• Become a DogFriendly Member & receive:
  • Bi-monthly e-magazine
  • County guides & Dog walking guides
  • 10% Discount on 100s of dog friendly properties
  • Find Out More
Exclusive benefits for members: Find Out More

Alternatively, if you would like to search for a dog-friendly listing by name, click here.

Sunnydell Retreat

Sunnydell is a place for healthy and happy holidays. The cottage has a swimming pool and private garden. Lucky guests can ask the owner for holistic health coaching here, with treatments available on-site.

Read More

The house is at the end of a gravel track, in a large clearing among ancient trees. This calm, leafy oasis, has ponies hanging their heads over the gate and you can walk out, into the wild forest for miles in every direction. The pool is open (approx’) from May  to end Oct.

The house was built in the 1700’s and is full of character. Staying here is to slow down and reconnect with nature: relax, restore and revitalise. Some of the most beautiful parts of the National Park forest and heath are right outside the gate. Exploring is a must. 

New owners, husband and wife Adam and Afeefa, have a passion to share their unique vision of what a holistic retreat can be. They have converted the stables across the garden into an on-site treatment centre. They are global travellers and welcome children and families to the house. You may meet them from time to time. Their ethos is a huge part of staying here.

For more information about health coaching and treatments available on-site, please read below. 

The pool is heated from May to the end of September. (A heating surcharge is applied in May). For those who want sand between their toes, drive for 20 minutes to the pretty coast at Mudeford and Hengitsbury Head. 

Staying here also means that you ideally respect the holistic ethos. Guests are politely asked to refrain from excess drinking, noisy gatherings, smoking and preferably choose a non-meat based diet. These requests are designed to assist guests to relax and slow down, and to keep the peaceful calm feeling here.


You’ll find a country kitchen built for families to chat, play games and spend time around the large wooden kitchen table, which comfortably seats 8. There is a modern wood burner here to heat you up on cold nights and the kitchen is well set up for cooks and food lovers alike!

The sitting room seats 6, with 2 large sofas. There is a beanbag and a large footstool too. This is the most ancient part of the house with low ceilings and thick stone brick walls, typical of classical New Forest cottages. The fireplace and wood burner are centre-focus and directly across there is a clever alcove library / reading hideaway too. 

Furthest from the kitchen, through the sitting room, you’ll find a downstairs bedroom with king size bed and an ensuite shower and toilet. This is a lovely room with double doors onto a garden terrace, which is a good sun bay and perfect for reading & resting quietly away from the pool.

Upstairs you’ll find a double room that can also be made into a twin and next door a small and bright single room in the rafters. There is minimal clothes storage space here. There is also a ‘half’ bed in here which doubles as a travel cot space if this better suits your needs.

The main cottage bathroom is downstairs and has a shower over the bath. Next door is the boot room for storage, this also houses the main fridge freezer (there is a small under counter fridge in the kitchen too).


The site is a quarter of an acre in total and mostly set to lawn in an enclosure of majestic trees and a variety of shrubs. There are a couple of apple trees to provide shade by the pool. Sit beside the cottage to find the best sun trap. It’s a good place to eat too – there is a table and chairs here for a further 4 people. 


There is a great selection of garden games and kit: including a table tennis table, various lawn games and a badminton net. The owners even have a range of mountain, electric and manual bikes available for rent and there are numerous off-road bike routes from the house.

For the twitchers we have nuthatches, great spotted and green woodpeckers, jays, tits, wagtails, starlings and sparrows, plus the odd buzzard flying over. All you need to do is put nuts and seeds in the feeders.

The simple things are often the best and we suggest that guests set up a treasure map for kids in the woods, tracking the wild ponies who live here, picnics in the forest, listening to the birdsong, star gazing…. the list is endless…

The Pool

The pool is heated to 25-26 C from approx’ June to Sept – start and end dates depend on the weather. In May & October there is a pool surcharge of £100 per week for extra heating. It is fenced, has a super-safe cover that children and adults can walk on. Please don’t! But the point is that it’s designed to be super safe.

Treatments available here

Adam is an experienced hypnotherapy provider. Afeefa is a vegan baker. They may also offer yoga, Ayurveda, cooking classes and breakfast to guests through the year depending on COVID rules and availability.

Best for…

Groups who will respect the quiet nature of the place, or perhaps who want to try out new lifestyle and dietary choices. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the place and have fun, but it does mean, we don’t want to encourage groups who will be very noisy. Read our HomeTruths below please.

Those who love biking and hiking. It’s superb here. Probably some of the best we offer in any of our houses.


Home truths…

Staying here also means that you ideally respect the holistic ethos. Guests are politely asked to refrain from excess drinking, noisy gatherings, smoking and preferably choose a non-meat based diet. These requests are designed to assist guests to relax and slow down, and to keep the peaceful calm feeling here.

If you want to explore meditation or spiritual hypnosis, Adam has treatment rooms in the old stables across the garden. Please enquire further and we can see how he may be able to help you with your mindfulness goals.

The cottage is accessed by a bumpy gravel track. You don’t need a 4×4 but you do need to drive slowly.

The bedrooms in the cottage are quite tight. Travel cots are best to go in the single room upstairs.

The owners do use the stables from time to time. This isn’t a planned usage and we won’t know when you book, or during the stay when they will come and go. There is a screen of plants between the two buildings. Adam and Afeefa will respect your privacy and only use the stables, which has it’s own access and parking.


There is a small step coming in from the back door into the cottage and a slightly larger step into the Stables. There is a downstairs bedroom in the cottage and it has a walk in shower room with no steps.

The downstairs bedroom in the house has a little en-suite shower (quite tight). .

Garden : A good sized garden with patio area, table and chairs, BBQ, sun loungers and a picnic table. Bikes can be stored inside in the garage.
Kitchen : Oven and hob / Fridge freezer / Microwave / Coffee machine / Dishwasher / Panasonic Bread maker / Magimix / Washing machine / Tumble dryer
Mod Cons : Bluetooth connected sound system, TV, DVD player and good DVD selection
Connectivity : WiFi is available. Phone signal dependant on networks.
Parking : Up to 2 cars in the garden, another 2 outside.
Kids' Stuff : There are 2 travel cots and 2 high chairs here.
There is a good selection of board games and children's books in the cottage.
There are garden games for families to play in the summer including table tennis and badminton.
Pets : Dogs are welcome at £40 per dog, per stay. Two dogs maximum please.


The New Forest area is 2 hours drive south of London. The city of Southampton is to the East, and Bournemouth is to the West but there are no major built up areas between. The New Forest is 300km square of beautiful forest and heathlands. It is coastal and The Solent is part of the English Channel. The small and agricultural Isle of Wight is part of the view from the beaches and coast to the south. The New Forest area is mainly flat with some rolling hills in the northern area. 
Walking and cycling here is particularly excellent. Tracks are well marked, have a good hard surface and you can detour to pass pubs and cafes in good distances for breaks. Horse riding is also excellent, bring your own or there are several good stables who offer forest rides or training. Dog walking here is lovely and dogs are welcome everywhere (including the coast) but should be on leads in spring and summer in heath areas for the migrating birds.
Access is very good on the motorways M3 and M27. Train access is good and 1.hr 50mins to the sleepy Brockenhurst village which is central in the National Park. 
The area is sensitively managed by the National Park and Forestry Commission. There are over 4000 wild ponies, donkeys and cattle who live uncontained here and you will meet them on the roads and lanes. So travel carefully. There is a 40 mile and hour limit here for good reason. 

Sunnydell is in Burley village very close to the golf course through the forest.

Burley is famed for its witches, smuggling and dragons. During the late 1950’s a famous ‘White’ witch named Sybil Leek lived here. She used to walk around the village in a long, black cloak with her pet jackdaw on her shoulder. Unfortunately, because her attire fitted the image of a wicked ‘black’ witch, the locals were upset by her presence and she decided to live in America where she continued writing many books on the occult and astrology, including “Diary of a Witch”. One of the gift shops was named by her and has her picture hanging by the old Jacobean fireplace inside.

The village hosts a fairy festival each year in mid August. The locals tell me it’s perfect for watching plenty of strange fancy-dress and pagan behaviour. Bring your best sparkly wings and join in!

Brockenhurst village is in the centre of the New Forest. It is a pretty and sleepy spot. Come for the slow life. the local bakery has been there since 1963, The Sett cafe is great, The Pig Hotel - is superb for local and slow food. Walking and cycling from here is particularly excellent. 
Burley area is a great eccentric spot. The golf course is an unfenced course so ponies and cattle can walk on the greens. It is well drained and well mown so the course is relatively undamaged and the animals are part of the fun of it. The village is busy and has a great local store. 
East End, Pilley villages. Very slow, very sleepy... three great pubs. Fabulous walking and beach access. 
Lymington. Busy, bustling, the centre of shopping and tourism. Well worth a visit to the weekly Saturday morning markets. Great coastal walking on The Solent Way which has amazing views. Lovely cafe's and restaurants. More vintage and pre-loved shops popping up - furniture and designer clothing. Waitrose and Tesco's supermarket. The waterpark at the old Lido is cheap, creative and amazing for kids in summer. 
Keyhaven village - extremely quiet.... no ponies and cattle here, you're out of the cattle grid zone. The coastal path is a lovely walk - head to Lymington off road in an hour. Walk to Hurst Castle along the spit, or take the boat is a must. Forage for samphire in late summer. Wild swim in some areas. 
Milford on Sea village is busy and full of good independent shops and some great foodie places. Hollands the independent supermarket is brilliant. The coast here is a secret to many. The beach is miles long, sandy at low tide and good for wild swimming, dogs and sandcastles. It's rarely busy. 

Hi I'm Rachel Parsons, founder of New Forest Escapes. For 7 years we have been offering New Forest cottages and holiday houses. Big, small, luxury, eccentric, seaside and forest… We offer stays from 2 nights to 2 weeks or longer stays up to 6 months. 

In 2011, with a 6 month old baby, I started with one holiday cottage. After 3 years friends kept asking me to help out. Now we have over 20 houses and are looking for more. The team has grown from just me (thank goodness) and we have 4 part time mums in the office which is just outside Lymington. 

We are proud of the care we take of people. We're all locals. Our experience and knowledge of the area and the houses is excellent - we are in them often checking and primping things. We love to share the best local spots and help people make happy memories of this lovely area. 

Predictable as it sounds, it's important to slow down and smell the flowers and our mission is to inspire moments of happiness in everything we do. Also to make things as simple and easy for everyone we communicate with. We don't always get that right, but we do try! 

Here's a glimpse into our thinking: we like (and have blogged extensively on how to do...) Breakfast on the beach, Swallows and Amazons adventures, toasting marshmallows over the fire by the shore, the lived-in look, English eccentric style, exploring, country tracks, creativity and fun, Scrabble on the jetty, story-tellers spinning tales in forest glades, scrummy picnics…

What we don't like, Beige and boring, characterless identikit rooms, thin mattresses, shower mould, no free condiments, having to lay your own fire, not being able to find the matches, scrabbling around trying to find information on where to go and what to do…

Who is our customer and how do we help them?

Since 2012 we have helped over 2000 groups holiday in the New Forest. We've had the normal: family breaks, 70th birthdays, weddings… And we've had the unusual: pet geese, divorce parties and film shoots. There have been a few particularly special groups whose VIP was terminally ill and came to celebrate their last family get-together. Quite a humbling and amazing experience to help with.

Going that extra bit…We know how important and tricky it is to get 'the magic bits' into a break. To help we've worked up some 'experience ideas' for inspiration. We know which pub serves the more bizarre brews. The restaurant with the freshest fish. The perfect spot for your morning yoga and forest bathing. Everyone, whatever age, will love making memories together. Read more in our blog here.

Your review here?

Have you visited Sunnydell Retreat before? If so, why not consider leaving a review?

Write A Review

Listing Updated: 19/05/2021

Searching For Dog Friendly Places?

The DogFriendly Magazine contains in depth reviews and features of the best places to visit, stay and play.
Find Out More


Send An Enquiry

Listing Address

Sunnydell Cottage
Cott Lane
New Forest
BH24 4BD

Listing Details

Can Leave Dog Unattended


Exercise Area


Wheel Chair Access


Owner Has A Dog


Limit On Dog Size


No. Of Dogs Allowed


Charge For Dogs


Miscellaneous Notes

Dogs are welcome at £40 per dog, per stay. Two dogs maximum please.Dogs are welcome at £40 per dog, per stay. Two dogs maximum please.

Enclosed Garden


Dog friendly places near this location

Cottages & Self Catering

Cottages & Self Catering

Stable Cottage 1.1 Miles
Magnolia Cottage 3.3 Miles
Kintra 3.7 Miles

About Us

We have the largest database of dog friendly places to visit, eat and services.

We have a team of DogFriendly scouts who research every venue, either by completing a telephone questionnaire or by visiting and testing it in person.

Where We Are

Unit 4 Bramley Road
St Ives
PE27 3WS