Christmas has been a funny time of year for me for the last few years. I’ve learnt to accept now that the festive season is very bitter sweet in many ways. I love the lights, the music and the excitement. I truly do. But the fact will always remain that Christmas is a huge trigger for me. My son was born amidst the seasonal jollities and the horror of it all will forever be punctuated by Christmas songs, wrapping paper and cheesy cracker jokes. That’s just the way it is, and I have mechanisms in place to deal with it all. One of these ‘survival strategies’ has been to go away for the Christmas break. Just our little family, with all the presents and the trimmings. It’s become a hugely cathartic Christmas tradition and a real opportunity for us all to escape real life for a while. This year we were lucky enough to have a magical Christmas break with Forest Holidays and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Ok, so it’s early but believe me we start to think around this time of year about where we’re going to spend the festive season- and lots of places book up early, so if you’re planning to escape in the same way get booking now! Here are just three reasons why a Christmas break with Forest Holidays might be just what you need this year…
The forest is the perfect place to get away from it all
One of the best things about being away at Christmas is not just escaping the chores, but being away from home and away from the call of emails and social media. Don’t get me wrong, there is wifi available at the forest if you want to be online, but you don’t have to be. You can simply enjoy being in the forest, far from everything that ‘traps’ you at home, and safe in the arms of the trees. The peace that envelops you as darkness falls in the forest is quite unlike anything else. There is no traffic, no chatter. The pure black of the darkness is a comfort and a reminder of just how vast and beautiful the world can be. And honestly, we’ve never slept better!
The kids love exploring, so our Christmas morning walk in the forest will always remain one of our highlights. It seemed the sun came out just for us, and what a pleasure it was to walk, talk and laugh as it shone on our faces.
Then there’s the hot tub. One of the very best ways to get away from it all! I promised myself a glass of prosecco in the hot tub on Christmas morning and I wasn’t disappointed. Later on, we sang Christmas carols under the bubbles. Happy memories.
Although it was very cold for much of our week away, we did manage to explore the forest on two more occasions, collecting sticks, playing hide and seek and chasing each other along the river. Outdoor fun. Innocent fun. Natural play at it’s best.
I have to tell you that the absence of the x-box was barely noticed, and that it is a huge thing!
The forest lodges provide all the home comforts you need
I have so many happy memories of Christmas afternoon as a child. Curling up on huge sofas with a bowl of Quality Street and the Queen’s speech on the TV. Playing board games around the table. And later on, as a teenager, trying cocktails on Christmas night, laughing with my sisters and playing new tapes. I wanted to create these memories for my own children, make our own traditions to carry through the years.
And so this year, the talent show was born. We danced to Little Mix. We performed magic tricks. We told jokes. We enjoyed being together, with no pressure, and with all the home comforts we needed. Our lodge was beautifully warm (hello under floor heating) and so spacious. Two bathrooms, three bedrooms and a lovely living area with kitchen/ diner. We also had a beautiful outside area (with the hot tub of course) to make our own and I can truly say I didn’t miss my own sofa one bit.
You’re away from it all, but there’s a touch of luxury within your grasp
Look, we work hard all year. We both self employed and often there is no real ‘home time’ when it comes to finishing work for the day. The result is long hours and little down time. So our Christmas break is well earned and much anticipated. And rightly so! So while we like to be away from it all, we also like to indulge a little too. This is another reason why Forest Holidays is a winner. A cosy restaurant and bar, a super sweet little shop stocked with all the essentials and a few more luxuries, just because. A forest ranger on hand to answer questions, share knowledge and entertain the little ones. A take out service you can order direct from your TV… these are the little things that make it all different- and more than a little special.
Our top highlights from Christmas 2017
Making our own decorations for our beautiful tree.
Boxing Day at Robin Hood’s Bay
The hot tub!
Walking in the forest and exploring the stunning surroundings
Forest Holidays is an amazing option for any time of the year, but there really was something special about being there at Christmas. Sitting in the hot tub as the fairy lights twinkled and the snow fell around us will always remain one of my happiest Christmas memories, and I cannot express just how much this means to me. My family were so super happy throughout our stay in the forest and we’d book again in a shot.
We stayed in a silver birch cabin at Cropton Forest for one week over the Christmas period. We were given a discount for this period and no payment has been received for this review. All opinions are my own.