The New Forest

THE NEW FOREST

The New Forest in Hampshire is a great place for a weekend getaway, a little relaxation haven- perfect for walks, lots of amazing restaurants and spa hotels. Compared to a lot of other areas in the U.K I would say it is a relatively small area, so a good one if you’re looking for a short break and not wanting to pack in too much. It’s a really good option for Londoner’s if you don’t want travel too far!

THE PIG HOTEL

Location: Brockenhurst
Rate: from £189 per night
Highlights: The Forest Huts, beautiful grounds, The Potting Shed for massages

I am yet to find one thing that The Pig Hotel don’t do well- they have hit the nail on the head when it comes to balancing home comfort with style and luxury, with the most friendly and genuine staff of any UK Hotel I have visited. The hotel has beautiful grounds and a walled garden which is lovely to explore and is on the edge of a walking route in the New Forest which is also great. There are spacious lounge areas for relaxing, playing games and drinking cocktails a plenty and rooms are carefully thought out with interesting books for musing over and dainty botanical artwork.

Handy to know- you can get an extra bed for children under 12 for an extra £20 a night and if you give them a weeks notice can also arrange a nanny service for you!

LIME WOOD HOTEL

Location: Lyndhurst
Rate: from £380 per night
Highlights: Angela Hartnett Restaurant & Cookery School, Spa Hotel, Wine cellar with award winning wine list!

Polished, chic and oh so cool a stark contrast to its sister- The Pig but equally beautiful. Pristine grounds with sculptures and water features it feels so serene when you arrive. This is the kind of place you escape to when you want to completely check out on your ‘normal life’ be pampered and recharge. The food is so delicious, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Angela Hartnett and the wine list is mega, it took me half an hour just to pore over it before even thinking about anything else.

Lime Wood provide handy walking routes you can do from the hotel- including a 6 mile walk to The Pig if you’re up for a little activity (walking off food and wine).

It’s definitely on the pricier side for a getaway- the one for a special occasion, post Covid splurge or great for a one night midweek escape if you’re coming from London and if none of those coming for Lunch and a Spa afternoon is an absolute must! I will be coming back for the Cookery School at some point I hope!

THE HUNTSMAN OF BROCKENHURST

Location: Brockenhurst
Rate: from £120
Highlights: Value for money, pub dining, good location for exploring The New Forest

The Huntsman is a pub which has renovated all its rooms in the last couple of years and have been decorated very well. I would opt for the suite which is great value at £140 a night and has a lovely freestanding bathtub for long soaks after long walks and you have comfort pub food downstairs, need I say more? It’s in a great location for exploring different parts of the New Forest and you can walk to The Pig in 20 minutes which is quite handy!

THE MONTAGU ARMS

Location: Beaulieu
Rate: from £200 a night
Highlights: The Terrace Restaurant 3AA Rosette, Best Country Hotel Wedding Venue 2019 and 2020,

The Montagu Arms is an opulent country house hotel, the perfect retreat if you’re looking for old world English Charm. Gorgeous gardens and manicured lawns in the quaint village of Beaulieu. The food at their Terrance Restaurant is also excellent with a seasonal set menu and a great wine list to match, that will definitely leave you feeling like you need a long afternoon snooze.

CHEWTON GLEN

Location: New Milton
Rate: from £500
Highlights: Tree house accommodation, cookery school, spa, fabulous afternoon tea

This is the one for a luxury mega splurge, the setting is traditional but refined. I haven’t stayed here but visited for Afternoon Tea on one of my trips, which was fabulous and they served English Sparkling Wine, an added bonus, very much recommended!

Vineyards

There are some great vineyards in the wider Hampshire area which are worth a visit on route to or from The New Forest and are within close proximity of each other.

Hattingley Valley Vineyard– are currently taking bookings online on their website for tours and tastings at £17.50 pp. They produced beautiful award winning still and sparkling wines.

Hambledon Vineyard– tours and tastings are £17 pp bookable online, this includes a tasting of their two sparkling wines- both delicious! Beautiful grounds which covers quite a large area, that also hosts weddings and other events

Raimes Vineyard– a family run, boutique vineyard that also only produces English Sparkling wine. Tours are infrequent, occurring once a month, but they have released all of their dates until September and are £12 pp.

Setley Ridge Vineyard – This one is a lovely vineyard in the heart of The New Forest in Brockenhurst, and has a farm shop and garden centre on site. Their focus is primarily on still wines, but occasionally also produce sparkling. They do vineyard tours and tasting by appointment and you can call or email them.

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