Shh – we’re going to let you into a little secret. There’s a fabulous time of the year ahead – a time of calm, of laughter, of family and friends – perfect for long walks in the crisp winter air, for cycling down steep hills, the wind whistling through your hair, for huddling around the fire with mince pies and red wine – and it’s called Twixmas.
You may already be aware of Twixmas – the week betwixt Christmas and New Year. It’s the time when the shopping is over, and you can concentrate on the real spirit of the season – quality time with the people you love. But why stay at home, when you can make this Twixmas into a real holiday experience?
Twixmas in the forest is a truly magical time and the chance to bring the extended family together in our spacious luxury cabins. Invite grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts and friends – whoever makes your Christmas-time special. Each cabin has a real Christmas tree, complete with lights and a natural decoration crafting kit. Light the cosy log-burner, pour out the mulled wine and settle in for some toasted marshmallows and a Christmas tale.
Enjoy winter walking
Twixmas is the perfect time to join in with The Festival of Winter Walks. The Festival usually runs from Christmas time to the beginning of January. To find a group walk nearby, just sign up.
For an easy family-friendly walk follow one of our self-led winter trails in the forests around our locations. Just ask for details at the Forest Retreat or pre-book online.
Walking is a great way to spend time together and see some incredibly beautiful scenery, but the biggest benefit of all? You’ll have started the New Year fitter and maybe found a new resolution too – to walk more throughout the year.
Get your skates on
Are you ready for some winter fun? Pull on your gloves and take the children by the hand as you all try ice skating at one of the many open-air rinks across the UK. Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland includes a market square full of festive stalls, ice rink and bars, and is open through the Twixmas week. You can enjoy a day out exploring the town, before returning to your Sherwood Forest cabin for a family film night.
Winchester Cathedral, near to Blackwood Forest, has a particularly beautiful ice rink that now has a clear roof and open-air sides. You can enjoy the fresh air without worrying about being rained on. After all that balancing, you’ll feel you’ve earned your mug of hot chocolate, liberally sprinkled with marshmallows, and a festive mince pie.
Go for a cycle ride
What better way to get some fresh air into you than on a cycle ride. The forest is the perfect place for children to try out their new wheels, if they got bikes for Christmas. There are plenty of routes through the forests around the UK for cautious riders and families, and we offer cycle hire on-location if you need it. More experienced riders might want to get the adrenaline pumping by trying a spot of mountain biking this Twixmas. There are trails suitable for all levels of experience, and local sites like this one in the Forest of Dean, that help you find the best routes to try.
Enjoy some Christmas spirit
Christmas Day might be finished, but the festive spirit is still going strong across the country. Just a short distance from our Deerpark location, this year the Eden Project will be hosting a Christmas in Cornwall winter festival. It’s worth the drive from your cabin at Strathyre to Edinburgh, for the Christmas market and fair, which remains open into January, and smaller children will love the Christmas Tree Maze, leading to the Elves workshop.
Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to the panto – oh no it wouldn’t! If you couldn’t make it in the busy run up to Christmas, Twixmas is the ideal time. There’s a theatre near to each of our forest locations, so you’ve plenty of choice. Visit Theatre Royal near Thorpe Forest, Stephen Joseph Theatre if you're staying at Keldy or Cropton in North Yorkshire, or SEC in Glasgow if you're staying at Ardgartan Argyll, to name just a few.
Family fun and games
One thing we all plan to do during Twixmas is spend some family time playing board games, completing jigsaws and creating artistic masterpieces – the hallmark of a traditional holiday. After an active day exploring the wildlife with the Forest Ranger, gather round and enjoy playing with your Christmas presents. Now’s the time to open the box of chocolates and play some carols or, perhaps, a Christmas film.
Once the children are snuggled up in their bed, it’s time for the parents to relax. You’ll have the log burner to keep things cosy, a hot tub to treat yourself and plenty of time to concentrate on each other.
All together for Twixmas
We make sure that Christmas - and Twixmas - in the forest is a magical time for the whole family or for groups of friends, with plenty to do. Follow our winter trail, answering all the clues to claim your prize, get the children pottery painting while you enjoy a mince pie in the Forest Retreat and stop by the bar for a glass of prosecco and our festive quiz.
You’ll be able to get on with the business of Christmas, knowing there’s a period of calm and family time all ready and waiting. Happy Twixmas!