SOMETIMES a complete change of scenery is all you need to feel refreshed.

Shorefield Country Park near the New Forest provides the perfect location to get away from it all, without having to travel very far.

The five star rated park is set in 100 acres of landscaped parkland in Milford-on-Sea, and is just a short walk away from the seafront.

I visited with my husband, sister and her partner for the weekend, to stay in one of the park’s lodges.

It took just over an hour to travel there from Basingstoke by car, leaving plenty of time to explore the area and enjoy the facilities during our one night stay.

The journey was picturesque, as we drove through pretty towns including Lyndhurst and Lymington, and passed horses grazing in the New Forest.

Shorefield Country Park is the flagship park of Shorefield Holidays, which has six holiday parks on the South Coast.

The company was awarded a Silver Beautiful South Awards 2014 in the Holiday Park of the Year category.

Shorefield County Park is somewhat hidden, away from the noise of the main roads, and upon arrival we were glad to find a shop on site, so we could buy sandwiches for our lunch and stock up on essentials such as teabags.

Basingstoke Gazette:

We received a friendly welcome and were given directions to our lodge, which was a short walk from the main reception area.

It was spacious but cosy, and felt homely with comfy sofas, a large mirror above the fireplace, and floral curtains.

The kitchen was fully equipped with everything you would need for a self-catering holiday, and even had the luxury of a dishwasher.

Basingstoke Gazette:

The park offers a variety of accommodation, from caravans to luxury lodges with their own hot tub, and all visitors can benefit from the onsite entertainment, restaurant, spa and swimming pool.

Looking for an opportunity to unwind, my sister and I headed to the pool to enjoy a swim before relaxing in the steam room and sauna, while our other-halves watched the football in the bar area.

We had booked a back massage for late afternoon, and headed to Reflections Elemis Day Spa to enjoy the half-an-hour of pampering.

The massage left me so relaxed I found myself dozing off in the spa’s relaxation room afterwards, where I could enjoy a selection of complimentary fruit teas.

As I lay back on the curved bed wearing a soft white robe and sipped my white tea and pomegranate drink, my mind cleared as I listened to the chilled out music and gazed at the star-studded ceiling.

It was total bliss.

I was reluctant to go outside in the cold, but we headed back to the lodge to get ready for dinner, and decided to try out the on-site restaurant rather than venture out or cook for ourselves.

The park was relatively quiet during our stay, probably because of the time of the year, but it appeared to be popular with families.

There were families and couples in the bar area, where a programme of entertainment was planned for the evening, including bingo and a live singer.

For groups of adults, there is a separate bar for over 18s, but most people were happy to sit and chat in the main area, where the restaurant is, while their children were entertained by The Cyril and Cybil Club, run by resident mascots, or could go next door to the Game Zone amusement arcade. The park also has various function rooms and an Italian bistro, although this was closed during our stay.

We took our time browsing the menu, which was simple but had enough choice, and was reasonably priced with most meals costing less than £10.

I selected a burger with blue cheese and onion chutney, accompanied by chips and salad.

It was presented well, and the burger was chunky and the salad substantial, with a good variety of leaves, tomatoes and cucumber, brought together nicely with a dressing. Although the meat was a little dry, the onion chutney and cheese ensured it tasted nice and I was thoroughly stuffed by the time I’d finished.

My husband enjoyed his steak, which was cooked medium rare – exactly as he had requested.

We declined the offer to look at the pudding menu, and instead headed over to some sofas to enjoy a few more drinks whilst listening to the singer in the background, before heading back to the lodge to watch some television.

The following morning we enjoyed a lie-in before re-visiting the restaurant to sample the breakfast menu.

There was a good choice and I decided on scrambled eggs with crispy bacon on a bagel.

Unfortunately the bagel had to be swapped for a bap, because the restaurant had run out, but I didn’t mind.

The bacon was disappointingly not crispy at all, and I transferred it over to my husband’s plate as he enjoys it less crispy, while I tucked into my scrambled egg.

It set us up for a morning walk to the beach, which was just 20 minutes away from the park.

The wind grew in strength the closer we got to the sea, and we had a brief walk along the stony beach, admiring the views out to the Isle of Wight before heading back.

Basingstoke Gazette:

I love being by the coast, at any time of the year, and it was refreshing to take in the sea air.

It would certainly be the perfect location to return in the summer, particularly as there are various places to visit nearby.

I headed home feeling relaxed and revitalised, and was happy that the return journey was stress-free and short.

Winter breaks at Shorefield are available from December 19 to 31 from £259, and there will be a Boxing Day sale, with reduced prices for 2015 holidays.

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