A first time visit to this local spot for us, after so many years of driving past heading into the New Forest. I was curious to see the little toll bridge and also walk along a small beach opposite the giant Southampton docks for an idea on scale!

We parked up for free at Eling car park which also had handy free loos which were run by the New Forest district council so it’s in nice condition.

Eling Mill toll bridge

🚗We crossed the curious little toll bridge at Eling Mill by foot. It’s possible to drive across, and it costs £1 per car to cross which saves a few minutes from going around via the main roads, so it’s regularly used by locals.

On one side you’ve got the colourful containers of Southampton docks in the backdrop alongside Eling Quay with its yachts and on the other a more serene scene of Bartley water which runs from the New Forest – you can’t find this contrast in many places!

Eling Tide Mill Experience

☕️On crossing we popped into the café at the Eling Tide Mill Experience for some coffees and hot choccies as well as a bacon sarnie. The Mill typically produces flour using the same method as millers from days gone by, which is then used in their café, and is available for sale. Unfortunately for us, there was no bread in stock at the time of our visit, but we’ve noticed that their website has a ‘Flour’ tab that shares updates on their current stock.

🍞 The earliest known mill in Eling is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Survey. You can explore the mill’s story in the Visitor Centre and see flour being made in the mill the same way it has been for hundreds of years. It’s also one of only two remaining operating tide mills in the United Kingdom!

The experience is open Wednesday to Sunday 10:30 – 17:00

Circular walks for the win

🥾After our refreshments, we enjoyed a great circular stroll around Eling, which included some stunning parts on the boardwalks of Bartley water. The walk has some great info boards, too, which are definitely worth a read.

🏴‍☠️We also walked along Goatee Beach which had a pirates’ playground just before it and a big green open space to enjoy. Plenty of benches to sit on and be amazed at the views over to the gigantic docks of Southampton and the impressive unloading of goods from the ships.

✔️accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

🅿️ Free parking at Eling car park which also has nice free public loos – SO40 9HF

ℹ️ More walk info and route here – https://www.elingexperience.co.uk/walks

Will return in the summer for a spot of paddleboarding 💦

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