How to choose a self catering cottage for a family holiday
The ingredients for a successful family self catering holiday
Choosing a property both child friendly and parent friendly is the key!
Self catering cottages are perfect for all sorts of getaways whether short breaks or longer holidays, and different cottages are more or less suited to family holidays, romantic breaks and special occasions .
If you’re looking specifically for a family friendly self catering property it can be quite daunting searching amongst the thousands of properties available online. This immediately underlines how handy it can be to be able to pick up the phone and call a friendly and knowledgeable member of the team at New Forest Holiday Lets - where we know all our cottages inside out including which to recommend for what kind of holiday!
Happy children means happy parents and happy holidays. We are pleased to offer a number of family-friendly holiday cottages, many of which go the extra mile to be really child-friendly.
Key criteria in our experience for a successful self catering holiday with the family – bearing in mind you’ll still be shopping and cooking! – are:
Plenty of space for adults and children to spread out
Space! Enough of it both indoors and out for everybody to spread out – for small children to play and bigger ones to chill, for grownups to flop with a cup of tea or a glass of wine without having to move a jumble of discarded jumpers and toys out of the way first!
Boot and shoe racks or shelves will really help, and hooks for the outdoor clobber. A holiday cottage where the owners have thought about these things will be an enormous bonus and help you to get organised on arrival so that you can then concentrate on quality time with the family.
Likewise a decent sized kitchen can be a godsend even though you don’t intend to do complex cooking – just having enough worktop space to unload the holiday food shop and sort things out will speed up the chores and create more time for the fun!
Meadow Lodge is a brilliant 6 bed property in Hythe (the right side of the forest for access from London/ north/ south east) 5 minutes drive from open forest, 10 from the coast and walking distance to a good pub; it’s really well equipped, disabled friendly (great for multi generation family holidays) and has tons of space for adults, kids and pets indoors and out. It fulfils the other criteria below too!
Accessible location for getting about
For young children it’s often a godsend to have a playground close by. Luckily of course, the New Forest is a giant natural playground which is partly why it’s so popular for families who like to be outdoors and active together – and in an ideal world your holiday will include many simple and inexpensive days exploring the cycle and walking routes and playing on the beaches, together as a family. Choosing a holiday property which is not TOO tucked away but instead convenient for the main routes will maximise the choice about what to do today and make decisions easier.
Chamberlains Cottage fits the bill of being accessible for getting about - it’s perfectly located for the many village amenities of Brockenhurst and open forest too, plus easy walking distance from the train station – offering an alternative and scenic mode of travel across the forest to Bournemouth or Southampton for additional family entertainment– and is characterful and homely too.
Close to reasonably priced places to eat out
“Relaxing” family holiday isn’t compatible with “self catering” if you end up shopping, cooking and clearing up every day! So for some families a really important factor is to be within an easy walk of places to eat out – which could range from a family restaurant, to a good pub which welcomes children, to a cafe. With the emphasis on sensible prices, too.
Silverton Cottage tucked away yet in the heart of Lymington, is not only a characterful holiday home with a very sociable feel engendered by lots of interconnecting spaces, but also so well located for walking distance eating out that you could happily leave the car on the drive for most of your holiday
Rainy day facilities
Notwithstanding the relatively benign weather we get in the New Forest there are few weeks during the year which don’t include a rainy day! And if you’re unlucky you’ll get a few of them. Being prepared is half the battle eg a stock of games - even if you do decide to make a run for the bowling alley, indoor pool or cinema complex (now with reclining seats and leg rests!) less than a half hour’s car journey away in either Southampton, Bournemouth or Salisbury. But it also really helps to have somewhere to hang the wet stuff - where it’s not in the way, constantly reminding you that it’s raining!
The Hollies in Brockenhurst has an outside utility area for wet clothes with washing machine and dryer. Perfect for rainy day eventualities.
Contact us now to discuss your family self catering cottage needs!