We follow the blogger and her family’s adventures as they escape the city on a very special weekend trip…
Norwegian blogger Bianca Wessel lives in London with her husband and their two daughters, Amelié and Beatrice. Passionate about ‘brand Scandinavia’, her two blogs Go Scandinavian and Little Scandinavian are a place for her to share her love for beautiful things — from design to nature. Raising their daughters in busy London (which can sometimes feel a million miles away from the relaxed lifestyle many Scandinavian families get to enjoy), Bianca and her husband love to take time out with the family away from the circus of the city.
So last weekend they set off to Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Pines Forest Park with Forest Holidays in search of an autumn adventure…
The luxury and eco-friendly cabins offered by Forest Holidays are set in the lush Forestry Commission land across Britain. Designed by leading architecture firm Holder Mathias, every care has been taken to make sure they sit very much in harmony with their natural surroundings. As well as offering unparalleled views of the forest, the cabins boast stylish interiors, state-of-the-art technology and even private outdoor hot tubs. Guests can enjoy the great outdoors with special nature trips guided by expert forest rangers. Situated close to the pretty villages of Nottinghamshire, Sherwood Pines Forest Park is nestled among 3300 acres of stunning woodland.
From what the family packed to what they go up to in the great outdoors, read their adventure diary below.
Since I was little I’ve always found the tales of Robin Hood one of the most endearing – the outlaw who was a highly skilled archer that stole from the rich to give to the poor and who lived in this giant forest. So when we were invited by Alex and Alexa to go on a forest holiday in the Sherwood Forest, it was with the excitement of a child I accepted. My daughters and husband were equally thrilled when I told them, as we seldom venture outside of London.
With our bags packed on a Friday afternoon, we were ready to go. Taking the car meant we didn’t have to be too rigid on what to take. We all had sneakers, autumn boots and wellingtons. We had long sleeved tops, denim and waterproofs as well as wool basics and tracksuits for lingering in the cabin. Much of these we had found on the Alex and Alexa website among the beautiful new pieces for AW15.
After a three hour drive, we reached Forest Holidays, hidden amongst the trees in the Sherwood Pines Forest Park. It was already dark, but we easily found the reception situated in a large log cabin. Here we were told by a lovely staff member that we had been upgraded from the Silver Birch to a Golden Oak cabin! The cabin had an outdoor hot tub, log burning stove in the spacious living area, two double bedrooms and a large kitchen. The striking Danish-inspired architecture with its modern simplicity offered views to the forest from all angles. Large floor to ceiling windows maximised the view, letting daylight in without feeling too open. The underfloor heating was lovely too, keeping feet toasty, even after a long day walking in the forest.
Although you can buy groceries in the reception, we decided to head to the nearby village for some local pub food at The Bistro in Edwinstowe. After hearty food served in the most charming and homely surroundings, the night was ended with a lounge in the hot tub underneath the starry night sky and the tall tree tops that the cabin was surrounded by.
Saturday morning was spent sleeping in before heading out to pick up fresh newspapers and breakfast. Although Forest Holidays and the surrounding Sherwood Pines Park offers everything from archery lessons to bike hire, we decided to take it slow. Instead, our youngest used the opportunity to jump back into the hot tub after breakfast, whilst the morning fog was still lingering between the trees. Simply magical.
Just before lunch we decided to drive 15 minutes to Southwell – a beautiful little city and home of the Bramley apple. After exploring the markets, we had steak and ale pie at The Hearty Goodfellow in front of an open crackling fire. Not to be missed is the original Bramley apple tree, situated next to the pub.
Back at our cosy hub for the weekend, the girls played cards, my husband watched sports on the TV- and I, not used to having all the fresh air, went down for a snooze.When I woke up it was already dark outside. It is astonishing how dark it gets in a forest.
For supper we enjoyed a large cheeseboard that we had picked up at the market in Southwell earlier in the day. And again, we all enjoyed a nightly hot bath in the cool air on our terrace before going to bed early.
Feeling completely re-energised we woke up early Sunday, had breakfast and headed out for a walk in the forest – the legendary stomping ground of Robin Hood.
The sunshine was incredible as it peered through the large trees towering above us and down on to the surrounding woodland. Then passing by a tree top adventure park, we simply couldn’t resist to ‘Go Ape’ with plenty of forest adventures to be had. It was a truly memorable day out.
Check out was not until Monday morning, but as we had a fully scheduled hectic week ahead, we decided to leave the forest in the evening before.
And although there are cabins scattered around the forest, with the retreat being almost fully booked, we didn’t see any other people at the Forest Holiday Resort other than in the reception during our stay. This made our getaway unbelievably quiet, relaxing and peaceful. The whole setup caters for all; from the luxurious hideaway cabins for two to the larger cabins for families who would want to travel with grandparents. It is extremely child friendly, with a play area, a bug hotel to discover and the whole forest to play in.
The drive back to London took us only two hours, whilst we eagerly planned our next forest holiday adventure!
With thanks to Bianca Wessel from Little Scandinavian X