Well, the kids are in the hot tub, all is unpacked and it’s time to think of dinner. We are happily installed in our Silver Birch cabin at the Forest Holidays Sherwood Pines site. It is just what it says on the tin: a log cabin in a forest! It is almost exactly what you would imagine for Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with superior plumbing and kitchen facilities! It’s perfectly placed and surrounded by, yes, pine trees. I just love the sounds of the forest, creaking, knocking trees, intermittent birdsong and not much else. What is also brilliant is the lighting, the cabins gently glow and there are no glaring lit pathways or illuminations anywhere. You’re reminded to bring a torch and I have, so trotting out to the car, parked beside the cabin, is no problem. The other great thing about forests is the gently damp, piney smell, a real treat after a week in London. It’s very real somehow, earthy and matches the log cabin just perfectly.
So we have three bedrooms, well proportioned, two twins and Mother has lucked out with a smart master bedroom plus ensuite. There’s good quality bed linen and a mountain of towels, which cost a little extra and is worth it for sure. In our cabin we are parallel living, estate agent speak for all on one floor, although other cabins have different configurations. The top of the range dwellings, Golden Oak, have up to four bedrooms, an upstairs and a wood burner too, with an annexe in the form of a tree house, should your party be more than eight. For cosy coupledom, single bedroom cabins are on offer too. In fact, I reckon you could find the perfect place to stay whatever your group’s make up. We took a Monday to Friday short stay, which is apparently a quieter time to stay. Weekends, I gather are a little livelier, with the odd hen party enjoying prosecco in the tub and in room spa treatments. What a great idea!
Checking in is so easy, we popped in to The Retreat, a friendly combination of reception, shop, bar and restaurant, picked up the keys and a site, then hey presto, we’ve arrived! There was a discussion amongst the staff and my three younger technology wizards about Wi-Fi and HTMI leads (a total mystery to me and Mother, who still acts as if mobiles are a new invention). A solution is quickly found and the lovely Luke, on site manager this evening, pops round later with the necessary lead and helpfully installs it. So sorted. And that is the Forest Holiday way, EMS they call it. Extraordinary Matching Shoes which means they provide extraordinary holidays, which match the guests’ needs by standing in their shoes. I do like that! It was all explained to me a year ago by Gary Fletcher their MD on The Silver Travel Show and as a cultural compass for Forest Holidays, it’s a phrase that really pervades everything.
The design of the cabins is open plan and the actual kitchen area is compact with absolutely everything very neatly fitted in. There is ample glass and chinaware, a beef of mine about some self catering cottages. And joy, a decent sharp knife and veg peeler in the drawer, although rather sadly, I have actually brought my own too. Be prepared and all that. So as not to strain my limited culinary skills after the drive north, I bought an excellent frozen meal (from Cook) in The Retreat, sorted out a few green leaves and hey presto. Mother has local, organic ice cream from shop too, so that’s pudding dealt with. All in all we are very pleased with to be here, and the hot tub is a serious hit!
Silver Travel recommends Forest Holidays
Read Jennie Carr’s interview with Gary Fletcher, the former MD of Forest Holidays here.