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Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Escape to the forest....

BRITAIN’S forests are among our most ancient natural resources and were historically a place to escape to when times got tough.

Once again they have become a popular haven of quiet and Forest Holidays, the UK market leader in cabin holidays, which operates entirely and exclusively within The Forestry Commission Estate, reports 2009 was a bumper year with sales up more than 15% on 2008. It expects growth to be even greater in 2010, when it will open more new sites due to consumer demand.

Antonio Betes, Forest Holidays’ marketing director, puts the surge in interest down to a variety of things:

‘Firstly the excellence of our accommodation would delight anyone,’ he says, ‘but most importantly people of all ages, and especially families, simply love the freedom to explore our beautiful natural environment. It’s a great holiday with a little bit of education thrown in for good measure by our dedicated Forest ranger team, and very green and eco-friendly into the bargain.’

For 2010 Forest Holidays will be further expanding the programme of activities, introducing geology sessions in Cornwall, fishing in Scotland, and wildlife watches across its sites. It will also be celebrating special diary dates such as National Bird Nesting Week, World Forest Day, National BBQ week, Easter, Halloween and St. Andrew’s day. New activities will include painting in the wild, canoeing, laser combat, rock climbing and forest survival.

Forest Holidays has continued to upgrade its cabin accommodation. Already both the Silver Birch and Golden Oak cabins offer high levels of luxury including a hot tub on the balcony. The operator has listened to its customers’ accommodation suggestions and new this year are one and four bedroom cabins to accommodate romantic couples, bigger families and groups of friends. This year’s most exciting accommodation innovation is the Golden Oak Plus – a sumptuous and wonderfully appointed cabin designed, built and equipped to luxury standards complete with slippers and bathrobes in the master bedroom.

Forest Holidays is always aware of the vagaries of the British climate and most cabins are equipped with large flat screen TVs and other diversions. Superior cabins add even more value by offering Wii consoles and other technological creature comforts, whilst for those who like to take their favourite creatures with them on holiday dog-friendly cabins are also available.

As Antonio Betes suggests it’s no wonder bringing our ancient woodlands up to date has proved a year-round success:

‘The combination of hi-tech luxury and elegant design sitting side-by-side with our fantastic forest legacy has proved to be a win-win vision for the UK holiday industry,’ he said. ‘Best of all as our autumn and winter bookings have proved a Forest Holiday truly is a holiday for all seasons, 365 days a year.’

Other Forest Holidays news to look out for:
· Forest of Dean opening in September 2010, the largest Forest Holidays site to date
· The Forest Holidays Membership Club, with its offer to holiday at half-price, goes from strength to strength

Eco Friendly and brilliant value for money
In the current economic climate Forest Holidays are ideal for people who wish to spend less on their holidays, not travel too far, look after the environment, and yet still experience a touch of luxury. Prices start from £215 for a 4 night mid week stay at one of the luxury 3 bedroom ‘Golden Oak’ cabins or £219 for a 3 nights weekend stay. The more simple 2 bedroom ‘Copper Beech’ cabins start from £133 and £135 respectively.
For details visit www.forestholidays.co.uk or call 0845 130 8223.

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