Who we are

Who are we?

We’re a tight team of working mums who multi-task like hell and get a lot done when our kids (some big and some small) don’t need us.

Between us we’ve travelled much of the world, feeding our love for adventure, exploring with our kids and friends and our itch for interesting experiences. Rachel, who steers the helm of the good ship NFE, used to be a travel writer and has spent most of her life working in hospitality of some kind or another. Emma, who is our new partner sublime, has a history of building some pretty amazing brand stories, entrepreneurial and humanitarian journeys. She’s holding our hands and stepping us up, which is great business and good fun.

Our bosses are our house owners. A well-travelled cosmopolitan bunch. We’re very lucky to have them and be able to invite guests, the world over, to visit and stay at their lovely homes. Each is so different, incomparable really. Location aside, each home is so unique. The ‘wow’ bit that we choose them for, is that they’re places that we know our guests can escape, relax and enjoy each other in.

We work very hard to do much of the grunt work for the person booking the holiday for the others coming along. We know that job is fairly thankless and is often like herding cats: choosing a place, safety issues  options for kids, sorting bedrooms, meals, mobility issues for the older and younger ones, pets, the list is never-ending.

So we’ve tried to cover as much of that work for you in our site so you don’t have to. We’ve also, as a team, worked hard to develop a discounts and offers programme to help our guests spoil themselves. Robyn, Emma and I have cherry picked out the best. Robyn has sorted discounts for eating out. She used to be the manager at Limewood. She knows what’s good! Rachel organised the best activity providers for bike hire, kayaking, bushcraft programmes and the Saltwater pools in Lymington with their 110metre floating obstacle course will do free coffees for accompanying parents. 

Rachel Parsons

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Rachel and her daughter Evie on the beach at Pitts Deep.

During the last 18 years Rachel has worked in and on tourism businesses internationally, excepting a 4 year stint working with a fantastic team to run her own educational marketing consultancy which supported teachers, parents and home-schoolers to get involved in international environmental and social justice projects – I Am Tomorrow Ltd. Clients including HRH Prince Charles Rainforests Project, HISTORY Channel UK and Generation Europe in Brussels.

More importantly she has an ongoing love affair with horses and bicycles, has developed a love for; recycling, upcycling, ornamental grasses and Thermomix’s (which she doesn’t have yet but plans to shortly!).

Rachel started to rent our Ploughmans Cottage in the New Forest in 2012. Twenty months later it was noted in an article in the Travel Section of The Times as number 2 in ‘Best castles, cottages and cabins’ in England. Despite the disruption in the current travel market the hospitality business continues to grow and consolidate and we have several new and lovely properties to rent through New Forest Escapes.


Emma Forsyth

Emma has joined the team recently. A huge fan of The Forest, especially it’s festivals and kayaking, Emma has been a ‘Weekender’ for 20 years and has now permanently moved in. After 7 years working for Mr Big Agencies in London on Global Advertising she’s now escaped. She’s teamed up with us to develop our goals, direction, brand, websites and communications. Then when we’ve done that, grow our partnerships with local business and boost the services we can offer our guests. When she’s not obsessing about our to-do lists, Em is partial to wine, dogs and the odd festival.
Emma is a real person, but she’s photo shy!

Robyn Hedges

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Glamorous Robyn on Lysander

Robyn grew up in the Cotswolds, then did the ‘London thing’ gaining 20+ years’ experience in event management and hotel sales. She travelled extensively all over the world and now lives in Lymington with her husband and 2 children.

She’s a Mum of a tweenage daughter, a lively 3 year old son and wife to a busy boaty husband.  Robyn is an expert at multi-tasking and making sure everyone is looked after and her main focus with us is developing weddings and corporate business. She has flair, style and energy abounding and is superb at spotting an opportunity for helping out. She has a great love of horses, cooking and interior design.

Jan Caldwell

Superwoman Jan is based in the New Forest in Lymington and is our property manager. She can juggle any number of dramas and all things that need to be done; guest liason, house management, dinosaur control and sorting emergencies. Jan’s been with us for over 2 years, so gets the long service and long suffering award for her amazing contribution.

Nicolette Loubser

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Nicolette, always smiling and helpful

Nicolette is originally from the pretty seaside town Langebaan in South Africa. She travelled to England 13 years ago and has not looked back since. Nicolette has worked in the Restaurant and Hospitality trade along the South African coast in various 5 Star Hotels and contempary, up-market Restaurants.

After having her kids she changed her career to Finance, she now lives in Lymington with her husband and 2 lively children. Nicolette’s main role at New Forest Escapes is smoothing out the Finance & Admin and picking up after the rest of the team when they need a break or some support. A keen cyclist and walker, she also loves watersports. She’s our best baker and loves reading when she gets a free moment – which is rare.



federation small businesses
We are members of the Federation of Small Businesses.