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The Retreat New Forest

(1 review)

Dogs: 2

Set in acres of idyllic grounds, once the playground on the real Alice in Wonderland, we have fifteen beautiful, spacious rooms, most of them double ‘en suite’. Our private grounds and proximity to beach and new forest, the make this a stay to remember. All of our bed-rooms are dog-friendly, as is our cafe and restaurant.

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Welcome to The Retreat, New Forest. 

Stay with us to revive and re-charge, with a welcoming selection of drop-in holistic classes on offer, as well as events, workshops and retreats. Please see our website for further details.

Fully plant based, we have a beautiful independent artisan cafe on site, called Crowpsotter Cafe, serving breakfast and lunch, incredible coffee, bakery goods and healthy snacks and coming soon, a fully plant based restaurant called Offbeet, featured in The Times and The Telegraph, also serving alcohol and cocktails.

Book yourself in for a massage or treatment in our Loft Space, again, the details of which can be found on our website.

Create your own retreat weekend, starting off with a flat white and overnight oats in the cafe, a walk around the grounds followed by yoga, a dip in the ocean before lunch out, then return for a massage before your evening meal at Offbeet.

We also have a unique self contained converted railway carriages further down the road near Hinton Admiral, if you're seeking a different experience.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Dogfriendly Magazine Review

Read our comprehensive review of this listing printed in our bi-monthly magazine.

Name: The Retreat, New Forest
Reviewer: Anna Speke

The New Forest has always been something of a mecca for my family. My grandmother grew up there, it’s my mum’s favourite place in the world, and several years ago we spent a weekend making some very happy memories there for my dad’s 70th birthday. So, when I spotted the DogFriendly Weekend advertised, I was eager not to pass up a break in such a stunning part of the world. It also seemed to be the perfect opportunity for some one-to-one bonding with the youngest of our two labradoodles, Jiggy. 

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as we headed for the hotel. I’m a confident solo traveller, but it can be daunting to arrive in a new place, not quite knowing where to go, or who your weekend companions might be. On arrival at The Retreat, we were warmly greeted by one of our hosts, Tania, who directed us towards tea, coffee and biscuits, and provided some water for thirsty Jiggy after our long journey. We had arrived at the same time as a few others, and we were all quickly at ease and chatting away during check-in, while our dogs sniffed around each other.

I had gone for the smaller room option for the weekend, but it was just right for us – comfortable, with everything we needed, including a pristine soft and fluffy dog bed, food and water bowls and a Bonio treat. Once settled, we had a quick explore, taking a leg stretch around some of the picturesque hotel grounds. It’s worth noting there is a sheep field at the back of the hotel.

Walked and settled, the evening brought our first organised activity of the weekend – a dog body language workshop. This was our first chance to get together as a group. There were dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. Our instructor, Jade, was friendly and knowledgeable. As she taught us about the stages of dog anxiety and aggression, she urged us to be mindful of these over the weekend. It was important to be aware that we were all (dogs and humans) in a potentially new and unfamiliar situation. 

Session over, it was time for some downtime. As Jiggy has a tendency to moan when she’s over-tired, we retired to relax in our room, and she was quickly snoozing in her new favourite spot, the dog bed. 

Dinner on our first night was included in the price of the break, and we headed down to the Crow Spotter Cafe for a spectacular vegetarian feast. Spending time with the rest of The Retreat group was a joy. While there was no prerequisite to sit together, we did mostly end up at the same table, chatting and getting to know each other. The great thing about a dog friendly weekend is that your fellow attendees tend to be like-minded, and obviously love their dogs as much as you love yours. The food was incredible: naan bread and dips, salads, dhal and rice, followed by a warm chocolate brownie with ice cream and strawberries.


A beautiful morning dawned the next day, and on an early dewy walk, Jiggy and I spotted a muntjac deer, happily leaping along the tree line. Then, it was back for breakfast. I opted for the Crow Spotter breakfast, which consisted of avocado, eggs, beans and toast.


Next, it was time for a Dogscapade Workshop, with our instructor for the day, the wonderful Kirsty from The Nature Nurture. The morning consisted of a mindful nature connection walk in the woods, focusing on the senses, examining our surroundings, and exploring how we, and our dogs, can benefit from our relationship with nature. This has long been a particular passion for me, and I loved learning more about our indigenous flora and fauna, and the beneficial effect of the outdoors on both physical and mental wellbeing, including lowering stress levels and blood pressure. The walk ended with some off-lead play time for some of the dogs, and it was great to see Jiggy running around so happily with her new friends. 

After lunch, Kirsty split us into smaller groups for a zoopharmacognosy aromatherapy session. And, no, I’d never heard of zoopharmacognosy either! (Zoo: animal, pharma: remedy, cognosy: knowing.) Kirsty taught us how to work with our dogs using essential oils, herbs and natural extracts to support their wellbeing, and strengthen our bond. Jiggy can be a little cautious of new experiences, but I was amazed to see her self-selecting the plants and oils she wanted to work with, and going back to Kirsty time and again for another go. By the end of the session, she was completely blissed out. 

After a zen-fuelled nap, Jiggy and I were up with some free time on our hands, so we set off to explore the local area a little more. A seven-minute drive took us to the impressive Highcliffe Castle. We had a walk around the grounds, and then headed down to Steamer Point Nature Reserve, which covers 24 acres of the Christchurch clifftop coastline. From there, we cut down the 100 or so steps to Friars Cliff beach, which proved another weekend highlight. Lovely dunes and a mixture of shingle and sand, the beach is long, wild and pretty. Jiggy enjoyed a good run and a dig in the sand, before we headed back up the paved zigzag path to the castle. 

Back at The Retreat, I spotted a sign pointing from the hotel to East Close Farm.  Nosiness got the better of me, so off we went. Through a gate and around a corner, we discovered the Drop The Anchor Brewery – a fun, quirky spot that I imagine gets lively when there are events on. It was getting late, so we didn’t linger, but I did stay long enough to have a sample of beer.

Back at The Retreat, I’d booked myself in for dinner at the Colin Nash restaurant. Dogs are welcomed with a bowl of treats on tables. I almost mistook these for human nibbles, but spotted the bone shape just in time. Some of my fellow weekenders were there too, so we grabbed a table together and tucked in. Food and service were both excellent. I had a beetroot risotto special followed by a strawberry meringue dessert, topped off with a particularly tasty version of my favourite cocktail – a Bramble. 

And so to bed on our last night, readying ourselves to say our goodbyes and depart after breakfast the following morning. The DogFriendly weekend retreat proved to be exactly what I had hoped for: the perfect mix of planned activities and free time.

The Retreat, New Forest, review by Anna Speke and appears in DogFriendly magazine issue 80.  For more information on the DogFriendly magazine visit https://www.dogfriendly.co.uk/magazine

(1 review)

Janet McIntosh, October 2023

I recently experienced The Dog Retreat with my Cavapoo, Toast, it was a wonderful experience for both of us.. I felt very relaxed throughout the weekend and found the team very approachable and knowledgeable.

I would definitely visit again.

Many thanks.


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Listing Updated: 12/03/2024

Changes to businesses do occur. Please do double check this business is still dog friendly before you make a booking


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Listing Address

The Retreat New Forest
Lyndhurst Road, Hinton
New Forest

Listing Details

Can Leave Dog Unattended


Exercise Area


Wheel Chair Access


Owner Has A Dog


Limit On Dog Size

No Limit

No. Of Dogs Welcome


Charge For Dogs


Dog Welcome Pack


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Unit 4 Bramley Road
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