Home to polo ponies, with a view over the sharply rising South Downs, Oakwood Lodge offers serenity and serendipity. This is the place for ten family, friends and dog to gaze at the horses grazing in the fields from beneath the pergola, watch the wind tickle the meadow flowers and stare at the stars from the hot tub. Lift the soul and clear the mind.
Heyshott in West Sussex is home to a spectacular firework display, an equally impressive view up the steep-sided Heyshott Down, and a nature reserve with a view over the Weald. Just along the lane from The Unicorn Inn, Oakwood offers late-build luxury in the heart of walking and riding country.
Peace reigns here in the vaulted living/dining room. Light the fire, pop a Nespresso pod in and pile onto the L-shaped sofa for Netflix. Fling open the bi-fold doors to the commons where the horses gently graze. Escape to the gallery for alternative viewing or to plink the keys of the piano. This is a place that part of you might never leave.
Live your life outdoors here. Slide out through the bi-fold doors and you’re straight into a peaceful, rustic world of green grass, grazing horses and gaping skies. One-and-a-half-acres of lovingly maintained lawn take you to the boundary fence, with a view of the woods and Downs beyond from the sizzling, six-person hot tub.
Sit and stare at the scenery on the pergola-covered terraces from the sofas and armchairs, with Nespresso and novel ready on the coffee table – or in the hammock. Eat outdoors? You’ll get ten around the covered outdoor dining area. Watch the kids wolf theirs and head straight for the trampoline and footie nets.
Hang out in the hammock, slam-dunk a few into the basketball nets, bring your dog, bring your horses and ponies, bring your enthusiasm for outdoor living and max out on sunshine and serenity.
Life here revolves around the large living/dining room in the space between the oak beams and the underfloor heating. Get the logs roaring, then uncork the wine and unwind on the L-shaped sofas in front of the flatscreen TV with a Netflix binge and a Nespresso on the coffee table. Wi-Fi comes care of Huawei.
Escape the mayhem up the stairs in the gallery for a book, alternative viewing or to plink the piano keys. Or stick around downstairs to play table tennis or table football, or to slide out through the bi-folds into the outdoor living area, to gaze upon grazing horses, breathe the clean air and soak up the sunshine.
Been out walking? Pile your coats, boots and shoes into the laundry room and throw your muddy togs into the washing machine. Oakwood Lodge gives you light, bright spaces, vaulted ceilings and places to escape. And, with just the ten nearest and dearest on site, you’ll never feel stuck for space.
You’ll love the kitchen, with its four-door Aga and hob, two electric ovens and American fridge/freezer, but if you fancy a night off, call Kimmie. Pennybun Catering is her baby and she’ll stick around for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three if you really want to take it easy. For another great night in, tackle an Indian takeaway from Banyan.
Eat around the central island with its breakfast bar and stools or simply wander through the open walkway to the living/dining room where the table seats ten. From there, al-fresco options are good, with covered terrace table and chairs offering a view of the Downs and coal barbie on hand.
Eat out at The White Horse in Graffham for duck breast or beer-battered haddock. Wander down the lane to The Unicorn Inn for pheasant curry or chicken and chorizo pot pie. Or book well in advance for the Horse Guards, with its small, seasonal menu. In summer, eat out on hay bales by the herbs and vegetables you’ll find on your plate.
Head to the oh-so-English Duke of Cumberland for one of the most beautiful settings in England. The food’s not bad either. Walk to The Lickfold Inn or enjoy the best Sunday lunch in the area at The Hollist Arms. Or pop out to The Noah’s Ark Inn in Lurgashall in summer and catch a cricket match on the village green.
Just the four bedrooms here, but they’re all beautiful en-suites with features that will blow your socks off. Sleep deeply in the Sussex countryside with a soundtrack of gently hooting owls and the breeze that rustles the leaves.
The master bedroom is up on the first floor. It’s a light, spacious bedroom with a super king-size bed, flatscreen TV and dressing table. The en-suite bathroom offers double sinks, walk-in shower and a separate bath with lovely views across the countryside.
Downstairs, bedroom two is a king-size with a truckle bed handy for kids. The en-suite bathroom offers a shower over the bath. Bedroom three provides a king-size and the en-suite bathroom gives you a shower over the bath.
Lovers of breakfast on the terrace should opt for bedroom four, a super king-size room with French windows out onto the terrace, which comes equipped with outdoor table and chairs. The en-suite bathroom provides a walk-in shower and separate bath, plus a truckle bed for kids.
Your kids might well keep asking ‘Are we there yet?’ because they’ll have an idea about what’s in store. Round that final bend, though, and the wow and wonder will be off the scale, with a mix of outdoor adventure and indoor fun and comfort. Bring the whole family, bring the dog, bring your horses and ponies if that’s your bag.
Say hi to the horses beyond the fence, then get a vitamin D fix testing the trampoline springs, kicking a ball into the nets on the immaculate lawns, or just exploring the 1.5 acres of fenced landscaping. Eat out on the covered terrace or hang out with games and books beneath the wisteria-clad pergola.
Bigger kids will enjoy staring at the stars from the hot tub. Or head indoors to twist your wrists on the table football or claim the spoils as holiday ping-pong king. Settle down by the fire with popcorn over Amazon Prime or Netflix, or escape to the gallery, with its own TV and plenty of privacy. Fuel your devices with Huawei internet.