Shielded below a canopy of leafy boughs and protected by an army of solid trunks, forest cabins are reassuringly cosseting. Surrounded by all the sounds, smells and sensations of nature, homes hidden within woodlands also present lots of opportunities for having fun.
Whether you opt for a fantasy treehouse or an elegant timber suite, these getaways are ideal for a refreshing post-lockdown treat.
Wood Shack, Brecon Beacons
Cutting down a tree is a big responsibility, demanding we make use of this valuable natural resource. So, when Robert Penn felled an ash, he set himself a challenge for making as many things as possible from the grand tree.
He came up with 44 items, some of which decorate this wooden one-bedroom cabin, where he also wrote a book about his mission, The Man Who Made Things Out Of Trees. Set in a Welsh valley, surrounded by private native woodland, the cabin features an environmentally friendly compost toilet, kitchen, woodburner (with logs) and plenty of board games.
How: Sugar & Loaf offers a three-night stay from £156pp.
Old Mill Treehouse, Bath
Elevated on stilts and tucked into the trees, this woodland retreat blends perfectly into its natural surroundings, and looks like a setting for a Brothers Grimm fairy-tale.
The one-bedroom wooden property is comfortable, with enough amenities to please every Goldilocks in the forest. Find crisp, white linen on beds, soft rug carpets underfoot and decorative works of art on the walls. Outside, a hammock and dining table are set in a small garden, for a post-lunch laze. Although secluded, the treehouse is only a five-minute walk from one of England’s oldest pubs, The George Inn.
How: One Off Places offers stays from £160 per night, minimum stay two nights.
The Lake Cabin at Lime Wood, New Forest
Wake up on your own private island, gazing out to rippling water from a chandelier-lit double bed.
Surrounded by one of England’s oldest woodlands, this hideaway is located on the grounds of Lime Wood Hotel. Cantilevered above a miniature lake, it appears to float on water, and has a balcony with a bath for watching ducks while neck-deep in bubbles.
How: The Lake Cabin costs from £1,250 per night (excluding breakfast).
Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat, Isle of Wight
Combine the best of both worlds – forest and beach – with a stay in this palatial two-person seaside shack.
Sandwiched between the Solent and woodland, this timber rondavel features a kitchen, bathroom, wood burner and outdoor hot tub. The treehouse is part of a bigger resort with restaurants and a gym. Stroll along the shingle beach, or look for red squirrels in treetops.
How: Hoseasons offers a three-night weekend break in August for £1,035.
By The Wye Treetop Glamping, Hay-on-Wye
Bringing a safari experience to the River Wye, a collection of canvas tents are elevated above the forest floor so guests sleep in the tree canopy.
The off-grid getaways feature a kitchen with wood stove and gas hob. Energy is provided by solar power, toiletries are chemical-free and an effort has been made to minimise disruption to a woodland populated by owls, bats, badgers and otters. Enjoy long walks and river dips.
How: Welsh Rarebits Rare Hideaways offers three-night breaks from £390 (for two).
The Treehouses at Lanrick, Perthshire
Recently completed, all five self-catering treehouses at Lanrick are mighty structures, allowing guests to slip effortlessly into the rhythm of woodland life.
Flycatcher, Treecreeper, Pipit, Nuthatch and Willow Warbler are spread across land bordering Trossachs National Park, where activities include river walks, biking, picnics, salmon and trout fishing. Ideal for families, Flycatcher and Willow Warbler are linked by a rope bridge, while Treecreeper is a visual feast of upcycled furniture and fun design.
How: Quality Unearthed offers stays from £130 per night (four sharing).
Airbnb has listed its top 21 most popular properties for 2021. Top of the list was the Pigsty, a domed, woodland hideaway in Winchester with kingsize bed, roll-top bath and private veranda.
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