Our Holiday in the Forest

As a family we love to be outdoors

We are very lucky to live in rural Kent

We have a large garden

From which we can walk out on to the downs

We love to walk as a family

We love to play outside

There is something wonderful though

Magical

About escaping into the forest

Hiding from the world

Protected by the trees

I knew that we would love Forest Holidays

And we did

forest holidays

We chose Sherwood Pines

As it is close to my sister in The Peak District

And it gave us an opportunity (excuse) to visit Alton Towers

Esther and William love it there

We arrived at the forest much later than planned

Checking in at The Retreat at about 6.00pm

We were greeted by incredibly helpful and friendly staff

They talked me through the cabin and showed me how to get there on a map

They told me about the forest and highlighted some of the planned activities we could opt to do

We were offered a cabin visit to go through things in more detail

But with three over tired children in the car we politely declined

We drove through the forest

To our Golden Oak Cabin

After a long day of play and travelling

We could not wait to get inside

But as we stepped out of the car

The sound of the trees could not be ignored

We stopped to listen

Wisha Wisha Wisha

We listened to the trees

cabin in the woods

Inside the cabin which was more like a luxury chalet

We felt immediately relaxed

The underfloor heating warmed our tired feet

As we unloaded boxes and bags

Esther and William were entertained by the Scrabble Set and Jenga

On what they claimed as their games table

I fell in love with the open plan living

And the floor to ceiling windows that allowed the forest in

The accommodation was very well thought out

The kitchen was well stocked with crockery, cutlery and all imaginable accessories

I loved being able to see everyone while prepping and cooking in the kitchen

It was lovely to chat to Esther as she sat drawing at the table while I made a cup of tea

The layout of the kitchen was perfect for cooking and clearing away family meals

There was just enough storage and fridge space for the length of our stay

My only complaint was that the highchair was not very practical

We could not leave Bea in it as even with the straps tight

We were worried she would fall through

And she needed a cushion behind her to keep her upright

Bea is a big, strong baby so I could not have used this highchair with a smaller baby

forest baby

The bedrooms in the cabin were spacious and comfortable

The master bedroom had complimentary slippers and robes which was a thoughtful touch

The childrens beds were very high from the ground and the floors are hard

If Esther and William had been any smaller I would have wished I had taken bed guards

Our ensuite shower room was a real luxury that was much appreciated

It was stocked with towels and toiletries

Esther and William loved the lighting in the family bathroom

It was good to have a bath for the little ones

Especially after the hot tub

Esther and William loved the hot tub

We all did

Only David used it in the evening

I would love to go back when Bea is a little older

And sit in the bubbling hot tub underneath the stars

As it was it was great fun to sit and chat to Esther and William

Watching the wildlife and listening to the trees

It was also great sitting in the warm tub

As the cold rain fell on us from the sky

I did feel sorry for little Bea who could not enjoy the bubbles

hot tub

Bea did have a great holiday though

She loved being out in the forest

She did lots of Nordic Napping in the Bob Revolution Pro

And was able to explore the forest floor thanks to her suit from Muddy Puddles

She loved being out and about in the fresh air

Joining in with the forest fun

Esther and William loved exploring the forest

They loved collecting and playing with fir cones and pine cones

And they were very excited on our second evening

When we went out for a torch walk as night began to fall

night fall

Torch walks are something we introduced at home last year

Esther and William love them

And so it was with great excitement that we left our cabin at dusk

We found a good pathway through the woods

We found dens and hideouts

And even magical rainbow trees

As well as torches

Esther and William both had wands

To add to the magic of the enchanted woods

enchanted wood

We walked and talked

We explored and adventured

It was wonderful to catch a glimpse of the forest at night

We had one full day in the forest which was the Sunday

We had a lovely breakfast in our cabin

Before heading out in the rain

We splashed through muddy puddles to The Retreat

Esther and William played on the outdoor play area

Whilst I had a browse inside

The Retreat sells gifts, confectionery, local produce and all the bits and pieces of groceries

You may have forgotten to bring from home

Outside …

It really was raining

If we had not brought so much food with us

We could have snuggled in The Retreat

With a hot chocolate and some food

I hear it is delicious

Instead we splashed and sploshed back to our cabin

For more food and more splashing

In the hot tub!

puddle play

After lunch it was time to go back to The Retreat

To meet our Forest Ranger for a Young Explorers Session

We thought this would be a short session in the forest

With a very rehearsed set of simple facts and perhaps a craft activity

It was so much more than we thought

So much better than we expected

The Ranger was amazing with small children

And so knowledgeable

He kept us focused and entertained all afternoon

The session was definitely well worth the £8 per child it cost

I would love to do more of the sessions

As I learned such a lot

And the children even more so

It was a fabulous experience that will stay with all of us for a very long time

forest finds

The whole break away was wonderful

I felt relaxed and whole in the forest

I was very sad to come away

And I am already itching to go back

Forest Holidays are not cheap holidays

But I think they are worth the money

And you can make as much or as little of them as you like

We chose Sherwood Forest to be close to family

We would go back there again too

It would be a great place for us to stay

To experience more of the forest

And also as a base for getting to Thomas Land and Alton Towers

I would like to try the pizza delivery

I have heard good things about that

You can also get in cabin massages and spa treatments

If you really want to splash out

By the time the children were in bed

We were happy to relax on the very comfy corner sofas

Watch the TV and make use of the free wifi

(This comes part of an extensive media package which also includes use of a Wii)

We were more than happy to lie back under the stars in the hot tub

And sleep soundly in the lovely beds with softest duvets

The best thing about this holiday for me

Was family time

Quality family time

explorers

The cabin was perfect for being all together all the time

I loved the open plan living

I loved the floor to ceiling windows

Feeling of being under the forest canopy all of the time

I loved watching the changing skies through the trees

I loved the sounds of the woodlands

I loved the stars and the dark

I wanted to get out of bed in the morning

I wanted to get up and out of the door

Esther and William did too

They wanted to adventure and explore

It was very emotional watching them together

Our twins in the trees

twins in the trees

I have written a few posts now about our forest holiday

I still have more to write

Including an in depth look at our Ranger session

Which really was incredibly good and a highlight of our break away

My review is very honest and written from the heart

I truly did love the forest

And our cabin in the woods

If you would like to read other reviews in a different style

You can read some here

Little Vikings

Daft Mamma

Live Lush

My Two Mums

And for lots of factual information about Forest Holidays

Do check out their website here

And if you would like to read my other forest inspired posts

Here they are here

First Thoughts From The Forest

The Enchanted Forest

Finding Ourselves in The Forest

Thank you

We were given a long weekend break at Forest Holidays free of charge in return for an honest review

9 thoughts on “Our Holiday in the Forest

  1. Great review Jennie. Looks as if you had a lovely relaxing break away. I have had my eye on Forest holidays for a while and this really makes me want to book a break x

  2. Lovely review Jenny. We stayed at the same place, Sherwood Pines, a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. I asked about bed guards in the Retreat and they were happy to supply one for me, which was a really nice touch. I had forgotten to take one with me. Glad you had some quality family time together. Xx

  3. Oh what a fabulous break, you’ve really got me thinking about my next holiday. Sounds like you were well equipped with your buggy and puddle suit. So glad I found this in the travel with kids linky.
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