We have just returned from our second-weekend break of 2021. This time we stayed three nights at Forest Holidays, Sherwood Forest. I have had this on our must-visit soon list for ages. I’ve loved the look of Forest Holidays, especially their forest locations with hot tubs.
Forest Holidays have a number of locations across the UK including 8 in England, 2 in Scotland and 1 in Wales. I chose Sherwood Forest as not only is it a great base for exploring the local area but it was also a great location for staying there with my Mum as she lives in the East Midlands. In this review, I will show you more of the lodge we stayed in, what we did on-site and what there is to do in the local area. Sherwood Forest is in Nottinghamshire, East Midlands
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Forest Holidays Sherwood Forest – The Site
Since our stay, I have been asked what this site is like compared to Centre Parcs which is virtually next door. Honestly, I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to compare. They are two very different sites not just in regards to accommodation but also in what there is to do on-site.
The Sherwood Forest Holidays site, although relatively large, is not massive. I think there were around 80 cabins there with the main hub in the middle. Luckily when we arrived my Mum had already checked in so all we had to do was find our cabin. The site really is in the heart of the forest with narrow bumpy lanes and be warned that if it’s raining your car will get pretty dirty. Luckily the cabins are set on one-way loop roads off the main road and they are all really well signposted so no worries about getting lost.
Both mine and my Mum’s sat navs took us the wrong way so if you do stay there make sure you enter Sherwood Pines as your destination and then Forest Holidays is a right turn just a few yards off the Sherwood Pines road. Unlike Centre Parcs, the trees have barely been cleared and you will soon find yourself deep in the heart of the forest.
OUR LODGE FOREST HOLIDAYS – SHERWOOD FOREST
All of the lodges at Sherwood Forest, Forest Holidays have a hot tub and I must admit this was one of our main reasons for booking. There are 6 different types of cabins that sleep from 1-10 guests and there are dog-friendly cabins available to book. They also have a wheelchair adapted cabin. They even have treehouses that sleep up to 10 people.
We stayed in a two-bedroom Golden Oak cabin. Our lodge and hot tub were really private and what was lovely about the site was how they’d positioned all the cabins. A few weren’t as private as ours but you are still a long way from each other. We were literally right on the outskirts of the park which meant it was a good 10-minute walk to the main hub.
Our lodge was really spacious and we were all really impressed with it. There was a large lounge area with a flatscreen TV (the only niggle was that the TV guide didn’t match what was on).
Off the lounge, there was an open-plan kitchen/diner which was well equipped. This then had a large balcony area with a BBQ and patio furniture. Then down a level, there was our hot tub. Our only issue with this was that the water wasn’t particularly hot. It was probably around 34oC which was more the temperature of a well-heated swimming pool rather than an outdoor hot tub.
Back inside there was a twin bedroom with lovely big single beds and a bathroom opposite. There was then a double bedroom with a shower room. The cabin did feel a little tired but not everything can be new and modern. It was clean and it was spacious and that was what really mattered.
THINGS TO DO FOREST HOLIDAYS – SHERWOOD FOREST
As mentioned above the main hub of the site is in the centre of the cabins. There is some parking here which we did use a couple of times as it was easier to take the car than it was to walk. We had already prebooked our activities online in advance but we had a message while we were there alerting us to the availability of some of their other activities.
There isn’t much to the hub itself. There is a shop that is well stocked with gifts and could perhaps do with being better stocked with food and drinks. We went in there one evening wanting to buy some bread and cheese but came away with lemon cake. There is a small restaurant area with a few tables. They have more tables outside and they serve breakfast until 11:30 am and then a regular menu from then until the evening. You can also order online and have food delivered to your cabin.
On-site there is a small children’s play area and bike hire. Plus you are just a short walk away from Forest Pines where there is a good choice of walking and cycling trails plus further play areas.
Activities you can book include Forest Ranger activities, archery, birds of prey experience and they also have a Peter Rabbit trail plus a Peter Rabbit themed afternoon tea.
We started our stay with the Peter Rabbit trail that took us around 1.5 hours to complete. It cost £7.50 per child and there is a small Peter Rabbit soft toy for a prize at the end, although a little babyish for older kids. I think the trail sheet was very disappointing for £7.50 as it was just one folded sheet of A4. My son enjoyed the trial but I think they could easily reduce the price or improve the trail sheet.
Afterwards, we had booked on a Peter Rabbit afternoon tea. I paid £12.50 for the child’s afternoon themed tea and £17.50 for each adult. The food was excellent and there was so much of it. We were very impressed and it was a lovely addition to our day. We can all highly recommend this.
The final activity on-site that we took part in was the Birds of Prey Experience. We have done a few in our time and for the money, I’m afraid we were a bit disappointed. I paid £60 for the three of us and I just felt that we didn’t get much out of it for that. I could go on but I won’t as I would imagine experiences vary for each venue. We only got to hold/fly one bird which was a real shame.
As mentioned above the location is great for exploring the local area. You can easily access Sherwood Pines on foot or by bike. White post farm is also a short drive away and we drove just a few minutes down the road to Sherwood Forest. There are more walking trails here including one to see the Major Oak with legends connected to Robin Hood. There is a brand new visitor centre, a woodland play area and fairground rides in the car park (small charge for the rides). You are also just a short drive away from Rufford Abbey which is a lovely park with a lake, play areas and more.
We would certainly stay with Forest Holidays again. The prices are cheaper than Centre Parcs as there is less to do on-site. But that suited us and the accommodation was lovely and spacious. I think if we were to go again we’d book a couple of the Ranger activities. We bumped into the Ranger one day and he was so knowledgeable and friendly. It’s a lovely site to feel close to nature and we saw our very first Jay. None of us has ever seen one before. We also found a fair few squirrels to feed. It’s a great site to take your bikes to and explore Sherwood Pines next door.