Sherwood Forest / Nottinghamshire (UK)
Forest Holidays are dear to our heart for nearly four years ago, aged just over 3 months old I had my very first holiday away from London in one of their cabins in Blackwood Forest. All three of us have fond memories of our four days there, spent cosying by the fire and walking in the Autumn leaves. So we were really excited to be invited to visit another of their locations recently!
Part owned by the Forestry Commission and set within its land, Forest Holidays have for mission to create positive experiences and support local tourism by connecting people, nature and communities in Britain's amazing forests. There are currently nine forest locations, offering a variety of luxurious log cabins in Scotland, England, Cornwall and Wales.
Le Resort & Things to Do Nearby
Open in 2012, Forest Holidays Sherwood Forest is hidden among the trees of Sherwood Pines Forest Park, which offers 3,300 acres of woodland to explore. There are several types of cabins available, sleeping two to ten people, some accessible to wheelchair users and some welcoming dogs.
At the heart of the resort is the Forest Retreat - with a reception and small shop (with everything from essential groceries to luxuries, gifts and souvenirs - many locally sourced, as well as a large area for dogs with all the necessities). There is also a lovely café with a terrace. Wi-fi is free in the retreat area and dogs are welcome inside (at the exception of the groceries shop) or there is a "dog parking" just outside (with water bowls).
A wide range of activities is offered on site - day and night guided visits with the ranger (including forest survival and forest night vision), archery (it is Sherwood Forest after all), bike rental, art classes, children's play area, pony trekking and shooting. An in-cabin spa is also available and many cabins offer a hot tub on the deck for those just wishing to relax and unwind.
We were lucky enough to get a private tour of the forest with the forest ranger, John, who showed us some of trails, the flora growing around the cabins (gorgeous heather, mushrooms and trees) and told us about the animals living nearby (including deer and an old fox), showing us the trails they leave.
During our stay we also had fun walking in the woodlands (complete with mud puddles I thoroughly enjoyed - until Maman tried to film me ;) ), visiting the trenches (the forest once was host to a First World War camp), discovering nearby Sherwood Forest with my UK Corgi Club furiend Phoebe (and the famous Major Oak tree, which according to the legend was home to Robin Hood) and stopping by local dog-friendly pubs.
Comfortable, stylish, simple yet luxurious... the Golden Oak cabin we were assigned is well appointed (available in one to four bedrooms with double or twin beds) with a spacious living area, log-burning stove, fully equipped kitchen, and outdoors wooden deck (complete with table, gas barbecue and large hot tub).
There was nothing we could think of that was missing - from the welcome kit (with sponge, dishwashing liquid and dishwasher tablet) to the cutlery, fluffy bathrobes, towels, bed linen and gorgeous toiletries. In-cabin entertainment includes some board games and a large television, and wi-fi internet can be purchased for a small additional cost (included in some packages).
The windows open onto the forest - we loved that it was the first thing we saw in the morning, and to hear the sound of the leaves and nature when windows were ajar.
The self-catering cabins are equipped with everything that is needed to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner. For those not wishing to cook there are other options, including purchasing ready meals at the Retreat (Maman and Papa had a scrumptious beef bourguignon and some ice cream - which I may have tasted) or meal packs (for breakfast, pizza nights...). Freshly baked bread and croissants are available every day, a picnic hamper can be ordered and for the ultimate luxury there is an option to book a private chef to cook in the cabin!
At the café, a well-stocked bar is kept and delicious cooked meals are served. We had breakfast there on two mornings, with a side of sneaky sausage for yours truly ;)
The reception and operational teams were super friendly and always ready to help. I particularly approved of the receptionists who also served breakfast and were very generous with the treats (even if they made me work for them)!
John, the forest ranger (every Forest Holidays has one) is a big fan of walking and wildlife watching, and an expert in funghi and foraging. He told us he used to be a radio presenter and we later found out that he was also a stunt performer! In his wise words "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing"!
Nothing was too much asking during our stay and when we arrived later than regular check in time (8pm) because of the traffic, on the first night, the team arranged for us to still check in smoothly (there is always a manager on call during out of hours).
Le Woof - #Corguide Approved
Up to 4 dogs can stay in a cabin at a time for a fee of £10 each per night. There are no restrictions in terms of size or breeds.
The shop at the Forest Retreat features a large section for dogs with mostly British made products. Treats by The Dog Treat Company, dog food (dry and wet) by Laughing Dog food, shampoos by Wildwash, toys, bowls and poo bags by Beco Pets, even leads and collars, and more!
A large jar full of biscuits awaits well behaved canines and if like me you're good at convincing the team that you are hungry, they are very generous.
Inside the cabin there is a welcome biscuit for us canines, as well as poo bags.
Pack up a torch lamp for those early or late walkies, it is very dark (and oh so quiet) at night.
Get your humans to check / rinse your mitts after walks and make sure they check out information on seasonal canine illness as some cases were reported following walks in nearby Sherwood Forest.
Don't go and try to jump in the hot tub, it is warm! Plenty of mud puddles nearby if you fancy a spa say of your own ;)
Whether you're looking for adventure, sports, romance, or just a relaxing time, on your own, with the family or friends, Forest Holidays cater for every need. Au revoir Sherwood Forest (that is the French for “we will see you again”), merci for a wonderful weekend and more memories!
Use code Marcel10 for 10% off breaks (booked by 31/1/2018 and taken by 31/7/2018) at any Forest Holidays by clicking HERE.
Le Bonus Films
For those of you who are not on Instagram or missed my stories, here is a video of what I was up to during our stay.
Bonus video (shot during my first stay)
Le OOTD (my travel essentials for the stay)
Drying coat: DogRobes
Collar and leads: Hindquarters HQ and DapperMaximus Designs
Treats (I don't pose for nothing) by The Dog Treat Company and Fish4Dogs, and home made biscuits by Phoebe's mom