Hidden off the back roads in the beautiful Meon Valley, Wallops Wood Cottages offer a perfect rural retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Less than a two hour drive from central London these relaxing holiday homes are an ideal destination for families looking for a long weekend or short trip to the countryside.
CAN I BRING THE KIDS? That’s the idea. The drive down to Meon Valley is short enough for impatient little passengers, and the cottages themselves are perfect for families with small children. They each come fully equipped with everything your little one will need, including travel cots, high chairs, toys and books. Our one-year-old felt right at home here, and once we’d put him to bed we popped open the bottle of complimentary wine our hosts had left us and took a dip in the cottage’s hot tub.
THE STAY: Sleeping up to six people with three double ensuite rooms, the five cottages are spacious, comfortable and finished to a very high standard. Each cottage comes with its own private garden, including an outdoor dining area and barbecue. And with the South Downs National Park right there on the doorstep, the cottages have a very rural feel. It’s remarkably quiet and secluded here too – we enjoyed the most relaxing night’s sleep we’d had in some time.
AND IF I DON’T HAVE KIDS? The cottages are well suited for groups of friends too, or indeed anybody looking to get away to the countryside without having to undertake a long trek into the wilderness. The winding country roads leading up to the cottages may test your sat nav, but the charm of the rural location will not be lost on those used to being stuck in endless traffic jams.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING? Those visiting Wallops Wood may wish to stock up on supplies before arriving, as the cottages are self-catering, but should you forget any of the basics your hosts can provide all the essentials to tide you over. There are plenty of local restaurants and pubs serving food nearby if you fancy popping out for a bite to eat, but if you’d prefer to eat in, you can arrange for a shopping run to be delivered straight to your door, or even call for a personal chef to do the cooking for you. You are, after all, on holiday.
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO? The cottage provides a great base for long walks and bike rides around the local area. During our stay we took a quick trip down to the charming market town of Petersfield to browse the various stalls, cafes and independent shops on offer. But the highlight of the trip for our little one was easily the nearby Marwell Zoo, in particular the Humboldt penguins, which he loved.