Sure, the idea of camping sounds great in theory – fresh forest air, local wildlife and sing-alongs around the campfire, but the reality can be something different all together. If rolling around on a lumpy camp bed, drinking lukewarm tea and being eaten alive by all manner of biting things isn’t your idea of a great time, cue Forest Holidays pet-friendly cabins.
Forest Holidays offer a collection of luxury woodland cabins set in nine idyllic locations across the UK, from Scotland to Cornwall, and the latest in Thorpe Forest, Norfolk (where we were lucky enough to spend the weekend). These pet friendly wilderness retreats offer a completely immersive forest experience for both human and hound, with a few little luxuries to sweeten the deal.
Totally self-contained, each cabin has its own fully equipped modern kitchen, open plan living area, spacious deck, sumptuously soft bed (a welcome relief after a long day exploring the forest), and the main attraction – an enormous outdoor hot tub, fully prepped and bubbling for your arrival.
Waiting for George in our Silver Birch pet friendly cabin was a tasty treat and some poo bags (sensible), so while we stocked up the fridge with a stash of food and wine, George got to work on devouring his Bonio in a matter of seconds.
You’ll need to bring your own supplies, but the cabins have everything you need to make meals and enjoy them out on the deck – including an area to use a disposable BBQ that can be purchased from the Forest Retreat. Plus there’s board games in case you have a rainy day indoors – Jenga anyone!?
Nestled on the Norfolk and Suffolk border, the forest is a rich tapestry of pines, heathland and broadleaf trees, teaming with an abundance of local wildlife. Apart from the seemingly millions of butterflies darting around, we also spotted a deer on an early morning walk and had a constant stream of squirrels scurrying in the trees above our cabin.
You can make this holiday whatever you like; chill out on the deck, soak in the hot tub gazing up at the forest canopy and indulge in an in-room massage, or have an all-out wilderness adventure – including canoeing, cycling, Forest Ranger experiences and guided night walks.
An utter heaven for dogs, you can explore the forest with miles of great walks right from your doorstep. We hired bikes and took a slow (George only has little legs) cycle through the dense woodland and over the to the banks of the River Thet where George had a quick dip to cool off.
Next stop was neighbouring village, East Harling for a pub lunch at the dog friendly, George and Dragon where we topped up our energy reserves in the form of gourmet sandwiches, hand-cut chips and a sticky toffee pudding. A relaxed afternoon ride took us back over the cabin for a soak in the hot tub and a sundowner on the deck – plus a record-breaking nap for George.
WHO SHOULD GO?
Nature-loving dog owners who want to get escape the city without roughing it. Great for both couples, families and small groups.
WHERE IS IT?
We stayed at the new Thorpe Forest Holidays retreat in Norfolk, however Forest Holidays have nine locations including Scotland, Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Hampshire and Nottinghamshire.
There are pet friendly cabins at all Forest Holiday’s nine locations. While dogs make up the majority of their four-legged guests, other pets including cats are welcome on prior arrangement.
WHAT TO BRING?
Forest Holidays cabins are self-contained so you’ll need to bring some of your own supplies:
- Food and drink – we stocked up at a nearby supermarket but there is also a Forest Retreat on site for anything you forget
- Torches – for night walks through the Forest and late-night toilet breaks for your pooch
- Washing up liquid – you have a dishwasher in your cabin but in case you want to wash anything by hand
- Towels – for the hot tub and shower
- Swimmers – pack your trunks for a soak in the hot tub!
- Lighter or matches – if you plan to use a disposable BBQ
- Soap, shampoo and conditioner
- Dog Bed and bowl – if your dog is fussy about what they sleep on
To see what else to pack for your pooch – check out our dog travel guide and checklist.
PRICES & BOOK
From £260 for a 4-night midweek break in a Silver Birch 2 bedroom cabin – find out more and book at – forestholidays.co.uk
*Images: Sara White for StyleTails