Life • December 17, 2015

A Trip to Darwin Forest

A couple of weekends ago we picked up Mads from school and headed off on the couple of hour journey to the Peak District for a short break in a beautiful place called Darwin Forest. The trip had been booked for a fair few weeks, but in the end turned out to be perfect timing as our kitchen was in the process of being renovated and it meant that the whole house was in a state of mayhem. We were all super excited about going away together and staying in a cosy little lodge for two nights and Mads and LL didn’t sleep the whole car journey, despite us getting stuck in Friday night traffic.

Darwin Forest is set in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside and is considered one of the UK’s best holiday parks. It provides lots of different types of accommodation, plus lots of amazing facilities, including one of the best soft play centres we have ever been to, a swimming pool, gym and on site pub. We were staying in one of the most stunning lodges, their high end exclusive development called The Meadow. Made up of just three lodges, ranging from 2-3 bed, our home for the weekend was the utterly gorgeous ‘The Horizon.’ It was spotlessly clean, with tasteful and cool styling and design, plus with the absolutely brilliant bonus of having a hot tub on the terrace.


Our lodge, The Horizon was the last of the three exclusive lodges on The Meadow development. It was completely secluded, with miles of glorious countryside on one side of us.


The girls room. We pushed the beds together as they love to sleep in the same bed.



Our room was beautiful, with luxury fittings and lots of wood.


There was this amazing bath in the girls ensuite and a shower in ours. They were in their element splashing around.


Snuggling the next morning and watching the iPad. I loved the way the lodge was styled, it looked really modern and stylish.


The light poured in the next morning, such a beautiful setting to wake up in.


On the Saturday we woke up and decided as the weather was horrible to just stay on site as there literally was so much to do.  Darwin-Forest_9

We headed off to the on site soft play Little Monkeys which was one of the best I had ever been in, in fact I think it was the best. There was so much for them to do that we ended up staying hours. (of course I didn’t take any photos in there as there were lots of other children about) We also had lunch there as part of the Explorers cafe and it was really delicious, normally soft play food is a bit dubious but it was really tasty.


Walking home after a busy morning playing! I love this photo and the way they are holding hands. There are so many different places to walk in Darwin Forest, but as the weather was awful we didn’t venture far off the beaten track.


One of the biggest highlights of our lodge was that it had a hot tub on the terrace. Of course even though it was chucking it down with rain, my crazy lot decided they just had to have a dip.


They said it was lovely and warm and they stayed in there ages. Unfortunately it wasn’t so warm for those pregnant people who were designated to the sidelines taking photos!


Her hair is so long when it isn’t all curly!


After our dip in the hot tub we went to the on site swimming pool which was great fun, before coming home and having a bath before going out to dinner to the on site restaurant ‘The Foresters’. It was really lovely, the girls had pizza, and Mr E and I had a burger. The food was really tasty and the service really good.


The next morning. Four going on fourteen.


We awoke to awful weather again but decided to make the most of it by going to look at the Christmas markets at Chatsworth House. But not before taking one last photo on our lodges terrace.


I am not sure why but I really love this photo of myself and my ladies. I think I am going to get it framed.


We have had so many people ask me where their Christmas jumpers are from. To be fair they are super cute, with a reindeer on the front and Oh Deer! on the back. They are from NextDarwin-Forest_17

The weather really was dreadful by the time we arrived at Chatsworth House, but the Christmas markets looked amazing. I only wish it was a bit nicer to enjoy it more. I hope we can go back one day as I would have loved to have explored the house and grounds further. The weather didn’t stop us getting some warm churros to share though.


I love this photo of her. At very soon to be five it is very hard to get natural smiles from her, if you ask her to smile she pulls some very odd faces, so I love that I caught her unawares. The chocolate sauce around her mouth just makes it more authentic!


Someone enjoyed their first taste of churros!



We unfortunately didn’t stay long at the Christmas markets, before we decided enough was enough and to make the two hour journey home as the weather was getting worse. We had such a lovely time at Darwin Forest- the lodges were absolutely beautiful and it was so nice just not doing much bar snuggling up together in the warm. There are so many fantastic facilities, even in the wet, I would love to go back in the spring or summer to really take advantage of the lovely countryside.

Sometimes you just need a quiet weekend, whether it is at home or in a home away from home. As our kitchen was being done at this stage, it was lovely to get away from the chaos and spend some quality time together away from the mess. As much as I adore being at home, I will never tire of having adventures and travelling with my little family, whether in the UK or abroad. I love that I have passed my love of travel down to my babies.


(You can also see a bit more of Darwin Forest and our gorgeous lodge at the end of this video!)



NB. Thanks to Darwin Forest for inviting us to stay in their beautiful lodge. All extra costs were paid by us and all opinions are entirely my own. 

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