You all know how much we love Staycations, you cannot beat the convenience of holidaying in the UK and exploring what this beautiful country has to offer.
A weekend away gives you so much time to explore, but not enough time to run out of things to do.
We have recently joined forces with Fuller’s to promote their Beautiful Bedrooms and to showcase just some of what we got up whilst we stayed there.
I will be completely honest, I had heard of Fuller’s and their ales, but I had no idea they also had hotels. It was for this reason we were excited to work with them.
We chose one of their family friendly hotels, The Cromwell Arms in Romsey. Its location meant we had our pick of National Trust and English Heritage sites given that the area is steeped in history. It also meant we had the New Forest on our doorstep, a place that holds a special place in my heart as it’s somewhere I regularly visited as a child with my grandparents.
Being a pub first, our expectations of the rooms weren’t overly high. We expected Premier Inn style rooms, a bit dated and basic but served a purpose as somewhere to just rest your head.
However what we did not expect was what just how well done out these rooms would be!
Unfortunately we had to have two separate bedrooms as one room couldn’t fit us all in. We had one Indulgence room and one Comfy Double room.
In the Indulgence room the bed felt enormous, you could easily sleep 3 people comfortably in it! We also had an additional z-bed and still felt we had so much space left in the room.
In the Double room we had a double bed which felt bigger than a double bed.
All the rooms are en-suite and the Indulgent room featured a bath with shower over it and we had use of bathrobes and slippers, the same type you get in spa’s. In the double room it was a shower only.
The rooms felt very high quality with all the finishing touches like the flat screen tv’s and tea/coffee making facilities were amazing.
Home made shortbread on your arrival in the rooms, with a fridge that had still and sparkling water and fresh milk. Another nice little touch was each of the rooms had a complimentary bottle of Fuller’s beer. It was these little touches that really made it feel a home from home atmosphere.
What was an extremely lovely gesture was that it was actually our wedding anniversary and when we arrived we were greeted to this. Sadly the kids devoured all bar one brownie before I got a chance to take a photo though!
But as far as my kids were concerned the best feature on offer was the Super-fast wi-fi. They were all able to get their tablets online whether in the room or lounging in the pub garden.
As I mentioned at the start, Romsey and its surroundings are steeped in history. On its doorstep you have Romsey itself, the New Forest, Salisbury, Southampton, with the coasts at Bournemouth and Portsmouth (West Wittering beach is a personal favourite of ours) just a short drive away.
Its location meant we had our pick of places to visit. We didn’t make it there as we ran out of time, but for anyone else planning on staying here, Stone Henge is just 25 miles away so it would be well worth a visit.
Also just 1 mile from The Cromwell Arms is Romsey Abbey, one of the most imposing churches in Southern England. It’s home to a number of treasures, including two Saxon roods, a 16th-century reredos (a screen displayed behind an altar) and the tomb of Lord Mountbatten of Burma, great-uncle of Prince Charles. Abbey stewards are on duty everyday to welcome and greet visitors.
We are English Heritage members and we had a fair few places to choose from. Some of those places:
Fort Brockhurst – 25 miles from The Cromwell Arms – One of a number of forts built in the 1850s and 1860s to protect Portsmouth and its vital harbour against a French invasion. The fort currently stores a treasure trove of objects from English Heritage’s extensive reserve collections.
Hurst Castle – 22 miles from The Cromwell Arms – Hurst Castle provides a remote escape by the sea with plenty of things to see and do. Built by Henry VIII at the seaward end of a coastal spit, it was one of the most advanced artillery fortresses in England.
Medieval Merchant’s House – 9 miles from The Cromwell Arms – A residence and place of business, it stood on one of the busiest streets in medieval Southampton. Now restored to its mid-14th century appearance by the removal of later additions, it is equipped with replica period furnishings.
Netley Abbey – 13 miles from The Cromwell Arms – Netley is the most complete surviving abbey built by the Cistercian monks in southern England. Almost all the walls of its 13th century church still stand, together with many monastic buildings.
Calshot Castle – 19 miles from The Cromwell Arms – Calshot Castle is a picturesque castle bult by Henry VIII set in Calshot, a coastal village in Southampton, Hampshire, England. This beautiful village provides a perfect relaxing family day out by the coast.
Old Sarum – 17 miles from The Cromwell Arms – Climb the mighty ramparts for views over the Wiltshire plains and imagine the once thriving town of Old Sarum. Stand in the footprint of Salisbury’s original cathedral, conquer the royal castle which stood high on the motte, and discover the awe-inspiring Iron Age hill fort where it all began. There is plenty of things going on here throughout the Summer, hands on exploration and legendary Jousting on selected dates.
Titchfield Abbey – 20 miles from The Cromwell Arms – First built in the 13th century, Titchfield Abbey in Hampshire was the home of a community of Premonstratensian canons. The canons lived communally, like monks, but also preached and served as priests in the local community. After the Suppression of the Monasteries, Henry VIII gave the abbey to Sir Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, who transformed the buildings into a grand Tudor mansion called Place House.
The Grange at Northington – 21 miles from The Cromwell Arms – This one was high on our list due to the amazing Greek architecture on show at the Grange. Set in a landscaped park, The Grange at Northington, Hampshire, is the foremost example in England of Greek Revival architecture. Public outcry saved The Grange from demolition in 1975 and it is now used as an opera venue.
For the National Trust members amongst you there is also the following places to visit:
Mottisfont – 6 miles from The Cromwell Arms – A romantic house and gallery set in beautiful riverside gardens. Throughout the Summer there is a Beano exhibition for all your Beano loving kids!
Pepperbox Hill – 10 miles from The Cromwell Arms – Chalk ridge landmark with far-reaching views and rich natural heritage.
Figsbury Ring – 18 miles from The Cromwell Arms – Neolithic and Iron Age site rich in wildlife, offering sweeping views of surrounding countryside.
New Forest Northern Commons – 17 miles from The Cromwell Arms – A colourful mosaic of blooming heather and gorse, braided wetlands and ancient woodland pasture.
Mompesson House – 16 miles from The Cromwell Arms – Homely and welcoming 18th-century townhouse in the heart of Salisbury’s Cathedral Close.
Winchester City Mill – 14 miles from The Cromwell Arms – Working watermill in the heart of Winchester.
If you don’t have either an English Heritage or National Trust membership, there is still so much to discover within the New Forest.
Something which I recently discovered, as well as the obvious beautiful scenery, the free roaming animals, the walks, the New Forest played an important role in the First and Second World Wars.
During the Second World War, the New Forest was home to twelve airfields and an experimental bombing range, with a whole host of military hardware under cover of the Forest’s trees.
My absolute favourite walk in the New Forest is Ashley Walk. This was a place I visited very often with my grandparents. Unbeknownst to me Ashley Walk had its very own bombing range during the Second World War.
My kids absolutely loved finding this out just before we headed there.
But if you find yourself wanting something a bit more from the area, The Cromwell Arms is the perfect base for any visit to Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World, as it’s just a short 5 minute drive away.
Voted the number 1 theme park in the UK, It has something for kids of all ages including rides, sea life and much to my daughters amazement, Peppa Pig World.
Also on the Cromwell Arms doorstep is Romsey Rapids, a short 2 minute drive away, they have rapids, flumes, tipping buckets, bubble seats and a pirate ship, perfect for any water loving kid!
After a day of excitement it was time to head back to the Cromwell Arms, where we relaxed in the pub garden with a drink before our evening meal.
There is copious amounts of seating available and they also have numerous deck chairs dotted around.
The kids particularly loved the giant garden games available.
The dinner menu has something for everyone and is very reasonably priced. But they do have various food promotions throughout the week, so its always best to check the boards.
The kids menu is 2 courses for £7.50 and as well as the main menu, the food was all freshly cooked from the Fuller’s kitchen. The food was excellent, but my only criticism was the kids portion sizes.
My kids are 4, 7 and 10, for the 4 year old the portion size was absolutely perfect, the sausage and mash was delicious and just the right size for her.
However my 7 year old got a burger with chips, and the burger was on the smaller size. He was left feeling slightly hungry so I gave him some of my dinner. The following evening we allowed my 7 and 10 year old to order from the main adult menu which was absolutely perfect for them.
Now I’m not really sure if this is a criticism of the portion sizes or the fact my boys have hollow legs and are constantly hungry!
Speaking of food, all bookings include full English breakfast or continental if that’s your thing. The selection available was perfect, pastries, fresh juices, cereals, toast or pancakes or full English. Another nice little touch was the offerings of sausage or bacon baps!
The food was exceptional, and this was perfectly balanced with the amazing service we had. The staff were extremely friendly and really did make it their jobs to make us feel at ease and relaxed.
Whenever we go anywhere we always like to converse with the staff as it really helps me to get a feel of the place. Everyone I spoke to was very friendly and every single person we came across in the morning all wished us to have a great day out.
With a pub at its heart you really do get that buzzing pub atmosphere but with the comforts of having a hotel too.
For anyone on the lookout for a family friendly hotel, I can really recommend the The Cromwell Arms, also if you have a dog they will accept them too and welcome them just like any other guest.
Throughout the Summer holidays and up until 27th October 2019, Fuller’s have a fantastic offer, book for 3 nights and only pay for 2! If you book a Friday and Saturday night you can stay for free on the Sunday.
If you are interested in finding a Fuller’s family friendly hotel and discovering your own Fuller’s Beautiful Bedrooms, check out the link here and you won’t be disappointed.
Nb. This is a paid post in partnership with Fuller’s.