Vine Cottage has the most idyllic location of all New Forest Cottages, set in over an acre of gardens directly adjoining the New Forest itself with direct forest access. Our neighbour is the Rhinefield House Hotel, with whom we share the access from the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. From the garden gate into the forest you can walk for miles on forest paths without seeing a car or a road all day long, but ponies, deer, other walkers and cyclists. You are able to abandon the car for the whole break here if you want to really get away from it all, as the cycle tracks which link up the whole New Forest are accessible from Blackwater, opposite, and Bank, with it’s village pub, and larger villages Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst are an easy cycle ride away safely on the New Forest cycle tracks. Vine cottage, as the name suggests, was converted from the vinery to Rhinefield House, and still features the original ironwork and characterful wooden boarding in parts that were once the gardeners potting sheds. The living spaces are in the vinery part, with beautiful views across the large garden from your armchair or dining chair. Children love the large garden at Vine Cottage, where there are wide open spaces for playing ball games, frisbee or flying a kite, and various smaller areas to explore. The open back garden can all be seen straight from the dining and living spaces, families can be together but each doing what they enjoy. Walks from here are beautiful, you will not need to go out in the car first – you are al-ready there! This is particularly useful in a larger group that would mean several cars needed to be used to go out. Dogs are most welcome here, and usually love chasing the rabbits in the garden, and can enjoy walks each day without bundling into the car first. Brockenhurst is a delightful New Forest village, with ‘the splash’, a ford where the stream runs through the village. There are plenty of pubs, restaurants, sandwich and coffee shops, as well as the bookshop, several antique shops, bakeries and two small supermarkets. Lyndhurst is similarly sized, and known as the ‘capital’ of the New Forest, again with a choice of pubs, tea rooms and restaurants, local shops and a small supermarket. The dining room at Vine cottage is central, with views across the garden and a good sized dining table for up to all 14 guests. Through an opening at one end is the lounge, which is also part of the original vinery and has similar views over the back garden, with a door to the large side garden at the end. This has a television, video and DVD player, gas flame stove and plenty of contemporary armchairs and settees making a very comfortable room. At the other end of the dining room, a similar opening leads into the kitchen, which has freestanding Ikea Udden stainless steel kitchen units providing ample worksur-faces and storage. There’s a gas cooker and large freestanding fridge/freezer, dish-washer and washing machine. The wall units house all the cooking and dining equipment needed for your break, and there’s air conditioning in here too if cooking gets hot in summer! The ideal kitchen and dining arrangement here makes Vine Cot-tage a wonderful venue for adding a chef-catered meal for a special evening in, with no washing up to do, tables to set, or taxis to arrange home, as you’re already there! There are two large shower rooms at Vine Cottage, each with glazed shower door and electric thermostatic showers, a basin and wc. They are both lit from above which makes for lovely light rooms without needing to close curtains, and each has a heated towel rail. There are three family bedrooms at this large cottage, each normally arranged with a double bed and two singles, and a fourth small bunk bedded room, with full sized adult bunk beds. An extra single bed is available too if needed. Three of the bed-rooms are off the entrance hall, each with different aspects and character, and the largest one is separate, off the lounge at the end of the cottage. The two bedrooms with the original ‘bead and butt’ timber boarding have great character.