The first sight is, quite simply, stunning. Down the sweeping drive to a long, low, listed house with intricate brickwork and latticed windows, embraced by five acres of land.
Step in to the smell of polish, log fires and scented candles. Imagine wooden floors and warm textiles, books, toys, games and tricycles, an abundance of fluffy towels, 12 sets of wellies, and a vast hamper of good things. Book an escorted bike ride through the New Forest, or spend the day in Winchester (28 miles).
Lymington, with its marinas and Saturday market, is two miles; have brunch on the terrace of The Haven and watch the ferries roll by. Then race home, to the stunning heated pool and outdoor kitchen. Four sumptuous bedrooms wait upstairs, with a woody dormitory under the roof, and an exquisite shepherd’s hut at the end of the garden. Keen cooks will flock to the kitchen… for treats you can summon a French chef.