Sue Jones is a lifestyle blogger at The World of Suzy Homemaker and runs SueCo Virtual Assistance, which offers support solutions to busy entrepreneurs and business owners. She is also a regular guest at Forest Holidays - having visited almost all of our nine locations since her first visit in 2007! Here's her account of her very first stay in Sherwood Forest...
Few things in life bring more pleasure than getting away from it all. For Beloved and I, our all-time favourite weekend break involves being cosied up in a forest cabin.
Sherwood Forest is one of the most ancient and famous woodlands in England, if not the world. At its heart, the legend of Robin Hood who, with his band of merry men, infamously robbed the rich to pay the poor.
Today, as befitting its royal heritage, Sherwood is a national nature reserve and home to some of the oldest trees in Europe, including the Major Oak, which is estimated to be nearly 1,000 years old.
Sherwood also happens to be the perfect location for one of nine Forest Holidays cabin sites.
Hubby and I have long been fans of Forest Holidays. Our first taste of cabin life was in 2007, when Deerpark in Cornwall was still run by the Forestry Commission.
And we’ve been hooked ever since.
Hiding out in a log cabin with nothing but trees, birds and the odd mammal to disturb us is our idea of heaven. Back then, you couldn't even get a mobile phone signal - it really was a forest hideaway.
Over the years, we've visited many more Forest Holidays sites, some several times, both as a couple and with friends.
From Keldy on the border of the breathtaking North York Moors, to the stunning Highlands of Scotland and the historic Forest of Dean - each site offers something different, whilst delivering the familiarity of the Forest Holidays brand.
Every cabin site has its own Forest Retreat, where guests can enjoy a snack, a glass of something cold (or warming!), and pick up that forgotten essential item.
The cabins are clean, comfortable, spacious, and well-stocked. These days, most are equipped with in-cabin entertainment, with a large selection of online films. There’s also WiFi for those who can’t bear the thought of being disconnected!
Some cabins even have log fires and hot tubs on the verandah – ideal for a spot of stargazing, or simply relaxing those weary bones.
For us, driving into a Forest Holidays cabin site is like coming home. Our shoulders drop and we feel instantly relaxed.
For this particular break, we were looking for a peaceful retreat, where we could unwind after a stressful few months. We also didn't want to travel too far, so the 90-minute journey from home was ideal.
When we arrived, we knew straight away we’d made the right choice; Sherwood was destined to become a firm favourite. The cabins are well spaced, with plenty of trees between to provide the privacy we craved.
Ordinarily, we like to use our cabin breaks as an excuse to explore the surrounding area. This time around, we just wanted to relax and re-charge our batteries. Through choice, we didn't venture far, but we still managed to enjoy a full and varied weekend.
On Saturday, we donned our walking boots and headed for nearby Sherwood Pines Forest Park, where we discovered the British Cycling community out in force for a cross-country mountain bike competition.
We kept our feet firmly on solid ground, but could just as easily have rented a bike, explored the forest by Segway or even enjoyed a tree top adventure at Go Ape.
Maybe next time.
At dusk, we wrapped up warm and joined Forest Ranger John for a Night Vision walk. Equipped with specialist equipment, we enjoyed a fascinating walk around the site in search of nocturnal creatures, including deer and owls.
We returned to a nice warming curry that had been cooking all day in the slow cooker we’d brought with us.
Just one of the many advantages of self-catering!
Sunday was spent taking it easy. While Hubby enjoyed some rare sofa time, I lit some candles we’d brought with us, took up residence in the cabin’s large armchair and whiled away a lovely morning looking out on the forest.
Forest Holidays sites are great for a bit of bird-watching and Sherwood is home to a wide variety of feathered friends. I was particularly excited to spot my very first Tree Creeper!
After a delicious Sunday Lunch at the nearby, eclectically decorated Dog and Duck country pub, we spent the rest of a very rainy Sunday hunkered down on the sofa watching films.
As always, our departure time came around far too soon, but we’re already looking forward to our next weekend escape with Forest Holidays.