If you’ve ever fancied staying in a log cabin in the forest, Sherwood Hideaway might well be the place for you. But, hey, these are no ordinary log cabins. These are chic, luxurious, designer lodges with a touch of the boutique hotel about them. Sherwood Hideaway is just off the A614, about 5 miles from the A1 in Nottinghamshire (Take a road map with you – the site’s so new it doesn’t show up on Sat Navs).
There are currently about a dozen luxury lodges at Sherwood Hideaway, all with their own parking space and outside area. To the rear of our lodge was a decking patio with a steaming hot tub and a barbeque, which overlooked a clearing in the forest inhabited by a friendly herd of rare breed cattle.
Our lodge was spotlessly clean, and had three bedrooms of modest proportions – one of them en-suite – and a good size family bathroom. The large living room and kitchen were open plan and fantastically well equipped, with a big flat-screen TV and digital tuner. We even had a dish washer – a very nice addition when you’re taking a break.
Of course, if you like your interior design at the very cutting edge you may need to sacrifice a little comfort from time to time. Square loo seats, for example, while no doubt the height of sophistication, are quite the most uncomfortable thing you are ever likely to sit on. The patio furniture too, was as awkwardly uncomfortable as it was beautifully styled and easy on the eye. Despite the state-of-the-art decor, we were a little surprised to discover that the lodge did not have internet access – even while on a romantic retreat, very few visitors would not want to get online from time to time.
Sherwood Hideaway has no leisure facilities of its own, but about a mile away to the north is the magnificent Thoresby Hall. This luxury hotel has a gym, spa and swimming pool and residents of Sherwood Hideaway are eligible for a discount when booking these. Also at Thoresby Hall you’ll find a stable courtyard with an art gallery, fine-dining restaurant, local arts and crafts, and a plant nursery. We’d recommend walking or cycling up to this complex one afternoon and talking a look around. While we were there a couple of local craftsmen were giving a fascinating demonstration of glass blowing.
Of course, this is the heart of Robin Hood country, so there’s a local heritage centre nearby where the kids can learn a little medieval history, dress up as Robin Hood, and chase each other around in the forest with big plastic swords. The local village of Edwinstowe is supposedly where Robin Hood and Maid Marion got married. This little hamlet is worth a quick visit, as is Wellow, which has a real-ale pub and its very own May Pole on the village green. In contrast, the nearby town of Ollerton is far from quaint, and probably best left out of your tour of the area.
Sherwood Hideaway is very much a work in progress. However, the owners have big plans for it. As well as building many more luxury lodges, they’ll soon be adding their own shop and children’s play area. In the meantime, there’s a comprehensive programme of tree-planting taking place, which should help to make the site feel more cosy and secluded and add a little much needed character. We enjoyed our stay at Sherwood Hideaway. It was laidback, peaceful, and let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like having a hot tub in the middle of a forest.