Out and About

Winchester and the New Forest

I’m a bit of a homebody at heart. I love to spend time pottering at home, recharging and appreciating our lovely house. My husband Tom on the other hand, hates the idea of spending more than a day or two at home, so every time he’s off work, he likes to go away. He’s always the one pushing for us to go on a holiday, researching places and looking for deals and discounts to make it possible. Each time I’m off work I crave a day in the house on my own to keep me sane. We find a compromise in going away for a few days at making sure not to be away for the whole time I’m off. I really do love our little adventure when it comes down to it and am so glad that Tom pushes me to go!During the October half term holidays we set off for a few days away together. We’ve been trying to explore more of the UK as there are still so many places we haven’t been. This time we headed down to Winchester and the New Forest.

We left on the Wednesday and broke up our long journey with some time in Oxford, as neither of us had been there before and literally passed right through. We had wander round and really loved the feel of the place, and enjoyed some lunch in a little independent café before carrying on with our journey.

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We arrived in Winchester later than planned (on Bake Off final night – cue mild panic from me) so checked into our hotel before heading straight out for some dinner. We then went back to the hotel to watch the Bake OFF final on catch up on the iPad and spend some time in our lovely hotel room. We stayed in the Winchester Royal Hotel which has lovely rooms, a beautiful garden and great breakfast! The parking situation is a little annoying though as you have to pay.

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We spent the whole of Thursday exploring Winchester which is truly a beautiful place. It was so nice to be staying to centrally and not to have to take the car. We wandered the pretty streets, walked along the river and admired the beautiful Autumn colours. We explored the castle ruins before having lunch (outside!) at the cathedral café, then did the whole loop again!

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That evening we ate at the River Cottage Canteen after only discovering it was there after looking on Trip Advisor for somewhere to eat. The food was really delicious and pretty reasonably priced for the quality. The setting was very cosy, all candle light, low ceilings and bare brick. Tom had a vegetable curry and I had pork with seasonal veg, then we shared a chocolate pot for dessert.

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On Friday we headed to our next hotel in the New Forest. We stopped at a couple of little town on the way to explore and even got to see the sea at Milford. We took a little detour as we saw some wild ponies on a side road and decided to pay them a visit. They were so friendly and not at all phased by us. The warmth of the cars must have attracted them as they were stood super close, staring at the cars a little zombie like!

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We arrived at Rhinefield House in time to appreciate its stunning setting in the middle of the New Forest, its beautiful grounds and the spa facilities! We didn’t brave the outdoor pool despite the promise that it was heated, but used the indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room, and had a good old relax. We ate at the hotel’s more informal restaurant before having an evening stroll around the grounds and a drink in the bar. We love hand picked hotels and have stayed in most of the chain now!

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We drove home on Saturday after a morning walk in the forest, stopping at a cute little farm shop for some lunch, then had Sunday at home before returning to work on Monday. We absolutely loved the New Forest and will definitely visit again!

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Where are your favourite places to visit in England?

Thanks for popping by,

Kimberley x

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