The New Forest is a genuine four-season destination, with each one providing a very good reason to visit. Autumn is when the forest explodes into colour with the trees and bushes turning fiery red and orange, making it arguably one of the best times of years to enjoy a short break.
Autumn is also the time of year that the annual ‘pannage’ takes place; pannage is a commoner’s right (traditional New Forest residents) to turn out pigs who provide an essential agricultural service by eating acorns which are poisonous to ponies and cattle – it is a wonderful example of nature taking care of itself.
Cottage Lodge Hotel, the number one rated hotel in Brockenhurst, is perfectly located for bracing walks direct from the hotel’s front door. There are a number of recommended walks, from three to 14 miles in length, with free guide notes available; what’s more, some rooms are dog friendly, so the family pet can also enjoy a short break!
Following the walk, why not enjoy a well-earned drink in one of the forest’s many cosy pubs, some of which feature roaring log fires during the autumn and winter months.
Cottage Lodge Hotel is family-owned-and run, and parts of the building date back to the 17th century. The hotel has been lovingly renovated by owner Christina Simons, and each of the 15 bedrooms has been individually-designed and furnished.
There is also a snug ‘honesty’ bar, and breakfast and dinner are served in the White Tails Restaurant, the tables of which have been made from ‘fallen’ New Forest trees.
Many of the bedrooms also feature hand-made furniture, much of it carefully built by local tree surgeon and wood sculptor Rob Dyer, who resides in the New Forest and has a workshop there.
There is currently a three-nights for the price of two offer, with a break costing just £80 per person (two sharing), including the renowned New Forest Marque cooked breakfast, made with locally sourced products. The price also includes, free Wi-Fi, and reserved off-road parking.
Call 0044 (0) 1590 622 296 or email www.cottagelodge.co.uk.
For further information of things to do and places to see in the New Forest visit www.thenewforest.co.uk
Mark Bibby Jackson
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