It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the excitement of Christmas is starting to build, there’s a crisp snap to the air and it’s perfectly okay to drink wine in the day (as long as it’s hot and spiced). Winter’s an amazing season for a holiday, no matter what the naysayers would have you believe.
Our holiday lodges at Shorefield Country Park, in Hampshire’s New Forest, are the perfect base for your next retreat to a winter wonderland. So, what should you bring, and what kind of fun can you have with shorter days and colder weather?
Pack and Prepare
Winters in Hampshire aren’t exactly Antarctic, but the weather can be surprisingly changeable. It rains more often than it snows and the sun can cut through the chill quite sharply on a particularly energetic day. So what should you pack for a trip down this way?
For the adventurous among you, your packing list must include wellies/sturdy shoes, gloves, hats, a waterproof coat and plenty of layers. PLENTY of layers! We’re talking double socks, leggings topped with jeans, jumpers on thermals – the works. The great thing about layers is that they can be taken off bit by bit if you start getting too hot and worn again when the cold bites back. It can be handy to have a backpack or bag with you to carry extras while you’re out and about, too.
Oh, and don’t forget your swimming costume. No, really – we’re serious. Not only do we have a heated indoor pool on park, complete with sauna and steam room, but some of our lodges have hot tubs included! If there is anything you’ve forgotten though, you don’t need to worry. We’ve got a great shop on site, and local stores at New Milton and Milford on Sea aren’t far.
Winter Walks, Christmas Markets and the Lost Art of Doing Nothing
There’s so much to explore in our neck of Hampshire, and it’s all made that little bit more magical by winter. The nearby seaside hamlet of Milford on Sea offers seemingly endless beach walks – and if you’ve never been for a beach walk on a winter’s day, you’re really missing out. The icy blue colours and crowd-free isolation are simply stunning sights to behold.
The New Forest is a vast place. It would be impossible to see it all in one visit – but that’s not a bad thing, it just means that every experience is different. After the pannage season has ended (usually November), free-roaming pigs are no longer to be seen working their way through the annual feast of fallen acorns. Ponies, donkeys, cattle and plenty of wildlife are still out there, no matter how cold it gets, and they can make the ground quite boggy. Wellies are definitely your friends.
On your winter walk through the forest, the little villages and rest stops you’ll find along the way will warm your heart, especially in the run up to Christmas. And if it’s a Christmas market you’re looking for, then the Hampshire city of Winchester surely has one of the best.
Let’s face it though – it’s been a long year. You owe it to yourself to do absolutely nothing, at least for some of your getaway. Our lodges are extremely warm, cosy and inviting, so you might well find yourself unable to leave. Stay in, cook a warming meal, crack open some wine and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside. It's all the more enjoyable from your very own hot tub!
Sound good? It’s not too late to book your lodge holiday in Hampshire for a wonderful winter break!