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A lovely New Forest country retreat with a very special restaurant.

Part of the same group that own the excellent nearby Careys Manor spa hotel, the Montagu Arms is a bit of a favourite of ours, because it ticks all the boxes we usually look for in a good country hotel. It's in a fabulous location, right in Beaulieu Village and so in the heart of the New Forest. It occupies a nice old building with lovely gardens that feels a bit special while still being suitable relaxed and informal. And it has an excellent restaurant, so if you're feeling lazy, you don't have to stray very far in search of sustenance.

In fact the nice thing about the Montagu Arms is that you can leave your car keys in your pocket while you're here, venturing out into the forest on long walks and cycle rides during the day – the two-mile walk along the river to Buckler's Hard on an easy gravelled path is a popular one – and collapsing into the arms of the hotel in the evening, where the cosy hotel bar and very highly-rated Terrace Restaurant will take care of your needs before you stagger up to your well-appointed room. The rooms are good sizes and all very comfortable, traditional but not fussy in style; a couple have four-posters, and all have spacious en-suite bathrooms with robes and toiletries and flatscreen TVs.

The Owner Says

Design Feature:

The beautiful fountain that forms the focal point of the gardens at The Montagu Arms was designed by sculptor, David Wynn OBE – famous for designing the central motif on the Queen Elizabeth gate at Hyde Park and his celebrated dolphin pieces such as ‘Boy with a Dolphin’ which resides on the Chelsea Embankment, London.

Famous Guests:

The Montagu Arms Hotel has played host to discerning clientele including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes; British actor Henry Irving; writer, Sir H. Rider Haggard and former French president, General Charles de Gaulle.

Interesting History:

In 1943 the Montagu Arms Hotel was one of a number of public buildings used by the home-guard as a firing position in the event of invasion during World War II. A scrapbook of top secret orders, letters and hand drawn maps by war-time Home Guard commander, Sir Morgan Crofton, revealed a rare insight into the real ‘Dad’s Army’ of the New Forest.

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