At the back end of June, wetook our first proper baby friendly holiday. No travelling to some far off place with guaranteed sunshine, instead we headed to a cabin in Sherwood Pines Forest with Forest Holidays.
Who Are Forest Holidays?
In a nutshell Forest Holidays initially appear similar to Centre Parcs but without the crowds & indoor swimming pools. A little more of a relaxing, unwinding and escapism feel to it, offering a range of cabins for parties of all sizes, some of which are pet friendly too!
Our First Impressions
Driving in via the main Sherwood Pines forest entrance you are immediately transported to a feeling of being in the wilderness. Although there are a large number of lodges, approx 75, they are all hidden deep amongst the trees in the Forest Park linked with narrow forest tracks.
The site stands within Sherwood Pines forest so straight from your cabin door, there is over 3,000 acres to explore with a whole range of activities. Fields, forest walking trails, bike tracks, Go Ape for the older children and a Gruffalo Orienteering Course for the little ones.
We opted for a Silver Birch Cabin, tempted by the outdoor hot tub. The cabin itself was very comfortable and having only been built in 2012 the bedrooms, bathrooms, lounge and kitchen were all clean and modern offering everything you’d want for a mini escape.
The lodge offered plenty of living space meaning Little G-Man was free to zip around in his car walker, chasing our dog around which he found highly amusing.
The second bedroom had two single beds 2 bedrooms, which although would suit smaller children, with a baby, it mean a very tight squeeze with a cot. It took some serious SAS style crawling after putting Little G-Man down for the night, in order to sneak out without disturbing him.
Outside was a decking area with a BBQ stand so anyone with a disposable BBQ could rustle up a few sausages or burgers while enjoying the surroundings. And then there was the hot tub! OMG! Bliss! The baby monitor signal reached, so sitting relaxing with a glass of wine while listening to the birds on a summers evening was just what the DR ordered!
Out and about
There is more than enough to keep you busy at Sherwood Pines forest and nothing beats a walk in the forest with the dog in the summer sunshine.
As members of the National Trust we paid a visit to Clumber Park where we listened to talking Rhubarb and Apples (no word of a lie!).
Clumber Park also offers activities for children of all ages, including The Burrow play centre. Ideal for pre-schoolers, there was a large soft play for under 3s which we let G wear himself out on while we grabbed a coffee.
Once Little G-Man had exercised, staying in Cumber Park we headed to a beautiful lake where we plonked ourselves down for a picnic in the sun. Both Edie and Little G-Man loved the fact that our sandwiches grabbed the attention of the swans who came across the 83 acre lake to see if any scraps were being offered. Sadly for them, Edie saw to it that there wasn’t a crumb in sight!
Edwinstowe is a small quaint village about 5 minutes drive from Sherwood Pines which is best know for the Major Oak which is known throughout the world for its connection to Nottinghamshire’s legendary hero Robin Hood.
With a range of 2nd hand shabby chic style shops, its a great place to grab a bite to eat, especially at The Village Kitchen.
Blink and you’ll miss it!
Hints & Tips
- Unfortunately while we were there, unbeknown to us, there was a forest concert featuring Jake Bugg. Sadly 2 of our 4 nights were disrupted with noise, something we weren’t made aware of when booking. It is therefore worth checking Forest Live website before you book, if you’re after peace and queit.
- We arranged a food delivery from Waitrose (£10 cashback via Quidco) for when we arrived, meaning we didn’t have to worry about filling the car up with food before setting off.
- Anyone thinking about joining the National Trust can save over £25 on a family membership by joining National Trust for Scotland. You still get access to all England properties, its just cheaper!