As we plunge into winter, what better way to bid farewell to the summer than with a forest adventure?
A holiday for all seasons the luxe cabins in the paradise of Cropton Forest, North Yorkshire are the perfect setting for adventures, exploring or simply relaxing.
Our taxi turned into the signposted lane that led directly into the thick of Cropton Forest and drew up alongside the reception area which is a converted stone farmhouse. We unloaded our bags and the taxi disappeared leaving us in the silence. It was late in the day and turning dark. The reception staff quickly put us at ease. We were ravenous and so ordered some of the rather delicious sounding pizzas which would be delivered straight to our cabin.
Armed with our keys we were directed the short distance over the site to our ‘Golden Oak’ cabin. On entry, the space was big, open plan and luxurious. This was more like an Alpine holiday house transported to North Yorkshire. There were 2 bathrooms, flat screen TV (from which you can order pizza or book spa treatments all in the comfort of your cabin!), a full kitchen and dining area plus a cavernous main living area with a massive and very sumptuous L-shaped corner couch. The main wall at the back of the house was entirely glass and looked out into the large veranda and forest floor beyond. This was our own luxury getaway deep in the woods.
The view was simply stunning. The sun was low and its final rays of the day were streaming through the forest canopy. Our eyes then struck upon another uplifting site; the rather generously sized hot tub outside on our veranda.
Now of course we could have shown proper restraint and not just rushed out there as soon as we could but we were out there like a shot. Yes I’ve been a bit sniffy myself about the hot tub concept but it’s amazing how quickly you warm to them when offered the chance. So there we were with a glass of Prosecco toasting ourselves on our good fortune. This was a large and roomy tub made for four and really deep. As we were to find out throughout our stay, after a hard day’s trekking in the woods, submerging yourself in a pool of warm bubbles has a surprising revitalising effect.
After drying off and donning housecoats we heard a knock. Pizza time. The pizzas went down well. They were not quite your wood fired traditional pizza, but way above standard Supermarket fayre. It was warm enough outside to eat on the veranda looking into the dark of the forest, with of course the remains of our bottle of fizz.
Now I’d recently been camping, well glamping really, in a Bell Tent on the banks of Lake Windermere and discovered that life under canvas wasn’t for me. I love the great outdoors and staying within it sounds a great idea but I need modernity and all it gives too. Things such as toilets and hot and cold running water are basics and now the minimum baseline for any future trip. So if I ever get a silly idea about stripping things back to basics again, I will remind myself what living without a toilet or a water supply is actually like in reality.
The Forest Holiday cabins are much more to my liking. This is unabashed luxury where you can feel cosseted and pampered even though you are right in the heart of the forest. So if you are tired after your latest adventure in the wilds you come back to the warm glow of modern conveniences in a bright and airy space. It’s all very slick and modern with lots of high ceilings and satisfying angles. But as it’s made mainly of wood there’s a warmth that tempers the minimalism. The glass wall at the back was a glorious touch giving you a whole framed view of the forest outside.
The site has a well stocked shop, with food (great bacon and sausages), a selection of wine and ales and other things you might need. You can also eat in the café space if you like (there is a great outdoor terrace there), get advice on your day’s activities, make phone calls (there is a welcome lack of reception down at the cabins themselves, hire bikes. The reception also acts as a meeting place for any activities you wish to book on your trip.
There’s loads of exploring to be done in the locality, but Cropton is also a great base for trips further afield close to the likes of Fountains Abbey, Whitby, Scarborough and the North York Moors.
The balance between the rugged outdoors and the sumptuous luxury of the cabins is what makes Forest Holidays such an exciting stay. When you’re sipping a glass of wine early evening immersed in your hot tub with the living forest as your backdrop you can’t help but feel rejuvenated. It’s a great lift to the spirit.
For more information go to the Forest Holidays website
words Lee Taylor