CHRISTMAS may be over but there is still time to enjoy one of the best-known stories about the festive season.

West End actors are staging A Christmas Carol in the ruins of the 13th century Beaulieu Abbey every day until January 2, with performances taking place at 4pm and 5.30pm.

The atmospheric ruins are the perfect place to stage a ghostly tale set in Victorian London.

It is based on a 1843 Charles Dickens novel which tells how Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, which results in him becoming a kinder, gentler man.

The story of how the spirits persuade Scrooge to change his attitude to Christmas is being brought to life by the London Touring Players.

The production is staged in a Covid-secure way, with audiences limited to 150 people per performance.

A Beaulieu spokesperson said everyone planning to attend should wrap up warm. They added: "Refreshments are available to purchase from the Brabazon Restaurant or a mulled wine and mince pie stand near the performance area."

A Christmas Carol is not included in the normal Beaulieu admission price and separate tickets must be booked.

People who want to put Christmas well and truly behind them can attend the annual New Forest point-to-point, which is being staged today.

The event is being staged by the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, with the first race due to end at around 11am.

This year the finishing line is at Markway, near Lyndhurst. To get there racegoers should head westwards along the A35 from the Lyndhurst direction and look out for signs to the event.

The number of vehicles allowed at the finish line has been limited to 250 to comply with the licence granted for the event.

Everyone wishing to drive to the finish must have a parking pass. People without one can park in nearby Forestry England car parks and walk the rest of the way.

A New Forest Trust spokesman said: In most parts of the country a point-to-point just means a horse race.

"But the New Forest is one of the few places that has a ‘proper’ point-to-point, where riders race across open country taking any route they like between the starting point and the finishing point.

"To make the job harder, the starting point is kept a secret until just before the race.

"Today the organisers are very concerned about the safety of the horses, riders and spectators. But not so long ago the riders didn’t even bother to wear hard hats."

The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, is showing some of the vehicles used in the latest James Bond thriller, No Die To Die, which features Daniel Craig's final outing as 007.

The Lymington-based St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery is staging an online exhibition about best-selling novelist Dennis Wheatley.

His books included The Devil Rides Out, which was hailed by fellow writer James Hilton as "the best thing of its kind since Dracula".

Wheatley's Gregory Sallust tales are said to have been one of the main inspirations for Ian Fleming's James Bond.

He lived in Lymington for 23 years and is probably best known in the town for building wavy walls beside his home in Church Lane.

The author visited Lymington in 1944 and moved there the following year. His house, Grove Place, was a Georgian mansion that boasted three bathrooms, four reception rooms and six bedrooms.

Wheatley spent £1,100 on repairing the property - a large sum in the 1940s - and also set about restoring the garden.

Award-winning wildlife photographer David Bailey is staging an exhibition of his work at the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst.