We all feel the need to escape the pressure of modern living and spend more quality time with our children. After hours spent in traffic jams or dashing from pillar to post, it's time to slow down, turn off the screens and escape to the natural world of the forest this half term, making some fabulous family memories at the same time.
There's still a chill in the air during February, but the first hints of spring will be starting to show. The days are getting longer and the woodland is starting to fill with bird song, as the birds prepare for the coming season of nest building.
There's a huge variety of birds at our locations - the heron, little egret and siskin at Deerpark, the treecreeper and nuthatch at Thorpe Forest, or the hooded crow and the majestic golden eagle at Ardgartan Argyll, to name just a few, so don't forget your binoculars! You'll find posters in the Forest Retreat at every location, detailing the birds you can see out in the forest.
Eurasian siskin bird
Bird spotting can be a little more taxing for the more restless and younger children, but there are still plenty of ways to introduce them to our feathered friends. Pop down to the Forest Retreat, and there's a choice of activities for little hands. Make your own bird box or feeding station and you can take a small piece of your holiday home with you, putting your newly acquired ranger skills to use discovering the wildlife in your own garden.
If you want to find out more about the birds, beasts and plants around you, have a chat with the Forest Ranger. Our on-location wildlife experts are always happy to share the secrets of the forest. For more serious adventurers, try one of the activities led by the Forest Ranger. You can learn survival skills, wander the lesser-known woodland paths and even stalk through the forest at night with night vision equipment.
If it's peace and quiet you need, then the forest is the place to find it. Try our luxury hot tub cabins at Keldy, hidden beneath the trees on the edge of the North York Moors. Or stay at the Forest of Dean, where you can up the pace with a canoe trip down the River Wye. Or how about telling the children that you are staying in Sherwood Forest, on a Robin Hood adventure!
For mini adventurers looking for a little more activity, the woodland is the perfect place for imaginations to run wild. Build a den, go bug hunting, or play hide and seek. Get out a little further and enjoy the fresh cool air on a family bike ride, making sure to stop off at a nearby pub for lunch.
Family time exploring Keldy Forest
Enjoying nature doesn't need to mean leaving modern life behind! Our cabins are extremely comfortable and you can even choose to have your own private outdoor hot tub. After the day's activities, put some logs on the wood burner and play a board game or two, or get the popcorn ready and put your feet up for a cosy family movie night. And, once the children are fast asleep in bed, you can enjoy the peace of the forest at night as you sit out in your hot tub, gazing at the stars.
With more of us looking forward to shutting off our screens and getting closer to nature, now's the time to book your Forest Holiday. Cabins are selling fast for half term – make sure you don't miss out!
What's your perfect half term adventure? Let us know in the comments below!