A lot of the time, parents get sucked into planning holidays the kids will absolutely love. They usually involve various activities and, let’s be honest, aren’t relaxing at all.
Whilst these types of holidays are important, there’s no shame in planning a holiday that benefits the parents more than the kids every now and then. That’s exactly what I did.
I’ve got a 3.5-year-old and a nearly 2-year-old, and lately, I’ve been feeling burnt out. The kids at this age are proper crazy. Like actual wild animals. I knew I needed a break that was somewhat restorative, rather than carting the kids around trying to have as much ‘fun’ as possible.
So, I searched for a break that the girls would enjoy but that my husband and I could get some much-needed r & r time. I found Cottesmore Hotel and Country Club in West Sussex.
It’s really not far from where we live, so we took the word ‘staycation’ to the absolute extreme. But you know what, it’s quite nice knowing you’ve not got an epic journey there and back, and it still felt like a proper holiday.
If you’re looking for a relaxing break nestled in the Sussex countryside, you’ll love everything Cottesmore has to offer.
Before I get into what we did during our stay, let me touch on the things that attracted me to Cottesmore.
- It has a lovely indoor pool
- It’s set on a beautiful golf course on immaculate grounds
- They have family-friendly cabins you can stay in
- They have a spa and a gym
- There’s also a beauty salon where you can get treatments
- There’s an impressive outdoor gym
The on-site facilities, all of which were within easy walking distance, were a huge draw for me. I wanted a spa-type break where the kids could enjoy the pool too.
A West Sussex log cabin break with a spa and gym
Here’s what we got up to during our stay…
The log cabin
We stayed in a two-bedroom cabin which is located just opposite the hotel and main building. There are maybe 5-6 cabins you can choose from. Our cabin was right at the back, with a view of trees and the golf course.
I was surprised at how calming it was watching the golfers as we sat out and had a drink on the balcony. We had a large area of grass outside our cabin and also a picnic table which was handy for having al fresco lunches with the kids.
The bedrooms were lovely, and I was surprised at how comfortable the bed was given that it was in a cabin. The kids slept in the twin room, and we took the double, which also had an en suite. I’ve not stayed in a proper wooden cabin before. I found it really relaxing. All you can hear in the evenings is the sound of birdsong. It’s wonderfully peaceful and quiet.
The kitchen was fully equipped, and we had a large open-plan lounge with two sofas to enjoy. All in all, we were really pleased with what the cabin had to offer, and the kids had an absolute blast staying in it.
It was such a luxury to be able to go on holiday with the kids and have access to a spa. It’s not a huge spa, but it does have everything you need for a relaxing break. There’s a lovely pool with sunbeds to kick back on. You can also enjoy the Jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna.
I found it very soothing to do a few lengths in the refreshing pool and then hop in the sauna for a few minutes. It’s not too busy in the spa if you go at off-peak times. Because it’s a health club rather than a large spa, it didn’t feel like there were too many people in the spa at once. They do run the odd aqua aerobics class, though, so check the schedule to ensure the pool is free.
It was handy having the restaurant on site for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They do a generous breakfast buffet spread every morning, which includes a cooked breakfast plus all of the usual continental stuff. We had lunch in the bar area and sat on the deck overlooking the golf course. They do classic pub food, golf lunch boxes, pasta salad bowls, pizza, and more! The food was excellent.
We also managed to enjoy a child-free dinner in the restaurant (thanks to Nana coming for a few nights). The restaurant is set up high with floor-to-ceiling windows which showcase panoramic views of the golf course. It was a romantic setting and very beautiful.
The gym & outdoor activity gym
Although it’s nice to rest on holiday, I normally can’t go an entire break without working out. It’s handy to be able to do a couple of training sessions. I like to stay active on holiday, and if there’s access to a gym, it’s a huge bonus.
Cottesmore is a Country Club, so naturally, there’s a pretty decent, well-equipped gym. But one of the things that stood out when I was searching for somewhere to stay was the outdoor gym. It’s basically like an outdoor playground for adults, and it’s got some great strength equipment. It’s located to the side of the hotel and golf course encased in woodland. It’s a really beautiful spot to work out in the sunshine! There are monkey bars, a sled to push and pull, a tyre to flip, pull-up bars, a rope, and a bar for dips. If you get creative, you can do all sorts of exercises using this facility. We certainly did!
The beauty salon
Look, I’m extremely fussy about massages. Whenever I go to a salon (rather than book a sports massage), I’m usually disappointed because the pressure is always too soft. But somehow, the lady from the beauty salon managed to achieve both a nice strong deep tissue massage and deliver a relaxing experience.
The beauty salon is in the main building, so it’s easy to wander over there from your cabin or hotel room for a treatment. My husband and I had a full body massage, but they offer all sorts of treatments, from reflexology to facials and manicures.
The golf course
I’m definitely not into golf, but I never knew staying by a golf course could be so therapeutic! It’s a calm sport, isn’t it, so the vibe kind of just ripples through the hotel and country club. I’ve seen a few golf courses, and this one is really picturesque. If you’re after a UK hotel break with a decent golf course, you’ll appreciate the facilities here. There’s a 9 and an 18-hole course to take advantage of.
Things to do locally
I know this area pretty well, so I can offer some helpful insights on the best activities to do locally in West Sussex/Sussex, Surrey. Here are my top recommendations…
- Tilgate park – the main park is free and has a few lakes dotted around. There’s a large play park for children, and a very nice cafe (The Walled Garden and Cafe). You can also pay to go into the nature park where there are over 100 animals to see.
- Horsham dinosaur park – We paid a visit to Dinosaur Island in Southwater Country Park. It’s a dinosaur-themed play park that’s free. It has a sand pit and a little trail to follow.
- Horsham – Horsham town centre is a great town to visit with plenty of decent restaurants and shops. They also sometimes have the fountains on in the warmer months, which the kids absolutely adore.
- Bird of prey centre – This place has a wide selection of birds, and they do flight demonstrations. It’s also next to a garden centre and a camping shop.
- K2 – A very large leisure centre right next to Tilgate park.
- Nymans – A National Trust park with pretty gardens, a woodland play park and a cafe.
- Wings aviation museum
- Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens – A (quite pricey) garden with a few animals and pretty grounds.
- Godstone Farm – A large popular local farm that’s well worth a visit.
- The British Wildlife Centre – Here you can see a collection of British animals. You have to book in advance.
Like what you’ve read? Book at stay at Cottesmore Hotel, Golf & Country Club.
**Please note this was a gifted stay**