My husband and I stayed here over a very busy weekend when all the other B&B's and reasonably priced hotels were fully booked. We had almost given up on the idea of our trip to the New Forest when one of the B&B's we called gave us the number of Squirrels Chase. We tried to find a listing for it on the internet and eventually found it in a list of B&B's, many of which we had seen on the official website for the New Forest and had been given AA star ratings. There was absolutely no information about Squirrels Chase itself, but we assumed it would be a similar kind of small business and since the location was decent enough and we had no other choice we booked a night there.
It is a little tricky to find this place, particularly as the lady of the house does not really advertise it as a B&B, hence no signs and the neighbours don't know it. If you face the one BP Petrol Station on Romsey Road, it is 2 doors along to the left. You have to go through an automatic gate which opens onto 3 properties and Squirrels Chase is the bungalow at the end of the drive.
It turned out to be a very quaint and well-kept family home. The lady of the house was very accommodating and friendly and she prepared a full English breakfast with excellent fresh coffee for us the next morning. She was also happy to recommend places to visit in the New Forest.
I would recommend staying here but only to a certain type of traveller and one definitely needs a car. Travellers from abroad would have a taste of New Forest family life and this could also be good for lone travellers and more mature couples who are more interested in talking to the lady of the house rather than having their privacy.
For us, the experience was awkward and uncomfortable mainly because we did not know what to expect. We are a young, recently married couple and would have preferred a little more privacy and professionalism. When we arrived, we were shown to our room (the only room that is available to guests) and our bathroom which was across the hallway and not ensuite. Towels and even bathrobes were provided but all but one seemed very scratchy and slightly grubby. The bathroom was uncomfortable to use as there were a few hairs around from the previous guest (along with a couple I found on my pillow) and it basically felt like the family bathroom in regular use with half used shampoos and toothpaste dotted around. We were told to mind that we pointed the shower head towards the wall so that it did not splash the floor and I caught myself almost wiping down the tiles after I had finished!
The bedroom itself was quite small and musty. There was not much room to spread our things out as there were already some ornaments on some of the surfaces. There were also a couple of small family photos hanging on the wall. The bed was comfortable enough for those who prefer softer mattresses but it was also incredibly squeeky and again, the sheets felt quite grubby and the top sheets had little muddy footprints that hadn't come out in the wash. There were tea making facilities in the room but again we found remnants of a previous guest when we saw that there was a half used sachet of hot chocolate. There were several leaflets about the New Forest in the room but all were horribly outdated along with the sachets of tea and coffee which were about 3 years old. I also found it very musty and difficult to breathe in the room - even with the window open.
Overall we felt as though we were staying at an older relative's house and could not relax at all. We found out after a difficult night that the owners have a dog which explained my breathlessness and possibly the muddy prints, as I am allergic to dogs. After a delicious breakfast we checked out.
While this review may seem negative, I should point out that there was a guest book at the house with lots of positive reviews. If you like the idea of staying in a family home and you don't mind a bathroom that is not ensuite or pristine and you are not allergic to dogs, then this coud be a lovely and interesting experience. The lady and her husband have a beautiful garden and I can imagine it is very pleasant to sit out there on a nice morning and have breakfast.
It is just important to know what to expect before you go, so hopefully this review will help.
- Also Known As:
- Squirrels Chase New Forest Guest House Cadnam, Hampshire