Today we shine a spotlight on one of our favourite corners of England, characterised by ancient woodland, peaceful glades, open moors, deserted beaches and more. The New Forest is a popular and enchanting holiday retreat far from the city lights, and we have teamed up with New Forest Escapes to bring you three very different and highly individual cottages, each with its own unique twist. From a playful vintage wonderland to a beachfront former smugglers inn (main picture) and a Grade-II listed retreat in a picturesque village with 800 years of heritage, you will easily find your perfect family escape here.
Enter a thatched cottage with a real vintage twist, within easy reach of the New Forest National Park and several sandy beaches. Eat Me Drink Me is for those who like something eccentric and theatrical – a wonderland accommodation filled with interesting and colourful quirks at every turn, such as the beautiful Beckstein piano, a dressing up box filled with unusual outfits, and a playfully mismatched set of dinner party plates for you to recreate your very on Mad Hatter’s tea party! A master room comes with mahogany sleigh-style bed, whilst the children’s bedroom comes with two vintage-style beds, and there is even a children’s playroom complete with vintage toys. If they can draw themselves away, an Olympic-sized trampoline also awaits the youngsters in the garden – this is clearly a cottage experience with no shortage of fun and adventure!
This former brandy-selling smuggler’s inn (above and main photo) dating back to the 18th Century not only harbours a few secret stories from its past, but it also a blissfully isolated and beachfront location, accessed via a track through private woodland that makes the journey just as fascinating as the end destination! Arrive however you will, and to an atmospheric pebble-dotted beach with salt marshes, mud flats and the beach as your back garden. The house itself has been modernised to terrific effect, with light contemporary rooms combining well with the traditional touches, like the wood-burning stove. With five bedrooms to choose from and four-legged friends also invited, this really is the ideal spot for a very intimate and relaxing family escape, so head to the New Forest for a taste of life in the slow lane.
Straight from the pages of a New Forest fairytale book, this Grade-II listed thatched cottage is a true quintessential English country retreat and an escape from the busy bustle of everyday life. Set in the charming village of Beaulieu, dotted with shops filled with local produce, you can explore the nearby Palace Gardens and take a boat trip along the Beaulieu River, that’s before you have even explored the national park and nearby coastline! The house is absolutely perfect for families and large groups, sleeping up to 10 guests, with some bedrooms that overlook the famed Montague Estate. The style is cosy yet contemporary, bright yet warming, with twisted beams and a grand oak staircase contrasting with innovative design touches. You’ll also have the option of booking a private chef for the ultimate in holiday extravagance, so that you can fully relax in style.