A Hygge Winter Retreat for Families at Cabins & Castles’ Stableyard Cottage, Hampshire

Stableyard Cottage has become a firm favourite with families looking for a healthy dose of the great outdoors, offering a picturesque sanctuary within easy reach of London. Zoey Goto and her family donned their winter warmers, cozied up to the fire and settled in for a hygge-themed minibreak in the Hampshire countryside.

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A Family Visit to Stableyard Cottage: Check In

It just doesn’t get much prettier than driving up to Stableyard Cottage, right in the heart of the South Downs, surrounded by rolling hills and scenic villages. Upon arrival, we were given a warm welcome from Stableyard Cottage’s owners, who live just across the courtyard in the main farmhouse. They’re a wealth of local insider information and also happen to be grandparents, so have the inside scoop on the best local spots for entertaining little ones!

The cottage itself is perfectly set up for families; with an upstairs bedroom featuring twin beds and an en suite bathroom, plus a cot can be added for little ones. Downstairs, there’s a stylish double bedroom and separate bathroom with a washing machine for longer stays. Nestled next to the open-plan kitchen is a snug seating area with a toasty fire (behind a safety screen) and shelf of board games – perfect for whiling away a winter’s evening.

We were also greeted with a jam-packed welcome basket, including fresh bread from the neighbouring farm shop, wine, cereal and a deliciously zingy homemade lemon drizzle cake. It was the kind of welcome that instantly puts you ease!

Beyond the cottage there’s a private garden terrace area surrounded with beds of lavender and with its own BBQ, or venture through the courtyard into the fruit orchard, which offers plenty of space for children to run free, alongside a slide and mini sandpit area. There are also fields of friendly donkeys and horses nearby to admire.

GOOD TO KNOW: Don’t forget to bring your rackets and balls, as the cottage has its own tennis court.

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Cabins & Castles Stableyard Cottage: What to do for Families

One of the selling points for a family stay at Stableyard Cottage is that it’s perfectly located for family-friendly daytrips.

Within an easy drive are two lovely beaches; West Wittering Beach would probably nab the beauty prize for its white sandy dunes (note that you’ll need to pre-book the car park online before arriving) while East Wittering is a hidden gem of a beach. Don’t be put off by the pebbles, as this is a great spot for watching surfers of all ages brave the swells. East Wittering is also home to Billy’s on the Beach – a lovely terrace café with kid’s portions and seaside vistas. Both beaches also have SUP, kite surfing and surf lessons available.

When the surf’s not up, those looking for a great all-weather family outing should head to nearby Staunton Farm, where you’ll find outdoor pens of alpacas and goats ready to feed, plus an indoor soft-play barn and onsite café. Entrance to the farm is around £30 for a family of four, or nearby Staunton Country Park offers 1000 acres of landscaped gardens to explore for free.

Older kids may want to bring their mountain bikes as the South Downs boasts some impressive trails, or for a dose of culture then head to Chichester Festival Theatre, known as one of England’s most striking modern playhouses.

Alpaca feeding at Staunton Farm

Cabins & Castles Stableyard Cottage: The Food

While Stableyard Cottage is ideally set up for a self-catering break with a fully equipped kitchen, those wanting to eat out are also well catered for in the surrounding Sussex and Hampshire countryside. The Victoria Inn at West Marden is a family-run country pub, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a separate kid’s menu featuring all the classics.

Get into the festive spirit at the Boat House Café in Chichester, serving up Christmas dinner or mince pies with warming hot drinks, in a relaxed café overlooking the harbour. Or combine a wintery woodland walk with some quintessentially British fare at The George Inn in Finchdean, which is a popular pit stop for hikers and cyclists.

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Cabins & Castles Stableyard Cottage: The Lowdown

If you’re looking for a country escape that’s set up with families in mind, then Stableyard Cottage ticks the boxes.The enclosed gardens and play area are ideal for younger children, while the nearby beaches and cycle routes make it a great outdoorsy spot for teens. As evening falls, grab a book and settle in beside the wood-burner, as this pretty cottage makes the perfect base for a cozy winter retreat.

Junior Fact File: Cabins & Castles’ Stableyard Cottage, Hampshire

Stableyard Cottage can be booked through Cabins and Castles, who specialise in family-friendly accommodation in and around the Sussex area.

A highchair, cot, stair-gate and toys are available on request.

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Prices start from £165 per night, with a three night minimum stay at the Strabvleyard Cottage – visit here for more information >> Cabins and Castles