An April 2002 trip
to West Sussex by Holiday Jo
Quote: As a birthday treat my partner decided to show his romantic side and treat me to a two-night break in Petworth, West Sussex, in a hotel with a difference.
My highlights were:
A bike ride round the New Forest. Both me and my partner thought it would fun to hire a tandem bike from Burley Bike Hire in the village of Burley. We hired the bike for half a day, which we thought was more than long enough, and we bought one of the route maps so we could plan our ride. I would definitely recommend hiring a tandem as it made quite a few passers-by laugh and we made a few friends en route. You do need to be careful, and do not approach the horses, as they can get quite scared.
Beaulieu Motor Museum. I would suggest visiting this museum even if you are not that interested in cars, etc. We found it a bit expensive and I do not think it’s the perfect place for children, but if you fancy a day with a difference, pay the Motor Museum a visit. The Museum stands in the grounds of the Palace House and you can catch the open-top bus across the estate to the Abbey. You can also take the monorail through the gardens and it takes you through the roof of the museum. Inside the museum are famous cars that you will recognise from TV programmes, etc., and are able to touch and get inside a lot of the cars.
Another suggestion whilst in Petworth would be to visit the BlueBell Railway. You may be lucky enough to be there on one of their theme days, such as a day out with Thomas the tank engine. If not you can’t help but be fascinated by the old working steam trains and you may recognise the platforms from television programmes.
My final tip would be stopping at the cider farms dotted around the New Forest. Not only are you able to buy old-fashioned kegs of cider, but the farmers are also very keen on giving you samples free to try. We found it reasonably priced, but be careful - the cider is a lot stronger than you would normally have, and just a small glass full can leave you feeling a little bit tipsy.
There are places to eat and visit nearby, but if you are planning on staying longer than 2 nights, a car is essential to fully enjoy the area.
There is very little public transport and the distance from village to village is quite a long walk. Badgers Pub and Restaurant is only a minute’s walk from the Old Station House but everywhere else is not within walking distance.
When you arrive you check in at the guest room, which is the old converted waiting room, and when you enter you feel like you have stepped back in time. You are served English tea on arrival with homemade fruit cake and biscuits.
You can either choose to stay in one of the carriages, as we did, or in the old station house, and you can have your breakfast either in your carriage, on the platform, or in the dining area.
The Old Station House is one of the most romantic hotels I have ever stayed in, and the staff are so friendly and make you feel very welcome. They will provide you with a folder that lists nearby restaurants, bars, and local attractions. Just one minutes walk from your room is a restaurant/pub called Badgers, and that too has a wonderful, cosy atmosphere.
The Old Railway Station is a perfect weekend retreat.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 15, 2004
Kettering, United Kingdom