First child-free break at Forest Holidays

In this post, I review Forest Holidays Sherwood Forest and discuss my feelings about going away for the first time without Noah. 

Life is changing a little in our household. After five years entirely single, I’ve finally met someone who enriches our lives, who is supportive and loving. His name is Dom and we have been dating for about nine months.

Esther, Noah and Dom

Dating for the first time as a single parent is quite a contrast from the pre-baby days. Spontaneity has gone right out the window, little pockets of romantic moments are interspersed by the eternal demands and duties of motherhood… picture me at 4am, the morning of one of our very first overnight visits, scrubbing wee off Noah’s mattress. Yep, I bet that looked sexy!

It’s not always easy for single parents to take time out for themselves, after all, parenting is a 24 hour job. For someone on their own, finding the time, childcare or even remembering to do it can be a challenge with the never ending to do list lurking around. Outside of work, I’ve not had very much time away from Noah, the odd night here and there but nothing significant. We spend a lot of time together, admittedly to the point where I am probably a bit too reliant on Noah’s company.

So when Dom suggested that we have a break away in a cabin, as well as feeling excited at the prospect, I also questioned myself, really? Could I? The idea of having three nights of adult-only time had become a distant memory.

But yes, after arranging for my parents to look after Noah for the weekend, it was time to taste freedom at Forest Holidays!


I have lots of great things to say about our accommodation, but admittedly getting there was not so straight forward. Booking the holiday via the Forest Holidays website was not as simple as it could have been, with the site’s usability being its downfall. Basic features, like the ability to remove “extras” from your shopping basket were non existent. Likewise, at the Sherwood Forest resort, signage was not optimised, resulting in us driving around in circles and then guessing where to go. This was not the stressful start to the holiday that we’d aimed for.

Couples hammock at the Golden Oak Hideaway at Forest Holidays

Once we stepped into our cabin, the Golden Oak Hideaway, designed with couples in mind, it was easy to forget the problems we’d had in reaching the place. The cabin was cosy and comfortable, with a hot tub, log fire and couple’s hammock. We were thrilled with some of the little gestures that we found around the cabin. Champagne, popcorn and some beautifully scented products from Heyland and Whittle to name a few.

Heyland and Whittle Shower gel.
A full bottle of luxurious body wash was included along with Heyland and Whittle soaps and bath oils.

The most impressive feature of the cabin had to be this grand sunken bathtub that I think you could fit a whole family in!

Bath tub in the Golden oak hideaway at Forest Holidays.

That evening I felt like a kid in a candy shop, trying out all the features of the cabin. It was difficult to stay still. We found that we could order food straight to our cabin (although there was a full kitchen with a massive fridge freezer) through the TV. There was also a good selection of films to watch, although we had seen many of them before.

Despite my constant fidgeting, it was really nice to settle down in the hot tub at dusk. We had an eerily beautiful view of the forest’s branches against the ash sky.


No alarms, just quiet. I could sleep in, but no… body clock has other ideas. After being conditioned for many years to deal with early mornings, I found myself absolutely wide awake before 7am. I’ve got to say it was bliss getting ready without hearing the grating requests of “Mummy” every twenty seconds. I also found time to relax outside on the hammock.

Esther relaxes in the hammock at the Golden Oak Hideaway at Forest Holidays.

Once we were both ready, we ventured to the Forest Retreat for breakfast, which by this point had become lunch. The Forest Retreat is a cafe/reception/shop. It was nice enough but we both agreed that it would have been useful to have a couple of different sorts of restaurants on the Forest Holidays site to visit in the evenings. Yes, dinner available at the Retreat but it felt too casual for evening meals on a romantic break.

We’d planned to take a walk after eating, but changed our minds as the sun was burning fiercely. We retreated back to our hideaway. I fought off the urge to think about my to-do list (it seems it follows me everywhere), instead spending time with Dom treating ourselves to beers in the tub, napping when we wanted and watching movies.

Popcorn in the Golden Oak Hideaway at Forest Holidays.
One of the treats we found waiting for us! To make movie night special! 🙂

Indulgence was at its height on Sunday morning when we tried out an in-cabin spa treatment. We both opted for full-body massages. I had not realised how much I needed this! After years of carrying Noah and equipment at work, I’ve developed so much tension in my shoulders, back and neck. The ladies who visited to carry out the treatment were lovely and chatty.

Our afternoon was much of the same as Saturday but I will never forget the fairy tale image of us in the late afternoon fishing flies out of the hot tub after we forgot to replace the cover.


The time had come to check-out of the Hideaway. I didn’t want to leave the tranquility but I was also really looking forward to seeing Noah again.

Before we drove home, we finally went for that walk. Only a few minutes away is Sherwood Pines, a country park that features bike trails, walks, playgrounds, Go Ape and a cafe. We got a bit lost and then wound up pulling faces in front of curious tree sculptures.

Esther and Dom make funny faces in front of Tree Sculpture at Sherwood Pines.


The Golden Oak Hideaway at Forest Holidays is ideal for couples wanting to get away from it all, laze away and who want the least contact with other humans as possible. Just don’t expect there to be a lot in terms of restaurants on site. It’s a peaceful base for exploring Sherwood Forest and nearby Nottingham.

As for it being my first break away without Noah, I really enjoyed being able to recharge. Yes, I did miss him but I called him every day. I’d advise anyone in my position to have at least a couple of nights away. It takes a while for your mind and body to switch off from the usual routine and fully relax.

Book your Forest Holidays break on their website.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds lovely! Sherwood Forest isn’t far from us and I’ve always fancied trying a Forest Holiday. As for a bit of you time, it’s definitely important to have a bit of time for you to recharge. Jemma x

  2. I can relate to the cabin! I own a log home and it is very serene, peaceful, and helps the yogi inside me awaken each and everyday.

    Glad you enjoyed and were able to relax! Do give your little one a big hug!

    Blessings from Seattle,

    Ann Marie Ruby |

    1. Wow! I would love to live in a log home! ?

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