At the beginning of February 2016 Elle and I embarked on a Forest retreat adventure for the weekend. We booked 12 months in advance to get lower prices, and fortunately I was working at David Lloyd at the time and got 15% off the overall price. For the weekend (Friday to Monday) it was roughly £400, however that was including a few extra packages that we had ordered. If you don’t book far enough in advance the prices almost double. The company is called Forest Holidays and they have resorts located across the UK (except Ireland). You can view the website here.
We stayed in a Golden Oak Hideaway cabin which is specially designed for a couples’ holiday, the Golden Oak Hideaway is a cosy love-nest, complete with an outdoor private hot tub, a wood burning stove, a hammock on the decking and a large, sunken bath fit for two (which was absolute heaven)! Sound’s amazing doesn’t it? Well, it gets better!! Fluffy robes and slippers were provided in the en-suite of the master bedroom and upon our arrival we found little gifts planted around the cabin. In the fridge there was a bottle of champagne, on the kitchen side was a chocolate fondue set with marshmallows and sweets laid on the pillows. May I mention that all of this was completely unexpected and it was a lovely surprise!
In our cabin we had booked the in-cabin entertainment package which was £35 and included; wifi in the cabin for the duration of our stay and unlimited movies
We had booked a forest survival course, where you can learn and have a go at, the essential forest survival skills such as lighting a fire without matches, foraging for food and building your own shelter. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend the course as it was at the sister resort in Keldy. We had set off with the intention to go and learn all of this incredible stuff, but neither of us can read maps. So, instead we were lost in the forest in the pouring rain for a few hours and missed our opportunity for the survivalist course. However, I have read great reviews online and it is for the whole family. Prices start from £10 per person. Do you have what it takes to survive in the great outdoors? Why not give it a go if you ever go to one of the forest holiday resorts?
Each day we explored a different part of the forest and went a little further, we did get lost a few times but that’s all part of the fun, right? Situated in a glorious woodland meadow, deep in the heart of Cropton Forest, all the views were beautifully picturesque. Deep into the forest we found signs leading us towards the North York Moors, after a few hours of walking we reached a little village and a road that lead to the motorway. It became clear that we were lost, as on the map there weren’t any roads! Although the views were beautiful from the top of the hill we were on, I don’t think we were quite in the heart of the Yorkshire Moors. By this time, both of our phones had died too, so we had to navigate ourselves back to the cabin by trying to familiarize ourselves with the surroundings. If it were up to Elle, and if I had let her guide us home, we probably would have ended up in China!
Every night and occasionally in the morning we would make use of the private hot tub that was out on the decking. Even though it rained every night, it was still so warm and relaxing to be in the hot tub sipping on champagne. Due to the cabin being in the forest, when you were in the hot tub at night you couldn’t see anything. You couldn’t even see the outline of the trees that were no more than 10 meters away. Fortunately, there were lights on the decking and colourful light in the hot tub.