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Relaxing retreats for UK short stays

If you are considering a UK break you will find what you are looking for in these distinct corners of our country.

Lochs and glens for a romantic getaway

For utter relaxation and to immerse yourself in some truly breath-taking scenery nothing can beat escaping to the towering mountains, mirror-like lochs, lonely glens and cascading streams of the Scottish highlands. An ideal base is Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, which holds the largest inland expanse of water in Britain. Picturesque Loch Lomond offers excellent windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and water-skiing. Back on land you can take in the amazing scenery through forest walks or coastal trails, and glimpse otters, water vole, deer and magnificent birds of prey. Strathyre Cabins sit in dramatic countryside, along the pine-fringed banks of Loch Lubnaig and are watched over by the magnificent Ben Ledi, which stands nearly 3,000 feet tall.

Spectacular loch-side locations can also be found in Argyll Forest Park, where rugged countryside meets the shores of the majestic Loch Long and Loch Goil. A good base is Argyll Cabins on the shores of Loch Long. From here you can explore the local towns and villages such as Ardgartan, Arrochar and Inverary, which are lovely spots to explore the region’s food and heritage.

Land of legends for kids big and small

If you are looking for an easily accessible location that still feels hidden away and has a host of attractions and activities, Sherwood Pine Forest Park near Nottingham has enough nearby to keep the whole family smiling. This woodland is steeped in myth and magic with countless opportunities for memorable days out to enthral even the most imaginative kids. When you have finished exploring the ancient legends of Robin Hood you can visit the area’s many grand castles, halls and historic houses, such as Nottingham and Belvoir Castle or Newstead Abbey.

Energetic families will be in their element with a range of adventure activities that include cycling the 20 mile Ancient Sherwood Route, tackling white water rapids at The National Watersports Centre and driving Mud Buggies or 4X4’s at Nottingham’s largest outdoor activity centre Adrenalin Jungle. More gentle pursuits include fishing, golf and meeting the many friendly farmyard animals at White Post Farm Centre.

If you like home comforts and to wind down in the evening, Sherwood Forest Cabins are set amongst 3,300 acres of pine forest, yet still within reach of the area’s many attractions.

A Forest for foodie lovers

Although the Wye Valley holds a deserving title as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the region, along with the neighbouring Forest of Dean, remain fairly unthought-of corners of the UK for short breaks.  The Forest of Dean will spoil you for choice for walking and cycling routes that offer breathtaking valley views and opportunities to spot wild flowers, deer and even the odd wild boar. This, coupled with an unrivalled opportunity to taste your way around the region, makes it a nature and food lover’s paradise.

Stopping for lunch is likely to be the highlight of your day and food and drink lovers will not be disappointed by the fantastic local produce available from the area’s vineyards, orchards, farms and breweries.  The forest is home to some of the most unique flavours in the UK, such as ‘Stinking Bishop Cheese’ and ‘Freeminer’ beer. Learn about locally crafted produce from family run Severn Wye & Smokery and try one or two of the 100’s of varieties of traditional perry pears and ciders from the Orchard Centre in Hartpury.  To walk or pedal your way around the region’s food and drink delights, the Forest of Dean cabins in the heart of the forest is a good spot to plan your days of decadent activity.

Northern charm for quintessential England

If you are familiar with the harsh landscape described in Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights, you may be pleased to know that whilst traces of this romantic eeriness can still be found, in contrast, the North Yorkshire Moors is home to a diverse range of colourful scenery providing the perfect base for a revitalising break. The landscape includes 44,000 hectares of heather moorland, 26 miles of beautiful coastline and woodlands bursting with colourful flora and fauna.  If you’re a fair weather seeker it’s also worth noting that it has the least rainfall and is the driest of the UK National Parks.

The Dales and Moors are dotted with picturesque villages and market towns, with delightful tearooms and country pubs. You can also head to the coast to wander through the charming red-roofed cottages of famous smugglers and spot Robin Hood’s Bay or climb the 199 steps to the top of Whitby Abbey and experience a view admired by Captain Cook as he trained for his epic adventures.

Another sight not to be missed is the North Yorkshire woodlands. The Forests of Dalby and Keldy change dramatically with the seasons, from yellows and greens in the spring to deep blues and greens in the summer, through to rich reds and golds in autumn, making this a stunning setting for an afternoon amble. You can also opt to stay in the forest at Keldy or Crompton Cabins.  No matter how short your stay in this charming part of the country, make sure you leave time for a hearty Sunday roast – you won’t find Aunt Bessie’s here.

Forest Holidays offer idyllic log cabin accommodation set in beautiful woodland and loch-side locations in Scotland, Sherwood Forest, Forest of Dean and North Yorkshire. Cabin weekend breaks, short breaks and midweek breaks are available and ideal for couples or families.

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