Posted on 13th November 2020 by Bryony Parker

Smugglers, Cider and Witches – Burley in the New Forest.


In the lea of a hill surrounded by outstanding beauty, Burley is everything you expect from a traditional, New Forest village.

Wild ponies and cattle roan freely around the village, as they do in all of the New Forest towns and villages. This is known as Commoning, which allows animals to graze on the open forest.

Burley is a combination of tucked away quaint thatched cottages and timeless charm. Also, it is steeped in history. On the edge of the village, at Castle Hill, is the site of an Iron Age hillfort.


The Queens head pub, build in the 16th Century, was notorious for being used by smugglers and highwaymen. A hidden cellar was discovered beneath the floor once, full of pistols, bottles and coins which was believed to have been one of the hiding places for smugglers.



Burley is also famous for witches with many witches for sale in the gift shops, including cauldrons and broomsticks. This started in the 1950’s when a white witch Sybil Leek lived in the village and walked around the village with her pet jackdaw on her shoulder. In one of the gift shops you can see a portrait of her hanging above the fireplace.


But Burley has more to offer than the witches. With charming cafes, gift shops, cycle hire, home-made fudge, and New Forest cider.

Stop awhile and enjoy its ancient charm. Hire a bike and cycle around the local new forest. Visit the New Forest Cider café and shop. Have a lovely cream tea at The Old Farmhouse café.

There is so much to see and do in that part of the New Forest, you might have to stay a while to enjoy its ancient charm to the full.

#ladiescountrysidecommunity  #lccsouthwest  
Bryony Parker

Posted by Bryony Parker

Regional Reporter - South West England (New Forest)

As a Finance Coach I help business owners and individuals understand their spending habits, costs, money mindset and take the fear out of their finances. With an agricultural and equestrian background, I specialise in supporting the Equine and Rural sector as I understand the challenges they face. On a personal level I am passionate about the countryside and its flora and fauna. I am happiest out exploring the New Forest with my family and cocker spaniel Finlay.

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