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Does Forest Holidays Sherwood work well for a multi-generational break?

Forest Holidays

Multi-generational holidays. Are you a lover, or a hater? Since having our kids, we’ve been on two breaks where grandparents, sprogs and we of the sandwich generation, all congregated in a choice destination. Thankfully, neither of these trips descended into bother and strife. In fact they were both a load of fun. The first was with my family, at Yelloh Villages Parc du Val de Loire. And then, last Easter, the in-laws treated us to a break at Forest Holidays Sherwood.

D’s two brothers also brought their families, so there were sixteen of us in total, with children ranging in age from four to twelve. So, a lot of different age groups to keep happy.

Did I win daughter-in-law Brownie points for suggesting the place to D’s Mum and Dad? Readers, I think I might have done. Here’s why.

Luxury lodges

Forest Holidays

As soon as we arrived at Sherwood Pines, there were squeals of excitement – and not just from the kids. D’s Mum and Dad had booked one Golden Oak cabin, and one Golden Oak treehouse. The Golden Oaks all had their own hot-tubs with thick, snuggly dressing gowns, a heap of towels (honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many in self-catering accommodation), spacious bathrooms, a log burner with a small stack of wood to keep us going, and a decent kitchen, with gas hobs and an enormous dishwasher. The kitchen tables in both cabins were big enough to seat all sixteen of us, so we were able to eat together every night. There wasn’t a washing machine – instead there was a laundry service.

Forest Holidays

Forest Holidays

Hot tubs

Did I mention the hot tubs?

Forest Holidays

These were a huge hit, with all three generations. The older children were the most excited. It turns out that sitting in a hot tub, sipping fizzy elderflower from a (plastic) glass is the height of tweenage style. Funny, that. The little ones enjoyed careering round in the bubbles, and the tubs were big enough for Granny and Grandad to cram in with all six children.

The hot tub in the smaller Golden Oak cabin turned into the ‘getaway’ tub. While the rest of the family were eating a rowdy dinner, couples or singles would slip away to have some quiet adult time, under the stars.

Chocolate

Forest Holidays

This one’s probably seasonal. It was Easter when we stayed, and Forest Holidays had left an enormous chocolate egg at each cabin. When I say enormous, I mean it: two baby Annabel Dolls could have hatched out of our egg. A little bit of chocolate makes for cross-generational conviviality. A large amount….well, a large amount makes for a feast. Which is pretty much what we had.

Hidey-holes

Of course, with so many people staying together in one place, it’s good to have a place to retreat to when you want some quiet time. The Forest Holidays site was full of these hidey holes. D’s Mum and Dad slept in the treehouse of their Golden Oak cabin. This one-bedroom nook was set away from the main house, along a little walkway. It was a real Hobbit hole of a place. Instead of high, bare walls like the main cabin, the treehouse had cosy chintz wallpaper, and higgledy-piggledy pictures.

Forest Holidays

Frest Holidays

There were other places to hide. The Forestry Commission’s Sherwood Pines Forest Park was just next door to the Forest Holidays site. It was quite easy to get lost in the woods, with marked trails to help you find your way back. And the forest was peppered with play areas, tree houses and huts.

Forest Holidays

Forest Holidays

Nature-nurture

Forest Pines

Time spent in the wilds of nature has been linked with lowered stress levels and a more relaxed state of mind, which always helps with multi-generational holidays. It was particularly nice to see the older children visibly unwind, away from the pressures of school. Our cabins were set in a cluster, but with a decent distance – and trees – between them. Strategically placed floor-to-ceiling windows meant that you could see trees from almost anywhere in the cabin. From the decking you could hear nothing except birds singing, small creatures rustling in the undergrowth, and the occasional happy squeal from a hot tub. Bliss.

Forest Holidays

Forest Holidays

Cycling and other outdoor fun

Forest Holidays

It wasn’t all hot tubs and relaxation. The older children and some of the adults tried Go Ape at Sherwood Pines visitor centre. We hired a few bikes, and took it in turns to go on expeditions along the marked cycle trails, which ranged from the gentle to an extremely challenging red route, which almost finished off my brother-in-law. Some of us went horse-riding, and a few others tried archery.

Forest Holidays

You had to pay more for these activities. There were plenty of ways to have fun without spending more money, like the den-building area in Forest Pines, where our family bonded over the construction of a wooden wig-wam.

Forest Holidays

Forest Holidays

The main downside to Forest Holidays is that their breaks are rather pricey, especially in the school holidays. But they’re still less money than, say, Center Parcs. Although I’ve never experienced a UK Center Parcs break, we had such a good time with Forest Holidays that we’d probably choose to re-visit one of their sites rather than pay for a Center Parcs stay.

 

If you’re interested in finding out about other Forest Holidays locations (there are nine locations), I came across these blog posts written by friends:

The Scottish Trossachs – and a winter paddling adventure, by the Family Adventure Project

A treehouse lodge in Thorpe Forest, by Mini Travellers

24 fab things to do at Forest Holidays Strathyre by A Modern Mother

A weekend break at Blackwood Forest by My Travel Monkey

Forest Holidays in the Forest of Dean by Munchies & Munchkins

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24 Comments

  • Nano @ Travel With Nano B.
    June 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    That cottage looks so idyllic, I wouldn’t want to leave! xoxo, nano | http://www.travelwithnanob.com

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Neither did we!

      Reply
  • Zoe @ jugglingonrollerskates
    June 19, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Oh I love the idea of Forest Holidays…your photos look just how I’d imagined it. The tree house looks incredible!! As for your own private hot tub…perfect! #MondayEscapes

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      It was blissful!

      Reply
  • Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays
    June 19, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I want to stay in the treehouse! Please #MondayEscapes

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      The in-laws did well in bagging it for themselves 🙂

      Reply
  • MrsS
    June 19, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Wow the lodges looks lovely and spacious, and with an added bonus of a hot tub! I love a forest walk…in fact I love any outdoor living away from the screens so this looks like somewhere we would love. Your photos are absolutely stunning Nell.

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 20, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Thank you! x

      Reply
  • Plutonium Sox
    June 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Wow, this is just our sort of holiday. I’ve always wanted to go on a Forest Holidays break, definitely something we’ll do in the future. It’s great that you have three generations that all want to go on holiday together. My folks wouldn’t go with me, perhaps I’m a problem child haha!
    Nat.x

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 22, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Hahaha!

      Reply
  • Oh wow it looks like my kind of holiday. I love that they have laundry service! We are partial to a bit of archery but I think we’d struggle to leave those hot tubs if I’m honest x

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 23, 2017 at 10:42 am

      We did spend a ridiculously long time in there!

      Reply
  • Ting at MTM
    June 20, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you for the mention, and love the review. I would have to agree with you on all accounts – we were seriously impressed. We all love the hot tubs, too! Friends and I have been discussing going back and staying in a larger lodge. You’re right, it’s not cheap, but I think well worth the price

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 23, 2017 at 10:46 am

      I completely agree.

      Reply
  • Stephanie
    June 21, 2017 at 6:26 am

    The idea of Forest Holidays itself sounds great. The pics are so impressive. Nature-nurture, cycling, hot tub…everything is great!

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

      It’s a brilliant concept.

      Reply
  • Mini Travellers
    June 21, 2017 at 10:57 am

    It does look beautiful but I garee when I’ve priced it up it can be a little on the xpensive side. Thanks for linking to our review and linking this up to #MondayEscapes

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

      It’s a pleasure!

      Reply
  • Kirstie
    June 21, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    We LOVED the hot tubs. Especially as it was winter. Lovely photographs Nell.

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 23, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Wherejogoes
    June 21, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    We go on multi generational holidays with the whole clan – it’s lots of fun! This looks fab with the activities and I love the hideyholes! #MondayEscapes

    Reply
    • Nell
      June 23, 2017 at 11:36 am

      They’re cute, aren’t they?

      Reply
  • Laura H
    July 10, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Oh that looks brilliant – so important to have spaces which all of you can share, but also spaces for everyone to take time out from the group. It looks heavenly (and *whispers* a lot better than you-know-who-Parcs).

    Reply
    • Nell
      July 10, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      I haven’t been, so can’t comment – but we were very happy with this choice!

      Reply

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