Karen and her family reckon that this rates as a great family holiday in the UK. So much so, in fact, they are planning to try out another one next year!
Hurrah – we’re off on holiday!
As we were embarking on a 5 hour (without breaks) journey to our destination of Keldy Forest Cabins in North Yorkshire from our Hampshire home, we set off at an organised 9.30am so that we didn’t have to miss a minute of our 4pm check in. The journey was free flowing and uneventful. There were plenty of services along the way and after a couple of stops to stretch our legs and top up fuel, we made it to Keldy in a very respectable 6.5 hours.
On approaching the small town of Pickering, which was approximately 7 miles from Keldy, we could have done with a few more of those brown tourist signs from the main road, however, our trusty sat nav guided us expertly through the beautiful little villages made up of stone houses with their neatly tended front gardens, and the winding country (un-named) roads, right to the front door of Keldy Forest Cabins.
About the place
We drove past the first cabins, which look like ski lodges and are impressive as you drive up to Reception. We were met with a friendly smile and the staff on Reception were approachable, informative and helpful. We were immediately mentioned to another member of staff who told us that we were in a cabin not far from some building work (they are building one of the tree houses that I believe are unique to Forestholidays).
I am not sure it was the best idea to give a reviewer the cabin next door to building works, but a bottle of champagne and assurances that the builders had been informed strongly not to make too much noise, put our concerned minds at rest. Other than obscuring the left side of our otherwise beautiful view, it didn’t cause us too many problems as we were out for most of the day.
We were given an information brochure, a couple of electricity cards for our stay (£5 worth is more than enough for four days at this time of year, and we were pleased to be told that the hot tub was separate) and were told that there was a member of staff available pretty much all of the time. The shop in the Reception area provided us with the basics to start our holiday; bread, milk, eggs, and orange juice for the next morning. There is also a little coffee shop and we were pleased to be told that you could buy fresh bread from 9.15am, which we would most certainly make the most of. There was a courtyard behind the Reception, with a seating area, a launderette and room housing a pool table. There was also a green with a children’s playground and also a fenced off area with two BBQ’s and some picnic tables for hire.
The site also offers a large forest to explore, organised trails, walks and bike riding. Although we didn’t take advantage of these services, they were well advertised for those who wanted to.
A tour of our holiday home
Off we went to our cabin and first impressions were excellent. We were staying in the Golden Oak cabin which boasts a hot tub on the veranda and exemplary decor. The forest surrounds the cabins, each has its own parking space and it feels quite private. We climbed the steps to the big wooden front door and walked straight into the kitchen/diner/lounge. The décor is a combination of contemporary and traditional which complements the forest setting perfectly. The kitchen comprised of cream, modern units, a cooker/oven, microwave and dishwasher. The large chunky wooden table stood in between the kitchen and lounge and was perfect for family meals.
The big picture windows from the main lounge allow an almost uninterrupted view across the forest, and the large veranda houses a wooden table and 6 chairs and best of all – the hot tub, There is also a big walk-in shower room and large twin bedroom on the ground floor, no wardrobe but plenty of shelving for clothes. The lounge is equipped with a widescreen TV and DVD, a log burner and some games.
Upstairs, there were two bedrooms, the master double with en-suite, which was rather more ‘bijoux’ than expected but still with a bath for two, gorgeous décor and luxury toiletries. Two bathrobes were hung on the back of the door and flip flops were provided, which came in handy for getting in and out of the hot tub. They do not provide a hair dryer, so I was pleased that I had taken my own. There was no wardrobe but hanging space and a shelf which really only served one person. The second bedroom, however, had a large wardrobe so that gave us – a family of 3 – plenty of storage space. Also in the second bedroom was a kind of storage ‘hole’ behind the beds, which could house suitcases and other large items should you need it.
The only problem we found was that the second bedroom upstairs was not big enough for the travel cot provided (for £5 for the 4 nights), which meant our daughter had to sleep in the downstairs bedroom. It wasn’t so much of a problem for us as our daughter is nearly 2 and a half, but this could pose a problem for a younger baby.
Day one…down to the beach
On waking in our cabin on the first day, we opened the blinds to the windows and lay in bed watching the sun shine through the trees, whilst listening to the sound of the birds being drowned out by the builders’ noisy tools – the only time of day we were really reminded that they were there.
It was a beautiful day so we drove the 45 minutes to Scarborough and spent most of our day on the beach. Scarborough is a well known seaside resort, with an eclectic mix of traditional arcades, fish and chip shops/vans, gift and rock shops, olde worlde cafes and the modern café/bars selling cappuccinos and latte, along with a smattering of the ‘noughties’ children TV character rides. Our daughter loved sitting in the boat with Iggle Piggle. After spending most of the day on the beach, we drove back via Pickering to pick up some groceries from the supermarket – another evening relaxing in the hot tub beckoned.
Day two….Yorkshire Moors here we come!
Day two was spent exploring the North Yorkshire Moors. We weren’t sure of the best way to view this beautiful countryside, so we drove via Pickering and popped into the Tourist Information Centre. The staff were very friendly and informative, and gave us a map and indicated the prettiest villages to travel through to get to Danby which apparently was a great place to stop for lunch and lots of space for children. We drove through Newton- on-Radcliffe, Cropton (which is where Keldy cabins are located) and to Rosedale, where we stopped for a cuppa in the gorgeous tea shop, which boasted homemade everything. We sat in the little courtyard and enjoyed a cup of tea and a slice of homemade lemon cake. They were even happy to make our daughter her favourite Babyccino (frothy milk to you and me). We couldn’t stop without walking past the picture perfect cottages and taking in the view
of the rolling hills over the traditional dry stone walls. Our daughter had a great conversation with the sheep in a nearby field.
Driving to the next pretty village, we drove round the perimeter of the Moors with the valleys and villages below us.. It was a beautiful sight for miles, and we stopped several times to take video footage and photographs. Mind the sheep though, there are literally hundreds.
It is certainly not a day to rush, and although you spend quite a long time in the car, it doesn’t feel like it as there is so much to see. Winding roads and pretty villages, following the dry stone walls for miles, you are never short of something to look at.
We made our way to Danby and stopped at a small green with just a bench in the middle. Whilst a pretty village, we did wonder why we had been informed that this was a great place to eat and let our toddler run free. However, we were quite hungry so sat on the bench and ate our lunch before continuing on our journey. Half an mile down the road, to what we thought would be another village, we saw the sign for the Danby National Park. We quickly
turned into the car park and then realised that this was the place we were meant to find – a massive park with trails, children’s play area and a lovely tea shop. We spent a good couple of hours there and can highly recommend it as a break from the car on this sight seeing tour of the Moors. So please, if you are reading this, and decide to take this trip – please think of us sat on the little bench in the village of Danby when you pass through to eat your lunch in the vast grounds of the Danby National Park.
After a couple of hours respite from the car, we decided to have our early evening meal in a pub near to our ‘home’. Unfortunately, and we found this to be the case in this area, pubs do not start their evening meals until 6pm. We ended up having dinner back at the log cabin as our daughter was hungry and very tired after her exciting and adventurous day and was protesting at having to wait another hour for her tea.
Day three…A splashing time in Robin Hood Bay
You can’t go to North Yorkshire without a trip to Whitby and as we discovered later in the day, Robin Hood Bay. So on Day three, we did just that. Like Scarborough, Whitby is a mix of the old and the new but more quaint. We parked and walked along the coast and then made our way to the marina
where shops and cafes lined the streets overlooking the water. We stopped for our usual coffee and homemade cake break before heading off to Robin Hood Bay for a late lunch. We parked in the car park at the top of the Bay and after taking in the breathtaking view of the sea at the top of the cliff, we walked down the gorgeous, very steep, winding, cobbled street. We past all the gorgeous shops and little lanes of houses splintering off the main road and this led us to the beautiful Bay where our daughter had a whale of a time splashing around in the rock pools. Good job we left when we did as the tide was coming in and we already couldn’t go back the way we had come in.
We then decided to find a nice pub for a late lunch, but once again realised that the pubs just don’t cater for those of us who prefer a late lunch/early tea. Not one pub or café served hot food between the times of 2pm – 6pm. This is definitely worth knowing, as we were quite frustrated when we ventured off to try and find somewhere that did. We visited three cafes,
and their lunch menu stopped at 2pm, so they were only serving light refreshments, such as cakes and coffee. As much as we love our cakes and coffee, twice in one day is even too much for us. We eventually decided to drive back to Scarborough as we remembered we had seen an ASK pizza restaurant which we KNEW would be open to provide us with, by that time, an early evening meal. Thank goodness for modern restaurants!
Heading back to our cabin for our last relaxing evening in the hot tub, we really weren’t ready to go home the next day. It was wonderful to go back to our luxury home each evening, surrounded by the forest and nature, rabbits hopping around as the sun went down. Although we didn’t see much of the Keldy staff during our stay, that was purely because we didn’t need them. We had every comfort at our disposal and the cabins were clean and well
maintained. We enjoyed ourselves so much, we are planning to visit the Cornwall site next year – this time, hopefully, without the builders for company .
Find out more about a Cabin holiday with Forest Holidays www.forestholidays.co.uk