Chilling Out in the New Forest

Limewood Hotel, Hampshire

I knew I had arrived in the New Forest when a magnificent grey horse sauntered across the narrow road in front of me. On the left a herd of cows chewed nonchalantly at the grass whilst gazing at the car. I was on my way to a day of relaxation. Each year I visit a spa somewhere and Limewood Hotel in Hampshire appealed.

The drive led to a magnificent house, now a hotel with a car park on the right. First impressions looked good until I saw I had the oldest and smallest car in the car park. Had I overstepped the mark and arrived somewhere a bit too exclusive? But no- the welcome was relaxed, down to earth and made me feel at ease from the moment I stepped into the Herb House Spa.Sipping a strong coffee in the cafe I planned my day of relaxation.

Downstairs in the wet area of the spa I swam some lengths in the large pool before relaxing in an outdoor jacuzzi with the steam rising in the cool morning air. Judging my moment to escape the warmth of the steam I grabbed a robe and dated back inside. The warmth of the sauna greeted me with windows overlooking an autumnal wood. But my favourite part of the day was yet to come as I relaxed in the beautiful infinity pool overlooking the trees. I had always wanted to experience an infinity pool and they do look wonderful, creating that illusion between the outside scene and the edge of the water.Today was no exception with the golden shades of autumn leaves meeting the shimmering water. It was truly relaxing.There are private rooms here too where couples can enjoy treatments. Later I luxuriated with a massage and manicure, completely relaxed.

The food at Limewood is great too and I lunched in Raw and Cured. My salads were tasty and inspiring, getting me to think about new ingredients for my suppers. Tomato and date go together surprisingly well.

A walk in the grounds is not to be missed at Limewood with woodland paths and art displayed on lawns. There is even a smokery and a few beehives here. Back in the main hotel guests enjoyed afternoon tea and cocktails in a very classy but relaxed atmosphere.

Limewood has cookery classes here too which got me thinking as I departed for the day. Maybe next year I’ll be back to try them out- along with that fabulous spa of course. After all- it really was a wonderful day. And this is somewhere I plan to return to- for a slightly longer stay.


Price: £££ pricey but the quality was there.

Ambiance: although this feels and is upmarket the staff are very chilled and down to earth.

Location: 9/10 – a beautiful part of the New Forest. Watch out for ponies on the road to Limewood.

Who Goes there: Friends, single people, couples. People on a long weekend using the hotel and day spa users. As a single woman I’d recommend it.


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