I do enjoy a family holiday. It’s an escape from everyday life. You get to spend quality time with the ones you get homesick over. And they lived with you once, so know what you’re like in the mornings.
I hadn’t been on one for such a long time. Simply because, mum and dad have been abroad alone (me, my sister and brother are all in our twenties now), and the only family holidays here in the UK are camping. Yes, camping. There’s just something about camping for several days which doesn’t go well with me I don’t think. A day or two of sleeping on a jelly air bed, cold even in summer, wrapped in as many layers as I can fit inside a rustling sleeping bag will do me just fine. A week? No thank you. But this year, they did things differently. This year, we booked a cabin in the Forest of Dean. And I was so excited!
We stayed at Forest Holidays, in one of the 120 cabins. There are five different sizes, ranging from The Golden Oak Hideaway which sleeps two to The Golden Oak Treehouse which sleeps ten. They’re all styled pretty similarly, with a homely, comfortable feel.
With 6 of us and a little one, we had the second largest sized cabin and it was pretty awesome. There’s a huge living room and kitchen-diner, a spacious master bedroom with en-suite, 2 twin rooms (cot on request), a bathroom, a decked seating area outside and a hot tub. Yes, we had a hot tub too!
We were pretty lucky as our seating area and hot tub were at the back of the cabin, with only really the trees in sight. But as we walked past several cabins during our stay, we realised this is pot luck.
The hot tub easily seated four. You could probably squeeze in six. It was a fab addition to the cabin stay which we all enjoyed. Lovely to relax in after a day of adventures. The outdoor space was also home to a rattan furniture set, which made a great spot to sit and chill – I think it might have been my fave place!
The living room was more than comfortable for seven of us when it got cold. It might have been June, but it was still chilly at times. With a huge corner sofa, a two seater and a large TV, it was perfect for our evening love island session too.
The TV has freeview, but you can also opt in for different packages when you stay. One of which being a movie one. But with only 3 days, we tended to pack them full leaving not enough time for flicks. Through the TV you can also access other information about forest holidays too. This included booking activities, and general FAQs, which is handy.
On the note of packages, I’d definitely recommend getting the premium WiFi. Whilst the basic works, the premium is by the way to go. Faster and less frustrating. We all need Wi-Fi during those down times right?
The kitchen was big enough. It had pretty much everything you needed, pots and pans wise, to cook whilst staying. The fridge perhaps a little on the small side for 6, but we managed fine. We just tried not to buy too much fresh, cold food.
The table sat six, so with Isabelle (my niece, the little one) wanting to sit up too, we just pulled a chair in from outside. Plenty of space. No faff.
The two twin bedrooms were small but not tiny. They were spacious enough to sleep in. I didn’t worry about my brothers legs managing to make it over to my bed either – yeah this did happen when on holiday before, even with a space between the beds which I thought big enough! The rooms were warm, but each had a window for breeze. There was space to hang or food away clothes too and a mirror – pretty handy. The beds themselves were harder than I usually go for, but still pretty comfortable. The master room however was pretty huge. Very spacious. With all the same commodities as the twin rooms, it was just bigger.
As for the location, Forest Holidays is right on the edge of the Forest of Dean. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere to town and city minded individuals, but that’s what makes it more exciting.
There are a few supermarkets within easy reach via car, or a corner shop in walking distance. This is in addition to the retreat which is the onsite shop for any emergency extras – although it is a little pricey.
As you’re right on the end of the forest it’s great for adventures. Whether you’re hiring bikes or setting out on foot you can easily make a day of it. Jack and I went on a 22km trek to Monmouth and back which was FAB!
There are activities too onsite, like archery, forest survival, high ropes and pottery painting if you’re up for more than relaxing and generally exploring the Forest and trails. Prices range widely dependent on activity.
It’s not far from Cheltenham and Gloucester either. With Bristol just an hour away too, there’s plenty of additional days out to be had if you fancy going a bit further afield. But to be honest, I could have happily spent 3 days walking, relaxing and picnicking! Although Bristol Zoo was so much fun – review to come.
- Location: Right on the edge of the Forest of Dean. Not far from Monmouth. The fact it’s quiet & not too close to a city or built up area gives it that additional tranquil/adventure feel. Even a small walk feels like you’re exploring.
- Accommodation: Everything you need for a week away self catering. Even had an iron and a hairdryer. Built in large flat screen meant we could keep up with Love Island too.
- Size/comfort: Our cabin was very spacious. Very comfortable for six. We weren’t on each other’s toes too much, even when all in. The beds were pretty comfortable too.
- Price: Only £708 for a Mon-Fri stay for six which is REALLY good. We did get a good deal, as my sister and brother-in-law had been on their honeymoon, so they do do good offers. Keep you eyes peeled.
- Would I return?: Most definitely. Hoping the yearly camping trip turns into a yearly cabin trip 😉
Have you ever been to the Forest of Dean or stayed in a cabin before?