The 17th and 21st centuries fuse impeccably at this New Forest hotel, part of the Luxury Family Hotels collection. The manor was Charles II’s favourite hunting lodge and still has its original fireplaces, panelling and oak leaf-patterned doors, alongside all the contemporary comforts that you – or your children – could possibly need. The 25 bedrooms are divided between the manor and a modern wing, which also houses an indoor pool and award-winning spa. While you unwind here, babies and toddlers can be cared for in the crèche (two free hours are offered daily), and older children might watch a movie at the on-site cinema or play games in the extensive gardens. For active families, there’s an outdoor pool and plenty of walks and cycle trails through the surrounding forest. Take a picnic and make a day of it. The hotel provides all sorts of equipment, from bed guards to bottle warmers, and a listening service so that parents can enjoy a stress-free, grown-up dinner in the sophisticated Stag Restaurant.
Set in the heart of the New Forest, you can head straight from the hotel in the forest to explore on foot or by bike. Keep an eye out for the New Forest ponies which roam wild as well as herd of deer.
Make sure you try the Afternoon Tea – with a selection of homemade cakes and scones it is a real treat.
Check out Hockey’s farm shop – selling lots of their own produce such as rare breed British Lop Pork, plus lots of other New Forest Produce.