Highlights of Sway Village

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As Claire Pitcher discovers, the village of Sway on the edge of the New Forest National Park is home to a bustling community and an annual carnival that draws tourists from across the forest.

make a headline

The village is best known for its Sway Tower, which made local headlines last July. Known as Peterson’s Folly, it was built in the 17th century by the eccentric Judge Peterson, and the 66-meter-tall tower is constructed entirely of concrete. It was put up for sale for over £2 million. Marketing details boasted an indoor pool, 14 stories of guest rooms, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the forest.

For take-out

A short drive down the B3055 is Danestream Farm Shop. Owned by Paul Broran for the past 10 years, the restaurant stocks everything from locally raised meat to young honey, and all cakes and breads are freshly baked in the in-house bakery. We also have some delicious cheeses from Ryburn. Go online and www.danestreamfarmshop.co.uk.

take a bite

Sway Deli and Coffee Shop are located on Middle Road in the village. There is a nice outdoor seating area during the summer months. The menu includes delicious breakfasts, burgers, club sandwiches and Purbeck ice cream. Or you can try their delicious cakes and coffee. Then, browse the deli for local produce. The Silver Hind, on Station Road, is ranked #1 on TripAdvisor as the best restaurant in the village. The menu includes slow-braised pork belly, fish and chips, and Moroccan-spiced vegetable terrine. Book a table on 01590 683900. The Hare and Hounds (01590 682404) and The Plow Inn (01425 610185) are also rated 4 out of 5 stars.

village voice

Woodturner Graham Turner moved to Sway in 2004 and worked as a business analyst for five years before being made redundant. He took this as an opportunity to pivot and started working part-time at Sway selling wood burners. “Then in 2010 I brought my lathe and joined the Christchurch Wood Turning Association. I had always been interested in woodworking and carpentry, but I was working full time and traveling all over Europe and America. , there was no time to get started.

“Then in 2009, my wife brought a chainsaw and we converted our house to run on wood, so I started keeping interesting pieces of wood on the side of the shed. This collection and knowledge of wood has expanded over the years. So I have a few tons of woodworking seasoning and another pile to keep the house warm.

“For the first few years, turning was purely a hobby, and I participated in a few local craft fairs to sell my creations.In early 2013, I went to Christchurch with some friends. I started mentoring some new members of the Wood Turning Society.The turning point came in 2014 when Axminister Tools entered a furniture making competition at the New Forest Show, organized by the New Forest Trust. The Trust invited the Society to fill the void left by Axminster Tools and commissioned us to organize this and teach wood turning as well. , there was a lot of interest.”

In 2015, Graham stopped working at the New Forest Wood Burning Center and focused full time on woodturning. All ages can learn to change direction, and I’ve taught people from 8 years old to over 80 years old. ”

“Sway is a very lively live-in village with lots of clubs and societies for all ages,” says Graham. It is also famous for its unusual 66m high concrete tower, which is believed to be the first example of a high-rise concrete structure in the UK.

“It’s great to live so close to the New Forest, which is perfect for activities such as walking, cycling and camping. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by trees, ponies, cows, deer and the occasional pig. I love going out to the woods on my bike. I’m also a member of the Sway Parish Council and a village board member. It’s good to give something back to society.”

diary date

Sway holds a fantastic open garden event every two years, with the next one scheduled for June. Open Gardens often raises more than his £10,000 donation for Oak Haven Hospice near Lymington.

The New Forest Marathon will also be passing through the village, so go watch it on September 10th or sign up here: www.newforestmarathon.co.uk.

Last but not least, we have Sway Carnival week from June 30th to July 9th. The website is: www.swayvillage.co.uk/carnival.

Did you know that?

The popular children’s novel Children of the New Forest is set in the countryside around Sway. This book was published in his 1847 year and was written by Frederick Marriott. Set during the British Civil War, the story follows the lives of the four Beverley children, who are orphaned during the war and learn to live on the land, hiding from the Roundheads in the New Forest. The BBC made this novel into his four television dramas in 1955, 1964, 1977 and 1998.

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