Shorefield Country Park

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May, 2013

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Travel journalist and Silver Travel Advisor, David Powell, visits the glorious South Coast for a weekend away at a peaceful and relaxing Country Park with all amenities on site….

Talking to several local people, apparently the New Forest has its own micro-climate and New Forest weather can be completely different from the surrounding areas. Whether this is true or not I just know when I left Kent for my extended weekend break it was pouring with rain for most of the 3 hour drive with a general forecast of a wet weekend! However, on arrival at Shorefield Country Park near Milford on Sea, the weather was totally different and with the sun shining it was a pleasure to pull into this 100 acre holiday park on the glorious South Coast, one of Britain’s most popular holiday regions.

Shorefield Country Park is a 5 star rated holiday park set in delightful landscaped parkland – a perfect location for a relaxing holiday or to explore the rural surroundings and visit many local attractions in the nearby New Forest National Park, famous for the ponies and deer.

Reception and the main park facilities are located at the entrance to the Park and check-in was fast, friendly and professional – I was soon driving through the security barrier heading for my accommodation and dedicated parking area. There were 4 in our party and we were booked into a very spacious 3 bedroom (6 berth) Forest Lodge with a large balcony with chairs and patio table. Inside, the Lodge certainly lived up to its 5 star rating. It was delightfully pine clad throughout giving it a fresh, clean and relaxing appearance. The Lodge was modern with a large comfortable lounge and kitchen area. Equipment provided included a cooker, fridge, crockery, cutlery and bed linen. Add to this a pine dining table, two comfy sofas, a flat screen TV with DVD player, efficient electric heating all included, and you have all the makings of a fabulous break away.

The three bedrooms were large and comfortable with the main bedroom having its own en-suite toilet and shower area. A family sized bathroom completed the layout. Some of the Lodges also come with a hot tub. After settling in, time to stretch my legs on a gentle woodland walk and watch an abundance of wildlife on the way.

Keep Fit and Relax! There’s both outdoor and indoor heated swimming pools that can be enjoyed by guests together with a sauna, steam room and spa bath; plus a fully equipped gym with qualified instructors to ensure guests gain maximum benefit from their workout.

This is a superb spa situated above the reception and pool areas offering a wide range of beauty treatments, massage and facials. There are full day and half day packages available and treatments include Elemis facials, Jessica manicures and pedicures, Aroma stone therapy, fantasy tan, body wraps and much more. My wife experienced a neck, back and shoulder massage. The verdict was: “excellent, the therapists were welcoming and professional and I would certainly recommend a visit here”.

This is a family friendly park and for smaller children there are plenty of fun activities hosted by the Squirrels, Cyril and Cybil, the Shorefield mascots. In school holidays activities include treasure hunts, disco’s, sport, fun and games on a Wii, character breakfasts and the popular talent shows. Family entertainment from the resident entertainment team and visiting artists include themed shows, live bands, games, quizzes and disco. You can check out the entertainment on offer on the Shorefield website and in the reception area. Leisure facilities also include an all-weather flood-lit tennis court, crazy golf and astro turf football pitch. There’s a nature centre, small fishing lake and a game zone arcade centre, plus internet kiosks, WiFi facilities, children’s play areas and adventure playground.

DINING Whilst all types of accommodation are self catering with a well stocked Spa supermarket and Off Licence on site, it’s still a great option to be able to pop out for a meal and a drink.

This is the main bar and restaurant. There’s a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu with no booking required and a popular Sunday carvery. All food is sourced locally whenever possible, there’s a wide range of beers and real ales, an extensive wine list and full hot drinks menu. Sports fans are also well catered for as the latest sporting events are shown on 4 large screens.

This restaurant offers a more formal dining option and I enjoyed a lovely dinner here on my first night choosing from the Specials Board which offers freshly baked pizzas, pasta dishes, freshly baked bread and a choice of starters and dessert. I enjoyed the relaxed friendly atmosphere of the Bistro and the service was first class! Pre-booking is recommended.

A popular option at Shorefield is holiday home ownership. Here you can buy your own luxury holiday home and escape to the beautiful South Coast whenever you want. Caravans and Lodges are on view near the reception car park and they really are luxurious with all mod cons. There’s lots of information available about ownership from a dedicated sales team who will happily guide you through the options.

Shorefield Holidays was established in 1958 and since then have gone from strength to strength and now own six parks all situated within Hampshire and Dorset. All parks offer high quality accommodation together with an extensive range of leisure facilities. The company are very proud of the many awards they have received for continued dedication to customer service and facilities. Details of the other parks can be seen on the Shorefield website

I mentioned earlier that Shorefield Country Park is a great base to explore the New Forest and the many attractions in the area. Paulton’s Park, Beaulieu National Motor Museum and gardens, and Lymington, are all close by, as are walks and bike rides in the New Forest.

On the Sunday I took the opportunity to visit the wonderful Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway. The Gardens are a spectacular 200 acre (100 hectare) site, world famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. I loved exploring the myriad of pathways around the gardens which I did by chauffeur driven buggy available from various stops around the site. The Railway follows a one and a quarter mile circular route on a 12 ¼” gauge and is a wonderful way to see the gardens. The sights and sounds of the liveried blue engines are a draw for visitors of all ages. After leaving Exbury Central Station, the train enters the Summer Lane Garden with a bridge, tunnel, causeway and series of individual themed gardens based on character and texture. The collections of plants reflect the seasons and can only be seen from the train.

I had a very enjoyable break at Shorefield Country Park. Peaceful and relaxing, perfect for a family holiday, short break, a weekend away or even a Spa break. The staff I came across were friendly and welcoming and although situated in a rural location the Park was easy to find. I wouldn’t hesitate to return here.

Shorefield Country Park, is situated at Shorefield Road, Nr Milford on Sea, Hampshire SO41 0LH

For more information on the Parks, photos and to book, see David’s video review.

David Powell

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