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The Sorting Office | Luxury Self-Catering Cottage | The New Forest

The Sorting Office

Fordingbridge, New Forest, Hampshire, UK

A gingerbread house with thatched roof set on the fringes of the New Forest which, from the outside, could very easily have been plucked from the pages of Hansel and Gretel. Through the stable door and fairytale charm makes way for crisp luxury interiors and chic country living; The Sorting Office is a rural self-catering retreat which ticks all the boxes for an escape from the city.



Built in the mid-18th century, this former village Post Office serviced the residents of Whitsbury from the 1930s before retiring from public duty. Now, The Sorting Office waltzes to a slower tempo, confident in its stature, wise in its age and with beauty flowing throughout. A leisurely self-catering cottage in which to reside, push open the blue front door and float from the kitchen, to the cosy beamed lounge and out to the private garden with nothing on the agenda but thumbing a novel in peace.


Cool whites and charcoal greys blend with aged timber beams and inglenook fireplace in the original part of the cottage while the kitchen melds the modern extension so perfectly with history that it feels as though it has been there forever. With hanging greenery, a 1920’s style cocktail trolley and bounty of natural light, the garden room is sure to be the chosen spot for morning coffees and warming mulled drinks on crisp autumn evenings before retreating to one of the two luxury bedrooms.


Bordered by thick greenery, a small but perfectly formed garden wraps around the back of The Sorting Office, offering views of the surrounding countryside, while horses from the neighbouring stud farm nosily peer across the fence. Through the garden gate and a narrow country footpath leads to 13th century St Leonard's church where walkers can join an ancient pilgrimage path across rolling hills to either Salisbury or Fordingbridge; the northern gateway to the New Forest National Park. 

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 4 guests
    From £1,650 per week, £1,250 per short break
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere are two bedrooms on the first floor of the cottage; one with super king-size bed and one with king-size bed. There is one family bathroom with a bath and separate shower and one separate WC on the ground floor.
    View bedrooms
  • PetsSorry, no pets
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilySorry, no children or babies
  • PracticalitiesThere is parking for up to two cars at the front of the property. Please note the drive is steep and may not be suitable for low-slung cars, however, further on-road parking is available if required. The kitchen includes an electric oven and hob, fridge-freezer, microwave, dishwasher and washer-dryer. Due to the nature of this 18th century cottage, there are some low ceilings and a narrow cottage staircase.
  • Homestay includesLuxury welcome hamper of local treats, 44" LG Smart TV with Netflix, Bose CD and Radio player, Bose Bluetooth speaker, iPad, Dualit coffee machine, luxury bed linen and towels, WiFi, recipe books...House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more
  • Private cateringSeeking a celebratory dinner or fully catered escape? Our recommended caterers will work with you to create personalised menus for your stay. Details are shared through our house book on confirming your booking.
  • RetreatsFrom foraging weekenders to crash courses in cold-water therapy, our bespoke retreats bridge the gap between luxury and back-to-nature philosophies. Create a hand-crafted stay that puts connectivity at the fore.
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questions

Get in touch

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Retreat to the bright garden room
Say hello to your friendly neighbours

Prices & Availability


Hampshire´s northern gateway to the New Forest National Park, Fordingbridge was once a centre for trade and smuggling. Now, the town is surrounded by an abundance of wildlife and is the perfect springboard for cyclers and walkers.

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Getting there

  • On the Map The Sorting Office sits in the little village of Whitsbury, just under four miles from Fordingbridge near the New Forest National Park.
  • By Car The property is just over two hours down the M3 and M27 from central London.
  • By Train The nearest train station is Salisbury, 12 miles away from the cottage.
  • By Air International airports can be found at Bristol and Gatwick, both around 2 hours' drive away.

From the owner

“The Sorting Office is a peaceful retreat from the bustle of everyday life and we find the natural beauty of the place to be most inspiring.”

From the owner

When here, we delight in watching nature flourish all around, from the majestic racehorses leaning over the garden fence to hares bobbing about in the long grass and even the occasional deer which ventures up the drive.

When we first saw the cottage we fell in love with its romantic location and beauty. Whenever we walk up the footpath opposite the cottage at sunset we look back over the brow of the hill and are reminded how charming it is. It glows in the evening sun and nestles so elegantly among the surrounding trees; it's easy to see how quickly we fell head over heels!

As artists, many of our works in the property are inspired by the house and its surrounding environments, we hope you enjoy gazing at them over a morning coffee.

We have certainly found The Sorting Office to be a restful escape from city dwelling and hope you enjoy the tranquillity of the house as much as we do.

Simon and Jude

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Fordingbridge with an insider’s perspective.

Ritual Feast, New Forest

To Eat

Ritual Feast, New Forest

An off-grid, open-air restaurant which pops up in beautiful locations across the county. Secret until two weeks before the event, booking in advance is essential! An experience not to be missed, sign up on the website to be in the know.

Explore the New Forest

To Do

Explore the New Forest

Whether by foot, bicycle, or horseback, explore this National Park and its many treasures. For the young at heart, two water parks with inflatables, trampolines and jumping points offer belly-aching laughter.

Breamore House

To See

Breamore House

Walk up the winding drive, past a twisted 1000 year old yew tree and into this Elizabethan manor (used as a film location for many a period drama) on the edge of the New Forest. History buffs will be in their element.

The Cartwheel Inn, Whitsbury

To Eat

The Cartwheel Inn, Whitsbury

Just a five minute ramble away, this country inn is a firm favourite with the locals for its fantastic selection of tipples, fine food and sunny beer garden. Don´t miss the Sunday roast.

Guest Testimonials

We had a lovely welcome with the lights on, music playing, and scones with cream and jam waiting for us. Especially so, as it was a very wet, dark afternoon. The kitchen had everything we could possibly have wanted and we did eat-in on a few evenings. We don´t think it could be improved! This is one of the best homes we have stayed in, thank you.

My partner and I have vacated The Sorting Office and are placing it back into your hands. This place is magical - as if one is dreaming a most amazing dream. Thank you for everything, most indebted.

Our stay was perfect, a home from home which we immediately felt settled and relaxed in. The Sorting Office is a beautiful property rather than the expected rental with a very high standard of fixtures and fittings. Everything you could possibly need was provided and the welcome hamper was thoughtful too. The cottage was private, quiet and completely wonderful in every way. We loved our stay and didn’t want to leave!

It has been wonderful to call The Sorting Office our home for a week. It is beautifully maintained, very quiet and well-equipped. We particularly enjoyed walks from the cottage but also ventured further afield. We enjoyed a very nice meal at The Pig!

Very cosy and welcoming cottage. One of the best we´ve been to. We appreciate the hard work that goes into keeping it absolutely spotless. We would recommend the Cartwheel Inn, a short walk away and good food. Lots of lovely walks and plenty of peace and quiet. We hope to be back.

Nature and countryside are the best medicine for serenity, peace, calmness and stillness. It´s good for the heart. We had a wonderful week in this beautiful cottage and its surroundings, the New Forest horses are amazing and the village is gorgeous. We will be visiting the area again for sure.

Our second stay at The Sorting Office and it was wonderful. So much more wildlife this time and it was lovely having the doors open and enjoying the calm of the rain. Already planning trip number three.

A wonderful stay, we absolutely loved the cottage, we just wish we had another week to enjoy it some more. We would love to come back, thank you once again for having us!

The Sorting Office is a home, not a holiday let, thanks to the many and varied personal touches. This included the welcome hamper and fridge food, the varied house plants and the practical kitchen. We have been able to really relax. Out and about everywhere was a relatively short car ride. The horses as neighbours and the St. Edmunds footpath, including the church, were the icing on the cake. PS. we´ve never experienced so many stars!

We have stayed in several Unique Homestays properties and whilst all have been good, this was the best. Thoughtful design, well-fitted and spotless. It had a wonderful feeling and was a joy to return to after a day out.

A beautifully decorated and well-equipped property which was spotlessly clean. A standard you always hope for. Thank you for allowing us to stay at the lovely Sorting Office.

What an absolutely beautiful cottage! We had the most perfect stay in this peaceful and picturesque home. We loved watching the horses in the mornings across the fields from us. The walks were incredible and all on our doorstep. We had dinner at the Cartwell Inn on our first night which we highly recommend. We ate in the other two nights because the cottage was too perfect not to. This couldn´t have been a more perfect getaway for some much-needed R&R.

A wonderful week in this beautiful cottage, love the attention to detail and of course, the fire. We had the best sleep. Lovely quiet location and we were blessed with the kind weather!

What a wonderful escape to the countryside for some much needed R&R. We immediately felt at home in this beautiful cottage, in fact we did not want to leave! So many beautiful walks in the area and the farm shop down the road was a great place to stock up on goodies! Thank you for a fabulous stays we´ll be back!

This cottage is just stunning! What really sets it apart is the cleanliness and top notch décor! The housekeeper was always available when we needed her! We had some much needed rest and would highly recommend this property!

What a fabulous place to get away and recharge our batteries. We could have happily stayed reading in the garden room for our whole stay but loved exploring walks in the forest and from the house. We really enjoyed all the lovely touches, the hamper and the amenities. Hopefully, we will be back for another stay sometime soon.

We enjoyed staying here in this perfect little place in this charming village. Everything from the comfortable bed to the comfy reading chairs were great. Love the light that streams in and all the way this place is decorated. Thank you, loved our stay.

A beautiful, well thought out property that made for a very relaxing holiday. Thank you to all for such a warm welcome. We hope to return someday. Would highly recommend a trip to Sculptures by the Lake near Dorchester.

Just what the Doctor ordered! We had a great relaxing break in this fabulous cottage. Thank you! P.s. the Cartwheel Inn is great, we had a fantastic meal there. Just a 5-minute walk from the property.

It is safe to say we fell in love with the cottage when we arrived! It´s been an amazing week of eating and drinking, highlights being The Pig and The Kitchen at Chenton Glen! Lovely to be able to switch off and enjoy the quiet and relax. Would definitely look to come back and stay again!

The property is absolutely delightful and feels luxurious and special. The owners have clearly made a significant investment into renovating the original building, and it’s been well worth it. For us it had a ‘wow’ factor from the moment we arrived. We thoroughly enjoyed our few days there.

Truly beautiful cottage with particular attention to detail, everything has been thought through with plenty of storage space for clothes/packing, spa products, very well equipped kitchen, lovely Christmas decorations.....the list goes on! The location is perfect for walking and relaxing and also provides a good base for days out. The cottage is just perfect.

A truly beautiful cottage with particular attention to detail. Everything has been thought through: plenty of storage space for clothes/packing, spa products, a very well equipped kitchen, lovely Christmas decorations... the list goes on! The location is perfect for walking and relaxing and also provides a good base for days out. I really can´t think of anything that could be improved upon, the cottage is just perfect.

Unique extras

From private chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and adrenalin-fuelled retreats, once you’ve booked your stay we’ll introduce you to our owner-recommended suppliers to create a truly bespoke, memorable escape.


Below are a selection of features in which The Sorting Office and Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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