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Snuggled amongst the ancient landscape of the beautiful New Forest, this luxury child friendly hotel conjures up images of open fires, Christmas trees and hot toddies. The sense of tradition, comfortable furnishings and feelings of warmth which welcome you as you enter immediately create the impression of a haven of relaxed country house luxury. The forest and foliage creep right up to the edges of the hotel’s grounds, bringing with it fallow deer, New Forest ponies, and wild boar allowing the children (and children amongst us) to keep lookout for the many woodland animals from the cosiness of the hotel – which was the favoured hunting lodge of King Charles II. His royal coat of arms is still displayed prominently above the fireplace in the restaurant. Inject some historical fun into your stay and look out for the acorns and oak leaf patterned doors which commemorate the debt owed by King Charles to the oak tree which hid him from Cromwell's men on his escape to France in 1651.
You can actually choose to eat where you like here. If you wish you can ask for dinner in the restaurant, lounge area, terrace, your bedroom or even down in the Spa. The hotel is willing to accommodate any reasonable request.
The Lounge and Terrace
The Lounge is more of an informal affair and many people spill out onto the Terrace when the weather is a bit warmer. A children’s menu is provided along with the usual highchairs etc.
The Stag Restaurant
This is more of an adult affair although children are permitted. However, be warned it tends to cater for grown-ups only. It specialises in featuring local produce including seafood from Lymington, wild mushrooms and venison sourced from within the New Forest plus locally foraged herbs and greens from their own kitchen garden.
This is the New Forest so of course you can go bike riding using the hotel bikes.
The hotel can arrange for horse trekking in the New Forest
There are several beaches within 30 minutes of the hotel.
Peppa Pig World at Paultons Family Theme Park is only 20 minutes away.
Marwell Zoo is 45 minutes away.
Beaulieu Motor Museum is only 20 minutes away and is one of the South of England's top day visitor attractions. There is loads to do for families including a mile long monorail, go karts and Dipstick's Driving Course for littlies.
New Forest Wildlife Centre - there is a huge range of wildlife to see here including lynx, wild boar and European Bison.
Longdown Activity Farm where ou can bottle-feed the kid goats and the calves, feed the ducks, meet the pigs... and cuddle the baby rabbits, chicks or maybe even a piglet and not forgetting the gentle giant - Billy the Shire horse.
No need to pack all the baby gear – the hotel can provide this for you.
The hotel welcomes your dogs too. There is a £15 supplement per night for your pet. The grounds are perfect for dog walking.
Check out the activities on offer. Your child might not want to be left at the crèche alone but my four- year old was coaxed into giving us some child-free time by joining in with the activities. She then played there alone quite happily.
Check out all the local kids-friendly activities – Peppa Pig World is nearby.
If your child (like mine) has been pestering you about wanting to go horse-riding, this is your opportunity.
Great outdoor pool for the balmy summer days (if we get any next year!).
Don't be put off by the drive up to the hotel - it is less than spectacular along a fairly well pot-holed road. It will be worth it when you get there.
The indoor pool is not open to kids all day. (However, that does mean that, if the kids are in the Den, you get a chance to chill out in a tranquil setting without anyone’s kids – yours or other people’s. Remember those days?)
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