Leading self-catering company New Forest Escapes has plenty of options for those looking to get away for a post school holiday holiday break, in the New Forest.

Coastguards Cottage, in the village of Keyhaven, is in the perfect location to start teaching the little ones about crabbing and discovering the other wildlife that can be found around the marshes, including the breeding waders that appear during the  summer months. The cottage, which faces the sea, sleeps four plus a baby in two bedrooms, is to one side of Keyhaven harbour and right on the water’s edge. The village is close to the ferry to historic Hurst Castle or, alternatively, walk along the one-mile spit. It is also home to The Gun pub (famous for its whiskies), and a short drive from Milford-on-Sea with its pubs and restaurants. A weekend’s stay from mid-September costs £460 (£115 pp when fully occupied).

Located close to the village of East End near Lymington, on the southern tip of the forest, in a secluded spot at the end of a long, winding lane, is Pitts Deep Cottage (above and cover photo). No ordinary holiday cottage, the ‘boutique’ property has been painstakingly decorated with no expense spared by the owners who live nearby. The house sleeps up to nine people (six adults and three children) and is just yards from a small beach – perfect for keeping an eye on the kids – which has uninterrupted views towards the Needles and the Isle of Wight. Perfect for coastal walks or a stroll to the East End Arms pub, which serves excellent food (and owned by Dire Straits bassist John Illsley, who lives locally). A week’s stay from Friday 30 August costs £3000 or around £333 per person when fully occupied.

Located in the village of Burley in the heart of the forest is Sunnydell, a very family-friendly holiday cottage which sleeps up to eight people in three bedrooms. The property is in a large clearing and has a big garden, the highlight of which is a heated swimming pool (is there an easier way for kids to entertain themselves?). The quirky house is old and full of character, with low ceilings giving it a real country cottage feel. It also 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. A four-night rental from Wednesday 11 September costs £1300 or around £163 pp when fully occupied.

Call 01590 462 005 or visit www.newforestescapes.com.  For general information about the New Forest visit www.thenewforest.co.uk