A few weeks ago Forest Holidays got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to investigate one of their holidays. So, last weekend, I packed up my brother and our best pals, Max and Hudson (along with our Mummy and Daddies) and went to visit the Forest of Dean.
Forest Holidays are pockets of beautiful, wooden cabins set in Forestry Commission land around the country.
Here’s a little video of what we got up to:
We stayed in Golden Oak Cabins, which were right at the edge of the 120 cabins on the site. The cabin felt like home straight away as there was so much room for us to make a mess everywhere. There were super comfy beds for my brother and I and our own bathroom as Mum and Dad’s room had an ensuite. The best thing of all though was the hot tub, on the deck under the trees. We jumped and splashed in it for hours, the peaceful woodland wasn’t quiet for long…
We booked a multi-media packed so there was WiFi in the lodge to keep Daddy from being too stressed about missing his work emails and it also meant that there was a massive selection of films for us to watch. After we got out of the hot tub, we all got cosy and watched a film in front of the (well guarded) log burner.
Some days we ate in our lodge, the personal chef (Mummy) was adequate. She reported back that the kitchen had everything we needed including a dishwasher and plenty of pots and pans.
Sitting outside on our own secret deck watching the forest with my best friends was the best adventure (apart from the hot tub – obviously).
Facilities at Forest Holidays
Each of the Forest Holidays locations has a ‘Retreat’ which is the building where you check-in, play with toys and most importantly, buy treats. At the Forest of Dean, there is a deck at the back of The Retreat that looks over the play area and a green surrounded by paths, perfect for practising my bike riding skills on. We loved coming here in the evenings, the Mummies and Daddies seemed very happy with something called ‘sundowners’ whilst they watched us play.
We explored the little play area and the bug hotel, which has been built by the Forest Rangers for us to spot creepy crawlies. We found some wood lice (but I didn’t share my ice lolly with them).
The shop in The Retreat sells yummy frozen meals, lots of essentials and best of all, CBeebies magazine! There’s also a cafe that serves coffee and light meals, including giant pizzas. I almost ate a whole one but Daddy insisted on helping me.
You can also hire bikes and trailers, book a walk with the Forest Ranger and do pottery painting. Even though our lodge was one of the furthest away, it still wasn’t very far to walk to the main green and the Retreat building. The grown-ups were a bit slow (as usual) but I got them there in the end.
Things to Visit near Forest Holidays, Forest of Dean
On our way to the forest we stopped at Beechenhurst Lodge, another Forestry Commission site. It has a huge wooden playground, a sculpture trail and a zip wire which we whizzed down about a million times. A perfect place for wearing out your grown-ups.
On Sunday we went to Puzzlewood. Now, if I’m honest, we couldn’t work out why the Mummies were dragging us to ANOTHER wood. But oh BOY this is something special. It felt like a magical place and we spent all morning searching for goblins. If you’re in the area, please visit. It’s something special.
Perrygrove Railway is a dinky little steam railway, there’s also a treasure hunt to do, amazing tree houses and woodland walks. We loved the train so much! Sadly we had to cut our visit a bit short as there was a wee wee emergency from one of our party (boys, pfffftt).
The Red Hart
One day we ended up at this lovely country pub. I had a brilliant sausage and mash and we played for ages in the lovely clean garden and play area. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
We stopped at Symonds Yat to have lunch at Saracen’s Head. The pub was fine (the chips were a 7 out of 10 in my expert opinion) but the ducks and watching the boat tugging along were our favourite part.
Things we loved at Forest Holidays
- The spacious but cosy lodge.
- Underfloor heating in the lodges for cosy toes.
- The hot tub in the trees.
- A fab selection of films in the multi-media package.
- Being close to so many exciting places to visit.
The slightly less loved bits
- The service at The Retreat shop was a little bit haphazard at times.
- For such a lovely decking area in our lodge, there was a tiny outdoor table. A bit of a shame that we couldn’t all eat together out there. (Although no problem as I relegated the Mummies and Daddies inside.)
We had such a fun visit with our bestest pals in the world. We’ve been to Centre Parcs and other similar holiday places but Forest Holidays is such a lovely change as it really is getting back to nature. You can hear birds tweeting away and the wind in the trees and there’s no other noise.. Apart from 4 toddlers going crazy in a hot tub.
We loved you Forest Holidays, thanks for the adventure!
The girl one x
With thanks to Forest Holidays for inviting us to visit for the purpose of this review.