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A dog with the welcome scrabble board

A dog's eye view of Hampshire

Forests and dogs - is there a better combination? We don’t think so – which is why we have a range of pet-friendly cabins at each of our locations.

Following on from our Dog’s Eye View of Yorkshire, and Dog’s Eye View of Snowdonia blogs, we sent another of our canine journalists to our Blackwood Forest location, for a dog’s eye view of Hampshire. Over to 3-year-old Diesel!

“This is my second Forest Holiday with my mom and dad, Gemma and Luke, this time to Blackwood Forest for 4-sleeps. I couldn’t wait to get going and explore a new location. 

Day 1: Forest Holidays, Blackwood Forest

Diesel’s paw-some rating:    

The journey from Derbyshire was around two and a half hours – I loved watching all the views out of the window as we drove by. As we had booked an early check-in, we got to arrive at 2pm, where we met some of the team in the Forest Retreat – they were very friendly, and I loved the back scratches and treats they gave me! My mom and dad had some lunch, which I was tempted to try too, before heading to our cabin.

Our home for the week was cabin 37, a 2-bedroom Golden Oak. After a thorough sniff in every room, I sat by the large windows for hours. That evening Gemma and Luke enjoyed the hydro jet bath [hot tub] - I wasn’t allowed in; but I preferred taking in all the forest smells on the decking anyway, whist they soaked the night away.

Day 2: Milford-on-Sea

Diesel’s paw-some rating:  

After breakfast, we headed out for our first day of exploring Milford-on-Sea.

Around an hour from Blackwood Forest, it’s a lovely seaside town with a high street, shops and a promenade with beach huts. Luke pointed out the Isle of Wight and the Needles which we could see from the walkway. 

It wasn’t too busy either, so I managed to get in some great beach exploration and swimming – I couldn’t wait to get into the water! As we were there during the off-peak season, I was allowed off the lead to roam wherever my nose took me, however, in peak times, pups are to be kept on leads.

On the way back to the cabin, we went for some lunch at the Dove Inn in Micheldever – pups are allowed in the front bar area; and I met two new friends whilst my mom and dad enjoyed their food and drinks, so much so that there were no leftovers for me to try! It was warm, cosy and welcoming too, I didn’t want to leave!

Day 3: New Forest National Park

Diesel’s paw-some rating:    

For our second day of exploring we went into the New Forest National Park and explored the area around the Blackwater Arboretum.

There was a circular walk around the arboretum itself and then a longer trail through the tall Douglas Fir and Redwood trees. Special sensory boards lined the trail encouraging us to spot the different characteristics of the trees too. Dad read that most of the trees were planted in 1850 and many are now considered to be nationally important!

Mom played hide and seek with me amongst the trees too – I found her every time, so I guess she’s not very good at this game.

After a good sniff around, we headed back to the car where we met more pups and enjoyed some playtime. I wanted to stay and play all day but eventually my dad said it was time to go home to our cabin. We all loved being out in the fresh air for the day and I slept like a puppy that night!

Day 4: Blackwood Forest

Diesel’s paw-some rating:    

For our last full day, we decided to stay in the cabin and explore more of Blackwood Forest. But not before I enjoyed a cup of tea overlooking the forest with dad.

There are lots of trails around the location; we opted for the Forest Trim trail which is a 2-mile circular walk starting from the meadow near the Forest Retreat, it was all signposted too, so we didn’t get lost. I loved all the sights and smells and I was able to explore a little further ahead too.

Once we were back at the meadow; we saw some trail posts with pictures and questions. Gemma said these were for the Seasons of Discovery trail. You follow the map to find each of the ten posts and complete the activities to win a prize at the end.

That evening, after Gemma and Luke took a dip in the hydro jet bath [hot tub], we all relaxed in front of the log burner before heading to bed for our last night in the cabin.

Day 5: Home!

Home time came around far too quickly – Gemma tried to pack my toys away and I kept taking them out of the bag. After one last stop at the Forest Retreat to say good-bye and return our keys, off we drove. Overall, it was a fantastic week and I can’t wait until we go back!”


  1. Jane dalziel

    January 22, 2019 AT 10:37 AM

    Great review diesel My pups Sheba and Stella love Sherwood Forest holidays They love chasing the squirrels