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Anyone stayed in a fab farm/seaside cottage or B&B?

(27 Posts)
DecafArabica Mon 28-Feb-05 11:14:57

We desperately need a little break--DH stressed with studies, me recovering from m/c etc. We need somewhere peaceful within 150 miles of London, where there are plenty of on-site or easily accessible (I don't drive) activities for me and DS (nearly 4) to enjoy together during the day whilst DH holes himself up to write an essay or 4. Then ideally there would be a nice family-friendly dinner option or we could be self-catering. We don't need on-site childcare. If you've been anywhere remotely like this please let me know!

cori Mon 28-Feb-05 11:23:03

Decaf, I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I hope you and your family are OK. Have you have a nice break wherever you go.

DecafArabica Mon 28-Feb-05 11:27:02

Thanks Cori! I feel I am on the mend now, it's manifested itself in this desperate desire to get away from London even if just for a couple of days. Hope you are keeping well!

Merlin Mon 28-Feb-05 12:33:07

Decaf - just had a week here \link{} can't praise it enough and DS (4) loved it! Downside is I think they are pretty well booked up it's so popular. Sorry about the m/c - i m/c last June at 12 weeks but now have 5 weeks to go before baby2 arrives so things do get better! Take care.

Merlin Mon 28-Feb-05 12:33:47

oh dear - i'm crap at links sorry!

DecafArabica Mon 28-Feb-05 12:50:09


DecafArabica Mon 28-Feb-05 12:51:39

It looks perfect but it's too far away, we need somewhere within 150 miles of London.

Merlin Mon 28-Feb-05 12:57:38

Sorry Decaf - just read that bit in your original post! I'm in Bournemouth and there is a place in the New Forest called - wait for it- Sandy Balls (no sniggering at the back!!!). Never been, but it looks a bit like a mini Center Parcs but cheaper. Don't know the website but if you GOOGLE I'm sure you'll find it.

DecafArabica Mon 28-Feb-05 13:20:57

hee hee that sounds good. I like idea of New Forest and I like idea of cheap centerparc!

sandyballs Mon 28-Feb-05 13:28:12

Sandyballs is great! We go every year - our DDs love the little log cabins.

sandyballs Mon 28-Feb-05 13:28:41

Arabica Wed 23-Mar-05 11:07:05

We've just got a cancellation for Easter weekend! Am very excited. Anything an absolute must to do in the area/to be avoided at all costs? (DS is nearly 4 by the way)

zubb Wed 23-Mar-05 11:11:25

There's a nice walk round the deer sanctuary in Bolderwood.
Moors valley is near as well - I'll look for a link in a minute.

zubb Wed 23-Mar-05 11:14:29

moors valley

PiccadillyCircus Wed 23-Mar-05 11:15:08

They went there on the Holiday Programme on BBC1 this weeek so maybe there might be something about it on the bbc website?

PiccadillyCircus Wed 23-Mar-05 11:18:24

Here's a link to the bit on the BBC website to do with Sandy Balls.

Hope you have a lovely time

zubb Wed 23-Mar-05 11:31:17

the bbc mention Burley, but not much to do with a 4 year old. It's very pretty, and has ponies (and cows) walking down the street, but its mainly tea shops and gift shops.
If it's nice weather and you want to go to the beach, but want to avoid Bournemouth crowds then head for Barton-on-sea and Milford-on sea (not sure about that one as we only get to Barton normally). They are rocky rather than sandy but good walks along, you can see the needles on the Isle of Wight and at Barton there's a good ice-cream shop / cafe at the top.
If ds likes cars then Beaulieu is within easy reach (go to Lyndhurst and east!)
Or you could go up to Salisbury for the day, walk round the cathedral (my 3 year old never tires of that bizarrelly) go on the horse drawn cart, play in the parks (Queen Elizabeth park is nearest to town).

dinosaur Wed 23-Mar-05 11:34:38

Arabica - have a lovely time. Are you feeling any better?

My day off is Wednesday - are you ever around on Wednesdays - if so we could do that coffee in Stokey some time?

Arabica Wed 23-Mar-05 21:06:54

Thanks for all the messages and advice. DS probably would like the cathedral too, but if we take a side trip I think we might head for the seaside. I'm allergic to Bournemouth (due to hideous holidays staying with evil grandma).

Arabica Wed 23-Mar-05 21:12:29

dinosaur, am sometimes free on Weds and would love to meet up with you. It really depends how busy I am with deadlines etc. I will CAT you.

Arabica Tue 29-Mar-05 00:30:19

Thanks to everyone who recommended Sandy Balls! It was lovely, although because the weather was good, we didn't make use of any of the facilities save the cycle hire shop.
Zubb, can't thank you enough for recommending beautiful Barton on Sea. It was just perfect.

mrsjingles Wed 30-Mar-05 08:54:04

I've just booked a mid week at sandy balls in July, never been before, but love center parcs - so I'm hoping it's along those lines rather than a Haven camp, which I'm really not keen on. It looks lovely on the website. Any one else been that loved it???

Cod Wed 30-Mar-05 09:11:19

Message withdrawn

zubb Wed 30-Mar-05 09:33:50

glad you liked it! Never too sure when recommending things. You had great weather for it all.
We're meant to be going kite flying on the forest today, but not sure at the moment as its not looking great weather wise.

Arabica Wed 30-Mar-05 11:03:40

Hi Mrsj. I was very impressed by quality of accommodation at Sandy Balls, really clean and tidy and with good-quality equipment (it's worth checking exactly what's provided, though, otherwise you'll end up spending a fortune in the on-site and overpriced Spar shop). I haven't been to a Haven, is it a holiday camp? Anyway, SB is definintely more like a Centreparc. We didn't make use of any of the on-site facilites (swimming pool, adventure playground, indoor playcentre, art/craft stuff for kids)only because the weather was good. We tried the pub but didn't like it because it was too much like a Harvester, and we didn't go to the Italian because it was booked out.
The surrounding countryside is gorgeous so I can't think of many better places to site a cod HQ unless you are pony-phobic.

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