Whitemead Forest Park; The Girls Weekender

Friday 20th Nov 2020 |

When I think of a holiday, I generally think of a sunshine break – abroad, the sunny shores of Spain or maybe the cool vibes of the Caribbean and certainly a girls weekend is predominantly poolside cocktails and dressing for dinner, accommodation is generally a place to lay my head and take a shower – who cares? If it’s cheap, cheerful and clean, I’m in.

Cue a global pandemic and long weekends in the sun are off the menu, no more hen do’s in Marbs or boozy benders in Barcelona and staycation becomes the buzz word of the year. We all know the UK weather is unpredictable and whilst we do enjoy some fantastic sunshine during our summer months its not quite the same as jetting off to foreign shores………or is it?

The UK boasts some of the most beautiful countryside and coastline in Europe and now is the ideal time to make the most of the holiday destinations Britain has to offer. Whether you are heading for a shiny city break in an upscale hotel, or getting back to nature on a countryside camping break, there is something for every type of getaway  – even a girly weekender.

So 2020 was the year we swapped our annual trip to sunnier climes for a completely different kind of weekend away. The girls and I set off on what was possibly the wettest weekend of the year, on a road trip to the Forest of Dean. 

Whitemead Forest Park is peacefully tucked away amidst the rolling hills and tranquil woodland of the majestic Forest of Dean. The ultimate escape for couples, groups and families wishing to combine a magical setting with a truly spectacular array of facilities – perfect for doing as little or as much as you please.

Thrill-seekers will love the high-energy challenges of body zorbing, archery and fencing – to name but a few – while those hoping to simply relax enjoy a host of super-indulgent treatments in the fantastic pool and spa complex. With all-weather play areas, family entertainment and kids’ clubs, whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.

A rich cocktail of laid-back woodland walking and exhilarating outdoor pursuits, the Forest bursts with attractions, from off-roading, canoeing, kayaking and zip wires to a steam railway, caves, cruises and leisure parks. Charming villages and quaint market towns await locally, Gloucester, Symond’s Yat and the Wye Valley are easily accessible.

It may have been raining, but we had prepared like pros and who cares about the weather outside when you have your girls a plethora of wine, pizza and a beautiful lodge with every home comfort you can imagine to relax in.

Our luxury two bedroom lodge comprised of an open plan kitchen, dining room and lounge with a huge veranda boasting panoramic views of our rather spectacular forestry location. Of course, given the weather conditions we opted for indoor recreation, cue onesies and dining room disco – well, what else would four girls do on a rainy day in the woods?

We spent a cracking couple of days tucked up in our lodge, the stunning scenery, cozy accommodation and amenities at hand (a place to buy more wine) made this weekend an absolute hoot……you should try it, it might not have been Marbs but it was certainly a jovial jolly and I wouldn’t hesitate to head back to Whitemead Forest Park, even in the rain…..

Pack your bag s and plan your adventure……tell them I sent you.

Words by Joanne Brook-Smith

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