3 (all year)
Heather Cottage is the type of place where kids can be kids, and where parents can relax and enjoy the fact that there are woodlands and fields which offer far more fun and distraction than a screen ever could! The house, which sleeps up to nine people in four bedrooms, is perfect for large families, cousins and friends to stay together. It is in Brockenhurst, a few steps across a quiet country lane to the sort of woodland for which the New Forest National Park is famous.
The popular Pig restaurant is only a 10-minute walk away, giving you an excellent alternative to staying in and cooking. They also offer seasonal foraging tours so you can find your own deliciously fresh ingredients. Brockenhurst itself is a lively village (New Forest 'lively', that is!) with good amenities, shops and cafes.
Whatever time of year you visit, there is always a reason to be outdoors in the New Forest National Park. Come in spring, when the newborn foals are finding their legs, or in autumn when the park's five different species of deer are showing off to attract a mate. There is a copse of ancient oak trees within sight of the house, and it is not uncommon to see New Forest Ponies and red deer stags congregating nearby - a truly amazing sight!
Cycling in the New Forest is a joy, and Heather Cottage comes with four adult mountain bikes and four child-size mountain bikes so you can really explore the region. There is also a bike shop in Brockenhurst where you can arrange bike hire if you need more bikes or different sizes. The six-mile route to Lyndhurst is lots of fun, with all but a tiny portion of it off-road. If you really want to stretch your legs and work up an appetite, you can cycle the loop to Beaulieu, passing through Buckler's Hard and Hatchet Pond, in 3-4 hours.
Horse riding is another favourite way to enjoy the scenery and there are excellent stables a few doors down from Heather's Cottage (you can see their horses grazing in the field behind the house). Alternatively, lace up your walking boots and set stride on 140 miles of footpaths and 40 miles of coastline.
If you fancy a change of scenery then there are lots of attractions in the New Forest to discover. Beaulieu House and the National Motor Museum is a full day of fun, or visit the pretty Georgian town of Lymington where there is an excellent market, a vibrant harbour (why not take the ferry to the Isle of Wight for the day?) and a summer open-air swimming pool.
Take time out of your busy life to relax with all your favourite people at Heather Cottage. A fabulous retreat where there is enough space for kids to climb trees, build dens, and forage for wood for toasting marshmallows over smoky campfires, whilst adults leave the stresses of modern life behind and relive the simple joys of their childhood.
New Forest Escapes joined Independent Cottages in July 2012
The owners of Heather Cottage have created the perfect contemporary country bolt hole. The decor and furnishings are relaxed and welcoming - the sort of place where you can truly breathe out and enjoy the sensation of doing as little as you please.
Outside: A new deck runs along the rear of the house, facing south to get the most benefit from the sunshine. It has a table with parasol and chairs, and an outdoor sofa and chairs so can be used as an extension of the living and dining room. On summer evenings, you may be lucky enough to see red deer grazing. The garden is large and flat, with an enclosed trampoline and lots of room to run around. There is off street parking for up to four cars.
Additional Information: The house has central heating and WiFi, and all utilities, linen and towels are included. Up to two well-behaved dogs are welcome with prior agreement from the owner. No smoking.
Visit the owner's website (opens in new window)