Early July, before the schools break up, is a great time for a New Forest holiday when you can take advantage of lower prices.

Here are a few examples of availability from New Forest Escapes – the New Forest’s leading self-catering company – with its portfolio of 24 extra-special properties for couples, groups and families of every shape and size.

Sunnydell is a family-friendly holiday cottage located in a large clearing close to the village of Burley. Sleeping up to eight people in three-bedrooms, the large garden also has a heated swimming pool. The quirky house is old and full of character, with low ceilings making it feel perfectly cottagey and cosy. It has good downstairs sleeping options that work well for mixed age groups.  Wild ponies hang their heads over the gate for apples and forest walks can be enjoyed direct from the property in any direction. The house is also popular with cyclists because of its secure storage garage and wash off area.  A four-night rental from Monday 1 – Friday 5 July costs £1585.

300-year-old Eat me Drink Me (see main photo) is a retro and vintage holiday cottage on the edge of the Pylewell Park Estate in East End near Lymington (sleeps eight in four bedrooms)   Straight out of Beatrix Potter – it is higgledy-piggledy without a straight wall in sight. Hugely eccentric (and therefore not for everyone) it is perfect for parents of youngsters who don’t want to worry about the kids making a mess. With a huge rambling garden with uninterrupted views over fields – and a short, direct walk to the beach – it is perfect for letting off steam and, if the weather turns wet, the piano-players in the group can show off their skills on the Beckstein piano. A three-night break in June or July costs from £818 or £1520 for a week. Prices based on eight people sharing.

Coastguards Cottage is located at Keyhaven on the southern tip of the forest. Sleeping four plus a baby in two bedrooms, the seaside cottage is the second in a terrace facing the sea.  Inside is smart and bright, and the upstairs bedroom has great views of the Isle of Wight. The house is to one side of Keyhaven harbour and right on the water’s edge. The area is peaceful, and there are walks to enjoy to great foodie places and further along the coastal paths. The location makes it ideal to take the ferry to historic Hurst Castle or, alternatively, walk along the one-mile spit. Keyhaven is home  to The Gun pub which is famous for its whiskies (almost 300!, and Milford-on-Sea with its pubs and restaurants is just a short drive away.  A three-night break in June or July costs £466, or £799 for a week. Prices based on four people sharing.

For further information about early summer availability call 01590 462 005 or visit www.newforestescapes.com