Child + dog friendly family getaway in the New Forest

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  • Child + dog friendly family getaway in the New Forest
  • spacemonkey

    Anyone know of any good cottages/cabins in and around the NF for March? Had a look over the weekend and short-listed only 3 or 4.

    Also, what is there to do with a 2.5yr old and bouncy pooch?



    Sandy balls is a good option, swimming pool and soft play area on site, dog friendly with loads of walks from the campsite.


    Yep, Sandyballs 🙂

    It’s just outside of Fordingbridge which is a lovely little town to wander around, nice shops and cafes, plus has a nice kiddies park by the river. You can hire bikes plus the kiddie tag-along things from Sandyballs and lots of nice (easy and legal!) rides in the area – along the Hampton Ridge to the Royal Oak at Fritham and back is a good family one. Nice walks in the area too, plus there is a pool etc there.

    Premier Icon FieldMarshall

    You could also try Avon Tyrell

    Not sure whether it permits dogs, but it has a pump track! 🙂


    Yep, Sandy Balls 😆 is on the short list. Looks pretty decent. Not yet sure if we’re looking for a campus-y type thing or s cottage though.

    I can’t rate the facilities from experience (as I have only driven past), but another option nearby to Sandy Balls is New Forest Lodges

    That said, Sandy Balls does seem to win a lot of awards and is very child friendly


    We stayed here last year, quite expensive but lovely. There was 10 of us and a dog

    6 x adults (my parents, me and the missus, and two friends)
    4 x kids (3, 2.5, 1.5, 6 months)
    1 x Very energetic Labradoodle

    We had a fantastic time, just hanging out at the cottage and walking in the forest for the most part. Couple of bike rides, a day at Peppa Pig World, and a day on the beach at Bournemouth.

    It’s on a forest track so no traffic other than horses and cows. No garden but we sat out the front every morning for breakfast and the kids played in the forest which starts just on the other side of the track.

    We’d definitely go back.

    Edit to add: We were very lucky with the weather. I’d imagine it’s a bit boggy at the moment.


    another big thumbs up for Sandy Balls – weird name but great place. We’ve been loads.

    Premier Icon FieldMarshall

    I live just down the road from Sandy Balls (and thus have never stayed there) and whilst it seems popular the major drawback for me is that you don’t really have “direct” access to the forest, i.e. it’s not actually in the forest.

    Although it does have it’s own grounds with walks/bike rides etc.

    So unlike other campsites/accommodation in the NF you can’t just walk out the door and be in the forest. You would need to either drive and/or cycle/walk a mile or so up the road to access the nearest fire road. So the latter might not be so practical with a dog, depending how used to cycling with a dog on a road you are.

    Not a major issue, but as I say you are not camping directly adjacent to the forest.

    Having said that there’s a good pool (my wife is a member) and other child orientated facilities if you need to entertain a child. Especially in Mar if the weather isn’t so good. And a reasonable pub up the road.

    Once you are on the fireroads there are miles of track that extend as far down as Ringwood and further if you so desire.

    But be warned whilst not hilly in the true sense, there are more hills than the Beaulieu/Brockenhurst area, and whilst short are quite steep and loose which can make cycling with a trailer/tag along a bit of a challenge.

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