Stayed as a group of 5 (2 x grandparents, 2 x parents, 1 one-year-old) in July 2011. Despite laughably bad weather (14 degrees, wind, rain) we had a great time. The location could not, literally, be more central in Swanage since it adjoins the millpond where the original village grew up (source of fresh water near the coast). Nowadays, this lies at the centre of one row of cottages which faces Millpond cottage across a traffic-free lane. It is exceptionally quiet (exacpt on Sunday morning when the peel of beels from the adjoining church gets you out of bed).
Some details. The accommodation has 3 good-size bedrooms 2 x double, 1 x twin. There are two living rooms, each of which you would be happy to have at home, although each sits just 4-5 so if you are a larger group, you might be cosy if you share one room. There is an excellent kitchen - fully appointed and with a truly admirable range of utensils (more than we have at home). We talked to the neighbours, who said that the renters used to have this as their family home, and it shows. Rather than the minimalistic approach to decoration and facilities that you often find, this feels like a family home that people have just moved out of. As an example, the shed is replete with barbecue, buckets, spades, and all the things you would accumlate if you lived by the seaside...... The garden is simply beautiful. It is immediately beside the millpond and stretches down for maybe 30 metres with a variety of sitting areas among lawn and borders. One tip; our one-year old (crawling) was fine, and older children above 5 would be very happy too, but those in between might be a problem because the pond is so close and so accessible.
We would also like to thank Alison, the landlady, who provided very fast advice by phone when we needed directions to the local health centre
The situation is maybe 400 metres/yards walk from the town centre (300metres/yards from the health centre, we can now report with confidence), 600m/yds from the beach. It's an easy walk for a family, perhaps a little steep for the less mobile. There are a few parking spaces immediately outside (first-come-first-served), with other options within a couple of hundred yards.
Swanage is a seaside town from the 60s (in a good way) with traditional, family-run shops, chippies, low-key amusements and a sandy beach with excellent (though chilly) swimming.
For food, we would recommend the Black Swan (50yds) for excellent pub grub and traditional spit-and-sawdust pub ambience, and the Ocean Bay on the sea-front for very good high-end food with an exemplary situation by the beach. You'll need to book the latter.
In short, exceptionally good accommodation in the heart of an excellent traditional English resort.
The price is quite high, but the value is still very good.
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|Friends getaway||A romantic getaway|
|Older travelers||Families with young children|
|Families with teenagers||Tourists|
|Large groups||Luxury-minded travelers|