5 Best Woodland Retreats

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As everyone has spent 2020 stuck inside four walls, a woodland retreat can be the perfect way to reconnect with nature. There are immeasurable benefits to spending a long time out in the wilderness – waking up to the world’s natural alarm clock, watching the sun rise over the horizon, or enjoying a hearty breakfast with your partner amongst the flowers. Woodland spaces are brimming with beauty, and your senses are titillated by the immersive sounds of wildlife, the light peeking through your cabin window, and the smell of rich pine in the air.  

There is nothing more relaxing than staying in a woodland location for a long weekend. Among the trees you feel so secluded, with a whole chunk of vast countryside planes to explore at your doorstep. Once you're back from exploring, there’s nothing better than having somewhere comfortable and welcoming, to cosy up in with good food and home comforts!

For those seeking the ultimate escape to nature, in private, wholly unique accommodation, we’ve compiled a list of Host Unusual’s best woodland retreats! Summer is fast approaching, and they’ve got everything from quirky cottages and riverbed lodges, to treehouses and towers! Read on to find your next staycation sanctuary.

Tinkers Treehouse

In the East Sussex village of Ticehurst, on Tinkers Lane, lies Tinkers Treehouse. A private accommodation, set within five acres of woodland landscapes and designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), it is full of wildlife and fantastic views as far as the eye can see. The area was designated an AONB for its’ quiet lanes, ancient woodlands, distinctive villages, flower-filled hay meadows, sweeping downs, wild moors and more – making it a truly one-of-a-kind woodland retreat. What better way to escape from the frantic hustle and bustle of daily life?

After gently rising to the sound of birdsongs, followed by a leisurely day exploring the area, you can return back to the woodchip path that takes you to your beautifully crafted holiday home. You can curl up and look out across your own meadow, with a possibility of spotting a few resident deer! The next morning, wake up with the scent of nature and fresh country air, ready to repeat.

Tinkers Treehouse is also home to the Bewl Water Reservoir, and a nearby golf club. You can also arrange some adrenaline-fuelled activities deep in the heart of the woodland, and slightly further is the village of Ticehurst, with an award-winning pub and bakery. For those in desperate need of a woodland retreat, you won't be able to resist the soothing country charms of this bespoke-crafted treehouse!

You can book Tinkers Treehouse, here.

The White Tower

Situated in Perthshire, Scotland, The White Tower has been nicknamed the “ultimate Scottish retreat”. A historic, five-star tower, surrounded by breathtaking views of the Scottish highlands, this getaway promises to make you feel like a monarch. With eight acres of grounds surrounding the tower, including hills and forest, it is perfect for exploring at your own leisure, and with not another person in sight, the privacy is unmatched, making it the perfect woodland retreat.

Built in 1306, the tower formerly served as the lookout tower for nearby Taymouth Castle, which you'll spy in the valley below. Once the home of the Marquis of Breadalbone, Taymouth Castle played host to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1842, sparking the young queen's love affair with the Scottish Highlands. Today, the tower has been painstakingly restored by local architect Eric McKenzie Strickland and his wife, Naomi – all so you, too, can be smitten by this beautiful home and location. Its former role as a lookout tower is surely what makes The White Tower so unique today. With an unbeatable vantage point above the valley of the River Tay, indulge in breath-taking, 360° views from the privacy of your rooftop patio. There's the magnificent castle itself to marvel at, as well as the tranquil Loch Tay to the west and dramatic mountains to the north – a photographer's dream all year round!

It was also recently featured on BBC’s ‘Gone Fishing’, and was described as perfect for couples or small groups to step away from the madness of life.  

You can book The White Tower, here.

Rockhouse Retreat

Situated on the banks of Honey Brook, with three acres of private Worcestershire woodland, the Rockhouse Retreat is the UK’s first contemporary rock house – a house carved into the side of a rock. It was hand sculpted over 700 years ago, with the original pick axe marks still visible. It lay barren from 1960 to 2015, when Angelo Mastropietro restored it, during which time it was featured on BBC’s Grand Designs!  

For those looking for an extra unique feature to add to their woodland experience, the Rockhouse Retreat offers tranquility and seclusion from modern life. Perfect for couples to relax and take in the earthy surroundings. It blends 300-year old original features, with vaulted ceilings, ornamental hooks and an inglenook fireplace – with modern comforts, creating a truly magnificent, romantic woodland escape. Nearby is the Wyre Forest, the West Midlands Safari Park and a range of historical homes and gardens.

You can book the Rockhouse Retreat, here.

RiverBeds Lodges

Nestled amongst the soothing woodland in the Scottish Highlands, the RiverBeds Lodges are cabin experiences alongside local streams that lead to the glistening Loche Linhe in the distance. Perfect for couples seeking both relaxation and adventure, you’ll be staying right at the entrance to the spectacular Glencoe Valley, which is known as the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’.

You approach your RiverBeds Lodge by a private wooden boardwalk that leads you through the whispering trees, with magnificent woodland and golf course views to your side. Listen to the gentle babbling brook as you rise each morning – a perfect way to start the day. Spend your time exploring new adventures in the local woodlands. You can partake in segway or archery activities, and even discover a Neolithic burial chamber dating back to 3000 BC deep within the woods. The activities are endless – maybe you would like to scale Ben Nevis, or experience open water sailing in Loch linnhe? Finish off your day with drinks in your private hot tub, while taking in the beautiful surroundings and relaxing in comfort and style.

You can book RiverBeds Lodges, here.

Brookbank Folly

For the last gem on our list, we’re heading to Brookbank Folly in Gloucestershire. Situated on the edge of the stunning Royal Forest of Dean, this hand-built hideaway for two is a fantastic option for a woodland retreat. It’s hard to comprehend that this gorgeous cabin hasn’t been there for centuries. The quirky traits like the crooked garden fence, and the solid timber-framed structure, makes this accommodation burst with old-world charm. However, the 21st century structure was designed to blend in with the local surroundings – its’ unobtrusive single-storey design is perfectly sheltered, and tucked away beautifully from the rest of the world. Even the timber was sourced directly from the forest itself!    

For those who are after the most intimate woodland experience out there, look no further. The front door is crafted from the individual branches of trees themselves, and the sunlight dominates the front room, piercing through the triangular-shaped and stained glass windows.

Just outside, you can BBQ on the patio, explore the vast forest on foot, bike or horseback. With a variety of routes to travel within, and even more activities to choose from, there’s plenty of opportunities for you to see the woodland, and enjoy the forest. At the end of it all, there's no place better to unwind than in the peace and seclusion of Brookbank Folly – your handcrafted sanctuary beneath the trees.

You can book Brookbank Folly, here.

We hope you enjoyed reading our curated list of the best woodland retreats on offer this summer. Ready to book? Head on over to Host Unusual. But before you venture into the woods, consider packing a set of our We Drifters Anti-Insect Sleepwear, made from bamboo and infused with anti-insect treatment. The sleepwear set is perfect for peace of mind while you sleep – don’t let bugs get the better of you! Inspired by travel, our clothing will keep you protected and stylish whether you’re cosying up in one of our top woodland retreats, or exploring the nearby forests.

We Drifters is a small company based in the UK. We love exploring the outdoors and travelling the world, and upmost, living life on our own terms, in-line with our authentic selves. You can become part of our community by joining our Drifters Facebook group – we'd love to know which type of staycation you're planning! For some more inspiration on great places to visit in the UK check out our own blog post here.