Weekend breaks are my go-to essential to fulfil the little hole I get when I’m not full time travelling. Before the world blew up with COVID-19, we had the pleasure of enjoying a night away at The White Buck, in the heart of the New Forest – one of my favourite places in all UK.
Growing up, I spent many a camping holiday in the New Forest and always love returning for new adventures. If you love the countryside, hiking, nature, wild donkey’s and fresh air, then the New Forest should SO be on your bucket list. As soon as we entered the national park and had the wide open landscapes either side of the car windows, I got this fuzzy feeling of happiness inside and felt so relaxed.
We booked our stay at The White Buck through Booking.com a couple of nights before the day. I am always so indecisive when it comes to choosing a place to stay. I will spend hours trawling through photos to determine if it’s ‘pretty’ enough – does anyone else have this same problem? And, since welcoming a third traveller to the family (Moose), I now also have to take into account that we need somewhere dog friendly. Well, I can safely say The White Buck ticked both those boxes!
The White Buck is located in Burley, a village with a magical history and association to witches. Should you stay here, I seriously recommend tying a visit to Burley Village into your stay. I guarantee you won’t be able to resist the local fudge shop and of course a trip to the Coven of Witches gift shop is a must.
Pulling into the hotel, the first thing we noticed is their ample (and free) parking. It is always a relief when you don’t have to fork out an extra expense and it makes the arrival so much easier. Once parked, you couldn’t miss the beautiful hotel building in front of you, surrounded by the stunning New Forest woodland. As we walked through the entrance, they had a basket of towels to dry the wet pooches, a stand of umbrellas to borrow, a rack with spare wellies if guests needed, and a big pot of dog treats, making Moose one happy boy!
The hotels interior gave off the most cozy, warm and countryside vibe. The reception area had a cosy sitting area, a toasty fire, chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and a grand staircase that led up to the bedrooms. In total, The White Buck has twenty stylish boutique bedrooms (cosy, comfy and indulgence) that will all provide the perfect base for a relaxing break.
We stayed in one of their indulgence, dog friendly rooms. Our room was beautifully-decorated and again gave off those countryside feels. The first thing I like to do in any hotel is flop down onto the bed to to test its comfort and I can happily say the Egyptian cotton got my seal of approval! We had an ensuite bathroom with a shower and bath-tub, which brings me onto the second thing I like to do in any hotel which is to run a bubble bath and pop on a bath robe. This is exactly what I did, once I’d managed to peel myself away from those bed sheets. The room was equipped with TV, Wi-Fi and of course a Nespresso machine for Farley.
By staying in one of their dog friendly bedrooms, Moose was not forgotten about. He had a large food and water bowl and some tasty dog biscuits waiting for his arrival. We loved how the staff greeted him with a pat on his head and a tickle behind the ears, and in the morning he received a big “Good Morning Moose!” as all four paws rushed down the stairs for breakfast. It was so cute!
As well as the stylish and very comfortable bedrooms, the hotel features a beautiful garden surrounded by the enchanted forest, a cosy bar and a charming restaurant that dishes up some whole hearty and mouthwatering British cuisine. Dogs were allowed in the bar area and there was a doggy friendly restaurant area too. Breakfast was included in our stay and even Moose was able to enjoy a warm sausage straight from the kitchen!
The White Buck really is a perfect spot to base yourself for exploring the New Forest National Park and the towns that surround it. If you’re planning on spending a few days there, then of course I’d recommend using most of that time immersing yourself in the New Forest itself. The Tall Trees Trail is definitely one of my favourite hikes and the giant trees remind me of something you’d find in the USA. If you have time and fancy a change of scenery, perhaps venture further afield to the beaches of Bournemouth, Christchurch or Lymington might be on your agenda.
If there was one thing I had to fault about our stay, is that it wasn’t long enough. The hotel was so cosy and staff were so welcoming to us and Moose (of course more Moose being the fluffy pup he is), which made us feel right at home. The food was delicious and our most favourite aspect was that we were in the heart of the New Forest and that we could explore its beauty from the hotels doorstep. Will we be back? Oh yes.
Have you heard of the New Forest National Park? You may have even explored it yourself!