Tucked away in the heart of the New Forest, is Burley Manor, in the small village of Burley. There has been a substantial house on this site since the 12th Century. The current building was constructed for Colonel William Clement Drake Esdaile in 1852, a Magistrate and Verderer – a Custodian of the Forest.
It’s clearly built in the style of an Elizabethan Manor House, typified by the facade, but with the generous proportions and high ceilings favoured by the Victorians. It became a hotel in the mid 1930’s and was briefly requisitioned by General Montgomery in World War 11, before reverting back to a hotel.
The reception highlights the Victorian feel of the place. A log fire burns welcomingly in the hearth and a stags head looks down on guests, as they check in and survey the interior, assessing the success of their choice, whether by recommendation, pot luck or a special offer.
The hotel is comfortable and the staff attentive and welcoming. The rooms are well appointed and tastefully decorated and there is plenty of space to find a corner or quiet spot to chat, read or meet with friends.
The dining room is light and airy and leads onto a pleasant conservatory which looks out towards the wide terrace and parkland beyond. Breakfast was to a high standard and the service good, under the watchful eagle eye of the manageress, who was careful to ensure that everything was as the guests wanted, with a smile and an iron hand.There are many lovely villages to visit in the New Forest, such as Lyndhurst and Beaulieu, and autumn is definitely one of the best times to come, with few crowds and little traffic. Lymington, is perhaps one of Hampshire’s best known small coastal towns, facing the Isle of White, with its picturesque marina.
The whole area is a mecca for sailors, enjoying the delights and challenges of sailing the solent and this stretch of the south coast, with Cowes opposite, Southampton and Portsmouth not far away to the East, and Bournemouth and Poole to the West.