Burley in the New Forest is a beautiful village surrounded by heath land, roaming wild horses and attractive wildlife for all the family to enjoy. A Civil Parish village in Hampshire with legends and stories in its past that bring in visitors from all over the world.
Burley is home to the traditional method of commoning, the likes of which are rarely seen in the UK today. Commoning allows animals such as horses and cattle to graze freely in both the village and surrounding forest. In many ways, Burley has remained untouched by time and is a brilliant way to go back in time to a simpler lifestyle.
The finding of 23 Bronze Age Barrows helped Historians to accurately date the first settlements in Burley, and they were part of the Royal Lands of the New Forest. The first church was built in 1789 and was called the Calvinistic Burley Chapel. The village is filled with the legends of Witches and Dragons. The most recent Witch to be resident there was called Sybil Leek, a white-witch who, in the 1950’s, could often be seen walking through town in her black cloak, with her pet Raven on her shoulder. She moved to America to become a writer, however her story lives on.
There are many different tales to be heard about the Dragon of Burley, the lair of which was just outside the village. It is said that the Dragon would often fly in the morning to the village of Bisterne for milk. One day a knight and his dogs waited for the Dragon to arrive for his drink of milk and slayed him. However there are several versions of how this actually played out! There were reports of a rather large, wild boar in the area around the time which could be linked to this legend.
These days there are a lot more relevant activities to be enjoyed in the village. From the deer safari to coarse fishing, you can also ride on the wagon and visit the Cider Farm, which offers free cider tasting. You can learn about spells and witchcraft and even enjoy some famous Burley Ice Cream. There are also tea-rooms, art galleries, gift shops and a Pick-Your-Own-Farm.
If you want to take it all in, there is the option of the New Forest Tour Bus. This provides open air tours of Burley and the surrounding areas, running hourly and stopping at an array of key locations en route to give you the best the New Forest areas has to offer.