Europe Travel · December 1, 2023

A magical stay at Lime Wood

AD – press stay, but all opinions my own

Earlier this month, as October crept into November and pumpkins were replaced with the promise of a weekend of sparkling fireworks, I headed for a couple of days at the magical Lime Wood Hotel. Nestled on the edge of the New Forest; where the roads are flanked by greens, browns and golden hues and wild horses stand parallel to passing cars- it feels like stepping into a dreamy bucolic novel (which I promise is still as special if you’re in a little rumbling Toyota and not on in a floaty gown on horseback)…

This funny old job of mine affords me a handful of very lovely perks. I get to create fun shoots, work with brilliant brands that trust me with ideas and storytelling and meet some of the most sparkly, bright and creative people doing imaginative and exciting things. But the opportunity to travel and the pleasure of staying somewhere as special as the Lime Wood will never be something I’ll take for granted. And I’ll be honest, Lime Wood is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed. Having visited in 2017 on a press trip, I remember feeling as completely blown away then as I do now, so the chance to come as the seasons were changing felt like a complete treat. 



I think the thing that strikes you about Lime Wood is that despite being a five star hotel (with a front drive often laden with parked cars you’d expect to see in a Bond film), there’s a real softness and cosiness from the moment you walk in. It’s the kind of place where you become the kind of person who takes their morning papers to breakfast and feels like you could walk around with your in-room slippers just about anywhere. 

For a start, the bedrooms are the kind of rooms you’d imagine in a Nancy Meyers film. Sloped ceilings and printed wallpaper that gives you a heady rush of ‘I NEED TO NOW WALLPAPER MY OWN HOME IMMEDIATELY’. The sort of beds you’d expect to see Cameron Diaz in her bobble hat in in The Holiday tucked up in, and the kind of feel that whether you wake up to bright sunshine or blustery winds with a seasonally named storm- you’d be very happy to be holed up here. So much so, one of my highlights of the stay was an evening in front of University Challenge, wood burner lit and room service from their delicious Hartnett Holder & Co restaurant, (which I’d argue was just as delicious in room, but maybe that’s my pyjamas talking). 



Outside of the room, the spa is one of the real stars of the show. Boasting a hydro-pool, sauna, steam room, outdoor hot pool, jacuzzi and treatment rooms- you could easily spend your stay hopping from one to the other (my fingers were positively raisins by the time we left). There’s also a handful of walking routes printed out in-room, so you can take your wellies out for the afternoon and even venture across to The Pig for a cuppa, which is just around the corner too (admittedly a lovely neighbour to have)!

Undoubtedly, Lime Wood is a special occasion place. It’s somewhere where you might potter around using hushed tones as you ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over cosy corners. Where you want to dress up to the nines for a nightcap in the sitting room (and then use that kind of sentence, ‘darling, shall we have a nightcap??’), indulging in the kind of sophisticated chatter you’d probably reserve for impressing new in laws or employers (peppered in with some ‘hang on- have you seen this Girls Aloud TikTok??’ talk too). 





Additionally, I also love the fact they offer a very cosy afternoon tea and deliciously indulgent spa days which means you can enjoy so much of what there is to offer without having to book a room either. It’s truly a hotel where every detail seems to have been thought about and nothing feels like too much, and if you’re looking for somewhere that would make the most beautiful mini-moon location or special celebration destination, truly look no further (just remember to pack a floaty gown for some Pride and Prejudice moments during one of your walks)…







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