If you’re yearning for an escape to nature’s embrace, look no further than the Forest Holidays Waterside Woodland Lodge in Deerpark, Cornwall. This is exactly what I was craving a couple of weeks ago, so we booked a last-minute weekend away for the start of the children’s half-term holiday for some tree-bathing and relaxing.
A weekend away from it all with no work stress, money worries, household chores or busy schedules. A weekend to relax, eat good food and enjoy each other’s company.
Oh, and a hot tub each evening!
In this review, I’ll take you on a personal journey through this hidden gem, sharing my own honest opinion of the accommodation at Forest Holidays, my experiences and insights.
I’ll share photos of our accommodation at Forest Holidays throughout this blog post… I forgot to take them when we arrived, so this is when we left, hence the messiness and pile of towels on the bathroom floor ready for housekeeping!!
Arrival and First Impressions
Having been to Center Parcs in Whinfell earlier in the year, and another time to Longleat, I was expecting Forest Holidays to have a similar vibe when it came to the lodges, albeit on a much smaller scale resort-wise.
On this occasion, this was exactly what I was hoping to book. I was hoping for a wooden lodge nestled in the countryside but with a lot fewer people than Center Parcs! Somewhere we could feel like we had the place to ourselves… and this was exactly how it felt!
When we arrived, we went to the shop, which is also where the bar and restaurant are, to collect our lodge key and directions to the lodge. There was no one else in the shop, it was so quiet! Perfect! The attendant told us there had been a crash on a major road, which is likely why it was so quiet and many people had not yet arrived to check in which was unusual. We arrived around 5pm.
I could already tell this was a much smaller resort than a Center Parcs due to the small cosy size of the shop and bar and the map showed us there were only around 50 lodges on site. Perfect!
I don’t mean to compare to Center Parcs, as it is a different experience, but when looking for a weekend away, my request this time was a wooden lodge, like at Center Parcs, surrounded by forest, but without all the people, and so Forest Holidays certainly ticked all the boxes!
This place seemed exactly what I was looking for for an escapism and non-social weekend. As we headed toward our lodge, which was only a short drive from the shop/reception area, the lodge, blending with the forest surroundings, felt like a true home away from home.
Accommodation and Cosiness
Our woodland lodge was not just a place to stay but a sanctuary of comfort!
Being at the lodge for a short three-night break only, I planned for us to spend a fair amount of time just chilling at the lodge and relaxing in the hot tub.
Usually, on our family holidays, the accommodation can become a place to sleep at night as we rush around exploring as many places as possible in the daytime, however, I didn’t want to be tied to schedules or rushing about for the weekend, so it was important that the lodge was cosy, homely and like a home we could stay in and enjoy, and not leave should we choose to stay there all day!
While I was hoping for a really lazy holiday, we did explore nearby Looe on Saturday and Lantic Bay on Sunday!
While slightly tired in some places, the accommodation was cosy and had everything we needed for a weekend away. We appreciated the large L-shaped sofa in the living room which made snuggling up in front of the log burner and TV comfortable and perfect for relaxing in the mornings with a coffee, or after a day of exploring the beautiful surroundings.
There were two cosy bedrooms, one with a double bed and another with twin beds.
There were two bathrooms. One upstairs with a bath and woodland view. The other was next to the bedrooms with a large double shower.
We found the toilets quite tricky to flush, but worked out you need to push both flush buttons at the same time. So perhaps this is something they need to fix.
The shower was fine though, nothing special, but warm and plenty of room with the double enclosure. Our son had a bath with a view and he enjoyed it!
A nice touch was two robes in the bedroom for the adults, perfect for using the hot tub.
The accommodation was clean and tidy and, perhaps most importantly, the beds were really comfortable! We had some really good deep nights of sleep!
Activities and Nature Connection
Deerpark offers a lot of activities for all ages and interests. From guided nature walks through the ancient forest to archery, an in-lodge spa experience, crafts and more. Having already been on a jamp-packed activity holiday earlier in the year, this wasn’t our aim for this weekend away so we didn’t experience any of the paid activities on offer, so I can’t comment on them.
However, we did have a Sunday morning walk through the surrounding forests which are accessible directly from the site and a short walk from the lodge. No need to drive or leave the Deerpark Forest Holidays resort. The numerous paths and routes through the forest allowed us to have a tranquil experience with minimal encounters with other visitors, making it feel like we had the place to ourselves.
We lasted a good hour or so walking with the kids (8 and 11), but I’d love to explore more of the woodland and disappear for hours in the forest should I return for a romantic weekend away (in about 8 years or so, if we can leave the kids on their own for a weekend!)
Locally there are many beautiful places to explore. We visited Looe which was nearby and has lots of gift shops and pasty shops for traditional cuisine while in Cornwall! The beach wasn’t as exciting in Looe, but on Sunday, after our woodland walk, we visited Lantic Bay which was incredible!
Lantic Bay is now up there as one of my favourite beaches, along with Hemmick Beach, Whipsiderry and Kynance Cove. Another top beach with stunning backdrops and scenery all around. Lantic Bay is only suitable to visit if you have good mobility due to the steep climb down, but it’s really worth it if you can visit. There is a National Trust car park and there’s a few fields to walk across before the climb down to the beach.
Want a discount as a new National Trust member?
Not yet a member of the National Trust? You can park in their car parks for free when visiting stunning places of natural beauty such as Lantic Bay.
Use my link to sign up for TopCashback for free and see the latest savings at National Trust here: https://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/victoriasully/national-trust
Dining and Relaxation
While there is an on-site bar and restaurant/cafe together with the shop/reception, we decided to opt for the luxury of dining in our lodge and having the food delivered to us for a £3 delivery fee each night.
We really enjoyed the cosiness of the lodge (and the hot tub) so it was nice to be able to relax in the living and dining space and not worry about leaving in the cold to go and eat. Plus, it allowed me to embrace my anti-social and secluded weekend even more… along with no cooking, eating junk and no washing up. Naughty!
At Forest Holidays there is a QR code on the TV that can be scanned to order food, or even groceries from the on-site shop!
We were pleased to find a good selection of vegan options, including for the kids. There were pizzas, burgers, salads, curry and plenty of sides. We made the most of eating vegan burgers for our treat weekend away! The kids loved the vegan bites and fries off the kid’s menu.
There aren’t many healthy options…
Simply order and pay online, via the QR code, and pick a time for your delivery.
We didn’t sample any of the food at any other meal times at the resort (just dinner in the evening), but they also have a lunch menu and breakfast menu.
We ate while out and about on the other days, a meal day one day from a local supermarket and a pasty the other day. There’s a Morrisons not too far away.
There’s a self-catering kitchen with cooking appliances in the lodge if you want to prepare your own meals. There’s also a BBQ in some of the lodges which can be used if the weather allows!
Or you can choose to eat at the on-site restaurant.
There’s a lot of relaxing to be done at a Forest Holiday, if you want! The hot tub was warm and ready for our arrival and we enjoyed using it every evening. The kids did too!
Although we didn’t have any, we noticed spa treatments could be booked from 1-4 hours worth of treatments directly in the lodge. You can quite literally choose to relax for the whole weekend and not leave the lodge. Just have everything brought to you… spa treatments, groceries, food…
Without leaving the resort, there are woodland walks down the most serene and picturesque pathways. It’s easy to create an atmosphere of relaxation and natural beauty on a Forest Holiday in Deerpark, Cornwall.
How to save money on a Forest Holiday
To book your own personal retreat at Forest Holidays Waterside Woodland Lodge in Deerpark, Cornwall, and for more details, visit their official website at https://www.forestholidays.co.uk.
Or check out this TopCashback link to see if there’s a cashback offer: https://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/victoriasully/forest-holidays
I was able to get cashback on our Forest Holiday weekend away and I signed up for their newsletter which gave an extra 10% off our holiday too!
If you need to keep your Forest Holiday budget-friendly, then some other money-saving tips include:
- Take your own food rather than buying on-site
- Use a local supermarket rather than the on-site store as the prices are high
- Take advantage of free walks around the surrounding forests rather than booking the paid activities
- Sign up for their mailing list to learn of the latest discount codes
- Travel out of season
We really enjoyed our weekend away at Forest Holidays in Cornwall. It was right up our street. A quiet, peaceful weekend away with nature walks and not feeling overlooked or in a crowded resort.
I’d definitely like to return one day as a couple when the kids are older, so we can really make the most of long forest walks and lounging around in the hot tub with food and drink deliveries to the lodge! Oh, and their in-lodge spa experience sounds divine!