We operate in nine stunning locations across the UK, each set exclusively in Forestry Commission owned woodland, with many locations situated in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Our vision together with our Forestry Commission partners is to bring people and nature closer together through overnight woodland breaks, whilst ensuring the forest itself thrives at every level. Our aspiration is to bring the Forest Holidays experience to more areas of the UK and support surrounding businesses and attractions by encouraging our guests to explore the local area.
Each of our locations are set deep in woodlands, on the edge of picturesque lochs, or in bright forest meadows and remain entirely open to the public. Guests choose to stay with Forest Holidays for a peaceful getaway in a well-managed, ecologically diverse and quiet forest environment.
Our cabins are sensitively placed in amazing forests across the UK, individually designed and set in their own piece of woodland. Our model is far removed from the standard busy holiday parks, with no big car parks, no high street chains, no fences and no complexes. Nestled amongst the trees, each location has a noise curfew and a dark skies policy to protect the natural woodland setting.
To ensure we develop sustainability, we follow a rigorous pre-planning procedure which can take many years. This process involves environment, ecology and habitat studies in addition to an extensive public engagement process with the local area. In recent years we have secured planning approval for four new locations, which will be built gradually over the next few years.
Work is underway on our first Welsh location which is due to open in June 2018, with an exclusive collection of 16 cabins dotted amongst the trees in Snowdonia National Park. Our newest location is designed to compliment 85 existing camping and caravanning pitches and will bring more than half a million pounds of investment into the North Wales economy each year and generate year-round employment opportunities for the local community.
In 2016, planning approval was granted for 40 bespoke timber cabins and an improved visitor facility in the spectacular Brecon Beacons National Park. Work on this exciting new development, in partnership with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), is anticipated to begin later this year.
The Forestry Commission and Forest Holidays vision for Delamere Forest was approved earlier this year. The proposals have been refined based on engagement with local people and stakeholders over a period of nearly ten years. It is anticipated that within the next two years, 67 eco-cabins will be created in Delamere Forest broadening the experiences for visitors and also contributing valuable income to help the Forestry Commission maintain the recreational facilities for years to come.
A new Forestry Commission visitor centre with facilities better suited to meet visitors’ needs, including toilets and a café, new and improved trails, cycle paths and bridleways, as well as upgraded parking, will be created as part of the scheme.
Our latest location to be granted planning approval is in Glentress Forest in the Scottish Borders. The proposal is part of the award winning Glentress Masterplan project and plans that have been widely consulted on over the last two years.
The £11.3 million tourism development and new biking trails are a joint scheme in conjunction with our partners in Forest Enterprise Scotland and will contribute to the rural economy in Scotland, by supporting local businesses and helping to create a vibrant year-round tourist economy.
Earlier this year we held public exhibitions outlining our proposals for Mortimer Forest.
The proposals included 68 cabins and an investment of £14.5 million, which would enable the Forestry Commission to deliver long term benefits for existing forest users, wildlife and the local economy by generating a sustainable annual income.
As well as our cabins, the proposals included new public toilets, a new design for a landscaped viewpoint at High Vinnalls, upgrades to the family-friendly natural play equipment, new and improved trails and areas of ecological and habitat enhancement.
However, during our extensive research and consultation process we have encountered some challenging practical issues. As a result of these we are not in a position to bring forward a planning application for Mortimer Forest and will focus instead on our many other priorities.
We would like to acknowledge the professionalism and support we have received from local councillors and Planning officers.