Five star, one bedroom, thatch...

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Low Season bargains at Little Cottage New Forest

2020 autumn and winter Low Season update (at 16 Feb 2020):

There is currently low-season top-value availability from 30 October 2020 onwards.

Little Cottage is already pretty well fully booked until 30 October 2020.  However there are excellent value breaks, and plenty to do in the low season - and you'll get more peace and quiet than in summer.   In the quietest weeks of low season: mid Nov to mid Dec and after new year but before half-term and Valentines, there is often late availability for short breaks - bookable within four weeks of arrival.

Xmas and New Year are not low season; Xmas week 2020 is already booked but New Year 2021 is still available

Little Cottage itself is the ideal cosy and comfortable cottage in cooler weather.  It has thick cob walls, new double glazing, lined curtains, loft insulation as well as thick thatch, full gas central heating, electric blankets, and a plinth heater in the kitchen. There’s a fully equipped kitchen with electric oven, gas hob, microwave, contact grill, espresso machine, toaster, dishwasher, and big fridge-freezer. And the Cottage has a 40” HD smart TV and Blu-ray/DVD player, reclining chairs and a sofa, a desk with superfast broadband and full Wi-Fi, two DAB/FM radios and a music centre with CD-player, IPod, mp3 and USB connections, phone with free outgoing UK landline calls, a stock of books – both local and global, CDs and DVDs; a TV with remote & DVD player in the bedroom, and even a box of rainy-day games and more DVDs.

The adjacent strip between the forest and the coast boasts an amazing range of good value restaurants: Verveine (the top New Forest Restaurant), Gordleton Mill, La Perle and Pebble Beach are all close and the most popular with guests.  Many others including The Drift Inn,   The Terrace and The George all get good reports, and newer additions like Cambium and The Elderflower and Burley Manor should be worth watching.


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The climate in the New Forest is mild – hopefully over a week you would get at least a few dry and/or bright days at any time – and in fact dry autumn days, crisp winter days and fine spring days are some of the best times in the New Forest.

All through the low season many of the attractions are open and well worth a visit on all but the most dismal days – and many of these are less crowded and offer better deals or availability than at any other time.  Outdoor or partly-outdoor examples include: secluded forest walks, Burley Villa pony riding, Buckler’s Hard, Exbury Gardens, golf, majestic coastal walks, more bargains and fewer crowds at outdoor markets.  New Forest Cottages have some rainy-day suggestions



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There are fabulous New Forest pubs - with locally-sourced home-made food, roaring log fires and where walkers are welcome and dogs are usually welcome (often except into formsl restaurant areas). Top recommended pubs include: The Filly Inn, Setley The Hare & Hounds in nearby Sway; The Royal Oak, Fritham (food only at lunch time); The Red Lion, Boldre; The Drift Inn at Beaulieu ROAD (not Beaulieu); The Plough Inn, close by in Tiptoe and The White Hart in Pennington.  In low season they are not as busy. 

There are excellent tea rooms in the area: Rosie Lea Tea House and Bakery in Brockenhurst is a top Hampshire winner, Holmsley Station Tea Rooms are excellent and nearby.  The new Rosie Lea Kitchen at Setley; Hockey's Farm Cafe; and Steff's Kitchen in Fairweather's Beaulieu all get good reports. Braxton Gardens is famous for muffins; and BakeHouse24 in Ringwood is getting good reviews.

At least a couple of different varieties of good local takeaways deliver to the door, including Fanelli's Pizza in New Milton , Dream Gourmet Chinese, Thai and Malayan and the new Haweli Indian (New Milton).

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 To book: New Forest Cottages    or ring 01590 679655

quoting Little Cottage A415.

Before Xmas, in the autumn there are fantastic autumn colours to be seen, any number of local ‘Craft Fayres’, fungi spotting or hunting, pigs are out on pannage (hoovering up acorns) usually from late September for a couple of months, the New Forest Walking Festival is usually the last half of October, it’s rutting season up at Bolderwood, and there are usually New Forest food and drink weeks in the autumn.

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After Xmas and New Year is the best time for bargain deals at local restaurants - it’s their quietest time of the year so prices are low and attention and service are good. There are shopping bargains in the sales and the Brand New Forest discount card for the New Year is launched, crisp walks on frosty days, St. Valentine’s Day, you can volunteer for forestry work for part of a day (at short notice – ranger supervised and all tools supplied), and a great time to see the trees for the leaves, winter visiting birds and other wildlife – see also the BBC nature archived page

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And for the wettest days there are outstanding local spa day offers at luxury hotels.  There are wonderful restaurants offering good deals, excellent shopping in Lymington and even Bournemouth or Southampton, The New Forest Museum in Lyndhurst, St. Barbe Museum in Lymington, Beaulieu Motor Museum, Sammy Miller’s Motorbike Museum, Health Clubs, art centre exhibitions, indoor markets, local hands-on wood-turning, chocolate making, dog-treat production and cooking lessons; and elegant Afternoon Teas in grand settings.