This Hampshire village lies on the banks of the River Avon, on the road between Ringwood and Christchurch. With the New Forest and the South Coast on its doorstep, Sopley is the perfect base for visitors to the region. It is a rural community with fewer than 300 homes, and narrow lanes, lined with hedgerows. The village is set amid unspoiled forests, floodplains, and fields, where superb walking can be enjoyed. Take a wander from your holiday cottage Sopley and you will notice beautiful 19th-century architecture, much of which lies within a Conservation Area. The village has some of the area’s finest examples of thatched cottages and timber-framed homes.

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The Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels stand in the village centre, overlooking the river. Another local landmark, Sopley Mill, stands next to the church, at the water’s edge. Nearby, on the banks of a meandering stream, the Woolpack Inn is a 17th-century pub with a thatched roof. A pint of Dorset ale here is highly recommended on self-catering holidays in Sopley, and it serves a menu of pub classics, including delicious homemade pies. On Derritt Lane, Owls Barn Farm Shop is the place to go for the freshest meat, fruit and vegetables. The forest and heath of the New Forest National Park lie to the village’s east, with many secluded trails, where wild ponies are often spotted. The sandy beaches and resorts of the South Coast are a scenic drive from holiday cottages in Sopley. Located at the confluence of the rivers Stour and Avon, the pretty town of Christchurch overlooks a natural harbour, where you can watch the comings and goings of boats. Wander around the town centre, which has a museum, gardens, a theatre, and plenty of independent shops. Nearby, Southbourne Beach is a long stretch of sandy shore, overlooked by a promenade and colourfully painted beach huts