Forest Holidays, Sherwood
Escaping to Sherwood Forest has become our default summer half-term break. Retreating to a wooden cabin hidden in the pine trees with birds and squirrels for company is the perfect antidote to our busy lives. Crucially, for our Eveready-fuelled brood, there is a forest full of action and adventure offering every activity from cycling and walking trails, to Go Ape Treetop Adventure and a kids’ play area. For parents, there are cafés serving great coffee and cake.
The wood-clad cabins, run by Forest Holidays, are dotted among the trees of Sherwood Pines Forest Park with enough distance between them to feel secluded.
Inside, the open-plan interior has a modern-rustic vibe with floor-to ceiling windows (so you feel part of the forest), plus mod cons including a flat-screen TV and stylish kitchen with – yes! – a dishwasher – an essential for the Wood family. Outside, there’s a decked area with table and seating for al-fresco dining, plus a BBQ. The bird table is a great source of entertainment: within minutes of our arrival, we were welcomed by a friendly robin, jay and squirrel. Birds continued to come and go and throughout our stay we counted eight different species.
So far, we have always booked the Copper Beech cabin, but if you opt for either of the two more luxurious grades, the Silver Birch or Golden Oak (above), your decking will also feature a hot tub – worth considering after a day’s walking, cycling, or to escape the less-than-balmy British climate.
The nearby Forest Retreat is where we head if we’re in need of a break from cooking, a latte, or a beer at the end of the day. As well as a restaurant and bar, the Retreat has a stash of toys for kids and a shop stocked with essentials. Outside, a small play area with a bug hotel keeps the kids busy while we relax and enjoy the forest views.
The centre of action is just a two-minute bike ride (or 10-minute walk) away at Sherwood Pines Forest Park. Cared for by the Forestry Commission, there’s a children’s play park; free ‘awesome’ cycle trails and walks to suit all abilities; Go Ape Treetop Adventure; Segway bikes; horse riding – something for all ages and interests. Our three boys love cycling and, this year, with our youngest on his own bike for the first time, we mastered the blue Family Trail and even the ‘difficult’ red trail. For a post-cycle refuel, there’s a café serving tantalising home-made cakes, snacks and reasonably priced hot meals. For bike hire, Sherwood Pines Cycles has a range of bicycles at good rates. The team is incredibly friendly and helpful. On a busy Sunday, they were more than happy to fix the gears on one of our own bikes for a nominal fee.
Forest Holidays offers its own range of activities including archery, Forest Ranger experiences (including Twilight Walk and Bush Skills) for small people and adults – though these incur an extra charge. While regrouping at the Retreat one afternoon we caught the bi-weekly falconry display of owls, falcons and hawks.
You can also pep up your holiday with pizza and curry evenings, an entertainment pack (TV channels, films and internet access), in-cabin spa treatments, champagne and chocolates and even a private chef. However, we find the peace and tranquility of the forest and the views through the panoramic windows are a lift in themselves. After a trip to Sherwood, we feel relaxed, recharged and as though we’ve been away for weeks – and the Eveready kids have burnt up some of that irrepressible energy.
There are eight more Forest Holidays locations up and down the UK, from Cornwall to Wales, East Anglia to Scotland. For more details about Forest Holidays, go to Forest Holidays.
Explore the full range of activities at Sherwood Pines Forest Park.