Me and a group of my friends are the kind of people who only seem to meet up every now and then, but when we do its like we have never been apart! A year or so ago we went to Newquay for a long weekend and had an amazing time, so decided that this year we would go away again!…It literally took AGES to decide on the perfect place to go and all be happy with the price but after so much research, we all settled on forest holidays.
With a group of 8, we decided on the Golden Oak Cabin. This is a 4 bedroom cabin, with a log burner and hot tub! It has two double bedrooms (one with an en-suite) and two twin bedrooms – which was good for us as there were 4 couples, so all we had to do was push the beds together! A bit more convenient as opposed to bunk beds ay!!
We chose the forest of dean purely as it seemed the closest – although after a two and a half hour drive we soon regretted this decision!! We also chose it because the forest looked beautiful in pictures, and there are many activities almost on your doorstep to choose from! It seemed like the perfect all round place to go for both an active break and a relaxing one too…
We booked the activities easily before we went, through their website and paid by card. We decided to book the bikes for the whole weekend (which was £28 each), the half day canoeing (at £37 per pair in one boat) and half of the group booked half day caving (which was also a fairly reasonable price of £35 per person).
The Good Bits
- The cabin was big, clean and very modern. There were huge windows on nearly every exterior wall bringing the outside in and making you truly feel like you are at one with nature!
- The hot tub – of course!! – this was a saviour on the rainy evenings with its cool disco lights, and there was just about room for all of us to squeeze in! This was checked every day and chlorine levels refilled.. they even left us a cute rubber ducky!! We called him Derek.
- The main activities were only 15 mins drive away and some, like the archery and bikes were roughly 5 mins walk from our cabin – bonus!
- Everyone was very helpful, there was a maintenance man leaving our cabin when we arrived. He made sure we were happy and had everything we needed – he even bought us some wood for our log burner! Bless…
- The woods were beautiful with wild animals including deer and wild bore. It was clean too, there was no rubbish or dirt anywhere!
- They even supplied the cabin with a couple of board games to keep you occupied on rainy days (we had three whole days of rain so these came in handy!!)
- The retreat is their own little corner shop / gift shop / reception and restaurant all wrapped into one! It is extremely handy if you have forgotten any essentials or want to grab a quick bite to eat! You can even order a takeaway curry or pizza! How convenient!!
- Oh… and we got slippers and a dressing gown! Proper posh!
The Bad Bits
- No signal whatsoever in the cabin itself. Wifi was available at a price of £35 per break… we decided to rewind the clock and live as though wifi wasn’t invented! Believe me, it was actually so difficult!
- Although you were in the woods, we kind of expected to be in the middle of absolutely nowhere but there were cabins all over the place and were actually a little TOO close.
- When we left the cabin we weren’t too sure what we needed to do with regards to the rubbish etc. Do we take it out, leave it, take it to the recycling hut? Nobody knew… we left it in the big bins outside our cabin – I hope we did the right thing!!
- I found the activities a little pricey – luckily not for myself, but if I had kids or people to pay for, I would be distraught! It all adds up!! There wasn’t anything that you could do that you didn’t have to pay extra for…
- Although like I said there was a little shop with bits and bobs to buy, which is great BUT as expected, it was pretty expensive!! It always annoys me that they whack the prices up on everything as they know people will be desperate and pay the prices!!
So its pretty obvious that the good bits outweighed the bad! It was such a lovely place to stay… it was so relaxing and we didn’t let the rain stop us from making the most of the forest on our bikes and doing the activities we had booked!
On sunday whilst the other half of the group went caving we discovered (online) a hedge maze which was around 15 min drive away. When we arrived, we were surprised to see a mini golf course there too! Chuffed.! It was sooo cute, the hedge maze was a-maze-ing – see what I did there? & we got the mini golf half price, brilliant! We finished off with a bit of tea in the tearoom… our day was pretty perfect! I would 100% recommend it as a cheap day out – I think the maze, the mini golf and the tea worked out to be around £8.00? Bargain!! & it was soooo cute!
Overall we had a lovely little trip and I would most definitely book with Forest Holidays again but maybe on a sunnier weekend haha!! Take a peak at a few of our pictures from the weekend…
If you are looking for a relaxing break away with friends or family, book with Forest Holidays through their website – https://www.forestholidays.co.uk you wont regret it.