Whats good to do…
Review by Laura Fairbairn
The Sherwood Hideaway at Thoresby is located on the Thoresby Estate on the outskirts of Sherwood Forest.
I was delighted when asked to review this venue as I had wanted to visit Sherwood for a long time. However, I have never been to the Nottingham area before so was a little concerned about finding the Hideaway, but I had very little to worry about as the SatNav took us right there. We did miss the entrance the first time we drove past though as the signage is clearer coming from one direction than the other.
From the road, there is a nice driveway through the trees, into Sherwood Hideaway, at the end of which you come to the lodges. The reception is easy to identify as it is immediately next to the car park.
We arrived around midday as we wanted to make sure we knew where we were based before we went exploring but were told that we would not be able to check-in before 4pm. We decided to go for lunch at the Bay Tree Cafe on the Thoresby Courtyard – it was very busy, but the food was lovely and the staff were very friendly. After lunch, I couldn’t wait to see the Major Oak (the tree that Robin Hood is said to have hidden in) so we headed for Sherwood Forest Country Park which was only a five minute drive away. We popped into the visitor centre and then spent the afternoon exploring the woods which are absolutely wonderful – a must see attraction for any visitors to the area, families and couples alike.
When we returned to Sherwood Hideaway at 4pm we were greeted in a friendly manner at reception. Check-in was very straight-forward and took just minutes. We were provided with our key, the Wi-Fi password for use in the lodge and we also picked up some logs for the wood burner in the lodge. The Wi-Fi and logs are both usually £5, although at this point the Wi-Fi was just being trialled so we were not charged for this.
After being given clear instructions for finding our lodge, we jumped in the car and followed the road round. Each cabin is clearly numbered so they are all quite easy to find and each has its own parking space which is great because you don’t have to struggle with getting your bags from the car to the lodge.
We stayed in one of the new Woodland Rustic lodges (short breaks from £449, 7 nights from £749) towards the rear of the complex. The surrounding areas have not been landscaped, so if you strayed of the path it was just wet and muddy but this will be easily improved when grass has been laid, etc… We initially struggled to enter our lodge due to a very stiff lock on the main door, but once we managed it and entered our lodge – wow! The interior of the lodge is stunning! We immediately noticed that everything was completely spotless, beautifully decorated and very modern – we were instantly impressed.
We were delighted to find that we had been left a lovely bottle of wine and a box of chocolates in the living area which was a very nice touch. In addition to this, we were extremely impressed with the ‘Welcome Pack’ left in the lodge, in fact I cannot rate it highly enough. The pack didn’t just contain rules and instructions for the use of things like the hot tub or the oven; the Sherwood Hideaway team have gone to the effort of researching the local restaurants and pubs which are listed according to cuisine and price (even including the price of a pint in each place) as well as the local takeaways. I would highly recommend that people take note of this information because it is very detailed and definitely accurate – we ordered from their first choice of Chinese takeout and it was delicious and very good value! The welcome pack also contains many suggestions for days out and activities in the local area including entry and parking fees at each. The thing that impressed me the most in this pack was the list of contact details at the front – it had everything you could need including numbers for the local dentist, doctor and hospital; the thing that really stood out was that they had included information of the local vet which I thought was brilliant and very considerate! Not all places that accept animals would think to do this.
The living/dining area was very inviting and homely; there was a solid wood table and four chairs, two very comfortable sofas, a coffee table and a flat-screen TV with DVD player. Another lovely addition to this area was the woodburning stove which creates a very romantic atmosphere when lit – so cosy!
The kitchen is very modern and has everything you could need for a self-catering stay. It wasn’t just the fact that there was a toaster, kettle oven and microwave that impressed us; the cupboards are fully stocked with crockery, glassware and cooking utensils – they seemed to have thought of everything!
Both bathrooms are gorgeous – modern, functional, large and clean! The vast array of Molton Brown toiletries is an added bonus; we found everything from shower gel to toothpaste and there was even hand lotion, a sewing kit and a nail file in the bedroom!
We also found that we had been provided with very nice bath and hand towels (all embroidered with the Sherwood Hideaway logo), as well as two sets of slippers and bathrobes. The towels really were of excellent quality, my only suggestion would be that having some ‘spare’ towels in the storage cupboard would be very useful as when there is a hot tub around they get used a lot.
The two bedrooms are furnished with solid oak furniture and, in fact, this theme is continued throughout the lodge. This is perhaps where, some will think I have watched ‘ The Hotel Inspector’ too many times, but I was impressed to find that the wardrobes in both rooms were equipped with matching wooden hangers, so we had no problem when it came to storing our clothes. There is a twin room and a double bedroom with on-suite facilities. The double bedroom has a lovely looking four-poster bed that is very comfortable and was made up with crisp white cotton bedding. The downside to the four-poster bed is that it is exceptionally creaky – we kept waking up every time one of us rolled over due to the level of noise the wood made; despite this, we woke the next morning feeling quite well rested because the pillows and mattress are both of good quality.
We were exceptionally lucky to be allocated the particular lodge that we had as it was towards the back of the park and positioned to ensure maximum privacy. Our decking area (with high quality outdoor furniture) and hot tub was at the back of the cabin looking out into the forest whereas many of the lodges have this area facing other cabins; now, for some this would not be an issue at all, but others would prefer the more private and secluded feeling of just being able to relax looking out into the forest. I cannot say enough about the hot tub itself – it was amazing! It was spacious and so relaxing! There are only three controls (for temperature, lights and jets) so it is very simple to use. It was amazing to sit in there (with the water at a lovely 40 degrees) sipping champagne and looking at the moon – absolute bliss! There is just one thing I noticed that could be improved in this area; we had a small waterproof sheet positioned over a small part of the hot tub, but it would have been even better if there was the option of a parasol (as shown in one of the pictures on the website) because this would provide some extra protection in cases of extreme rain, snow or sun.
I loved it here and would definitely stay again; in fact I’ve already checked prices for later in the year.
The Sherwood Hideaway is a little hidden gem and I would rate it 4.5 out of 5 at the moment. However, with a few little tweaks (suggested in this review) it could easily achieve 5 stars.