A magical, highly accessible region of ancient woodland, open heathland and postcard-perfect traditional English villages.
Recommended place to stay:
Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa
Christchurch Road, New Milton, Hampshire, United Kingdom (UK)|www.chewtonglen.com|
Official star rating:
The New Forest without Chewton Glen would be like London without the Savoy. Luxury and good old-fashioned glamour go hand-in-hand with sumptuously cosy lounges, a gorgeous mock-Roman spa and 130 acres of lush English countryside to explore.
A hotel since the 1960s (and a private house for 200 years before that) there’s an easy charm to proceedings; kids gambol across the lawns, gin and tonics are sipped in lounges and staff are wonderfully welcoming.
Rooms are spacious, and have a luxy, country-house feel without a hint of chintz, but it’s the stunning tree-house suites that are the real draw; suspended 35 feet above the ground, with views over the tree canopy. If the budget can stretch (and it’s quite a stretch) they’re a unique experience.
In spite of its status as one of the UK’s most luxurious hotels, the Glen is hugely welcoming to families, with a free kids club, mini-treatments in the spa and family swim times. Children under 5 also stay (and eat) free.
You’re not officially in the Forest here – New Milton is a pleasant town outside the park boundaries, but it’s close enough for forays, and also few minutes from the beach.
Surrounded by 130 acres of grounds – grassy lawns and trees. You can walk all day and not leave the grounds of the hotel.
The New Forest lies just beyond on one side. In the other direction, it’s 5 minutes’ drive to lovely sandy beaches and superb clifftop walks.
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