The Bell Inn Pub with rooms in Bramshaw, Hampshire

Prices from:
£99 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Classic New Forest Inn; Ponies roam by
  • Family owned for 250 years
  • Country-chic style; relaxed vibe
  • Bar is the hub; draws all-comers
  • Modern menus champion local produce
  • Individual rooms; smartly upgraded
  • Owns golf courses next door

Muddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelitGreen FingersVisit a Stately Pile90 Minutes from London15 Minutes from the MotorwayPrivate Dining

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Call this inn 023 803 71841

Overview

The Bell Inn Bramshaw, Hampshire, SO43 7HE

The personal touch

Surrounded by ancient woodland in the heart of the New Forest, yet just minutes from the M27 (J1), the Bell Inn is one of the oldest family-owned pubs in Hampshire, having been owned by the Crosthwaite Eyre family for over 250 years. Firmly entwined with the history of the New Forest, the family are passionate about the area, having created the New Forest Act in 1877 and a family member being elected a Verderer by the Crown ever since. That passion extends to The Bell Inn, with Robert Crosthwaite Eyre investing and upgrading the whole place, yet successfully instilling a more informal ‘inn’ atmosphere throughout the rambling 18th-century building. The hub of The Bell is the fabulous bar, a haven for locals, walkers (& dogs), golfers and guests, with its warm heritage hues, cosy corners and sofas to sink into, its blazing, double-aspect log fire and Ringwood ales on tap. Modern menus served in the warm and intimate Oak Room or the airy Garden Room, relaxing lounges (perfect for afternoon cream tea) with rich fabrics and stylish furnishings, extensive gardens, and two fine golf courses next door (under the same ownership – good guest rates) complete the pleasing picture.

Sticky fingers

Children are welcome throughout the inn; they have their own menu and most rooms can accommodate a travel cot or z-bed, which are available on request. Just a few steps away from the inn, two more Manor Rooms are perfect for families and can be interconnected to provide a spacious family room, or your own private suite.

Muddy paws

Well-behaved dogs are allowed in the bar and overnight in some of the ground floor rooms (£10 for 1 night; £15 for more than 1 night).

Alfresco

The tree-shaded side garden has picnic benches for alfresco sipping and summer lunches, and the occasional barbeque, as well as a boules pitch.

What’s on?

Popular wedding venue; business meeting rooms; special golf packages with Bramshaw Golf Club; games nights; summer BBQs; Bank Holiday parties; gin and jazz evenings; May Day Spring Fair with artisan and craft producers

What’s the Damage?

28 twins/doubles; Snug rooms £99; Classic, Forest, Estate rooms £129-£169; Manor Suites £179. Singles from £79.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining in Oak Room (50) & Garden Room (18)
  • Disabled access to bar/dining area and ground floor rooms
  • Parking

Gongs

AA 4 Silver Stars & 1 Rosette; New Forest Marque

Sleep

The Bell Inn Bramshaw, Hampshire, SO43 7HE

Do not disturb

Recent refurbishment of the 28 rooms has taken the accommodation to a new level at The Bell. Still very much a relaxed country inn, rather than a formal hotel, rooms have been stylish upgraded and all are individually decorated with a modern, country-chic feel. Rooms range from ground floor Classics that feature family and dog-friendly rooms, to the beamed and cosy attic Snugs, and the more spacious and smart Manor rooms; two can interconnect to create family or luxury private suite. The Master Suite overlooks the garden and has a king-size sleigh bed and a vast bathroom with a tub and separate walk-in shower. Expect top-quality linen, rich fabrics, upholstered chairs and a host of home-from-home comforts.

Creature comforts

Room service; fresh coffee & milk; New Forest Chocolates; New Forest Water; Bramley Bathroom Products in specific room categories

Gadgets

Television; telephone; free wi-fi

What’s for Breakfast?

Continental: croissants, pastries, cereals, yoghurt, fresh & dried fruits, ham & cheese; porridge, blueberry compote; smoked kippers; smoked salmon & scrambled eggs; full English breakfast

What’s the Damage?

28 twins/doubles; Snug rooms £99; Classic, Forest, Estate rooms £129-£169; Manor Suites £179. Singles from £79.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining in Oak Room (50) & Garden Room (18)
  • Disabled access to bar/dining area and ground floor rooms
  • Parking

Gongs

AA 4 Silver Stars & 1 Rosette; New Forest Marque

Eat & Drink

The Bell Inn Bramshaw, Hampshire, SO43 7HE

Mastering the menu

The kitchen team make sound us of the rich larder of local produce, as well and meat and game from the family’s New Forest and Scottish estates to create a true ‘estate to plate’ dining experience. Seasonal modern menus and daily chalkboard offer simple, good quality dishes, from tasty bar snacks like Scotch egg with spiced ketchup and lunchtime cobb rolls (fish fingers & gem lettuce) to hearty and traditional British pub classics with a twist, perhaps Swallowfields Farm boar sausages with mash and onion gravy, and truffle mushroom macaroni cheese, and more inventive main courses such as roast duck with braised shallots, spinach, mini fondants and rhubarb. Best enjoyed in the bar or the newly revamped Oak Room, replete the oak floor and soft furnishings from William Morris, Barneby Gates wallpaper, and quirky, individual objet d’art.

On the menu

(Starters: £6.50-£9; Main Courses: £12.50-£26.50; Desserts £6)

Seared local pigeon, apple, rhubarb & pine nut salad; Lyme Bay scallops, crisp pork belly, peas; ham hock terrine, spiced ketchup & crispy egg yolk

Seared calves liver, smoked bacon, bubble-and-squeak; fish pie; Hampshire lamb rump, Sopley asparagus, nettle puree, salsa verde

Earl Grey crème brûlee, lemon mascarpone cream, pistachio shortbread; summer pudding, clotted cream ice cream

Lunchtime rolls

(£7.50-£8)

Crab, lemon mayo & gem lettuce; honey glazed ham, Dijon mustard mayo; grilled chicken & bacon club

Afternoon teas

Traditional afternoon teas are served in the lounge, Garden Room or alfresco in the garden between 3pm and 5pm. Four different afternoon teas ranging from the Classic £6.95 to the Champagne/Pimms tea at £19.95 per person

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 7am – 9.30am (7.30am – 10am Saturday & Sunday)
Food & bar snacks served daily: 12 noon – 9pm; afternoon tea: 3pm – 5pm

Local, local, local

Flack Manor Brewery, Romsey (www.flackmanor.co.uk)

Sopley asparagus (see Food Trail)

Rockbourne smoked trout

New Forest Chocolates (see Food Trail)

Beer – Ringwood Brewery (see Food Trail)

Wild boar, free-range pork & beef – Swallowfields Farm, Bramshaw (www.swallowfieldsfarmproduce.co.uk)

Behind the bar

Expect to find three real ales on tap, all brewed in the New Forest, namely Ringwood Boon Doggle and Flack Manor Flack Catcher, and a local guest beer, perhaps Romsey Gold. Gin lovers will rejoice at the 20-strong gin menu, the boutique list featuring Monkey 47, Jinuzu, Dorset distilled Pothecary, and Conker Spirit, distilled using New Forest Spring Water, 10 botanicals, samphire and elderberries. In addition, there’s a cocktail menu and a good value, global list of wines, including a few interesting vintage Old World French wines from Robert’s cellar.

Bar snacks

(£2.50-£3.50)

Sausage roll, grain mustard mayo; Scotch egg, spiced ketchup; bread & olive platter & dips

Time at the bar

11am – 11 pm

What’s the Damage?

28 twins/doubles; Snug rooms £99; Classic, Forest, Estate rooms £129-£169; Manor Suites £179. Singles from £79.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining in Oak Room (50) & Garden Room (18)
  • Disabled access to bar/dining area and ground floor rooms
  • Parking

Gongs

AA 4 Silver Stars & 1 Rosette; New Forest Marque

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Bell Inn

2

River Test Smokery, Chilbolton, Stockbridge SO20 6AZ

A smokery using traditional methods where fish, meat and game is sourced locally where possible and smoked over English oak chippings. Salmon and rainbow trout are also on sale here, while duck, pheasant and other game are on offer during the shooting season. Products can be collected from the site via pre-arrangement and there's also a mail-order service.

3

Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers, Landford SP5 2DN

Prize-winning producers of artisan cheeses such as Old Winchester and Stoney Cross, made on the farm using milk from their own dairy herd. Also available is an organic veg range, including lettuces, broad beans, sugar snap peas, pumpkins and squash. Pre-booked evening farm tours are offered during July.

4

Leckford Farm Shop, Stockbridge SO20 6EH

Five minutes' drive from The Greyhound on the Test, this Waitrose-owned farm shop stocks over a 1000 different products. Although they use 60 local suppliers, many of the items are produced on the estate itself, including the wheat used in its own-label flour, milk, apples, pears, free-range eggs and chickens. There's a cafe, too, offering a breakfast and lunch menu.

5

Ringwood Brewery, Ringwood BH24 3AP

Founded in 1978, Ringwood brewery is well known for ales such as Forty Niner and Boon Doogle. Stock up in the shop located in the brewery yard and time a visit for one of the brewery tours that include a complimentary drink in the Pin Room.

7

Setley Ridge Farm Shop & Vineyard, Brockenhurst SO42 7UF

A family-run business set in the middle of the New Forest, Paul Girling and his wife Hayley grow the grapes in their vineyard, from which they produce five different varieties of wine. These are stocked in the oak-framed farm shop, along with other produce from local suppliers, including jams and chutneys, cheeses and cakes. The farm shop is open seven days a week.

8

Walking Picnics, Frogham SP6 2JA

Fancy exploring the glorious scenery of the New Forest and then enjoying a three-course home made gourmet picnic at the end of it? Nigel Owen leads the 3-4 mile guided nature walks, while his wife Christine is in charge of the picnics, made up of a light starter, home made pies or quiches and a choice of cakes or puddings. Summer season walks run from Easter through to September. During winter months they also run 'souper' walks, with a mug of homemade soup replacing the picnic.

9

Royal Oak, Fritham SO43 7HJ

10

Beaulieu Chocolate Studio SO42 7YA

Having previously trained as a baker and chocolatier in France, owner Trevor Smith set up the chocolate factory in 2006, taking over what was the village patisserie. His successful range of 30 different filled chocolates, along with bars and gifts are all made, displayed and sold on site.

11

Cranborne Manor Garden Centre BH21 5PP

The cafe is the hub of Cranborne Garden Centre, a small private garden centre set in the pretty walled gardens of Cranborne House and specialising in old fashioned roses. The cafe is the perfect place to relax with a cappuccino, cake or other fresh homemade goodies. It is renowned for stocking freshly baked bread and tempting treats from local bakers 'Let Them Eat' and draws devotees from afar!

12

Kimbridge On The Test Farm Shop, Romsey SO51 OLE

Tucked away in idyllic countryside, this farm shop has high quality produce supplied by local farmers, including smoked trout, lamb, pork and beef and their on-site butcher can offer advice on cuts and how to cook them. Their restaurant also offers a tranquil dining experience.

13

Thyme & Tides, Stockbridge, SO20 6HE

Owned by Iain and Sally Hemming, this little gem is a deli, fishmonger and cafe all rolled into one. Amongst its wide-ranging produce, it stocks artisan breads from the Hoxton Bakehouse and also offers Friday night ‘fish and chips’, which you can wash down with a glass of wine or ale.

14

New Forest Food & Drink Festival

Week long celebration of everything food and drink across, with various foodie themed events at a host of locations, including the Bell Inn, across the New Forest. Late October to early November.

15

Sopley Farm Shop, Sopley, Christchurch BH23 7AZ

Edge of the New Forest farm growing over 20 different fruit and vegetables, including the delicious asparagus served at the Bell Inn, which can be bought at the Farm Shop, or Ringwood Farmers’ Market. Pick your own fruit & vegetables in season.

16

Minstead Village Shop & Café, Minstead, Lyndhurst SO43 7FY

It’s worth seeking out this thriving village shop and café for delicious breakfasts, light lunches and afternoon teas, all freshly prepared using New Forest produce; everything is sourced with 15 miles of Minstead. Their foods are also on sale in the shop.

17

New Forest Lavender Farm, Giles Lane, Landford SP5 2BG

If you pop in to view the fragrant lavender fields and the excellent nursery, then you must not leave without trying the delicious lunches and cream teas, which may include cheese and lavender scones and homemade lavender shortbread, naturally.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Bell Inn

Activities

2

Burley Manor Riding Stables, Burley BH24 4BS

Try a hack through the New Forest, one of the loveliest regions in the south of England. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, the Burley Manor stables will ensure you have a great day in the saddle.

3

Fly Fishing, Burley BH24 4HS

A bespoke service is offered with a range of over 70 beats on more than 20 rivers. Expect grayling, sea trout and Atlantic salmon. There are few places in the UK where you can access some of the best and most sought-after private estate fly fishing in the world, but this is one of them.

5

New Forest Bus Tour SO42 7RX

Enjoy an open-top safari through the New Forest National Park, see the local scenery at its best and witness the region's fascinating wildlife at close quarters on a bus ride with a difference. From the top deck the backdrop is a spectacular mix of open heath and ancient woodland. Hop on and off as you wish.

6

Calshot Activities Centre, Calshot SO45 1BR

Situated on the shores of the Solent and one of the largest outdoor adventure centres in Britain, Calshot offers an excellent choice of exciting water and land-based activities in the country's most popular watersports location.

28

Bramshaw Golf Club, Brook SO43 7HE

For guests wishing to play golf in the New Forest, the Crosthwaite Eyre family also own the two award-winning golf courses directly behind the Bell Inn – Bramshaw is the oldest golf club in Hampshire. The two diverse 18-hole courses stretch across the undulating heathland of the National Park, offering golf holes of great interest through the trees and the fairways are shared with the wildlife and livestock that roam freely through the Forest.

Shopping

17

Wilton Shopping Village, Wilton SP2 0RS

A short drive from Salisbury, in a pleasant riverside setting, this courtyard development in the village of Wilton is the perfect spot for a bit of out-of-town shopping, with restaurants and an antique centre included.

18

The Butler Tray, High Street, Fordingbridge SP6 1AS

Hand-painted furniture, stylish home accessories, vintage finds, home fragrances, handcrafted greeting cards and baby and nursery gifts are just some of the items on sale at Butler Tray in Fordingbridge on the edge of the New Forest.

19

The Wykeham Gallery, High Street, Stockbridge SO20 6HE

A contemporary art gallery exhibiting paintings, sculpture and ceramics from many well-established artists, as well as work from some very exciting younger artists. Solo, group and themed shows throughout the year.

20

Stockbridge SO20 6EY

Take a stroll along Stockbridge's handsome High Street and you'll immediately spot a wide variety of individual, independent retailers - from art galleries and boutiques to specialist food shops as well as a butcher, greengrocer and fishmonger.

21

Romsey Beer Emporium, 15 Bell Street SO51 8GY

This independent beer shop is in the centre of Romsey. Inside, you'll find over 250 bottles of beer, cider and perry from local and national brewers. Books, glasses and home brew kits are also available.

22

First Floor Gallery, 46 The Hundred, Romsey SO51 8BX

Expect a wide variety of goods and services at First Floor Gallery in Romsey - from professional bespoke framing to picture movement, installation and restoration. Original paintings, prints, ceramics, gifts and cards can also be found stocked here.

23

Coastal Gallery, 4 Southampton Road, Lymington SO41 9GG

This Lymington-based independent art gallery specialises in modern artwork by contemporary artists and designers, including abstract art, landscape and fine art photography, printmaking, studio ceramics and sculpture.

24

Salisbury SP1 1EJ

The historic city of Salisbury never fails to offer a rewarding and enjoyable shopping experience. Among its quaint old streets, you’ll find an impressive array of quality retailers and independent shops – especially in the vicinity of Winchester Street, Catherine Street, Fisherton Street and High Street.

25

Norris & Sons, Beaulieu SO42 7YG

Based at Beaulieu in the New Forest and boasting 130 years’ experience, Norris & Sons is just the place for country, shooting, outdoor and equestrian clothing – from coats and wellington boots to brands such as Pikeur, Horseware, Ariat and Musto.

Places to visit

7

Stonehenge SP4 7DE

This World Heritage Site is at least 5,000 years old and is the most famous prehistoric monument in Britain, perhaps. No one knows its exact purpose or how the smaller bluestones were brought here from Pembrokeshire. From every angle Stonehenge looks stunning but especially from a distance when the ancient stones blend into the timeless downland setting.

8

Wilton House SP2 0BJ

Home of the Earls of Pembroke, Wilton House was designed by Inigo Jones in the 17th century, replacing the original house, which was destroyed by fire, and later remodelled by James Wyatt. Inside is the Double Cube Room, which contains a famous collection of Van Dyck paintings. Look out, too, for the former riding school, a Tudor kitchen and a Victorian laundry.

9

Salisbury Cathedral SP1 2EJ

Its spire is the tallest in the country, immortalised in John Constable's famous painting Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, painted in 1831. The cathedral was begun in 1220, finished about 1280, and includes a medieval frieze and an original copy of the Magna Carta.

10

Kingston Lacy, Wimborne BH21 4EA

Magnificent Kingston Lacy is described by the National Trust as an Italian palace in the heart of Dorset. Inside you'll find paintings by Rubens, Titian and Tintoretto and the largest private collection of Egyptian artefacts in the UK.

11

Mottisfont Abbey, Mottisfont SO51 0LP

This 12th-century former Augustinian priory became a private house after the Dissolution. Now managed by the National Trust, Mottisfont includes a drawing room decorated by Rex Whistler and a superb walled garden containing one of the finest collections of roses in the country. A tributary of the Test flows prettily through the grounds.

12

Longstock Water Park Gardens, Stockbridge SO20 6JF

Open to visitors on the third Sunday of the month during spring, summer and autumn, Longstock Water Gardens, just a couple of miles from Stockbridge, comprise three hectares of woodland with lakes and interconnecting islands and was voted the finest water gardens in the world by the International Water Lily Society.

13

Broadlands, Romsey SO51 9ZD

Renowned for its fine Palladian-style architecture and open to visitors during the summer months, Broadlands was the home of the British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. It was here that the Prince and Princess of Wales spent the first three days of their honeymoon in 1981.

14

Exbury Gardens, Exbury SO45 1AZ

Exbury Gardens, a short drive from Beaulieu and created by Lionel de Rothschild, a member of the famous banking family, are renowned for their outstanding collection of rhododendrons, magnolias and azaleas. There are also superb woodland gardens and peaceful walks down to the banks of the picturesque Beaulieu River.

15

National Motor Museum, Beaulieu SO42 7ZN

Just a stone's throw from the Master Builders you'll find one of the world's largest collections of vehicles and motoring memorabilia dating back more than a century.

16

Breamore House & Countryside Museum, Breamore SP6 2DF

Breamore is an Elizabethan manor house and countryside museum on the western edge of the New Forest. Expect paintings, porcelain, period furniture and a rare James I carpet. The museum includes one of the finest collections of steam-powered farm machinery.

Walking

www.visit-hampshire.co.uk
For keen walkers, Hampshire is surprisingly varied and rewarding: there are still many tracts of unspoiled countryside and downland. The jewel in the county’s crown is undoubtedly the New Forest, now a National Park, and vast network of woodland paths and tracks awaits you on the doorstep of The Bell. Hampshire can also claim several picturesque river valleys, including the Test (aka the queen of the chalk streams) where the walking (the Test Way) is particularly enjoyable.

Cycling

www.hants.gov.uk
www.thenewforest.co.uk
Over 750 miles of off-road cycle routes and urban paths make Hampshire a great place for getting in the saddle. The New Forest also has more than 100 miles of off-road routes that are ideal for cycling, with exciting trails radiating away from The Bell. If time allows, head over to the Isle of Wight and enjoy an exhilarating cycle ride along quiet lanes and tracks accompanied by glorious sea views and magnificent scenery.

Events

www.visit-hampshire.co.uk
In September there’s the Romsey Agricultural and Horse Show at Broadlands near Romsey, one of the oldest in the country, having been staged here annually since 1842. Another popular annual event is the New Forest and Hampshire Agricultural Show, which runs for three days and takes place at Brockenhurst. Or try the Winchester Hat Fair, a long-running street festival that offers four days of events and art installations. Head over to the Isle of Wight for the highly successful Walking Festival in May, or experience Cowes Week in August, when the entire Solent becomes a breathtaking cavalcade of colour and spectacle.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: At junction of B3078 & B3079, 1 mile from M27 (junction 1) at Cadnam

By Rail: Nearest railway stations are at Totton and Ashurst (New Forest)

Address:

, Bramshaw, Hampshire, SO43 7HE

Rooms rates & booking

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