A weekend at Darwin Forest in the Peak District
The very definition of staycation means staying close to home rather than going far away and you don’t get much closer to home than this. We recently visited Darwin Forest – literally just five minutes’ drive from my parents house – to stay in one of their luxury cabins for the weekend.
My mum and dad had treated the whole family for this one – thanks M and D! – and so there were six of us staying in one of their new Glade lodges – with a hot tub! The location is (as the name suggests) in a forest and once you’re there, you could be a million miles away from home. There was a distinctly Scandinavian feel about the place which I loved, especially as the weather was so cold and frosty.
The lodge itself was beautiful inside with exposed beams in the open plan living / dining area / kitchen and an island with a breakfast bar. The bedrooms were also perfect with flatscreen TVs in each one and a large bath in the master bedroom (big enough for two!) with a TV in the bathroom. The finish was really high-spec and kind of modern-70s Scandinavian. There was also a dressing area leading to the en-suite bathroom in each bedroom, with a mirror which had lightbulbs around it.
Outside was a decking area with sun beds which would be lovely in summer, and – in my opinion, the best feature! – the hot tub. The hot tub was a really welcome addition to the lodge and, even though it was freezing cold outside, we spent hours warming up in it. This trip has given me some great ideas for our home as we’re in the middle of doing some improvements. Since the trip, I’ve been thinking of getting a hot tub, but I’ll need something like the Futurewood Composite Timber decking areas to put it. Top tip – if it’s cold outside, keep your woolly hat on in the hot tub, it keeps you super warm and cosy!
Things to do
Darwin Forest is sort of like a smaller version of Center Parcs so there is a swimming pool, gym and sauna on site as well as a restaurant. We didn’t try out the restaurant but we did go swimming. The pool was quite small and quiet so it was great for lane swimming or just relaxing.
We took it pretty easy on this break but my brother organised a five mile walk from Darwin Forest to Beeley. While I love a walk, we were unsure of the route and most of it was very boggy or along country roads where cars were driving, so it was pretty rough going! There were some beautiful views though and the weather stayed fine. We arrived at our destination The Devonshire Arms more than ready for a drink and we cheated by getting a taxi back to the lodge!
On the Sunday we decided to do orienteering on the park. There is a map available on reception and we decided to work together to complete the course. I actually really loved it, we ended up walking quite far, getting some good pics for the gram, and you can’t beat the satisfaction of finding those points!
All in all, this was a wonderful relaxing weekend in the countryside and I can’t wait for the next one.
Where’s your favourite place for a staycation? Let me know in the comments!