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Lodge at Solent
The Lodge at Solent is situated in Fareham, a market town at the north west tip of Portsmouth Harbour, between the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton in the south east of Hampshire, England.
The perfect place to explore. Whether it’s a visit to the beautiful Titchfield Abbey or a bit of boulder climbing with the children at the Red Spider Climbing Centre, Fareham has it all. Plus Hill Head beach is only a 15-minute drive away and the New Forest is on our doorstep. You could even take a ferry to the neighbouring Isle of Wight and explore all it has to offer.
After a tiring day out, return to the lodge and tuck into a mouth-watering burger off the grill or one of our popular wood-fired pizzas, with a beer or glass of wine and then sink into bed for the best night’s sleep you’ll ever have.
THE LODGE AT SOLENT WAS FEATURED IN ISSUE 51 OF THE DOGFRIENDLY MAGAZINE
Here is the full review from Hilary Keens:
Arriving on a dank November evening I received a very warm welcome at The Lodge at Solent. Guests check in at the bar, The Parson’s Cellar, and it was already buzzing with Friday’s after-work drinkers. I had a double, dog-friendly room upstairs with a balcony. A supplement for dogs is expected but here represents good value because of the attention to detail for doggy guests: two bowls on a mat, a doughnut style bed with blanket, a jar of dog biscuits, spare poo bags and a towel. In warmer months it must be lovely to have the doors open onto the balcony and to be able to sit outside with your dog, free to wander between the cool laminate floor and the securely enclosed balcony. In mid-November the room was softly lit and warm. The room would be ideal for both leisure and business guests; a dressing table which is convertible to a desk, lots of plug points; armchair and table and a comfy bed. Guests can use the spa facilities at the sister hotel next door for £5 a day.
Showered and refreshed I returned to The Parson’s Cellar with Tess, my much-loved, well-travelled American Cocker Spaniel. There were a few other dogs in our part of the bar, all of whom had been provided with fresh water bowls. The all-day menu offered urban Pub Fayre: nachos, pizzas, burgers and grills. The sharing menu seemed very popular with other customers. I was enticed by the description of a ‘signature hanging kebab’ and ordered one with chicken, peppers and mushroom served with a tzatziki dip, thick chips and flat bread. It was very tasty and left no room for a trip to the in-house ice cream parlour. Guests at The Lodge have continental breakfast included in the tariff. Tess was still dozing upstairs while I breakfasted on cold meats and cheese, followed by pastries. There was a good choice of fresh fruit, cereals and breads. There’s the option to have the full English at a supplement at the sister hotel.
Fareham is on the ‘Solent corridor’ between Southampton and Portsmouth. There are a number of shopping areas and business parks nearby. The Lodge at Solent is a couple of sound-proofed minutes from the M27 and is a recommended dog-friendly base for those exploring and visiting the south’s universities. In less than an hour you can be in the heart of the New Forest too.
The sun broke through the gloom after breakfast so we made the most of the day. First stop was Holly Hill Woodland Park. An open space provided by Fareham council with free parking and toilets the Woodland Park has extensive trails which were particularly beautiful this dry autumn morning. Tess loved snuffling through the copper leaves while I admired the weak sunlight on the small lakes. The more adventurous can follow paths to the river Hamble. Some of the parkland has onlead restrictions but there are also opportunities for off-lead fun and sniffs.
Next we set off to Portchester Castle. Cared for by English Heritage it has a Roman outer wall and a Norman Keep. Dogs are welcome in the outer bailey which has a large grassed area but not in the inner bailey or keep. We walked through the Water Gate down to the Solent, with its far reaching views towards Portsmouth. Tess met a number of other dogs enjoying their walks around the fore shore area. The castle is in a pretty village conservation area, which has pastel-coloured houses and a number of blue plaque buildings. The village pub, The Cormorant, has a dogfriendly area in the bar.
With shorter day light hours there was not time to visit our other favourite places in the area on this occasion. West Wood is just outside Fareham and is a very large area in the Forest of Bere managed by the Forestry Commission. It has open spaces for BBQs and many woodland trails. Manor Farm Country Park is not far away and there are lots of different paths to explore in the woods, Lots of doggy goodness awaits your arrival through fields or along the shoreline. A good half-day can be spent at Titchfield. Tess and I have often walked the length of the canal to Titchfield Haven which is a bird reserve on the shore. The tow path hedges are full of birdsong and pretty flowers. Just outside Titchfield on the main road is a large pub called The Titchfield Mill; it is dog-friendly and also has a pretty garden.
There is lots of variety to be found in what is an ostensibly urban area.
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