“There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters
into the soul and delights and elevates it…” (Washington Irving)
Looking out over the meadow, the pink hue created by the sun setting just above the tree line naturally attracted the eye. With only the resident barn owls for company this was a great time to relax in the hot tub after a day of wandering through the forest.
This is truly a haven for nature lovers. If you are after a peaceful break in the heart of woodlands then you really should consider a stay at Forest Holidays: Thorpe Forest.
Why Thorpe Forest?
There is an abundance of wildlife to enjoy, both diurnal and nocturnal, that can often be viewed from your own decking. Venture further afield into the lowland pines and you are likely to witness grazing deer, badgers, numerous birds and many wild flowers.
With only 63 cabins spread out across the forest this luxury retreat, created in 2014, allows complete privacy and insures peace and quiet no matter what time of day. That doesn’t mean that you won’t see others wandering around, it simply increases the chances of hearing nature rather than boisterous crowds.
The location of each cabin has been thoroughly thought out and whether you find yourself hiding out in the woods or in the open meadow each one still retains an element of seclusion meaning that you can relax on the decking or in the hot tub without being overlooked by your neighbours. It also allows you to sit in your lounge looking out into the dark abyss star gazing with the knowledge that the lodge next door cannot see you in your pjs.
On arrival to Thorpe Forest the long driveway takes you deep into woodland and further away from civilisation. The Retreat, so named as it provides supplies, breakfasts, lunches and an intriguing place to sit and have a drink is situated at the end of this long pathway – make a beeline for this as it also houses the reception team.
Once inside, you will be greeted with warm smiles and knowledgeable individuals willing to take the time to explain not only the location of your accommodation but also the wider programme of activities available which includes everything from archery, canoeing and clay pigeon shooting to twilight walks and bush survival skills. Team members also offer to meet you at your lodge in order to show you around highlighting the finer points and the technology.
Accommodation itself varies from 2-person romantic hideaways to larger tree houses capable of holding 10 people. Don’t fancy a hot tub – that can also be accommodated. Whilst the majority do have this added touch of luxury Forest Holidays appreciates it is not for everyone and therefore design cabins accordingly.
If you are after the ultimate in relaxing breaks though there is only one cabin worth considering – The Golden Oak. These cabins are located in the best areas, have en-suite facilities, fluffy robes, towels and slippers ready and waiting to slip your feet into. Beds are already made up so there is no need to pack linen and there are even extra towels exclusively for use in the hot tub. With under-floor heating and a wood burning stove you will find it difficult to pull yourself away from your luxurious surroundings. If this isn’t enough, if you don’t fancy cooking, why not order dinner via your interactive TV which will be delivered directly to your door.
Still not relaxed enough? Then consider ordering an in-cabin spa experience to help you unwind; one that will relieve you of your everyday stresses and sooth you. Choose from numerous treatments including massages, facials, manicures and pedicures or perhaps you would prefer the romantic package for two. At the same time why not take your indulgences to the next level and order a champagne and chocolate package or request a romantic evening in hamper.
If fauna and flora are the reasons for visiting there are many trails to keep you occupied. For those that like to meander along at a leisurely walking pace, consider exploring the circular route around the site which takes in both the woodland and the open meadows. It is not uncommon to see Muntjac deer grazing so remember your camera; you might just get time enough to take a photo or two before they disappear back into the thicket. For those that prefer a lengthy walk or for those with cycles perhaps consider one of the longer routes; one is around 20km long so not for the faint hearted.
A great compromise is the George and Dragon trail, aptly named as it takes you through forest and fields until you reach the village of East Harling and the pub. At around 6km long, it is slightly more than just a short stroll but you will be well-rewarded for your ramble when you enter the traditional oak-beamed pub complete with reading nook and a dog-friendly lounge. Along with traditional ales you will be greeted with a menu of traditional foods and gourmet delights. A word of warning though – if you do eat here you might want to consider booking the local taxi driver for the journey back as portions are plentiful and the chances of you wanting to hop over stiles afterwards are quite slim. With attentive friendly staff however, this will not be a problem, they are happy to book this for you and will always provide you with another drink whilst you wait.
This is ideal for anyone who wants a complete break from modern life, which is fully achievable. Set in beautiful woodland surroundings these luxury log cabins really do have everything required for anyone looking for a memorable break. Whether you are a family, a group of friends or a couple looking for a romantic getaway, you will find what you need here.
“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.” (William Shakespeare)
Disclaimer: We did receive a discounted stay at Forest Holidays but all thoughts and opinions are our own.