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If you’re staying at Gins Barn…. Go for a lunch at The Master Builders Hotel, by boat taxi.

If you rent beautiful Gins Barn, (which sleeps 8/9 + a child upto 7 and babies), then a very lovely trip for a celebration is to take a boat taxi to The Master Builders Hotel for lunch. The boat taxi can pick up up from the 80 metre long private jetty at Gins – since this is one of the only private rivers in England, this is quite a privilege.

You’ll be dropped at the marina in Bucklers Hard. In the 18th century it was a shipbuilding village including those built for Nelson’s Navy. Now there are wide grassy spaces framed by pretty brick cottages, the maritime museum at the top of the hill and the river, filled with boats at the bottom. The hotel itself is smart and tips it’s hat to the admiralty throughout. Views are boaty and food is well considered, local where possible and good value – you’ll get 10% off by booking with us too.

The boat taxi will take you 15-20 minutes and is dependent on the tides and weather. It wanders in and around the curves of the river and you’ll have the best view of some of the countries chicest houses and yachts.

Approx’ £25 – £50 for food. Boat taxi is £20 per trip.

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Pitts Deep is such a special place it’s heaven with nothing going on, but it’s easy to ramp it up for a celebration with a few well chosen extras that can be tweaked depending on the weather.

My favourite is to get a chef in and have local lobster on the beach, followed up after dark by a seaside bonfire under the giant pine trees. For cream on the cake ask Mike, our storyteller, to join you for the evening. If it rains you can do all of this inside and have stories around the wood burner.

Mike O Leary is a well respected story-teller who’s a superb wordsmith. He’s performed in children’s hospitals and literary festivals across Europe and he’s great fun too.

Approx’ £20 – £50 per head for food and Mike is £150 for 2 hours including travel.

If you'd like to arrange for your chef just give us a call and ask to speak to Robyn on our events team. We can happily arrange the whole thing and promise not to spoil the surprise!

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We’ve teamed up with Chris and Sue who run Salamander Sailing Adventure and who are experts in spoiling people rotten for important family parties. So for guests who are planning a one-off super-duper celebration for a one-off super-duper person, we think we’ve got a cracking option for you.

Up to 12 people can escape for the day to secret and watery places unknown and undiscovered by most visitors. Find our more on our post here.



The Pig is multi-award winning and just as lovely as everyone says it is. We love it there and go often. You will need to book early.

The best bit is that they’re great with kids and the walled gardens are fantastic for impromptu games of catch and hide and seek and flat, gravelled and quiet for gentle walks for less mobile adults or toddling children.

We often suggest that people who can walk through the forest to get there take the day and set off, whilst the less mobile or less willing drive over and meet the hikers. There are some good short walks near The Pig anyway and you can park in their car park and walk from there. (Ditto Limewood to be honest).

For those coming from Lymington, you can even catch the train to Brockenhurst and walk to the Hotel from the train station. It’s just down the road which can be a little busy, so it’s not ideal for families with small kids. It’s worth the trip tho’ and once you’re there you won’t be disappointed.

Approx £10 per head for coffee and cake and from £10 – £70 per head for meals. £15 – £20 for breakfast.



There are various quiet beaches around our houses and we’ll talk you through the best one for your purposes.

Some have fantastic climbing trees, others have wooden groynes on them perfect for mad balancing games for grandchildren, others have mud for tracking animals that live on the beach and yet more have sandcastling sand or get cut off by the tide for ‘total escape’ days.

Tanners Lane is our favourite and nearest Eat me Drink me Cottage and Ploughmans Cottage. You can also park there.

We love to get a takeaway curry or fish and chips and head down there. It’s fun to take champagne is tin mugs and walk the quiet coast and explore gnarly trees and play pooh-sticks on the footpath bridge. Dogs can go off the lead here through the year and the birdlife is always busy here too.

Cost is just what you want to make it….

(Don’t forget that FarmersChoice will do local, fresh and seasonal food delivered to your cottage - find our more in our previous post here).