Nestled in the heart of the spectacular New Forest National Park, Tiptoe Cottage is a luxurious family-friendly retreat in prime wildlife spotting countryside with the added benefits of a heated play house and a selection of good food pubs on the doorstep.
This stylishly furnished 3-bedroom cottage is decorated in restful greys with cosy soft furnishings and a romantic log burner. Its original, thick, cob walls are centuries old and keep it toasty warm in winter, but wonderfully cool in summer. Although, with a huge half an acre garden, playhouse, play fort, BBQ terrace and firepit (safety cover included), guests are most likely to enjoy the great outdoors whilst in residence, especially when there are wild ponies, deer, badgers and squirrels to be spotted!
Along with the play fort and play house, there’s a sand pit and paddling pool for little ones to enjoy outside and handy collection of toys, books and games for indoors. Parents will be pleased to learn that all essential baby kit (see Fast Facts for details) is provided, so there’s no need to start off on a stressful note when loading up the car. Also, babysitting can be arranged on request, so there’s the chance to sneak off and enjoy a ‘date night’ at the local pub or a cocktail or two with dinner at the trendy Pig Hotel, which is nearby.
Tiptoe is in a great spot with open forest starting at the garden gate. Ponies and cattle graze outside the fence and deer, badgers, woodpeckers and birds of prey are frequently spotted. Plus, for guests who can drag themselves away from such a cosy nook, the Hampshire coast is within a short drive, along with Peppa Pig World and there are also three spas nearby, although a massage and beauty therapist will visit the cottage, given enough notice.
Tiptoe Cottage sleeps up to six in three bedrooms: one double, one double / twin (convertible), and one smaller room that can be adapted to suit two children in beds or cots.
There are two bathrooms, one upstairs, comprising a slate-lined shower room, and the other downstairs with a lovely double ended bath with hand-held shower. Both come with luxurious thick towels, towelling dressing gowns and New Forest Aromatics toiletries.
The centre of the cottage is the open-plan sitting and dining room with its warm log burner, flatscreen TV and library of books and DVDs. The living area opens onto a fully equipped kitchen complete with essentials like a dishwasher, microwave, large fridge freezer, washing machine and tumble dryer, plus treats such as the Nespresso machine and a pack of local farm shop goodies.
Outside, the garden has something for everybody, and for all times of year. For sunshine, there is a barbeque and a patio dining area. For cool evenings, there is a fire pit – logs provided – with seating around it for sitting and watching the stars or listening to the owls at sunset. For children, there are swings, a slide and a climbing frame, plus a paddling pool and a sandpit. For everybody, and all times of year, there is a garden room with heating, TV, DVD, WiFi and games. There is a shed for locking bikes away.
At Tiptoe Cottage a private gate that backs directly onto a secluded part of the National Park with New Forest ponies and cattle frequently be seen roaming within it, so adventures begin on the doorstep.
A short walk takes guests to the popular Rising Sun pub with its big children’s play area or, a longer walk arrives at Sway where guests can enjoy a good lunch at the Silver Hind. Cycles with tag alongs and baby seats can be hired from Burley for the many cycle trails close by. Whilst those who hanker after fresh cream teas, cakes or brunch should take a short drive to the Old Station Tea Rooms.
The cottage owners, Jane, Robin and Evelyn previously lived in it and are brimming with recommendations for great place to see and eat nearby. Having taught in an outdoor study centre they have many suggestions on how to get close to nature including: birdwatching, wildlife walks and games of ‘Where’s My Welly!’ Other child friendly local attractions include: Furzy Gardens for finding fairies and Longdown Farm for getting up close and feeding animals, or letting off steam in the ball pit and BIRO wooden play zone. Not forgetting of course that Peppa Pig World is only 20 minutes away.
For those who are drawn to the sea, the coast is only 20 minutes away. Mudeford is great for crabbing or lunch at The Beach Hut restaurant, whilst Lymington, a yachting haven, has a great selection of boutique shops and restaurants including the especially child friendly Vanilla Bean Café or the Mayflower Inn. If the weather is good, Exbury Gardens offers a great day out thanks to its amazing gardens with easy to navigate paths or land train for weary little legs.
For a special night out with a babysitter booked, there are many nearby restaurants that are well worth including Verveine (Jane and Robin’s personal favourite), Pebble Beach and The Pig.