I love the reds, golds and oranges of autumn. The idea of spending the October holidays in a log cabin in a Scottish forest was truly tempting so Tots2Travel went down to the woods on a three night stay in Strathyre on the banks of Loch Lubnaig with Forest Holidays.
CHECK IN – Check in is from 4pm onwards. In the weeks building up to a Forest Holiday guests receive regular emails about what’s available onsite so you can book activities in advance, book extras such as towels, travel cots, wifi access, hampers and robe/slippers, and complete a preregistration form to speed up check in when you arrive. As a guest I prefer when fundamental things like wifi, towels and travel cots are included in the price so we took our cot with us. But I appreciated the reminder email of what to pack – hairdryer, torches etc. Check in takes place within the ‘Forest Retreat’ which is the main hub, shop and dining area. It was swift and we were soon in our cabin.
THE CABIN – Cabin is a huge understatement. Our Silver Birch accommodation was a smart two bedroom house in the forest with large panoramic windows, an open plan kitchen/diner/lounge, a hot tub on the decking and modern interiors. Golden Oak cabins have a hammock and hot tub on the decking, a sunken bath for two and a wood burning stove, whilst the Copper Beech cabins are quality accommodation without the extras. If you wish to book a particular cabin, perhaps one looking over the loch, or a lodge adjacent to a friend’s one, you can pay extra to secure the location you desire.
The cabins are well placed so guests aren’t overlooking each other and I felt surrounded by greenery which I love. The highlight of the accommodation was undoubtedly the hot tub which we used every day. The kids absolutely adored it though we were careful not to poach them. Each time we went into the tub the Octonaut toys had to accompany us – not very romantic but great fun. Kwazi had a great time.
DINING – The kitchen had enough kit for proper family cooking. At the Forest Retreat you can preorder fresh produce, such as crusty bread or a range of hampers. The retreat is also home to the site’s shop so you can buy any additional produce you require for self-catering i.e. we forgot salt. If you want a night off cooking visitors can dine informally throughout the day with last orders around 7pm, and the retreat is a good coffee stop throughout the day.
ACTIVITIES – From a playground to segway tours, canoeing and archery there is a range of outdoor activities to appeal to different ages and abilities. We booked the Mini Ranger Experience which is £10 per child and free for accompanying adults. At 10am we met Jack, the forest ranger who, within a few feet of our cabins, showed us sorrel, pine, dandelions, rosehip and nettles, explaining their medicinal qualities and telling the kids to put rosehips seeds down their parents’ necks as it’s the source of itching powder apparently (he’s only kidding folks). We also tasted leaves and herbs. We made arrows out of rushes, made bark scratchings on tree trunks, played tunes on blades of grass (Mr Husband regressed significantly at this point) and then walked back to the Forest Retreat where we did some crafts (making little owls and hedgehogs), viewed wild mountain goats with binoculars and the youngsters received their mini ranger certificates. All in all a busy morning.
LOCATION – Forest Holidays sites are all on Forestry Commission land working in collaboration with them, therefore there are ample forest walks, cycling tracks, wildlife and nature to enjoy. In the heart of the Trossachs , Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine are on your doorstep, the cute town of Callander is nearby for little shops and provisions, Stirling, its Wallace monument and castle, are a short drive away and there is an endless list of things to do. We opted to have a pretty spectacular day out at Blair Drummond Safari Park and sailed on the jawdroppingly picturesque Loch Katrine on the steam ship Sir Walter Scott. Considering how close we were to the nation’s major cities this was a true escape to the gentler wilds of Scotland.
Check prices and availability here. If you like what you read then don’t miss a post, enter your email address in the ‘Follow’ box then click ‘Follow’ or join the conversation on Facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram at Tots2Travel. For any queries or opportunities please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All photos copyright of Tots2Travel. Stays at Forest Holidays Strathyre are booked on a three day basis (Friday-Monday) or for a week’s duration. Tots2Travel received a complimentary three night stay with towels, robes/slippers and in-cabin entertainment package including wifi. Mr Toddler loved the hot tub and will no doubt look for one in every site we now visit.