South Farm News

South Farm News

Blue logo featuring a colourful kingfisher

We are sad to announce that our managers Debbie and Gary after many years of commitment to South Farm have decided to move on to pastures new in mid June 2024. We wish them all the very best with their future plans. It is a testimony to their long service and loyalty that so many guests return year after year. We are currently recruiting for their replacement so be assured that South Farm will continue to offer a very warm welcome to guests for them to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful surroundings of such a unique place.

We thank Debbie and Gary for all their hard work and making South Farm the welcoming and special place it is.

South Farm holiday cottages for rent for self catering holidays

Fishing lake surrounded by woodland

Aerial views of South Farm showing the lakes

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Forest Drove, New Forest Cottage

Five Star February for Forest Drove Cottage

It has been a wonderful February for Forest Drove Cottage, with not just back to back but three five-star reviews from our guests who has a break with us during this month!

Forest Drove Cottage is our very own charming picturesque 300 year old thatched cottage close to all amenities and yet secluded, with 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and cloakroom in the New Forest, sleeping up to 11 guests.

This stunning cottage has a delightfully airy extension for the kitchen and dining area with underfloor heating but also full of old world charm for the rest of the cottage, with beams, lattice windows and inglenook fireplace with wood burner.

There are lovely gardens to front and rear with a children’s play frame and trampoline to rear and a decking area with garden seating and with barbecue. The decking is accessed through the patio doors of the extension, where you will find an outdoor hot tub. We are also dog friendly, so you can bring your furry friends too!

To the front you have a heated games room with darts and a multi games table including pool, air hockey and table tennis as well as a ground floor bedroom with an en-suite wet room. Outside of the property you will also find an electric vehicle charge point.

Here is what some of our guests had to stay.

Forest Drove Rear of the cottage in the hot tub

Louise’s review:

“A beautiful house with everything you could possibly need. A peaceful location with plenty of walks near by which was great for us and the dog. It is also well situated for exploring so many areas the new forest has to offer. We had a fabulous stay and made some great memories as a family!”

Forest Drove lounge area looking at the woodburner

Sharon’s review:

“It’s a beautiful cottage easy to find . Well maintained and quiet.
Play area bonus for our small children when we got back after day out.”

Forest Drove dining area next to the kitchen catering for 11 guests and fully set up

Lynne’s review:

“A beautiful period cottage, very warm and inviting, with maintenance just at the other end of the line and very responsive, polite and helpful. To clarify, Maintenance were called about a small thing (perhaps user error) rather than anything bad. e.g getting the TV to work or the dishwasher (which was new). An excellent stay!”

If you’d like to know more about Forest Drove Cottage or to view some of our other properties, click here. We also have some great offers on at the moment, so take some time to have a look at our latest offers page.

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Seasonal Greetings From Short Stay Homes

Season Greetings from the offices at Short Stay Homes including the office dog Buddy

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We are Gold again!

Short Stay Homes’ Quay House Awarded Gold By VisitEngland for 2023-2024.

VisitEngland’s Accolades are designed to celebrate excellence within the self-catering accommodation sector and showcase those that go the extra mile to provide high-quality accommodation for guests.

Gold award status recognises accommodation that have scored highly across the board, with accommodation being assessed on over 35 criteria, from the exterior of the property to the management efficiency and cleanliness of the rooms to decoration of the property.

Quay House is one of only fourteen self-catering accommodation venues in the whole of Dorset to receive 5 stars and the gold award this year.

Christchurch Holiday Home wins Gold Award from Visit England 5 stars

Quay House, Christchurch is one of only fourteen self-catering accommodation venues in the whole of Dorset to receive 5 stars and the gold award this year. This property is in a prime location, sleeping up to 15 guests.

Visit England Gold Award 5 Stars Dorset Holiday Accommodation

Quay House was assessed on over 35 criteria points, scoring extremely highly across the board, receiving the Visit England Gold award and 5 stars.

Tony Sweeney, Owner Short Stay Homes, said:

“I am very proud to receive the 5-star gold award again, maintaining our 5-star experience, from booking through to the time spent in our homes, particularly as we refurbished this grade II listed property from a derelict and uninhabitable house, to the magnificent mansion it is today.

The staff at Short Stay Homes work really hard to ensure that customer experience continues to meet the excellent levels we have accomplished.”

Keep up to date with the latest news and offers at Short Stay Homes, by heading to our latest offers page, following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or booking your next stay now.

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14 Reasons To Try A UK Staycation

View from Riverside Lodge New Forest

14 Reasons why you should try a staycation.

A staycation is a holiday where you stay in your country of residence, exploring new towns and cities. The South of England has some fantastic areas for a staycation, which can be more affordable than you think.

1. Short Breaks
A staycation works well for a short break. These are often needed to recharge your batteries or an opportunity to use fewer holiday days at work. In this scenario, a staycation can be perfect and often fit in to a busier schedule.

2. Saves You Money
A staycation can cut out a lot of extra costs. Airline tickets, hold luggage, reserved seats, parking or taxi costs all mount up and often at inflated tourist prices. With a tank of petrol or a train ticket, you will be surprised how much you save, allowing to make your staycation extra special if you wanted.

3. Planning time
Arranging everything for a holiday takes time. Flights, insurance, visas, vaccination, rentals, accommodation, currently are all things we spend time on in preparation for travelling abroad. On top of that, you may schedule plan, attractions, restaurant, cultural attractions, before looking at cultural norms and etiquette and before you know it you have started a project. Your planning time for your staycation will be reduced.

A woman pointing at a map planning a vacation

4. They Make Great Surprises
If you have a celebration for someone, it is a lot easier for everyone to meet at a luxury location and make their celebration that much more special with their loved ones.

5. Climate
In recent years with the climate changing, this has meant we have seen a rise in heat waves and forest fires in many tourism hot spots. This can lead to many problems when abroad, even to the point of potentially cancelling your holiday. The UK has a variety of things to do even if there is the occasional day of rain.

6. Greener way to travel
We are becoming more aware of our carbon footprint and the impact it has on our world. By switching flying abroad to exploring your own country, lessens you travel emissions and improves the sustainability of your holiday.

7. Travel risk
This year has seen a number of impacts on travelling during your holiday, in particular there has been flight, train and ferry delays largely due to staffing and air traffic control issues. Whilst roads in the UK are busy, delays can be counted in hours and not days and the implications are far less expensive.

A view of Durdle Door with beautiful clear water.

8. Discover Your Doorstep
We get so caught up in going abroad that sometimes we forget just how stunning our own country is. You can view your own country with a different mindset and experience local traditions, culture, history and cuisine, getting the same traveller buzz.

9. Accommodation
There is now a far greater choice of high-quality self-catering accommodation throughout the UK, that you have many options when planning a trip for you and your fellow guests, whether planning a university reunion or Grandad’s 80th birthday.

10. No language issues
We have all been there when we order from the menu and you are hoping they have understood your order or request or getting lost in a taxi trying to find the local waterpark. For some, the language barrier is a source of stress and when you take a staycation you can avoid these communication break downs, however, you may experience a few different accents.

11. No passport and visa requirements
Valid passports, visa requirements, travel insurance documentation and other travel approved documentation can be a small nightmare for families booking travel abroad, as well as the costs. With your staycation, you won’t need any of these. One less thing to worry about can make your holiday much more enjoyable.

Foreign Currency - colourful notes and a tower of coins.

12. No currency issues
With your staycation, there is no currency that needs exchanging. You can use your British pounds in cash and bank card form. Checking exchange rates, working out how much you may need, letting banks know you’re taking your card abroad, making sure you have the right money takes a lot of planning.

13. Less Stressful
Your staycation will help you full unwind. No flights to catch, lost luggage, vaccinations, medical documentation or culture shocks. Knowing what you can eat and the familiarity of your country, helps you relax and feeling more refreshed.

14. Fuelling local economy
Local shops, restaurants, attractions, accommodation and taxis all contribute to the local economy within your country. This helps maintain jobs and thriving towns and cities.

In these challenging times perhaps supporting UK tourism and the economy is not a bad thing!

Check out our feature on the New Forest, which became a national park in 2005 and was once a royal hunting ground for William the Conqueror. It covers an area of 566 square kilometres and is made up of vast tracts of unspoilt woodland, heathland and river valleys. Today deer, ponies and cattle continue to roam free in its ancient heaths and woodland. Clear rivers and shady groves provide tranquillity and a car-free haven for walking, cycling and horse riding.

Click here to view our latest offers.

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Red Arrows Display Times

RAF Red Arrows with Blue and Red smoke

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams.

Representing the speed, agility and precision of the Royal Air Force, the team is the public face of the service. They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom at home and overseas and promote the best of British.

Flying distinctive Hawk fast-jets, the team is made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with frontline, operational experience. Together, they demonstrate the excellence and capabilities of the Royal Air Force and the Service’s skilled, talented people.

Often with their trademark Diamond Nine shape, and combination of close formations and precision flying, the Red Arrows have been displaying since 1965.

All Red Arrows display pilots have flown operationally, in frontline aircraft such as the advanced Typhoon, and helped the Royal Air Force to secure the skies every day of the year.

Based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, the Red Arrows had flown almost 5,000 displays in 57 countries, by the beginning of 2023 – the team’s 59th season, including the Bournemouth Air Festival 2023.

Every year, they take part in Europe’s largest free air festival and this year is no different. The display times have been released and can be seen below.

The RAF Red Arrows Display Times

Thursday 31st August: 17:30
Friday 1st September: 17:00
Saturday 2nd September: 17:00
Sunday 3rd September: 14:45

Red Arrows in Formation

Why not make your experience more memorable. VIP daytime hospitality, live music evenings with dusk flying and pre-booked dedicated seating with bar and facilities included, all right on the beach and on the central flight line in an exclusive area. Prices start from £25 per person.

Ticket prices include:

  • Exclusive marquee and viewing area
  • Glass of bubbly on arrival
  • Two course lunch
  • Afternoon cream tea
  • Access to VIP bar and viewing decking throughout the day
  • Private toilets
  • There may also be the opportunity to meet passing display teams who pop into the marquee for refreshments!For more information and to book, click here.
Galtons Cottage, West Moors. Garden with an old well overviewing an English Cottage as the sun shines.

Short Stay Homes offer some fantastic properties for guests, that sleep 6 – 29 people.

If you have a celebration or large get together planned, consider some of our beautiful properties.

We have some great offers in the Last Minute Offers page and during August, if you book Criddlestyle Cottage in August for a break before the end of March 2024, you will receive the hot tub usage for free.

Picture: Galtons Cottage, West Moors, Dorset.

Red Arrows flying over Bournemouth Beach
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More to tuck into at the New Forest Food Festival


The inaugural New Forest Food Festival, taking place on the weekend of the 5th and 6th of August, at the Hinton Admiral Event Field, on the Hinton Admiral Estate, will be bursting at the seams with local produce!

Discover a selection of glorious New Forest and regional produce, with a mix of artisan bread, cheese, chilli jams, cakes, chocolates, gluten-free snacks, shortbread, craft ales, New Forest Cider, speciality gins, and much more.

There are now over 100 traders waiting to display their wares, and in additional to the food stalls, 15 pop-up restaurants, chef demonstrations and bars – including a ale brewed on-site at the festival – there will also be classic fairground stalls – including a coconut shy – and a chance for the kids to learn circus skills.

Richard Shirley, one of the organisers of the festival commented, “Whilst the focus of the festival is food, we wanted to make sure there were plenty of other things to keep the young ones entertained. We will have a dedicated ‘kids’ zone’ with lots going on and we anticipate a lot of interest in the circus skills. There will also be a chance to your hand at bush craft which is highly appropriate here in the New Forest.”

Another feature of the festival will be the Craft Market, which will showcase work from local and regional crafters, with a wide and diverse array of stalls. They will include crafts such as textiles, jewellery, soft toys, paintings, wood craft, collectables, ceramics, sculpture, soft furnishings to name just some.

Whilst enjoying the food and drink of the festival, enjoy live music and other entertainment, including popular local skiffle group Dr. Beatroot and Krista Green and The Bee’s.


You can save 20% on your admission fee, by purchasing your ticket in advance. Under 16s are free of charge. To book your ticket, click here.

Criddlestyle Cottage in the New Forest a lovely self catering home that sleeps 10

If you are interested in a group holiday to New Forest, we have a number of properties here at Short Stay Homes which can sleep from 6 to 29 guests. Take a look at our New Forest Breaks here.

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Avoid The Extreme Heat This Summer and enjoy a Staycation

Sun setting with a view from the beach

As we head in to the school holidays this Summer, travellers from the UK may be looking with concern at planned trips to the Mediterranean, as they look to avoid the extreme heat engulfs the region.

As the busiest summer getaway since 2019 begins, travellers to southern Europe are likely to experience extreme heat. An area of high pressure appears to have settled over the Med with little sign of abating.

The “Cerberus” heatwave (so named by Italian meteorologists) is gripping southern France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey, as well as smaller countries in the Mediterranean region.

With forecasters predicting the heatwave could last for up to two weeks, concerns are growing about the risks to health.

For travellers contemplating their options, why not consider a staycation here in the United Kingdom, with highs in the coming weeks of around 24°C, you can enjoy the Summer sunshine and share time with loved ones.

Below, we take a look at some of the benefits of avoiding the current Mediterranean heat wave and enjoying a staycation in Southern England, on top of avoiding airfares and potential cancellations. Further to this, we have some great locations for fishing and golfing breaks.

Beck Cottage, New Forest as the sun sets

Short Stay Homes owns some wonderful properties across New Forest, Dorset and Wiltshire. Sleeping 6 – 29 guests, we have something for everyone, from large family gatherings to escaping the city and university reunions to celebratory occasions.

All of our properties are dog-friendly locations. Plenty of room for your dog to run around, be taken on walks and some properties have secure gardens with your dog in mind.
Here are 5 reasons why you should take your dog on holiday.

Hot tub with steam in the crisp air at Blackdown Views Devon.

Every property has a hot tub in place for you to relax and unwind. Here are 7 benefits to hot tub usage. We also have glamping accommodation and games rooms at select locations.

Mews Hill, New Forest at sunset.
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Avoid the strikes this summer

Avoid the strikes this summer by taking your holiday in the United Kingdom.

Heathrow have announced that security officers will be taking strike action over the summer months, which could affect travellers at the UK’s biggest airport. The strikes could lead to longer queues through security and airlines will be looking at whether any flights require cancellation.

Between 24th June and 27th August, 2,000 officers will walkout for 31 different days, including peak times such as Eid festival, the beginning of the summer holidays and August bank holiday.

Avoid the strikes by looking at your summer holiday in the UK, whether celebrating some family time together, a special celebration or sharing Eid together in a mutual location, we have a number of properties in Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and New Forest that may interest you here.

Book today and you will be eligible for our fantastic May and June offer!


The strike dates are:
24-25, 28-30
14-16. 21-24, 28-31
4-7, 11-14, 18-20, 24-27


New Forest is one of Europe’s most important locations for nature and conservation and is home to many rare species of plant and wildlife. with over 500sq kilometres to explore, it is also home to 8 beaches and many cycle paths, walking routes and free roaming wildlife. View our New Forest properties here.

Hot Tub at Beck Cottage

June Offer
50% off hot tubs and additional accommodation for bookings up to the end of March 2024 if booked by the end of June 2023.

Click here to book now.

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New Forest Tour 2023 Launch

New Forest Tour launched this Summer!

The New Forest Tour has returned this Summer and will be running between 1st July and 17th September 2023, where you can enjoy some of the wonderful views of the New Forest National Park, including wondering ponies and horses, magical landscapes and quintessential villages.

Three routes will be provided this year, and these can be found here.
You will be able to hope on and off wherever you like, catching the next tour bus or switching between routes all on the same ticket! Audio commentary will be provided, offering an insight in to the people, places and animals of the New Forest, bringing the tour to life.

You can also take in a walking or bicycle tour and dogs are welcome!

Tickets are available to purchase online or from the bus driver, with prices starting at £11 for children, £16.50 for concessions and £19.50 for adults. These can be purchased from the MoreBus website.

3 Open-top busses, red, green and blue, for the three routes of the New Forest Tour

New Forest Tours will have three routes available: Red, Green and Blue. The map of these routes can be found here. If you would like to see the timetable for each route, these can be found here.

Beck Cottage with Shepherds Hut

New Forest is a fantastic location for a short family break, whether an excuse to get together or it is time to celebrate a special occasion, check out our New Forest accommodation here.


New Forest has many things to see and do and we are sure you will find something for yourself or your group. The New Forest Wildlife Park is one of those attractions, you can find more information on the wildlife park here.

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