True Londoners are creatures of habit, regarding anywhere outside of zone six as extraordinarily exotic. They may travel nationally or internationally, but many will only see the inside of their hotel room before jetting off to their 2o’clock in Paris. Perhaps this is wildly assuming, and not every Londoner has a high-powered job which requires for them to jet from city to city. However, to many Londoners, the notion of spending time in a wood cabin in the middle of a forest, with limited Internet access and next to no phone signal is a ridiculous notion.
When retreat destinations such as the Sherwood Hideaway exist, a jaunt away from society really shouldn’t be quite so out of the question. Hidden away in the depths of Nottingham’s Sherwood Forest, of Robin Hood fame, is a collection of luxury, log cabins. The idealistic Thoresby Hall Estate plays host to the holiday park, as well as offering a vast range of leisure facilities just a short bike ride away.
The lodges themselves are more luxurious than your average cabin in the woods. The VIP lodges come complete with a hot tub, and all lodges have mod cons such as central heating, comfy bedding, Molton Brown toiletries and the usual robe and slippers. Home entertainment features also come in the form of wall-mounted television with DVD player, and iPod docking station. The Wi-Fi access is surprisingly good, although when it comes to phone signal this really isn’t the place to catch-up with long distance friends and family.
The phone signal issue is understandable, as well as being easily forgiven, sometimes it really is best to be un-contactable for a few days. However, one problem which is evident at Sherwood Hideaway is that those without a car will struggle. A taxi from Newark rail station to the lodges costs around £30, which for anyone travelling by train will add an extra £60 to your break. Once at the lodges, there are no shops located within the near vicinity and so a bike ride or walk is required in order to pick up even the basics, as the onsite shop doesn’t stock anything other than kindling and wood fire.
During the day Thoresby Hall Hotel encompasses a pool, gym and spa which can be accessed by guests of the Sherwood Hideaway. There is also a fine dining restaurant located at the hotel which is a short bike ride from the lodges. The Thoresby Gallery and Roundhouse Garden Nursery are great places to browse whilst following a cycle route in and around the local area. The acclaimed Thoresby gallery exhibits the Pierrepont collection of paintings by the 6th Countess of Manvers, which are set alongside paintings by local artists.
All in all, when it comes to luxury retreats in the UK, the Sherwood Hideaway is by far one of the most relaxing and secluded. It is the perfect romantic weekend destination, or family half-term break, with plenty of outdoorsy activities to keep even the most restless children occupied. If there were to be a downside, it would be the difficulty of access for non-drivers, but when it comes to the telephone signal sometimes it’s best to switch off the smartphone, put on swimwear and slip into a hot tub overlooking the tranquil forest.
The Sherwood Hideaway offers a choice of rustic, contemporary or traditional lodges. Prices start from £379 for a weekend or from £625 for a week. Visit www.sherwoodhideaway.com or call 01623 824 594 to check availability or make a booking. Laura Collinson