Fordingbridge is a former market town with a population of 6,000, on the River Avon and the A338 road in the west of Hampshire, England, near to the Dorset and Wiltshire borders and on the edge of the New Forest. It is within easy reach of the city of Salisbury, and the seaside resort of Bournemouth. The Avon Valley Path passes through the town.
Fordingbridge was recorded in the Domesday Book and derives its name from “Forde” and “bridge”. The first Great Bridge, built in mediaeval times, is upstream from the ford. The bridge is a major feature of the town with its seven graceful arches, which can be seen very easily from the town’s large riverside park where you can walk along the riverbank draped with willows and waterside plants. Close by is a children’s play area, secluded memorial gardens, parks and sports playing fields.
The Fordingbridge Museum , which houses local history exhibits, and the Visitor Information Centre are located in King's Yard. There is also a Roman villa  in the nearby village of Rockbourne, which is open to visitors during the summer.
Since 1982 Fordingbridge has been twinned with Vimoutiers in Normandy.
Not far from the High Street is the parish church of St. Mary the Virgin. Largely built in 1150 it has some typical Norman characteristics.
Once an industrial and commercial centre, Fordingbridge boasted many trades and was noted for its smuggling. The infamous Captain Diamond, the “Smuggler King”, spent much of his time in a local hostelry. A bronze statue of the controversial painter, Augustus John, stands on the banks of the Avon near the Great Bridge.
The local comprehensive school is The Burgate School And Sixth Form Centre, which is situated in the northern outskirts of the town.
Fordingbridge railway station was closed in 1964. It was originally just outside the town, on the road leading to Sandleheath village, and connected the town with Salisbury in the North and Poole to the South.
Just a few miles up the road from Fordingbridge, is Sandy Balls, a holiday camp we visited on another of our family holidays in August 2005. As usual the clan set up camp in close proximity to Uncle Teddy and Auntie Judy. Uncle Teddy brought hi trusty Austin Seven along for fun. Brian and Greta were in their mobile home, so it was easy for them to start enjoying their break.
Sandy Balls has a swimming pool and other facilities. You can cycle just about everywhere. There is canoeing and wooded trails for lots of adventures. The canoeing was Gemma's favourite. James liked the rough cycle trails trough the woods. A word of caution: goind downhill is easy. So, save some energy for getting back to the camp.
The cousins (Anna, Charlotte, Layla, Josie, Gemma and James) had a wail of a time, rushing everywhere on their cycles, playing rounders and eating.
Sandy Balls Holiday Centre is a unique place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of eveyday living and where we have a single mission - to ensure that you leave us wanting to return.
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Sandy Balls Holiday Centre
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