Hyvää Ystävänpäivää!

Happy Friend’s day everyone and ‘Hyvää Ystävänpäivää’

Whilst the whole world is celebrating love, Finland has its own unique interpretation of the 14th of February. Valentine’s Day in Finland is celebrated as Ystävänpäivä – Friend’s Day. The Finns quite rightly include everybody in this day – partners, friends, family, neighbours & colleagues so they can share and unite in love.


Sunday was bitterly cold but I still decided to brave the sea front and headed off to the Lymington and Keyhaven nature reserve.

 The Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve is made up of lagoons, reeds beds, salt marsh and mud flats and supports a number of vulnerable plants and rare species and provides rich feeding grounds for a wide variety of birds, particularly during the spring and autumn migrations. The lagoons support nationally important breeding populations of little terns. There are also some excellent views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

Hampshire County Council had the foresight to purchased this area of coastline between 1973 and 2006 to protect its unique historical and wildlife heritage. The reserve covers an area of 500 acres, between the mouth of the Lymington river and the village of Keyhaven. The adjacent mudflats and salt marshes outside the seawall are leased by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and form the Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes Reserve.

The coastline also has great historic significance. During the 18th century, Lymington was the biggest producer of sea salt in the country. The area between Lymington and Keyhaven was completely industrialised in the production of salt, with the greatest concentration of activity in the Oxey and Pennington marsh areas. 


I stopped for a mid-morning pitstop of Earl Grey tea and toast at the Needles Eye Cafe on Milford on Sea beach front, alas the Needles on the IOW were very much hidden from view due to the cloud cover. There’s beauty in everything, even on the greyest of days and en route, I spotted these two little-feathered friends –

a Grey Heron and a Little Egret, who I nicknamed ‘Grumpy’ bird.

14 miles later and I was finally back in Lymington in time for a late lunch at Lounges of Lymington on the High Street – a scrumptious brie & avocado panini followed by homemade chocolate fudge cake – totally recommended!


Before I sign off, I want to share this little meme, with some added extras from me. I feel I’m at a turning point – not sure what/where/how or why just yet but in the words of Mr Cainer, I’m trying to ‘trust in all that ensues’ 🙂


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