This year is full of big birthdays in my family and we are celebrating with lots of big family holidays and breaks. It is exciting! Last weekend was the first celebration and for it we didn’t venture too far, but far enough to feel like a break, all the way to Forest Holidays. I was so excited! After packing all the “essentials” for travelling with a 9 month old, the car was full to bursting. Seriously. Super full. Those days of throwing in a toothbrush and a pair of pants for the weekend are long gone!! Even with such an overly full car, we still managed to forget things! Still, I digress! We all jumped (try tetris style squeezed ourselves round, next to, on top of, inside of, etc etc) into the car, and headed off to the Forest, Sat Nav on to guide us there.
We found it no problem, and thankfully the boy slept the whole way! It immediately seemed so relaxing and we were surrounded by trees. Just what we wanted! We were staying in one of the cabins, the Luxury Family Treehouse. This cabin has an additional ensuite room away from the main body of the house. It was beautiful and had lots of space. We had arrived first, so after a mad dash round, we chose the upstairs bedroom and began to set up shop! Not long after the rest of our family arrived, unpacked and all chose rooms. All in there was 7 adults, 2 teens, 1 tween and a baby. You would think that it was going to be a squeeze, particularly as my lovely Mother in Law brought enough food to feed a small army!! It wasn’t though, it felt big and spacious. The cabins are scattered around a field surrounded by the woods; ours faced directly onto the woods which gave us a great view from our bedroom, through the huge window.
We had paid for the entertainment package, which meant that there was a wide selection of films we could watch too. I finally got to watch ‘Inside Out’ which was brilliant! Having so many members of family round meant that the little man was not short of people to play with and have cuddles with. It also meant that me and the husband got a break! It had been such a long time since we watched a film together, we really enjoyed ourselves!! The lounge had enough space for everyone to sit comfortably and was even centre stage to some amazing performances for family charades! Highlights being L’s reenactment of ‘Jurassic world’, C’s epic acting for ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ and the husband actually having a go for ‘Top Gun’. Such a funny evening! We even moved to the large kitchen table to have a girls vs boys game of Pictionary! (The guys thought I was just being cruel when I had time to draw a mermaid before even drawing the crab my team had to guess! But I think they were sore losers!! Haha!)
The outside area was wonderful too, a giant table which could fit us all round, space to BBQ and most importantly a lovely hot tub which could fit lots of us! (Think we counted 8 in at one point!!) When we had first arrived the hot tub was empty, but they were quick to come over and fix it for us. The hot tub was definitely worth having, we all enjoyed some time in there! (Apart from the little man!) I even managed to sit in the hot tub for quite some time with a drink of fizzy pink wine! I did remember to use a plastic glass! It was so relaxing, like being at a spa! Really nice both in the summer and in the winter!……..Man I wish I was there now with my lovely Gin cocktail (my in laws make a mean cocktail!!) surrounded by the nature; trees, flowers, squirrels – yes very friendly squirrels too!
The weekend was filled with food too! I’d baked a birthday cake (only had a small disaster on the way there) and some of my awesome cookie bowls with just some normal cookies. My MIL had organised some amazing meals and yummy snacks and my sister in law had brought loads of chocolate (an absolute must to accompany Charades, Pictionary, conversations, drinking, sitting, well, most activities really!) The kitchen has the basics you need, so if you plan on making anything when you’re there (such as pizza bases – K’s pizzas were amazing!) you need to bring additional tools with you. Although, the wine bottle rolling pin did the job superbly!
Although some of the family went out on walks to explore the area, I only did a short walk with the little man to get him to sleep (I was battling a virus that made me feel like I’d been hit by a bus, although I didn’t realise that’s what it was at the time!!) There are endless walks and bike rides to do, also Go Ape, pottery, a playground, the list is long! You can even get in house spa treatments, so they come to you!!! I honestly think you could go back every year and still have plenty to do! Fortunately I’m going back again for two more visits in the next year, so I will strive to try out some of the other things and get a bit further than the hot tub this time!! It was an amazing break and was a fantastic place to spend time with family! I would really recommend going and think it’s perfect for a large family or group holiday!
Have you been to Forest Holidays? What did you like most about it? Are there any other holiday’s you’ve done with a large family group? Where would you recommend going?