As soon as we stepped through the door of New Park Manor I felt my shoulders relax.They have such a laid back, nothing is too much trouble, attitude that it makes you feel great immediately.

After petting the beagle puppy in reception, which my daughter is convinced was brought in specially, we were taken to our room, Susan. Yes, all the rooms have actual names, which gave us big smiles. The rooms are stunning with views of the New Forest out of the window. The adults extremely excited to see a big herd of deer sitting in the next field, the children 5 and 7 (strange names I know) amazed at a cupboard that they could get in to play and build a den. It was like they had never even seen a house before, screams of delight “there’s a bath and oh my goodness there’s a mirror and a chair!”

The journey to the hotel from Paultons Park was only 20 minutes, 20 minutes of requests from the back of the car to go swimming in the outdoor pool as soon as we got there, goggles had already been found in suitcases and if cossies could have been changed into they would’ve been. 

The pool in the beautiful grounds is great, with a backdrop of the wonderful forest, the children can play in the water until their heart’s content while you lay on a lounger with a coffee.

I’ve honestly never come across a place like this with the ethos they have, it’s about entertaining the children so you might be able to grab a couple of hours relaxation in the sensational spa (we all need a little break huh?), but also about what you can do all together as a family. In the morning after we’d had breakfast, the children went to ‘the den’ and made some pottery creations whilst we took a breather on the spa terrace. The hotel garden is beautiful. They have somehow combined relaxation with plenty to keep the children occupied. From football goals, to a giant snakes and ladders, a mud kitchen and ride on cars. We even managed a sneaky gin in the sunshine while the kids made us a worm and mud pie! 

After lunch we asked if the Den supervisors would take us pond dipping, having never heard of it I was intrigued. They were so lovely and accommodating, going and asking all the other guests if they’d like to join in too before we set off on a 20 minute walk through the woods to get to a very pretty part of the forest with a river running through it. The smalls were each given a fishing net and told to run it along the riverbed and pour to contents into a tray to see what treasures they’d found. It was amazing, lots of bugs, fish and even a creature pretending to be a stick.

You can choose to eat as a family or eat in the stunning Stag restaurant later in the evening whilst your little ones are either in bed or in the Den playing table tennis or watching a film. Each room is provided with a video monitor so if you have little ones with an early bed time, you can settle them and head down to the bar for a few drinks, being able to see and hear them all the time and whilst staying as close in distance as you would be in your own home. The hotel also have a babysitting service if required. 

This place has been really well thought out. They’ve found the balance between family time and the need for you time, if you can’t find it they will help you in this stunning, idyllic location.

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