Into the woods
Beautifully-appointed, luxury cabins for families set in stunning Forestry Commission woodland in the most stunning parts of the UK. And… breathe.
What do you need on a sweltering hot day? A cool, shady glade, sun flickering through the canopy, glass windows wide open on your wood cabin? Ah well, I have just the thing and with a natty little discount for good measure.
Forest Holidays are all about beautifully-appointed, luxury cabins (eg underfloor heating, hot tubs, fluffy gowns) set in stunning Forestry Commission woodland in Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Norfolk and Argyll. The big sell on these holidays are the criss-cross trails, walks and rides that you can take across the woodland, so it’s easy to hire bikes, go for exploratory walks with rangers, that kind of thing.
But in case you’re about to compare it with ‘Centerparcs’, I should say that these hols differs quite dramatically from Centerparcs in the sense that you’re not part of an enclosed ‘hub’, where everyone goes to the swimming pool, climbing wall etc and you’re encouraged to stay within the enclosed area.
Though you do have the communal activity centre, shop, snack and coffee bar and kids play area on Forest hols there’s also more emphasis on connecting with local communities – by which I don’t mean getting together with the local hippies to knit a communal hairshirt, but exploring the local area, eating at that fab restaurant down the road and generally getting out and about. I like that idea, because as someone who is by nature quite idle on holiday (and on weekends – actually most days if given the chance), it’s all too easy to just stay in a little pre-created bubble and end up not having really seen anything but the inside of a leisure centre.
Accommodation runs from 2 to 10 in a beautifully appointed cabins, and you can also have up to 4 four-pawed friends staying with you in selected cabins if you can’t bear to be parted for the week.
Personally I’m feeling foxy about the tree-houses – awesome for groups with luxey bits like a woodburner, underfloor heating (let’s not imagine that just now, though you may appreciate it come October), flat screen TV, BBQ area and spas, with up to 5 bedrooms. They dangle enticingly in the canopy, with beautiful views across the rivers and woodland.
Forest Holidays are very family-oriented, but they’d also be good for walky couples who are looking for something a bit different, or romantics wanting to live out their Romeo and Juliet fantasies over the balcony, codpieces and heaving bosoms at the ready (oh just me?).
As ever, let me know if you try it out, and feed back your experience – knowledge is power, let’s share it!