Welcome to life in the Hollywood Hills, Surrey-style. An hour from London, high above the South Downs and Georgian Farnham, Woodland House comes wrapped in trees and bursting with treats. This is the showstopping escape you’ve been searching for, for 16 mums, dads, kids, grannies, grandads, chums – and dogs by request.
Did we say treats? In summer, cool off in the outdoor pool screened from the world by wonderful woodland. Towel off and it’s on to the table-tennis, the all-weather tennis court and the table football. The lawns invite games, the terrace suggests al-fresco dining and the woodland leads you to the glades and heath of Crooksbury Hill.
Get together in the snug to catch movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Borrow a book from the shelves. Chill in the conservatory, tap out a tune on the piano, cook on the Aga and break bread together in the dining room with its marble fireplace. Luxuriate in the Jacuzzi bathtub, sleep in crisp white bedding. Get immersed in glamorous living.
There’s plenty of outside action here for those wanting fresh air and freedom dished up with all the privacy you need. Screened by the woodland that tops Crooksbury Hill, you’ll swim in the outdoor pool heated from April to October, play table tennis and table footie in the sunshine, and bash a shuttlecock around in the shade.
You’ve four acres to explore here. Follow the paths through the woodland to the heaths and glades of the hill for 150-metre-high views of the South Downs and south-west Surrey and Hampshire. And eat out on the terrace with steaks sizzling on the gas barbecue among the wagtails and sandpipers.
If you can wrest yourself away from the heated pool and the tennis court, the indoors at Woodland House comes with its own unique sets of charms. The downstairs in the main house is a vast entertaining area with spaces to be sociable or sporty, and spots in which to slide away with a book and some Bluetooth music.
The fun begins in the games room, complete with table tennis, table football, dartboard, board games and games console. Make it a movie night with Netflix or Amazon Prime Video on the 48” TV in the snug or the 30” cottage TV. Stream and surf on the BT Infinity superfast broadband.
In the evenings, get together for a chat or a game of chess in the main sitting room or escape to the conservatory to open the doors, watch the flitting bats and listen to the hooting owls. Tinkle the piano, strum the guitar, burn some logs, chill for England in glamorous spaces full of modern conveniences and traditional touches.
Get the pros in to whip up a wonderful feast in the contemporary kitchen. Book a one-off celebration or a full-on catered break. Or be tempted to get your apron on yourself and create culinary magic on the four-door, dual-hob Aga and fan oven. Pile the big fridge/freezer high with goodies delivered from Waitrose or Sainsbury’s.
Eat around the chunky table in the formal dining room with its marble fireplace, get ten around the kitchen table, or dine outdoors beneath the big skies on the table and chairs by the swimming pool. Get the gas barbecue going and pile it high with steaks and sausages from Morgan’s of Farnham.
For inventive twists on traditional British dishes, try The Bel and Dragon in Churt. Maybe it’ll be succulent pig or bocuse shepherd’s pie. Pop into the sculpture museum when you’re done. Enjoy prime meats and seasonal vegetables in The Duke of Cambridge, a family-friendly pub in Tilford with log burner, heated barn and playground.
For more quintessential Englishness, head to The Barley Mow in Tilford for sweet potato and chickpea curry, halloumi or chickenburger overlooking the pretty village green. Try Bloom Farnham for small-plates dining, cocktails and a bottomless brunch. Or eat in or take away at The Giggling Squid, home of tastebud-tickling Thai.
High above human concerns in the hills that rise behind Farnham, all is hushed. The woodland that skirts the house buffers out all sound, bar that of its own making. But the odd owl and rustling leaf won’t spoil your sleep.
In the main house, bedroom one offers a very comfortable superking in a first-floor, south-facing room with views over the front garden. Bedroom two and bedroom three also sleep two with west-facing woodlands views, while bedroom four is a south-facing double with front-garden views. Bedroom five provides a cosy superking.
In the cottage, bedroom six sleeps two in a comfy superking overlooking the tennis court and woodland, bedroom seven also sleeps two in a kingsize (or twins), and bedroom eight offers a comfortable kingsize with pool and garden views, and books aplenty.
If there’s anything more exciting for kids than heading off on holiday, it’s heading somewhere with mum, dad, grandma, grandad and the family dog all in tow. With space for 16 across the main house and cottage, Woodland House is a multi-generational masterpiece. It also comes with toys aplenty.
Top of the list must be a swimming pool and Woodland House doesn’t disappoint, with its outdoor pool heated between April and October. Once you’ve towelled off, you’ll find another treat at the top of the garden: tennis you can play all year round. Rackets and balls supplied.
There’s more sporting glory awaiting in the garden, with badminton, rounders, cricket and croquet all catered for. Beyond that, four acres of fun await. Wander the woodlands through to Crooksbury Hill, watching out for wildlife. And eat out on the gas barbecue around the table and chairs on the big terrace.
To burn off even more calories, you’ll find table tennis, table football and a dartboard in the games room. Board games and a games console will help with weary evenings. At bedtime, there’s family flexibility on offer, with zip-and-link beds, cottage bedrooms and several rooms able to take a cot.