When mummy first told me we were going to stay in the deep dark woods, I asked her if we were camping. She told me there wouldn’t be any tents and we wouldn’t be sleeping outside – so I was sad. But then she told me there was a bubble pool in the garden and that we were going cycling, so I got all excited again.
After mummy came back from London on the big train, daddy and her were running about the house packing lots of my things, but they still forgot to bring my big fire truck! Silly mummy.
It wasn’t that far away the sat nav said, but it felt like ages in the car. I think I may have fallen asleep because when I opened my eyes we were in a really, really big forest with lots of trees, and there was a wooden house in front of us.
I was soon wide awake and ran inside. There was this game on the table with little bricks and daddy said this was called scrabble and it spelt ‘welcome’. I didn’t really care because I just smashed it up and then found something called Jenga, too. It was fun throwing all of them about the big couch, but mummy looked a bit cross when she was picking it all up later.I looked around the house, mummy said it was called a Golden Oak cabin – I had my own bedroom and bathroom, which was cool! And in the living room, there was a big TV and lots of windows so we could see outside to all the trees. On our decking, I could ride my scooter up and down, but the bubble pool was covered up and daddy said we couldn’t go in it till the next day. Boo.
Apparently, it was really late and mummy and daddy wanted to have some dinner and put me to bed. It didn’t look like night-time but mummy kept telling me I had to have a bath. I didn’t want to go and put up a fight, but after a quick splash, mummy read me a story and I was quite sleepy. Although I heard a funny noise before I shut my eyes, ‘twit-to-woo, twit-to-woo’. I was a little scared, but mummy said it was just an owl outside talking to his friends.
I woke up really, really early the next morning. I think it was because I was so excited about going out to explore, but daddy and mummy were a bit grumpy and made me go back to bed. I was bored, though, so didn’t stay for long.After we had breakfast, daddy told me we could go and pick up our bikes from the hire shop. So we had to walk there from our holiday house. I could see lots of other wooden houses in the forest and daddy helped me jump over all the muddy puddles. That was fun!
When we got to the bike man called Josh, he helped pick out a special chair which was going on the back of daddy’s bike, and a cycle helmet which had flames on it. I really liked my hat. Josh was really nice and gave mummy a map to show us where to cycle to. She didn’t seem too worried because all we had to do was follow the coloured trails signposted with stumps – green and yellow.Daddy said we should go on the green trail first and we cycled right into the forest – there was no one else there. It was dark under the trees but there was lots of things to see – and mummy was happy because there were some bluebells.
Mummy asked me to look out for dens, and eventually we spotted one. We got off the bikes and collected more sticks to build it up and daddy helped me clear a doorway so that we could pretend to hide from the ‘big bad wolf’. I had a really good time building the den, and didn’t want to leave, but mummy told me we had to head back to the house to have some lunch as I was meeting a forest ranger later for some exploring.When we had finished our picnic lunch we cycled back to the Forest Retreat which has ice-creams and lollies and chocolate. But daddy said I couldn’t have one till after our bug hunt.I soon forgot about the ice-cream after we met our forest ranger, Steve. He gave me a crayon and a paper bag and we had to go into the meadow and find things: Chalk, flint, a yellow flower, a feather and five different types of bugs.I liked this game a lot and found the flower and feather myself. But I really liked searching for the bugs! Steve gave me a bug pot with a magnifying glass. Mummy, daddy and I were lifting up stumps and going around trees to see if we could find mini-beasts. We found a big beetle first, but Steve told us it was a predator and would eat all the other bugs if we put them in with him, so we had to let him go. But then we found a spider, a slug, a woodlouse and a millipede! That was awesome and they were really wriggly!Daddy then said I could have a kinder egg for being such a good explorer – and I ate it really quickly. But then I saw the playground and I wanted to go up the climbing wall and go down the slide. It was brilliant.I was getting a bit tired, but mummy said we still had to go on another bike ride and that we might find some more exciting things in the forest. This time we went on the yellow trail and there was one bit where mummy and daddy just got off the bikes and pushed them up a big hill. But after this slope, we had loads of downhill parts and it was so scary and fun all at the same time. I was screaming really loudly when the bikes were going faster and faster, but Mummy couldn’t beat us. I called her a ‘slow coach’.
We also found loads and loads of tree trunks piled up on the side of the forest. I really wanted to climb on top of them and mummy and daddy came up with me. Hooray! We went over them loads of times and I was a bit sad when we had to leave them. But daddy promised me if we cycled back to the holiday house, we could go in the bubble pool!After getting back home, I immediately took of all my clothes but mummy made me put on my swimming suit and said it was getting cold outside. I dipped my toes in the water and it was really hot! Like a bath! Mummy and daddy ‘oohed and ahhhed’ a lot especially when I pushed the buttons and big bubbles and jets came out of the sides. Mummy was lying down and I think she nearly fell asleep. I thought it was funny to splash her. Daddy told me off. So I splashed him, too.When we all got out and dried ourselves, I got all snuggly in my tracksuit bottoms and so did mummy! I was hungry now, so mummy said she would make dinner and we were having a BBQ! I helped daddy outside when he lit it and there was lots of smoke and fire. Daddy then put sausages and burgers on. It smelled scrummy and it felt like we the camping in the forest!
But I was cold, so mummy said we would have to eat inside, which I thought was a good idea. I ate all my dinner, it was delicious. Mummy and daddy ate it all up, too. They said it was all the fresh air and exercise that made them feel hungry.
I was tired now, and yawning lots. So this time, I didn’t make a fuss when mummy got me ready for bed. I can’t even remember my story or hearing the owls outside.
When we left the next morning it was raining, and mummy said we had been really lucky with the weather. I was really sad to go and wish we could have stayed longer. It was a brilliant weekend and I loved having an adventure in Blackwood Forest.
* We were invited to stay in a Golden Oak Cabin at Blackwood Forest in Hampshire by Forest Holidays and given complimentary use of the cabin for two nights, as well as the entertainment package of Sky TV and wi-fi. We paid for bike hire and The Young Explorers trip ourselves. As always, our thoughts and opinions are our own.