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“Excellent Falconry Experience Day!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lainston House Hotel

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Lainston House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Excellent Falconry Experience Day!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2011

Having been interested in birds of prey for many years, my other half bought me a Falconry Experience Day at Lainston House with their resident falconer Billy Taylor for my birthday. I have to say it was one of the best birthday presents I have ever had!

The day starts with fresh bacon rolls and tea or coffee in one of the exquisite Lainston House rooms, giving the opportunity to meet Billy and anyone else who is on the same experience day. The groups are very small (only 3 in total on the day I went) which is ideal so you get plenty of time to handle the birds and ask questions etc during the day.

After breakfast, we then walk over to the kitchen garden where the birds are, and Billy introduces us all to the owls and falcons that are there, giving the background to where they have come from etc.

Billy is incredibly easy to talk to, and obviously hugely knowledgeable on the birds he has and the subject in general.

We then get an opportunity to have several different species of owls flying to us. Having had owls fly to me before, still nothing takes away the magic of a bird of prey in flight, and landing so lightly on your fist, they are just incredible creatures. W each take turns in flying the owls, and chating about birds of prey in general. Billy explains about the feeding, and weighing of the birds and how crucial that is for how they fly.

After coffee served in the kitchen garden, we then take one of the falcons to a large field, and get the opportunity to take off the birds hood and watch her fly to the lure Billy is swinging, it's a spectacular sight!

We then take the bird back to the aviary and get her settled in before we make our way to a 2 course lunch in one of the sumptuous dinning rooms in the main house. As you would expect, lunch was fantastic, the food and service top notch, and an opportunity to get to know Billy and the fellow experience day attendees better.

After lunch we then took one of the Harris Hawks hunting in the grounds of Lainston House. We were very fortunate with the weather, it was cold but clear skies which just added to the magic of the day. The walk was probably 2 or 3 miles, through open fields with stunning views of the House, through woodland and then back to complete the circle. The Harris hawk flew from tree to tree as we walked along, occasionally chasing down prey in the undergrowth. It was lovely to see them in their natural surroundings.

Billy then arranged coffee on the terrace to end the day while flying an older falcon to the lure, the speed that these falcons fly at is incredible, and is magical to watch.

The day finished around 4:30, and all of us were sad to see the day come to an end. I would like to thank Billy who made the day so special for all of us, his knowledge and passion for the birds and the sport of falconry made it a truly memorable day. I can't recommend this day highly enough!

Thanks again and look forward to attending other events there soon.

Bruce

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BruceMartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,008 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (204)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
119 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2011

We chose to dine and stay the night as a celebration and were not disappointed. Dinner in the restaurant was truely memorable - excellent choices from the A la Carte menue gave us a taste experience that is well worth the visit and will be remembered. Breakfast was equally good and the view - well the pictures made it look good but there was a morning fog which shrouded the trees.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rhys P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2011

The Dawley Barn provided a really lovely atmosphere for a wedding reception, on a balmy afternoon and evening in November. The winding drive through avenues of ancient trees and parkland led to the Barn, immediately adjacent to the entrance to Lainston House Hotel, with its elegant 17th century facade. The Barn itself, richly timbered, wooden floored and well-lit, was perfect for a sit-down reception followed by dancing. An excellent DJ and efficient staff (providing bar, bacon rolls and cheese tower) ensured a warm send-off for the happy couple.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Fabcat01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2011

We spent a very special weekend at Lainston House as a birthday treat. The setting is absolutely beautiful and we had a fantastic room in the old house - "Hydrangea", huge with a spectacular view of the avenue of lime trees and the hills beyond. All the staff were very friendly and couldn't do enough for us. Dinner was delicious. But the real highlight was hunting with hawks, an experience we couldn't recommend highly enough. We spent a couple of hours with falconer, Billy, and his dog, Ben, walking through the stunning grounds in Autumn sunshine while the hawks hunted above and around us. Being able to handle the birds was such an exciting thing to do, we felt very privileged and learnt so much from Billy. Definitely a memory to treasure.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Martina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey UK
Level Contributor
58 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2011

Beautiful setting close to Winchester with good access to Hampshire and Dorset. The hotel and its rooms are spacious and very comfortable and many of the rooms very individual and interesting. Breakfast was very good but dinner was overpriced. Staff are very helpful.

Room Tip: you get what you pay for. Recommend a junior suite for a special week end.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Highbrooms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
169 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 November 2011

Attended a function here, super venue. Delicious food, attentive yet professional staff.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PIHP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2011

We had a great weekend at this hotel - made special by the falconry.

We booked the falcoln walk - a couple of hours walking with the the hotel's resident falconer and one of his Harris hawks. It was an amazing experience talking about how the birds live in the wild and watching it work in the trees above us. We learned so much and felt really involved. Highly recommended.

Then we had the fantastic tasting menu at dinner - it was a good thing that we'd worked up an appetite. Strongly suggest taking the recommended wines as it gave us an astonishing variety.

Lovely big room in the main house.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LiamFitzP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lainston House Hotel

Property: Lainston House Hotel
Address: Woodman Lane | Sparsholt, Winchester S021 2LT, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Winchester
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Winchester
#2 Romantic Hotel in Winchester
#3 Business Hotel in Winchester
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Lainston House Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Drive through the gates of Lainston House, up the winding drive, you will enter a world where historic charm and contemporary elegance blend seamlessly. This charming 17th-century country house is a luxurious five star hotel, encapsulated in 63 acres of Hampshire parkland. A peaceful drawing room, sumptuous individually designed bedrooms and food created with passion (awarded 3 AA rosettes). The Cedar Bar is the place to relax for a cocktail and the outdoor terrace is even more so for sipping a glass of Champagne or a chilled glass of wine over a light lunch in Summer months. Don't forget to book for Afternoon Tea, a day in the on-site Cookery School or a spot of Falconry, located at the back of our stunning kitchen garden. This is a classic Country House where you can put the world behind you whether it be for a creative meeting, a relaxing leisure stay or a family celebration. Minutes away from the historic city of Winchester and only a short drive from Salisbury, Stonehenge and the New Forest. Visit Jane Austin country, Highclere Castle (home of Downton Abbey), Bombay Sapphire Distillery or a local Vineyard such as Hattingley Valley. The famous River Test is close by for perfect fishing and quaint villages to explore. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lainston Hotel Winchester

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