

Locals use a “rat run” that leaves the M27 at the A36 junction 2 then down the A326 towards Fawley for 6 miles then right onto Twiggs Lane then follow signs for Beaulieu and Lymington.

Lots of our visitors have had success setting their Sat Nav for:

North Lane, Beaulieu SO42 7YN

Then, when they get there, reset with the Marina’s postcode:

SO41 3QD 

If your Sat Nav doesn’t like postcodes, aim for

Westfield Road, Lymington – the marina is on the junction of King’s Saltern Road and Westfield Road.   King’s Saltern Road is quite long – the marina is hallway along it. If you end up by the RNLI and big car park, head out left, past the Mayflower pub then second left into Westfield Road. You’ll see the yacht masts and the marina entrance straight ahead.             

When you arrive, just go straight to the Marina Reception to check in and collect the keys. This is all explained in the video.  

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What to bring with you

We provide good quality John Lewis bedding and towels for all guests. We provide the special loo rolls needed (probably best not to go into an explanation why!) and there’s always hand soap, washing up liquid, J-cloths, a Tea Towel and cleaning materials.

We make sure there are some Dolce Gusto coffee pods, tea bags and sugar but please replace if you use lots. You won’t get the coffee pods at the Chandlers/Shop on site – you’ll probably need to go to Waitrose.

There’s a hair dryer.

There are USB sockets but you’ll need to bring your charge cables.

Bring coats and maybe an umbrella – Zen Dog is 150 wet soggy metres from the car park. You will find a Zen Dog Charters umbrella on board but please leave it for the next guests.

Don’t bring your stilettos, your dog or your cigarettes. Please don’t smoke or vape anywhere on or in Zen Dog. If you do, we’ll know because our kids’ allergies will flare up and we’ll send you a bill for steam cleaning everything!

If it is warm weather, bring your swimming costume and walk to Lymington’s Lido.

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Arriving for your stay on Zen Dog

Zen Dog will be made available for you from 3pm on your arrival day. Sam our caretaker will have cleaned, made the beds up and provided clean towels. Please vacate by 10am on your departure day.

COLD WEATHER: If the weather is cold, you can switch the heating on before you arrive by sending Zen Dog a text message. The instructions are in the Heating, Ventilation & Air Con Section further down this guide

You need to collect the keys and other information from the Marina Office on the first floor of the main Marina Building.

We recommend following the signs to the Marina Office as you drive into the Marina then parking for a few minutes in the visitor spaces in front of it.

The team in the office are very friendly and helpful. They will be aware of your arrival – we email them in advance. If there is any issue, remind them of this. You’ll need to show them some ID.

They will give you a single key to Zen Dog and a key fob that unlocks the various security gates, barriers and doors.

Before you leave, check out the Marina Bar and Restaurant on the same floor as the office. They now offer a 10% discount for berth holders and their guests. You’ll need the key fob – apparently, they scan it at the bar. Best to ask when you arrive.

Have a look at the excellent showers, laundry etc on the ground floor. There are very decent toilets and showers closer to the boat but they are not as luxurious as the “5 star” facilities in the main building. Whether they are worth the walk is down to you!

Drive out then left and continue straight on into the berth holders’ car park. In the season, you might need to use the key fob to open the barrier.

You’ll pass the first “bridgehead” (a gate and ramp down to the pontoons) on your left. There is another set of excellent “4 star” showers and toilets there. Carry on though – you need to park right at the far end of the car park.

You need to access the pontoons from the furthest bridgehead away from the Marina Office. Use the key fob to open the gate. You will drop down to the pontoons. There is another set of toilets (“3 stars” and no showers) in a Portakabin type building to your left. Turn right and first left onto M pontoon. Walk carefully along for 100 metres or more. You are looking for Berth M23 – about 2/3rds of the way along on your right but you can’t miss Zen Dog – She is moored with her stern in to the pontoon for easy access and she’s got her name in big black letters.

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When you leave


·        Leave by 10am. We often have afternoon charters and the skipper turns up early to prepare.

If we don’t you might be able to leave later but you must ask me.

·        Strip the beds

·        Take your rubbish to the bins at the bridgehead

·        Turn off the water heater

·        Switch the heating back to AUTO SMS

·        Lock up, secure the canvas covers, close the roof and return the keys to the office

There’s no need to clean Zen Dog thoroughly but we’d appreciate it if you would strip the beds down to the mattress and pillow protectors, do your washing up and take your rubbish to the bins at the bridgeheads.

Sam the cleaner allows 3 hours of cleaning between guests plus the time taken to launder towels and bedding. If you make a big mess, we reserve the right to hold extra cleaning charges back from your deposit.

If anything breaks or doesn’t work, don’t worry – these things happen. Please let me know or leave a note for Sam so that we can fix it for the next guests.

If you have enjoyed your stay, we’d really appreciate it if you could spare time to write a review on whichever booking site you used – normally BedsOnBoard and AirBnb. Many thanks!

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Opening Zen Dog up

Zen Dog is securely tied up to her pontoon. Please don’t mess with the ropes. If you are worried that they don’t seem tight enough, call the Marina Office and they’ll gladly pop down and secure her. In a strong westerly wind, she can move up to a metre away from the starboard (right) side pontoon. Don’t worry – this is quite normal. She has to be allowed to move so as not to get damaged if she bobs in the opposite direction to the floating pontoon.

Zen Dog has canvas “camper covers” that protect her stern seating area from bad weather. Open up the door zips on the right hand (starboard) side and, if you want to, roll the door opening cover up. The clips at the top are a bit fiddly.

In nice weather, feel free to roll up all of the camper covers but take great care and make sure that you supervise children.

As you step on board, you are in the cockpit.

You’ll see the “helm” (steering wheel) ahead and on the right. It is normally covered.

You can now turn the cockpit lights on. The switch is on the side of the helm seat. Push once for white lights, twice for funky blue ones

The key you’ve collected opens the door down to the saloon and cabins.

The lock is open when the key is horizontal. However, take care like this – it would be possible for children to lock themselves inside the boat using the deadlock switch inside.

If you turn the key as far as it will go clockwise and remove the key, you’ve triggered a safety catch that prevents anyone inside sliding the deadlock from the open (red) position to the locked position.


Take Extreme Care on the steps down to the saloon. Don’t let kids play on them!

When you reach the bottom of the steps, turn around and look at them. You’ll see the saloon light switches to the left of the steps at eye level.

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Opening the Cockpit Roof

There are two switches on your right as you look at the sliding door down to the saloon.

They have forward and back arrows on them. Hold both down simultaneously. The roof will slide open. Release when the roof stops moving. The roof makes terrible groaning noises when opening and closing. Don’t worry – it is quite normal. We’ve greased and oiled everything possible to no avail!

To close, make sure there are no obstructions. Keep control of children. Push the buttons forward simultaneously. Release when the roof stops moving. Sometimes it needs a hard push to close. (so you’ll need someone to hold down the buttons whilst someone else pushes)

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Heating, Ventilation & Air Con

Upstairs Heating

There’s an electric kitchen plinth style fan heater under the helm/driver’s seat.

Downstairs Heating

Zen Dog has a diesel fired warm air heating system. It is very efficient and quickly warms the accommodation.

COLD WEATHER REMOTE CONTROL: If the weather is cold, you can switch the heating on for 50 minutes by just phoning Zen Dog! We do this as we leave the M27 – by the time we get to Zen Dog, she will be nice and warm. If really cold, we might do this twice – the first time two hours before we plan to arrive and the second time an hour before arrival.

Call 07513 098016 and you’ll get 3 rising tones.

The call will then disconnect. That confirms the heating has been switched on.  If you were to call again (don’t!) you’ll hear two descending tones. That confirms that the heating is switching off.

A great use for this is to warm the boat when you first wake up. Ring it, then stay in bed for half an hour.

There are heater outlets under the sofa and in both cabins.

Once on board, the controls for the heating are to the left side of the porthole (window) behind the sofa and table.

The controller looks like this:

Make sure the switch marked (1) above is in the down “heat” position. The up position just blows in outside air.

Pressing the flashing button (2) starts the heating and it will run for 50mins.

Adjust the temperature with the thermostat (3). Setting it as shown at about “11 o’clock” will keep the temperature around 20c.

If you want to leave the heating on for longer than 50 mins, press switch (4) all the way up into the “ = always on” position. Please don’t forget to return it to the “- Auto SMS” position before you lock up and leave at the end of your stay.

The heating is safe to run at night. It is similar to the systems that lorry drivers use in their cabs. However, it can be noisy – it has a habit of going from nothing to full on howling hurricane . We tend to switch it back to the AUTO SMS setting before we go to bed (maybe pressing button 2 for a final 50 mins of heat). We can then ring it before getting out of bed next morning.

The portholes can be opened for ventilation. The main cabin skylight has a bug screen and blackout blind. It can be fully opened if required. Please make sure you shut it before leaving the boat otherwise rain will get in.

The portable air conditioner in the main cabin’s wardrobe vents out of the wardrobe’s porthole using the hose you’ll find in there. If you leave all the cabin doors open, the air con unit will cool the whole interior beautifully.

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Drinking the Water

I wouldn’t!

It is stored in a plastic tank and I add purification tablets which give it a chlorine smell & strange metallic taste.

If you run out of water (and you shouldn’t – Sam will top up the 200litre tank before you arrive), you are welcome to fill the tank up. The water filler is on the port (left) deck and the special plastic key is in the cockpit sink – under the cover behind the helm (driving) seat.

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Hot Water

The water is heated by a calorifier – a bit like a home electric immersion heater.

We’ll have left it switched on for you and you can leave it on for the duration of your stay. It is on a timer – 6am to 9am and 4pm to 9pm which should be plenty for a couple of showers, washing up etc.

However, if the water runs cold, you can switch the immersion on manually by simply switching it off and back on again

The controls are on the electrical switch panel in the lower locker above the right hand end of the saloon sofa.

Here’s the switch panel. Please don’t play with anything except the immersion heater.

The water heater switches are at the bottom left – there’s a button for on and a button for off.

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There’s a portable dehumidifier that sits and works on the galley counter. It extracts moisture from the air very effectively and sends it down the pipe into the sink. In dry weather, we’ll pack it away before you arrive

If the weather is damp, we’ll have left it on, buzzing away on the counter. It is probably too noisy to use whilst on the boat but please switch it back on when you leave for the day or evening.

Just use the power switch on the far right

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Marina Wi-Fi

The Yacht Haven has fairly basic free wifi.

Choose Berth Holders Wifi and enter this password:


(Updated Feb 2022)

Zen Dog Wi-Fi

The boat has a 4G data connection and I recommend you use that when on board. There’s a router hidden away and a roof mounted antenna.

It has unlimited data via Vodafone and is normally very fast and reliable – far better than the marina Wi-Fi.

Choose the Wi-Fi called simply Zen Dog

The password is:


Just occasionally the Zen Dog router drops its connection.

You can reboot it by turning it off and on again. There’s a small black switch hidden on a sofa side panel as you look at the steps up from the saloon.

The boat has a 4G data connection and I recommend you use that when on board. There’s a router hidden away and a roof mounted antenna.

It has unlimited data via Vodafone and is normally very fast and reliable – far better than the marina Wi-Fi.

Choose the Wi-Fi called simply Zen Dog

The password is:


Just occasionally the Zen Dog router drops its connection.

You can reboot it by turning it off and on again. There’s a small black switch hidden on a sofa side panel as you look at the steps up from the saloon – see the Troublehooting section at the end for more info and a photo.

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There are HD Smart TVs in the saloon (above the sofa), upstairs in the cockpit and in both cabins. They are on swinging arms so can be adjusted to suit your needs. The upstairs TV is connected to a 12v socket on a trailing cable. Sometimes the plug comes out of the socket and prevents it switching on  – just push it back in.

Please be careful when adjusting the TVs. They don’t move as freely as they would in a house so that they don’t flap about whilst at sea. Ideally pull the mount, not the TV sets themselves.

All three TVs have smart apps – notably BBC iPlayer, NetFlix, and Amazon Prime.

Please use our accounts  – you will wish you hadn’t started if you try to swap to your own accounts – it is a real pain to enter passwords using the remote control and silly onscreen keyboard!

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Power Sockets

Zen Dog is a French built boat so has French power sockets with UK adaptors. The sockets will give 240v / 13amps individually but if everyone uses a hair dryer at the same time or runs the coffee machine and kettle together, they might trip out – so please don’t!

Mains electricity is supplied by the blue cable at the stern. It plugs into a shore power socket via an electric meter. If there’s power, the meter will show a red light. If the power fails, have a look at the troubleshooting section at the end of this document but I recommend calling the Marina office and asking for help

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The Loo

The bathroom (or Heads as boaty people call it) has a few scary looking buttons and a gauge

Don’t panic. It couldn’t be easier to use as long as you are careful.

There’s a control panel on the right with just 2 buttons – Flush and Fill.

Flush (1) when finished then press Fill (2) to put some water back in the bowl to seal it.

The functions only work in sequence so if the flush button doesn’t work, it is probably simply that the previous user didn’t press the fill button. We’ve had a couple of occasions where the system gets confused and neither button works. The solution is to power off all the electrics on the boat and switch back on – this is explained in the Trouble Shooting section at the end.

Please don’t put anything down the loo except stuff you’ve produced or the special soluble loo roll that we provide. You’ll find stocks in the locker under the sink or in the cupboard in the front cabin. Try to use as little as possible as it all goes down a very small pipe that can get easily blocked.

Boat toilets can be a bit smelly – not normally because of the holding tank but because they flush with sea water. If the loo isn’t flushed for a while, microbes in the sea water can decay and smell. We’ve fitted a gadget called SeaSmart down the side of the loo that injects disinfectant into the inlet pipe as it enters the boat. This helps to get rid of any nasty smells at source.

A delicate subject this, but we try to use it for “No 1s” only where possible as everything is kept in a septic holding tank on board and ultimately ends up in the sea when pumped out. We use the marina loos instead. You can use it as you see fit – you are paying customers, after all!

To the right of the loo is a gauge (3). It shows the level of “content” in the septic holding tank. There should be plenty of capacity for you stay. We regularly move the boat to the marina’s pump-out station to empty the tank.

However, if it looks like it is about to fill up, you can, in an emergency, push the button (4) next to the gauge to activate what my family call the “poo pump” and the tank contents will be pumped into the marina. That sounds horrendous but there’s a macerator between the loo & the tank and another between the tank and the sea. We treat the tank with chemicals that break everything down. Compare this with the yachts around us – few if any have holding tanks. Best not to swim in marinas!

There’s a plunger under the sink in case the loo blocks.

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The Shower

The shower head is parked on the left side of the bathroom counter. Pull the hose out and attach it to the fitting to the left of the loo. It has a separate valve between the shower head and hose.

It is a pretty good shower but not as good as the marina ones.

As you use it, water will collect on the floor. There’s a foot pedal that triggers a pump to push the waste water into the marina.

Incidentally, there’s also an outside shower. It is concealed in a small hatch on the starboard (right) side as you step aboard and pass through the stern gate. Another hatch hides the controls. This is perfect for washing down sandy children.

Troubleshooting & Problem Solving

Here’s some solutions to problems that we’ve experienced in the past. If these solutions don’t work, please call Mike on 07918 175713

1.      No electricity

We’ve only had one issue with this – someone ran everything on board at once and the system “tripped”

If that happens, here’s what to do:

Check the shore power cable is plugged into the box on the pontoon. That box should have a red light on it. If not, the pontoon power has failed and you will need to call the marina staff. If necessary, unplug and plug it back in again. If you think you might have dislodged the cable at the boat end (unlikely as it connects into the port (left) deck), you MUST unplug at the pontoon end first then unscrew at the boat end and plug back in. If that doesn’t work and the marina staff are sure the power is working on the pontoon, there’s a master trip switch that’s accessible via a hatch into the “garage” at the back of the boat. Lift off the cushion that’s furthest away from you as you stand looking at the rear table. You’ll see the hatch. Lift the cover off – take care – it isn’t secured and look down. You’ll see the trip switch. Switch it back into the “up” on position – as shown below:

2.      The Loo refuses to work

This has happened a couple of times.

First, try the fill button then try to flush. Those options have to be run in a sequence – fill then flush then fill. It could just be that the last user didn’t fill after use.

It that doesn’t work, the electronics have probably become confused and should fix themselves if you reboot the domestic 12 volt electrics.

To do this, first warn everyone that the lights downstairs might go off if dark. Go back upstairs to the driving seat. Switch off the 2 switches marked with taps – these are 2 of the 4 that should always be left on. Switch back on – try the loo. If that hasn’t worked, you need to switch all 4 switches off upstairs and back on – this is the step that will switch the lights off but they should come back on when you turn the switches back on.

If this fails, you need to do a full domestic power switch off as a last resort.

To do this, flip down the locker above the right hand side of the saloon sofa to expose the electric control panel.

If it is daylight, you can safely Switch the top left and top right switches shown below to OFF. Only do this in daylight or when you have a torch switched on as the saloon lights will go off.

You then need to go back upstairs to the helm (driver’s) seat and turn on the 4 switches marked with green dots to the left of the wheel. The lights will come back on and the loo should work.

3. No Zen Dog WiFi

Try rebooting the router – there’s a switch to the left of the top step as shown below

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Things to Do

We’re quite new to Lymington – so we’re discovering things as we go along.

A Trip on Zen Dog

I offer 2-hour, 4-hour and 6-hour trips from £295 -these can include sightseeing, swimming, sunbathing and trips to wonderful restaurants – see Charter Trips

Walk – the Lymington to Keyhaven nature reserve path round the water’s edge is a great place to start. As you leave the bridgehead into the car park, just turn left and keep going!

Here’s a photograph of one of the signs.

There’s a website with more info


Beyond that, there are fantastic walks all over the New Forest.

We like the area towards Beaulieu shown below – lots of parking, nice walks, ponies and donkeys.


The marina hires out bikes and even has a couple of electric bikes!


You’ll need to book in advance – telephone the marina office on 01590 677071.

Beaulieu Abbey and Motor Museum

Bealieu is a great day out for everyone. The motor museum has great exhibits – the Top Gear cars are there this year

Bucklers Hard

Bucklers Hard is a beautiful preserved Napoleonic era ship building village with a hotel, pub and museum

Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway

Created by the Rothchilds, Exbury is just a beautiful place to visit.

Lymington Town Centre Shopping and Eating

stroll along the path behind the marina’s main building. Pass the Sea Water Baths (see below), pass the back of the Mayflower pub, the RNLI Lifeboat station and the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Keep straight on past Berthon Marina to Town Quay. Stop for a coffee or breakfast at Coffee and Drift on the left. Have a look in Musto on the left. Carry on up the cobbled street – maybe grab and ice cream. Bear left, up more cobbles and you are at the start of the High Street. Gosport Street off to the right has the excellent Eat Pizza restaurant. Carry on up the High Street. There are shops galore. There are 2 pasty shops on the left in quick successsion. Look out for Sir Ben Ainslie’s gold post box – celebrating his 2012 Olympic success. There’s a decent but not very exciting cafe with a back garden called Lounge on the right. There are several alleyways off to the right, many with cafes – we like Maison and the Larder. You’ll find Joules, Fat Face, Quba, Crew, and lots of other big name shops plus Elliots department store.

On Saturday mornings the whole High Street is taken over with market stalls.

Open Air Swimming Pool

Lymington Sea Water Baths is open through the summer – it has swimming lanes and a large inflatable obstacle course.

Crazy Golf

Lymington Adventure Golf by the ferry terminal is brilliant fun for everyone. There’s even a water hazard with a scale model Isle of Wight ferry that has to be caught from one side to the other.

Proper Golf

Don’t play so can’t recommend

Isle of Wight

Go over to Yarmouth, IOW. You can take the car or go as a foot passenger on the Wight Link ferry. It leaves from the other side of the Lymington River – about an hour walk from the Yacht Haven. It costs a lot to leave a car at their car park – currently £18 per day – and you won’t be able to have a drink or two over there.

So, 2 options –

walk into town and catch the train from Lymington Town to Lymington Pier – about 2 minutes and £2 each

Or, better still, catch the Coral Star, a beautiful wooden trip boat that runs from Lymington Town Quay (or the Harbour Master’s Pontoon by the Lido on request). Coral Star has a small bar on board and Tim the owner and skipper is a lovely guy. You need to call to book – tell them I sent you as they look after me with free trips!


Once in Yarmouth, there are sight seeing buses and a regular hourly bus to the Needles which is a bit of a theme park and visitor attraction. Yarmouth has some great pubs and restaurants.

The Hut at Colwell Bay is our favourite place – a cross between a Caribbean and Ibiza beach bar. You need to book but they will collect you from Yarmouth Harbour in their vintage Land Rover.

The Terrace Restaurant in Yarmouth is excellent. There’s also the George Hotel which has a lovely water side garden, On the Rocks (cook your own steaks) and Off the Rails, an excellent railway themed cafe


There are no public beaches to the east of Lymington.

There’s a stony but lovely beach at Milford on Sea – the best bit is by the Hordle Cliff car park at the eastern end.

Barton on Sea has a stony beach

The sand starts at Highcliffe Castle – there’s a car car behind it and a gentle walk down to a quiet beach.

Further West, there’s Friar’s Cliff, Steamer Point and Avon beaches between Highcliffe and Christchurch. Avon Beach has the nest facilities with restaurants, ice cream etc but gets busy as a result. Going yet further West, Southbourne beach is very sandy and then there’s uninterrupted sand past Boscombe and Bournemouth piers all the way to Poole.

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Eating Out

Zen Dog doesn’t have any cooking facilities – just plastic plates, plastic glasses, a microwave, coffee machine and a kettle.

But who wants to cook on holiday particularly when Lymington Yacht Haven is close to lots of good places to eat and drink

The Haven Restaurant and Bar upstairs in the main marina building is usually good for food and drinks. It is one of the few places in Lymington with a sea view. There’s a choice of inside formal tables or the outside deck area shown below. They offer a 10% discount for berthholders if you show them and let them scan the key fob attached to the boat’s keys

Their breakfasts are excellent too.

It can get very busy so you need to book – even for breakfast and even for the terrace. Their website allows online booking. Tel: 01590 679971

Show them the black electronic key fob for a 10% berth holders’ discount

The Mayflower Pub is a few hundred yards to the right as you leave the marina entrance. Very nice inside and gets good TripAdvisor food reviews. We’d advise sticking to pub grub – the fancy stuff doesn’t always impress. There’s a nice garden at the back with a kids play area. Worth a try. Tel: 01590 672160

Lots of guests have tried and enjoyed the Fisherman’s Rest pub which is 10 minutes walk left as you leave the marina. Tel: 01590 670754.

We’ve eaten at The Ship Inn on the quay a few times – the food is OK – nothing special but a pleasant bustling atmosphere and outside space overlooking the boats.

The Kings Head at the top of the steps up from the Quay is very pleasant – bustling, traditional style, log fires, enormous portions of reasonable food.

There’s Prezzo in the High Street for a fairly consistent meal but you’ll get much better pasta and pizza at the excellent Eat Pizza in Gosport Street. Koh Thai is an excellent Thai and Thai Tapas restaurant in the High Street. The best Indian restaurant is the very excellent Rivaaz in St Thomas Street

Fine Dining options include the famous and probably fully booked Elderflower. There are two new for 2022 restaurants at the top of the town – High Street Kitchen – great food but they haven’t quite got everything else sorted yet and The Magic Duck which promises great things

Probably best to look at Trip Advisor for other ideas – Click Here for their top Lymington restaurants

Further afield, there’s the wonderful Pig Hotel at Brockenhurst – a taxi ride away. Verveine Fish in Milford on Sea gets rave reviews.

We like The Gun Inn at Keyhaven – that’s about 4 miles along the sea wall to the West. Great food cooked on a huge grill. A mile further on is the excellent Lighthouse Restaurant and Bar on Milford sea front.

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Doctors, Dentists & Hospital

Lymington New Forest Hospital has a walk-in minor injuries unit for bumps, breaks and scrapes. Details on their website http://www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/services/community-health-services/miu/

Google lists the following doctor practices

Google lists these Dentists

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Leaving Check List

We would be really grateful if you would help the cleaner out by doing the following before you leave:

  • Strip the beds
  • Take your rubbish to the bins at the bridgehead
  • Switch the heating back to AUTO SMS
  • Switch the dehumidifier back on
  • Lock the door and take the key back to the marina office

Many thanks!