My lack of internet interaction over the festive period wasn't entirely down to the fact that I was too busy socialising and stuffing my face. We celebrated New Years in the back end-of-nowhere surrounded by fresh air, trees, birds, headless ducks and the odd one eyed deer, (I'll explain later) with no signal or connection to the outside world whatsoever. And it was total bliss.
I'm not exactly the outdoors type and I'm definitely not 'a camper'. It would take some serious bribing and sedating to get me anywhere near a 'tent' type of holiday where I'm surrounded by bugs and having to wash outside. Yuck. But stumbling upon Forest Holidays with their luxury cabins in the woods, I was immediately sold. With nine idyllic locations to choose from around the UK, we settled on escaping to Deerpark Forest in Cornwall, only 15 minutes from the very beautiful south Cornish coast. Nestled in the valley of the forest, surrounded by woodland and wildlife, we spent our days walking through the forest and mooching around the nearby fishing villages of Looe and Polperro and our evenings cozied up in our tree top cabin, playing games and relaxing in the hot tub. Perfect.
When the number one item on your list of things to remember is a torch- you know you're signing up for a forest experience. The resort was everything you would hope for in a a remote retreat in the woods with it's reception, cafe, bar, shop and club house all in one place. The staff were friendly, the coffee was good, the food was yummy and they stocked all the essentials to survive a night in by a log fire. What more can you ask for...this was certainly my kind of camping.
We were greeted on our first morning with a welcome meeting held by the resort's Forest Ranger, Martin, who introduced the guests to the resort amenities, ranger activities and a bit of health and safety (i.e. don't swim on the lake or start forest fires...as if...I hate being cold and I'm married to a fireman!) Then the forest fun was royally kicked off with a traditional duck race. Each guest was asked to choose a rubber duck, which had all seen better days thanks to the rangers dogs who had bitten off most of their heads, before we all headed down to the stream for the race. I don't know what was more hilarious- watching the rangers dogs go absolutely bonkers chasing the bobbing ducks and doing a runner with as many headless ducks as they could manage or watching Ranger Martin rescue the headless ducks from the jaws of his sopping wet furry friends. It was a hoot and madly enough, the Husbter's duck won the race!
Forest Holidays embrace their natural surroundings with a diverse range of Ranger Activities and there is something for everyone and for all ages. Activities include Bush Skills (there was no way I was foraging for food or making natural medicines out of mud), Pond & Stream Dipping (slimy fish- no thank you) and even a Twilight Bat and Moth hunt! But if like moi, you don't want to get your hands dirty then the Night Vision Walk would be more your cup of tea.
Wrapped up for an Arctic expedition, we set off kitted out with night vision goggles, viewing screens and some sort of bat monitor for a two hour trek around the forest. Martin, our ranger informed us that because the weather was cold, the chances of seeing much wildlife was slim, but we had a giggle throughout the excursion nonetheless. We did hear the odd owl and the night vision cameras picked up on a deer (about ten miles away!) which was then dubbed as 'the one eyed deer' as all we see was it's one eyeball blinking in the distance. Riveting stuff. So ditching the dismal animal sightings we opted to gaze at the stars instead which from the top of the valley at night was pretty amazing.
The cabin itself was very cosy and homely with all the amenities you would hope for in a self catering accommodation, with the added bonus of a dishwasher. Sweet. Location wise, we would have preferred to have stayed in one of the cabins overlooking the lake and the hot tub was situated oddly enough by the front door, but we were still comfortable and loved every minute of our stay. It's been years since I've done any type of self catering staycation and luckily our friends were well in the know and had planned accordingly. Who knew you needed to pack everything from loo roll to hand soap...I'd loaded up the car with enough cava to fuel Times Square at midnight, what else would we need?
Happy New Year!
Our trip to Deerpark Forest was everything we were hoping for in a New Years getaway and I highly recommend it for couples, friends and families combined at anytime of the year as the resort offers something for everyone. Thank you so much to Forest Holidays for the perfect send off to 2014 and the best welcome to 2015. We'll definitely be back soon!
Have you stayed at a Forest Holiday resort before? Let me know in the comments below...!
Until next time,
With Love & Forest Holidays,
Disclosure: I was offered a discount on our break with Forest Holidays in exchange for this review. As always all opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.