Thatched Hat Cottage

pretty, homely, private,

  • 6
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Close to Coast
  • Family Friendly
  • Younger Families

On the edge of the coastal farmland and the tiniest donkey-filled hamlet, this cottage is the good life… with a thatch on the top. The large, south-facing private garden is a sun-trap, and  home to a pet Guinea Fowl, sorry no dogs here please.

The style here draws from and reflects the owners many years in Africa, as well as her love of the New Forest and its history. Along with deep sofas, soft linens, and pretty views from traditional casement windows in this charming thatch and cob house, you’ll find Masai necklaces, collections of woven baskets, antique travel books, all of which the owner, Fiona, has collected in her many trips. Her family live in some of the wildest parts of Botswana. Her son is a well respected wildlife photographer and safari guide.

For visitors wanting some animal action for themselves, this is the spot. Because you’re right in the National Park here, the herds of ponies, donkeys and cattle consider these lanes and tracks home, often sleeping in the driveway!

Children will love walking to the woods and the rope swing nearby. Or head to the beach (via the back garden) and walk through the fields (passing a very good pub half way). The garden is mature and well loved. Cyclists (on and off road) are in for a treat because you’re right on excellent trails here. Tanners Lane Beach is wild but busier after COVID lockdown, tho’ walk further and you’ll find your quiet.

FYI there will be a guest staying in the annexe on site.


£260 per night

What makes this place special...

Highlights staying at this house and in the local area...

Tried and tested

We only choose places we've been to see and loved!

Customer service

We care a lot, for our guests and many stakeholders

Always fair

We beleive in fairness for our guests, owners and team

Eco Conscious

We engage with sustainable practice to actively reduce our impacts

Championing local

We celebrate the culture and traditions of the New Forest

Proudly independent

We are a small, mum-run local business at heart

All the essential details.

Here's your full run down of this place, inside and out...


The cottage is 275 years old, made from cob and you can tell from the shapely walls, with it’s wobbles and curves that it’s a place wth a history. Whilst modernised, the feeling here is a place that is loved for what it is. Thankfully no one has tried to make it chi-chi with modern lines. Nooks and crannies abound. The kitchen floor meanders. The stairs creak. It is all completely charming. The whole house is decorated in pale creams, greys. There are warm-toned fabrics, kilim rugs and mahogany furniture sits happily beside tribal drums, beach treasure and giant picnic baskets.

The kitchen is central to the slow life here. This is the place for endless cups of tea, (I won't write endless glasses of wine) around the old table. The royal blue AGA sits like a granny and presides over it all. Fiona, who has lived here for over 15 years, describes the tiles behind it, as delft - "lookey-likey", adding, "when I bought the cottage I didn't like the tiles behind the AGA, but never got around to changing them, now I'm rather fond of them". The all important table seats 6. It sits without a wobble on the sloping and well loved floor, patched to match the thatch...

The sitting room extension is a good size with two huge sofas and a massive ClearView wood burner. In summer, open the doors to the terrace, in winter, cuddle up and settle in.

The ceiling height in the house is better than many old cottages. Those who are 6 foot tall will be ok but have to duck through doors. Bedrooms upstairs are smaller. The main bedroom upstairs and the bedroom downstairs are the biggest. The double upstairs is small, the bed is 4 foot wide.
Floor plan


Master 1 : Upstairs, light bedroom facing the garden and fields. King size bed. Room for a travel cot.
Bedroom 2 : 4'6 double views of the fields
Master Bedroom 3 : Downstairs, light bedroom facing the garden. King size bed. Room for a travel cot.


Shower room : Family shower room upstairs, next to Bedroom 2.
Bath room : Family bathroom downstairs, ensuite to Master 3.

All the rest...

Kitchen : AGA / Microwave / Dishwasher/ Fridge 1 tall & 1 small / Freezer 1 tall & 1 small . Toast is done on the AGA on a rack. There is a separate kettle. Washing machine in the utility room.
Mod Cons : The TV in the sitting room has freeview and DVD player . A simple bluetooth speaker is provided.
Connectivity : The WIFI is reasonable here. 4G is good outdoors.
Kids' Stuff : A travel cot and high chair are provided free. We have a selection of toys and DVD's for children of 7 years and up. A stairgate is also provided.
Pets : Sorry - no dogs, the wild guinea fowl who lives here doesn't like being disturbed.


Surrounded by pretty cottage flowers, the garden terrace is a private, sun trap and has a table for 6 and seats for 10. It’s a perfect spot for summer BBQ’s. There is a pond here, please be careful. It’s not fenced and is 50 metres away from the back door (there is a good line of sight from the kitchen sink). To the side of the cottage the garden is untouched except for the path that meanders through the wild flowers, a haven for bird life, grasses, herbs and insects.
Garden : Large private garden behind the house toward the fields and then sea. It is fenced on the sides but not at the field. There is a pond which is thigh-deep on an adult - so be careful when booking with children. A Guinea Fowl calls this garden home, so dogs and wild play aren't encouraged. This is a quiet spot...

A BBQ with charcoal is provided for you.
Parking : There is room for 2 larger cars. The parking is on the side of the quiet road.
Garden :

Home truths

The owner, Fiona, may stay in the separate annexe which is to the right of the main house as you look down the garden. This won’t disturb your stay.  She tends to the garden and is full of information about the local area - feel free to chat to her about ideas for your stay.

No dogs here please. There is a resident Guinea Fowl (named Guiness) and he takes precedence...


The floor here is quite wobbly in places. Not literally, but it's certainly not flat. There is a downstairs bedroom with ensuite bath but no specific set up for accessibility.

Booking Information

Free and included in your booking cost are: all bedding and linen, towels for the house, kitchen essentials, any baby kit you've requested and cleaning the house after you leave. Logs are supplied in winter. We also supply some treats to get you going for tea when you arrive. Enjoy!

Arrival & Departure

Arrive from: 5pm
Depart before: 10am

Payment Info

Deposit: 50%
Balance Due: 45 days before your stay
Security Deposit: £400

Guests that have stayed here rate this place:

4.5 out of 5 more real reviews on upfront reviews and facebook

The location...

Norley Wood is a sweet, rural hamlet with a huge lot of nothing going on... Cows and ponies walk the lanes, the trees grow leaves, the wind comes and goes…

There is a fabulous rope swing by the old telephone box. This is a big deal in "downtown" NW! For pubs head to the East End Arms, a few miles away across the fields, or the Turfcutters in East Boldre.

Lymington is often in The Times ‘Top 10 places to live in the UK’.  Obviously we are totally biased and agree. It is marvellous. The quality of life here is very good. The town is surrounded by National Park to the north, coastal otherwise. There is a good mix of industry (boats) and retail. Less obvious is the connection to the rural workings of the National Park itself.

Need more info, or not quite what you’re looking for..?

Don’t worry, we’re always on-hand to help and our personalised booking process will match the right house to the right guests!

We're all locals and know the houses and Forest like the backs of our hands, so if you have any queries about the information we have provided or have any special requests for your stay, please just ask:

Call us 01590 462005

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What makes this place special...

Highlights staying at this house and in the local area...