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Review of Cottage Lodge, The New Forest

Posted by Richard Hammond at 04:29 on Sunday 04 September 2011

>> For booking and availability, see our full listing: Cottage Lodge, The New Forest

The Cottage Lodge is a 12-room, 17th-century forester's cottage in the village of Brockenhurst in the New Forest, run by owners Christina and David.

The rustic white brick exterior of the five-star B&B Cottage Lodge, Brockenhurst. Photo Richard HammondThe rustic white brick exterior of the five-star B&B Cottage Lodge, Brockenhurst. Photo Richard HammondThe Rooms
A former hotel, the B&B cottage has a wide selection of rooms, from singles to doubles, four-poster rooms and triples. Some are dog-friendly. It's a mixture of the old and the new: the low-ceiling rooms in the old part of the cottage were constructed in 1650 from reclaimed ships' timbers, handmade bricks and sand, while the rooms in the annexe are modern; I stayed in one of these - a large, en suite room on the ground floor facing on to a patio garden. Three new eco-rooms were added in May, built from local Douglas Fir with wood burning stove, four poster bed (made from a locally felled beech) and a pedal-powered LED TV!

On arrival, there's a cosy beamed lounge with an open fireplace with an honesty bar (with a few intriguing local delicacies, such as horseradish vodka) so you can just help yourself to a drink and record what you have taken. Prices are the same as the local pub.

Double room at the luxury Cottage Lodge B&BDouble room at the luxury Cottage Lodge B&BThe Food
The owners support thelocal New Forest Marque products that are sourced and produced in the forest, and the cottage's owners were 'finalist for Local Produce User of the Year 2006'. According to Christina, Everything in my full English breakfast was sourced from within 10 miles of the cottage.Everything in my full English breakfast was sourced from within 10 miles of the cottage.all the ingredients in my full English breakfast were sourced from within 10 miles of the lodge, including free range eggs from Ashley, mushrooms from Cowsfield, and sausages from pigs reared in the forest. There are also gluten free sausages and muesli and a selection of meat-free dishes for vegetarians and vegans.

The Green
Three-quarters of waste is composted or recycled. Low energy lightbulbs are used, there's thick insulation and eco-friendly cleaning products. Water run-off is used to water the garden, sheets are washed only every 3 days, and the owners return the jam jars, New Forest water bottles, egg cartons and boxes from the farms to the producers for re-use. Free tea and cake are provided if you arrive by train. Awarded Gold by the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

The Activities
The 94 acres of the New Forest is on your doorstep. For a complete guide to what to in the New Forest, including walks, cycling and horse-riding, see our Greentraveller Guide to the New Forest. The New Forest has 193 miles of off road cycle trails, many of which start in Brockenhurst.  There are two cycle hire companies nearby (see Country Lanes and Cycle Experience) and three horse-riding stables in the village. If you want to go further afield you can catch the train to the Isle of Wight (the train goes directly to the ferry terminal), Lymington, Winchester, Bournemouth, Southampton. Nearby Weymouth is the venue for some of the water sports at the Olympics in 2012.

There is 192 km of flat off road cycling in the New Forest, on flat, well-maintained logging trails.There is 192 km of flat off road cycling in the New Forest, on flat, well-maintained logging trails.

Getting there
The lodge is just 5 minute's walk from Brockenhurst train station, which has excellent connections from London, Bournemouth, Winchester and Southampton. If you are arriving by car, there's a spacious car park at the front of the cottage.

Top Tip
Explore the New Forest by bike. There are 192km of trails throughout the New Forest on flat, wide, gravelled, well-maintained paths.

Verdict
Don't let the somewhat bland exterior put you off. Inside, Cottage Lodge is a cosy, smart B&B that deserves its AA-rated status as a luxury B&B. Christina is a ball of energy and fully committed to helping to reduce the impact of your stay on the environment and supporting local producers. And as it's just a short walk from the train station, it's a great base from which to explore the New Forest on a mini-traincation!

Tripadvisor Reviews: There are currently 190 reviews of Cottage Lodge, of which 118 give it a rating of 'excellent' and 5 as 'very good'. See Reviews of Cottage Lodge on Tripadvisor.

>> For booking and availability, see our full listing: Cottage Lodge, The New Forest

Disclosure

Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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