People Tree spoke to Kat Hardman from Forest Holidays about their unique offer of experiences rooted in the natural world. Relax and reconnect, or fill your days with exhilarating outdoor activities. Learn about the forest, explore the area and come home to the comfort of your own luxury cabin. But Forest Holidays is also an eco-friendly and more sustainable choice as they strive to constantly reduce their carbon footprint and all sites sit in harmony with their natural surroundings. The perfect getaway for the conscious traveller.
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How did the idea of holidaying surrounded by forests come about?
Originally it was the Forestry Commission who decided that there was a need for an accommodation option on their woodland estates, to encourage visitors. In the very beginning it was just three locations; Keldy, Deerpark and Strathyre. Then the Caravanning Club and the newly founded Forest Holidays took up the tender from the Forestry Commission… and it has evolved to Forest Holidays as we know it now! The Forestry Commission are still a shareholder and the Caravanning and Camping Club have decided to focus on their speciality. Today Forest Holidays still have the privilege of being the only accommodation provider on Forestry Commission estate and we now have nine locations around the UK.
How is Forest Holidays contributing to preserve nature and the local environment?
Primarily, by bringing people into the forests; enthusing and educating them about nature and sustainability so that these assets may be treasured and preserved for generations to come. Needless to say Forest Holidays have an obligation to ensure that everything we build within the forest is low impact and energy efficient, which is why we have achieved Green Tourism Gold Awards for almost all of our locations. At a local level, Forest Holidays ensure that surrounding businesses benefit from the trade that we bring into the areas where we work, and this benefits our customers as much as it does the local environment as they are able to sample the best local produce, and really get to know the area!
What can people expect from spending time with Forest Holidays?
Your Forest Holiday is whatever you want it to be; active people might enjoy the miles of biking and walking trails around each location, whereas young families may prefer taking part in Forest Ranger activities, learning how to survive in the woods if they were to lose their cabin key! Couples might opt to spend most of their time in their well-appointed cabin, enjoying the log-burner, private hot tub and uninterrupted forest views from their floor to ceiling windows. Overall, you can expect to feel refreshed and rejuvenated from spending time in the forest – as well as having had the time to reconnect with loved ones in a way that modern living sometimes denies us.
What kind of activities can be found when staying in Forest Holidays in winter?
Winter is a beautiful time to go on a Forest Holiday; the forest has a special peace about it in the winter time when most animals are hibernating. Enjoy long walks along frosty or snow-covered ground then return to your warm cabin and fire up the log burner and thaw out your toes in the hot tub! Each Forest Holidays location has a different range of bookable activities on offer, from Forest Ranger activities organised on location, to adventure activities including horse riding and canoeing.
Where are the Forest Holidays locations? Why were these spots chosen?
All Forest Holidays cabins are located on Forestry Commission estate and these include two locations in Scotland, two on the North York Moors, Sherwood Forest, Thorpe Forest in Norfolk, Blackwood Forest near Winchester, the Forest of Dean and finally Deerpark in Cornwall.
Is there a best time of year to visit?
This is down to personal preference, but for me, I love to visit Forest Holidays in the winter when cabin features, like the underfloor heating, log-burners and hot tub can be put to good use! Early winter can be a particularly beautiful time to go, when the trees are still dropping their multi-coloured leaves across the forest floor.