Last year we decided that a trip away with friends was just what the doctor ordered. We had such a good time that we decided to make it an annual thing.
This year we chose to return to the same place as last year, which was run by a company called Forest Holidays in the Forest of Dean.
Being a group of ten it’s quite hard to find somewhere that we can all go and be in one place together. The Forest Holidays site is perfect to fit us all and even our friends fury companion Buck.
In the main lodge there are 4 rooms, 2 doubles and 2 twins, with three bathrooms, one en suite. There is a large lounge area with big comfy sofas and a log burner, be sure to bring our owns logs and you will be very cosy all weekend. Off the lounge is a well equipped kitchen with everything you could need for a weekend away and a huge wooden table to seat all of the guests. From here there is a door out on to the decking and the best bit…the hot tub! There is also a stepped walk way to the bedroom we had, which was the tree house with an Alice in Wonderland theme, which sleeps two more people. It is a lovely little extra with a big walk in shower, lovely comfy double bed and an electric wood burner style fire, making it lovely and warm, which is just what is needed after running back from the hot tub. It also has built in wardrobes and a kettle to make your tea in the morning.
We didn’t really have many plans for our weekend as we’d all had busy months leading up to the weekend, meaning everyone was very up for some well needed R&R.
We left Exeter at 12.45 after packing up each of our cars (who knew you needed so much for a few days away) and drove up at a leisurely pace, we couldn’t check in until 4pm and it would only take us a couple of hours to get there. We made it up there in no time and decided to visit the nearest pub to the check in point. The pub was a lovely little village pub in Coleford, called the New Inn, which strangely enough we also have a pub called the New Inn in Coleford just down the road from us at home! The boys were happy as it was cheap for a pint and the ladies were happy because the pub had a nice open fire. 4pm soon came around, we all drained the rest of our drinks and made our way to check in.
The accommodation we were given was the exact same one as the year before, which was quite nice as we knew where everything was. We all bundled through the big wooden door, dragging our bags with us. It was exactly as we remembered and everyone naturally went off to the rooms they had the year before.
Once all of our belongings were inside and with a huge list in tow, we went to do a big food shop. Monmouth is a short drive away and has everything you need from a little town. We went into the nearest budget supermarket and did a huge food shop for the weekend and left chuffed that we under spent on our budget. After loading up the boot of Ellen’s car we headed back to the lodge to cook up a feast for our first evening meal. The evening consisted of full bellies, hot tubbing and lots of alcohol… too much for some but we won’t name names!!
The next morning with a couple of sore heads we cooked a huge fried breakfast and decided what to do with our day. Some of us went off to the local pub, some went for a walk around the forest with Buck the dog and the rest stayed and chilled out. This was very much the theme of the weekend, that and hot tubbing!
Sunday soon came round, which meant the departure of some of our friends, but not before we all ate a huge roast dinner. Cooking was a bit of a challenge in an oven we weren’t used to but we managed in the end without burning anything… other than the top of my finger!! Sunday evening was a quiet one as the ten of us decreased to six. We had one last dip in the hot tub and then lounged about watching films for the rest of the evening and packed up bits to prepare to leave the next day.
We are always sad when it’s time to pack up and leave as we always have such a good time, however we will no doubt we back next year or even sooner.
I would highly recommend Forest Holidays for families and friends, especially if you have pets and can get a pet friendly lodge. It’s a very chilled out place with lots of walks and each has a hot tub so you can soak all your troubles away.