Minstead is a perfect village in miniature. Tucked down a maze of country lanes and surrounded by woodland, it is tranquil and unspoiled, yet surprisingly and accessibly close to junction one of the M27 at Cadnam.
For a small village it punches well above its size in terms of community and history. Overlooking its delightful green is a popular country inn, The Trusty Servant Inn, and a village shop and cafe tea room that serves as a community hub. There’s also a quirky parish church which is the resting place of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. Nearby are what are thought to be two of the oldest oak trees in the Forest as well as the Rufus Stone, marking the spot where King William II was shot by an arrow.
There’s a busy village hall (the largest in the Forest) which hosts regular antiques and collectors’ markets and the Minstead Players. However, what makes Minstead particularly special are its community-minded organisations including Minstead Study Centre with its sustainability focus and Minstead Training Trust which also runs Furzey Gardens – first planted in 1922 they are ablaze with colour in spring and feature an award-wining garden and ‘fairy doors’ among the trees.
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