Homelands | Sleeps 6 | Brockenhurst
There are lovely self-catering properties and then there is Homelands, which sets the bar way higher.
The thoughtfulness of Homeland’s owners, the quality furnishings and immaculate attention to detail caught the eye of Visit England (VE) who, for the past three years, awarded Homelands a much sought after Gold Award. And it’s just got better – in November, Visit England announced that Homelands was one of just 1000 accommodation providers in the country to receive a prestigious Rose Award for exceptional service. Other winners of the Rose award included the world class 5 star hotel Chewton Glen and Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin starred The Hand and Flowers which puts Homelands amongst some of the most respected names in the hospitality business.
Inside the handsome redbrick and tile façade is a home full of style, character and fun. Against a neutral palette of soft greys and warm wood floors are amusing feature walls of woodland scenes, playful forest-themed furnishings and a treasure trove of contemporary furniture.
Downstairs is a large, bright and spacious lounge/dining room with French doors out to the garden. There’s a large corner sofa to flop into after a day’s exploring and smart extendable dining table for family meals or to gather and play one of the many board games provided by the owners. An attractive black cast iron log burner sits within the clean lines of a refurbished chimney. Next to it is a 48” Smart TV with DVD player with a library of DVD’s, Bluetooth sound bar, DAB Radio and a Nintendo Wii with a selection of games to play. If you prefer a quiet corner to sit and read, there’s a collection of books on hand to choose from. In the entrance hallway is a convenient downstairs cloakroom and entry to the modern kitchen. Home chefs and keen cooks will love the sleek appliances and considerate extra touches such as a Nutri-bullet, food mixer, Nespresso coffee machine, and water softener with filtered drinking water tap. There are handy USB chargers and comfy barstools for company whilst you cook, or a place to enjoy a cup of tea whilst you read the paper.
Upstairs are three sizeable, gorgeously styled bedrooms, with each of the windows dressed in quality blackout blinds for a deep, restful sleep. There’s also a family bathroom and an ensuite.
Bedroom 1 comes with an immensely comfortable king size bed dressed in crisp white linens, a slate grey throw and pops of tangerine orange from cushions and a cheeky ‘Mr Fox’, echoing a nod to the woodland theme that runs throughout this house. There’s also a sleek dressing table, TV and radio alarm clock. A door leads into an ensuite shower room which enjoys a luxury walk-in rainfall shower, underfloor heating and a heated towel rail.
Bedroom 2 is another room for two, this time with a chunky solid oak double bed, made up in heavy white cottons and lime green cushions and throws. Matching oak bedside tables house a radio alarm clock and, as with the first bedroom, there’s also a dressing table and plenty of storage.
Two single beds occupy Bedroom 3. The painted white wooden beds are again dressed in sparkling white linens and throws, this time with woodland scenes and forest animals adding an enchanting twist of humour to this characterful room. A family bathroom enjoys the same level of luxury, with underfloor heating, heated towel rail and a family size bath for long soaks in frothy bubbles or a quick blast from the overhead rainfall shower.
Outside the south facing garden is fully enclosed and laid to lawn, with borders brimming with colourful plants and shrubs. For lazy days and al fresco dining, you’ll find a BBQ, bench seat, dining chairs, table and parasol sitting on the sun-drenched patio which runs along the rear of the house and accessed through the French doors in the living room.
Homelands is in one of the New Forest’s most central villages – Brockenhurst. Don’t be surprised to see free-roaming New Forest ponies, donkeys and cattle wandering past your door, along the high street and down country lanes. This thriving village is akin to shopping in the 1960s with a collection of well-stocked shops (butchers, bakers, grocers etc.) and friendly keepers selling local produce with a smile. A much larger range of shops and supermarkets can be found in nearby Lymington. Brockenhurst also enjoys a liberal sprinkling of superb pubs, restaurants and cafes, all of which are a short walk from Homelands.
For those who wish to explore the area on foot, there are dozens of walks that start from the village. Or hire a bike (next to the train station) and set off on one of the routes which encompass over 100 miles of designated tracks through the New Forest.
If you fancy a change of scenery, jump in the car to the golden sandy beaches of Avon Cliff, just 10 miles away. From Mudeford Quay take the tiny ferry over to Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve and Mudeford Spit, where beach huts sell for over £290,000! Easy day trips include Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Stonehenge and Marwell Zoo. If you have children you shouldn’t miss a trip to the UK’s #1 family theme park, Paultons Park – Home of Peppa Pig World, Adventure Wonderland and Snowtrax – all within a half hour drive.
Take a look at Homelands availability here.