A Weekend Mini Break In The Heart Of The New Forest

hazelhurst farm best holiday cottages in new forest

 The New Forest is an excellent place to escape for a short break away from it all. Why? Because it feels otherworldly. We need to REALLY switch our minds off from life’s stresses when we go on holiday, and this is the ideal place to do it. 

As soon as you drive into the New Forest, you realise you’re in this strange but perfect world where ponies (and donkeys) roam free. There’s something so calming about driving or walking around and seeing ponies grazing on the horizon. 

And then there are the charming towns and villages dotted around. Brockenhurst, Lymington, Lyndhusrt, Beaulieu. They’ve all got a similar vibe but have their own unique appeal. You’re also within easy reach of beaches like Hengistbury Head, Avon Beach and Friars Cliff Beach. 

There are plenty of excellent farm shops dotted around everywhere, as well as tons of options for fun days out (more on this below).

A weekend break in the New Forest

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As the New Forest is a very desirable place to visit, finding the very best holiday accommodation can be a challenge. Well, don’t worry, if you’re planning a short break in New Forest, I’ve done all the hard work for you. I’ve found the perfect peaceful hideaway in the heart of the region. 

Hazelhurst Farm is run by a lovely young couple who took on the rather large challenge of converting a former dairy farm into idyllic holiday cottages! Part of the charm I think, is you can still see some of the old buildings, and the property has a rustic feel to it.

But inside all the cottages you’ll find modern amenities and all the little modern touches you could wish for. It really does feel like a home from home. All the cottages are finished to a high standard with unique decor and comfy furniture. 

As well as the holiday cottages, they also keep horses here. This adds to the country feel and it’s an absolute pleasure to see the horses walking past when you’re discovering the grounds. 

There are seven cottages available to rent that can accommodate from two to eight guests. Plus they’ve got a barn which is ideal for weddings, hen dos and group gatherings. 

The Content Wolf Travel Rating Score 55/60

  • Service – 10
  • Uniqueness – 9
  • Location – 8
  • Comfort – 10
  • Cleanliness – 10
  • Facilities – 8


new forest countryside stays

Hazelhurst Farm is located in quiet countryside, close to many of the New Forest’s charming towns and villages. If getting away from it all and staying on a converted farm sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll feel right at home here. You’ll need a car, as it’s tucked away on a country road in Sway, near Lymington. It’s also quite close to Brockenhurst (12 mins) and about 20 mins from Lyndhurst. 

New Forest Holiday Cottages – Orchard Cottages (sleeps 2-4 people)

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We stayed in Orchard Cottage, which has two bedrooms, one with a comfy Kind-sized bed and another with two singles. It’s a very family-friendly cottage because the two bedrooms are right next to each other. We could easily keep an eye on the kiddos from our room. I was really surprised by the size of the garden. 

Orchard Cottage has a large enclosed garden and patio area, which is perfect for al fresco dining. We loved how the cottage was decorated, it had a really country feel to it, but it was also nice and modern, the ideal combo, in my opinion! There’s a semi-open plan kitchen which leads through to the lounge. Both rooms have patio doors, which allow plenty of light in. The kitchen was very well equipped, and there’s a dining table too. 

Do you know what makes the difference between an OK stay and a special one? The little touches. Hazelhurst Farm had some lovely extras, like a batch of flapjacks from a local supplier and fresh milk from a local farm. You really appreciate these little things after a long journey! All in all we were really impressed with Orchard Cottage and would happily come and stay again. 

Things to do

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We were only there for a short break in the New Forest. So we couldn’t cram in too much stuff. But one of my favourite things we did was hire bikes from a local company at Brockenhurst station (Cycleexperience). It was so easy to just pick them up and head off on a bike ride from there. There are so many pretty routes to explore. 

We went on a four hour bike ride and the scenery was absolutely stunning. It was so relaxing riding through ancient woodland and fields with ponies grazing. We stopped by a pretty stream for lunch. It’s the first time I’ve properly switched off and relaxed in ages.

We also visited The Pig for dinner. I’ve heard so many good things about this place. It’s definitely worth a visit for the atmosphere and decor in the restaurant alone. It’s filled with gorgeous greenery and beautifully decorated tables. I enjoyed a wild garlic risotto and a fried vegetable starter. 

There are two local farm shops. Ferndene Farm Shop in New Milton has a play area for the kids and an outside area where you can get hot chocolate, cake and paninis. There were also some absolutely adorable piglets! The other farm shop is smaller but has a very local feel to it.  

We went to the Old Mill for lunch and I’d definitely recommend this place. The food is nice but it’s the setting and the view that makes this place so charming. It’s a riverside pub, and you can dine outside right by the water. The outside space is gorgeous. 

We managed to fit in a quick visit to Lymington where we found a flapjack shop! Flapjackary does all sorts of delicious flapjack flavours (including a brownie flapjack). There are loads of unique independent shops including clothing and art shops. We were lucky enough to visit whilst they had a vintage car procession along the high street which was great fun for the kids. 

We were able to fit quite a lot into a couple of days! The guide that Hazelhurst Farm provided was very good and had tons of brilliant recommendations of restaurants, pubs and things to do. They had an interactive map created specially for guests to see the owner’s personal recommendations. I’ve not see that in any place I’ve stayed before and I have to say I was very impressed with their level of commitment. 

Thanks so much to Hazelhurst Farm for having us. It’s an absolute gem of a place. SO much care and effort have gone into making their cottages special. Want to stay? Check out their website here.

*We received a discounted stay. 


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