Do you ever get that feeling when you look forward to something so much, and then when it's over, you get an overwhelming sense of sadness?
Well that's where I am right now.
I recently spent a long weekend at Forest Holidays, and it was honestly everything I needed and more. From start to finish, the whole trip was fantastic and I cannot wait to share my experience with all of you.
Before I jump into all the little details, please check out my highlights video below:
*Keep reading until the end, for some additional video bloopers!*
About Forest Holidays
Forest Holidays offer "cosy cabins" in eleven secluded locations around the UK. Depending on your location, you can stay deep in the woods, on the edge of a loch, or even in a bright forest meadow.
I had the pleasure of staying at Deerpark, in Cornwall - just 15 minutes away from the Cornish coast and the fishing villages of Looe and Polperro.
As someone who has lived in the Southwest for my entire life, this hidden gem was a real treat!
Now it wouldn't be a proper "Lannon holiday" without a little detour along the way. In other words, yes, we got lost.
But spirits were high and we still arrived in good time. Upon arrival, I entered the Forest Hub Reception in order to check in. Straight away, staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming.
After filling out all the relevant paperwork, a member of the Maintenance team also came to our cabin to give us a quick hot tub tutorial (including use of the hoist and health and safety procedures).
I cannot describe how excited I was at the thought of staying in an accessible lodge!
As wheelchair users, we often get used to the fact that most 'quirky' holidays aren't always accessible - however this was not the case.
The Silver Birch Wheelchair Adapted Cabin was the perfect holiday home. As seen from the floor plan below, everything I needed was situated on the ground level.
We were based in Cabin number 1, which was right at the main entrance, beside a lovely little lake.
The cabin itself had enough outdoor space for two cars, which was handy considering my sister was meeting us there. The main entrance car port was also undercover, which made unloading all of our equipment and baggage much easier, should it have been raining.
Inside the cabin, the doors to the bedroom and bathroom were wide and fully wheelchair accessible. As seen from my video, we did have to rearrange the bedroom slightly to fit in my electric profiling bed. But again, this was no issue.
The bathroom came fitted in a wet-room style (with no steps in sight!) which is always a relief. You'd be surprised at how many 'accessible' bathrooms have a small lip into the shower.
I also appreciated the lowered mirrors and toiletry shelf, which you don't see very often.
Moving onto the lounge area, it was very spacious thanks to the high-top ceiling beams. The overall atmosphere felt very homely which is something I really liked.
Situated in the living room was the sofa area, featuring a flat screen TV. This included an "entertainment package" with movies, internet access and all your favourite TV channels.
Just off from the lounge was the decking area, which was fully accessible thanks to it's sliding doors and lowered threshold.
Located here was the hot tub with hoist, as well as a fitted BBQ rack.
For me, the biggest selling point of the whole weekend was the hot tub, fitted with hoist.
It's no secret that I'm a sucker for a 38 degree heat, but this really was something else! I have never experienced inclusion like it.
The hoist was so effortless and made the whole transfer process so much more relaxing and enjoyable.
This photo is probably one of my all-time favourites, as you can see the genuine happiness on my face. I probably spent around 90% of my time in swimming trunks...
Fear not, the speedos were left at home!
Forest Holidays really do bring the whole family together. Sometimes it's good to have a little "social detox" and spend some much needed quality time with your loved ones.
Who knew I was such a soppy sod?!
I'm fully aware that I spend a lot of time on my phone - aimlessly scrolling - so it was nice to actually have limited signal / access to the 'outside world'.
This gave us the opportunity as a family to sit down, play some games and generally make some memories.
The fact that all Forest Holiday locations are pet-friendly, was a real selling point to me. A house isn't a home without a dog, so it was an extra special stay in my opinion, knowing that our furry pooches were alongside us.
Things To Do
The activities at Deerpark were limited in my opinion. But with that being said, when you have such an amazing cabin to relax in, you don't really need much else.
On Saturday morning, we did get involved in their famous 'duck race' - but unfortunately it didn't quite live up to the hype, as the woodland access around the site wasn't ideal for wheelchair users. Weather conditions also didn't help this, making areas more muddy and difficult to explore.
Other activities available on site included cycle hire, archery and 'Forest Ranger Adventures'. But to be honest, I was just happy to chill in the hot tub!
The nice thing about Cornwall is that you're never too far away from a sea view, so we made our way into Looe on one of our days, via a short drive.
The food at Deerpark was great - I certainly had no complaints there!
In particular, I LOVED the fact you could order meals directly to your cabin. Maybe that's just the anti-social in me, but surely that's what holiday's are for. Pure relaxation, with minimal effort.
One night we ordered in a selection of pizza's and curries, topped off by a chocolate fondue.
We also explored other food options available in the Forest Hub, such as their Cornish breakfast and classic evening meals.
In all honesty, I am so grateful for this trip. I never knew how much I need an accessible cabin in my life - and I would happily retire at Deerpark right now.
The hot tub was a personal highlight - making memories I will never forget.
I would highly recommend a Forest Holiday mini break to any of my friends / followers.
The accessible Silver Birch Cabin was everything you could ever dream of. I would definitely look to go back in the warmer months and do it all over again.
Even if you're an able-bodied muggle, you should definitely check out one of their treehouse's. The whole place is just pretty damn awesome!
I would just like to say a massive thank you to Forest Holidays for gifting my stay at Deerpark. As always, my views and opinions are entirely my own.
Have you stayed at one of the Forest Holiday locations before? If so, let me know!
Now I couldn't end this post without one final laugh... so here are some video bloopers from the weekend - enjoy!
*NEW for 2020* - Be sure to check out their latest woodland escape at Delamere Forest, in Cheshire.