4 of the best places for a staycation in Hampshire
PUBLISHED: 11:11 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:09 22 February 2018
According to Visit England, Brits took 56 million domestic overnight trips last year. And with temperatures (hopefully) soaring this summer, staying home is the new going abroad. Natalie French checks out some of Hampshire’s best offerings
As city dwellings go, The Pig in the Wall is a bit sexy, with 12 boutique bedrooms hidden within the historic medieval walls in Southampton.
Designed by Judy Hutson, you can expect shabby chic-style monsoon showers, comfy beds and ‘larders’ stocked with snacks.
Don’t miss: Guests can jump into The Pig in the Wall’s Land Rover and be whisked to the heart of the New Forest to The Pig in Brockenhurst for dinner. Available Sunday to Thursday, ‘Trot from Town to Country’ is £199 for two and includes a night at The Pig in the Wall, continental deli breakfast, free transfer and a three course dinner.
Take me there: Rooms from £135 on a weekday. No minimum number of nights.
Escape the bustle of modern life and get off-grid at Adhurst Yurts. Located in the stunning South Downs within 100 acres of ancient woodland, high above the banks of the River Rother, you’ll find four locally-made 18-foot yurts. This is luxe-camping – expect double beds with duvets, large comfy pillows and a supply of chopped wood for the log burner. The newest of the yurts, Willow, even has its own roll-top bath, with hot running water, perfect for a moonlight dip. Despite the creature comforts, hardy campers can embrace the car-free zone, complete with campfire, long-drop loo, safari kitchen and open-air shower. Solar-powered fairy lights twinkle at night and add to the magic, whilst come daytime, hop on the rope to swing across the river.
If an evening tipple is on your agenda, you can stroll to the village of Sheet without going anywhere near a main road. The Queens Head, The Harrow and The Half Moon are also nearby.
Don’t miss: “You can book extras including guided bird walks in Spring, bespoke bushcraft sessions and advanced wild fly fishing for the experienced,” says owner Alison Lubbock. “Throughout the year we have a programme of events for residential as well as day guests that includes Deer to Venison in a Day with lunch; Pheasant Plucking and Traditional Pheasant Dinner; Woodland floristry and Oak Wreath making with Christmas decs; Night Photography for Fire and Stars (yurt guests only)”
Take me there: From £300 for two nights min (midweek). Weekends start at £480 and always include a Sunday. There is a brief intro with a bushcraft instructor most Fridays around 6pm. Pets are welcome.
As hotel locations go, No Man’s Fort is out on its own. Sitting stoically in The Solent, unperturbed by the swirling sea around it, this unique hotel offers views to the Isle of Wight in one direction and Portsmouth Harbour in the other.
Built between 1867 and 1880 on the orders of Lord Palmerston, the fort was designed as a line of defence against enemy attacks. As you arrive by private boat and climb aboard, you’ll be struck by the sheer size of this dramatic and distinctive structure.
Don’t miss: Push the boat out and book the Lighthouse, a self-contained, two-bedroom penthouse. Flooded with natural light, it offers the perfect Solent vista and a decadent freestanding bath. If you can drag yourself away, chill out in the circular sitting room at the top of the lighthouse or in the rooftop hot tubs.
Take me there: Prices from £329 per room for one night, from £569 for the Lighthouse.
In Bighton, five miles from Alresford, this small but perfectly-formed campsite can be found down a single-track country lane, away from noise and light pollution. No need to tinker with tent poles though, as Two Hoots now offer two shepherd huts.
Strictly for adults, the huts come with king-size beds, log burners and large private veranda with canopy. More importantly, they offer privacy and seclusion. “We are a small unique site on a Plato of a hill, with 4.5 acres of pure uninterrupted views, for just six couples to escape the larger more populated sites and get out into the countryside for some together alone time,” explains owner Caz Parham, “With no children, pets or groups bigger than two, it makes for a very romantic break. This is what we wanted when we used to go camping but never found.”
Don’t miss: Two Hoots joined Green Impact earlier this year and have won a Bronze Award, meaning you can enjoy a much-needed break, whilst keeping your eco conscience. Caz and husband Dave’s efforts include limiting outside light pollution and adding bird, bat, bug, hedgehog and owl boxes. “Green Impact is a sustainability and social responsibility engagement and awards scheme designed to help organisations become greener,” says Caz. “We have demonstrated our commitment by reducing our carbon footprint year-on-year, so it’s great to have this recognition.”
Take me there: Minimum two-night stay at Lazy Days and Keepers Cosy from £95 per night. Optional bedding hire £30.