Tea rooms, gift shops, art galleries - even a cider farm! Burley features everything you would expect from a traditional New Forest village.
Oozing old world charm, with ponies and cattle roaming around the village and pretty thatched cottages, Burley has remained untouched by time. Here you will find a traditional butchers, village stores and cosy inns. Don’t forget to look out for the New Forest ponies and cattle as they roam freely around the village. Although these animals might look and act wild, they are in fact all owned by locals using their commoner’s rights.
People have lived in the Burley area since prehistoric times. Over twenty Bronze Age burial mounds are found near to the village and on the edge of Burley, at Castle Hill, is the site of an Iron Age hillfort.
One of the things that Burley is most famous for is witchcraft, which started in the 1950s when a ‘white’ witch called Sybil Leek lived in the village. She used to walk around the village with her pet jackdaw on her shoulder in a long black cloak before she moved to America. Her influence on the village lives on in some of the village’s shops.
As with Lymington, Burley was once a famous haunt for smugglers. During renovations at the 16th century Queen’s Head pub, a hidden cellar was discovered under the floor of the Stable Bar. Within it pistols, coins and other contraband were found.
Another folklore legend of Burley is that Burley Beacon, just outside the village which is the supposed location of a dragon's lair. Several versions of the tale can be told locally about how the dragon’s corpse turned into the hill in nearby Lyndhurst, known as Bolton’s Bench.
Things to do in Burley
Visitors are sure to unwind and enjoy the tranquillity of Burley, whether they are relaxing with a warming cup of tea in one of the tea rooms or a refreshing pint in a local pub. There are loads of things to do in Burley for everyone to enjoy.
You will find plenty of witchcraft items can be bought in local gift shops from cauldrons to broomsticks! Read more about the interesting history of witchcraft here - the famous Coven of Witches are sure to leave you spellbound! If you fancy something sweet on your visit then be sure to check out the ice cream and sweet shops including Burley Fudge Shop, all offering a tempting array of treats.
Burley makes an excellent base for exploring the wider New Forest. Why not explore the nearby heathland which is good for walking, cycling and horse riding? You can hire bikes from the award-winning New Forest Cycling, located right in the heart of the village. Cycle some of the off-road routes in the area including the popular Burley to Brockenhurst route along the disused railway line, a great choice for families.
If you fancy sampling some of the local produce then why not take the Burley Food Trail? This 3.3 mile or 5 mile trail (depending how energetic you feel) takes in New Forest Cider, traditional sweets and handmade fudge. Or, if you don’t feel like walking then why not make a visit into New Forest Cider, where you can try the unpasteurised, real cider straight from the barrels. Buy bottles of cider or apple juice, making a great gift idea.
Just outside the village are two other enjoyable walks: Burbush and Woods Corner. The Burbush walk is a 4 ½ mile circular route to the south of the village. Although the route can be hilly in places, the views make an added bonus! The Woods Corner route can be a short or long walk, depending on how energetic you are feeling! On this walk you can reach as far as Bolderwood or Knightwood Oak, or do a loop back to Burley again.
Something you may not have thought of being able to do here in Burley is go on safari! New Forest Deer Safari take you on a tour of Burley Park where you can see the herd of red deer in their natural environment (and if you are lucky other animals too)..
Enjoy a leisurely exploration of Burley and the surrounding villages with Burley Wagon Rides. A choice of 20, 30 and 60 minute rides take visitors through the village and woodland pulled along by the two shire horses. If you are lucky then you may even be able to spot some of the native wildlife on your travels.
Nearby you will find several fishing lakes including Beeches Brook Fishery, riding stables and the Burley Golf Club.
Events in Burley
For a tasty treat, sample some of the seasonal fudges on offer at Burley Fudge Shop.
Burley Manor Hotel, on the edge of the village, offers a variety of events throughout the year including floristry workshops, gin tasting events, music and more.
Enjoy the weekend at Burley Food, Arts & Drink Festival. There will be loads of stalls of local producers - from artisan breads, cheese and meats, to ales, gins and ciders! There will also be loads of entertainment, activities, culture and art over the weekend too.
Places to stay in Burley
From beautiful hotels and cosy inn's to fantastic holiday cottages, you will be sure to find your perfect place to stay in Burley.
Within the village you will find the Burley Inn, with its cosy log fires and 11 en-suite bedrooms.
Nearby, if you prefer a self-catering options then check out New Forest Cottage Holiday, offering three characterful cottages.
Where to eat and drink in Burley
Whether you fancy a light snack and a hot drink at one of the local cafes or tearooms or a 3 course meal at one of the local restaurants or pubs, there are plenty of places to eat and drink in Burley. Enjoy some pub classics at The Burley Inn. Or if you're looking to try out one of the local cafes or tearooms, head to The Cider Pantry or visit The Old Station Tearooms, located just outside of this wonderful village.
Getting to Burley
If driving, Burley is a short distance from nearby town of Ringwood with easy access from the A31 and A35.