GLAMPING | A Weekend Of Glamping & Walking at Whitemead Forest Park

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Whitemead Forest Park Glamping PodThe path leading to the pods at Whitemead Forest Park

Where Did We Go?

Whitemead Forest Park
Parkend,
Lydney,
Gloucestershire,
GL15 4LA

Tel: 03301 230374
Prices: From £48.00 per night for a glamping pod that sleeps up to 4 people

Our Stay

Setting off late on Friday afternoon, we’re well and truly in holiday mode as we drive from Cheshire down to Gloucestershire. We decide on the scenic route, taking in the beautiful Shropshire countryside and as the sun sets we make good time, pulling up at Whitemead Forest Park at around 7:30pm.

Whitemead Forest Park Glamping Pods

Whitemead Forest Park Glamping PodThe Mega Pod X we stayed in

We receive a warm greeting and are told all about the park facilities and given directions to find our glamping pod, our home for the next 3 days. We park up in the designed space for The Hollow 19, unpack the car and spend a few minutes walking the short distance from the car park to our pod.

Once all bags are safely inside we close the door and take in the interior space. The Mega Pod X is bright and spacious and very well appointed with a big sofa (which also turns into a bed should you need to sleep more than 2), a comfy double bed, a small bathroom with shower and even a little kitchen.

Whitemead Forest Park Mega Pod X InteriorInside the Mega Pod X

Getting our priorities right, we start off by filling the little fridge with Gin and tonic water, before going on a walk around the site to get our bearings, no mean feat in the dark, but the areas by the pods all have clearly marked paths with low-level lighting so as not to detract from the dark skies, which make for some great star gazing.

Whitemead Forest ParkForest Point, the main facilities block at Whitemead Forest Park

We end up at the main Forest Point building which includes Foresters Restaurant & Bar and we’re relieved to find that despite our late arrival, we’ve still got plenty of time to grab drinks at the bar and have some dinner. We choose fajitas and ribs, and are delighted to find they even stock our favourite Whitley Neill gin behind the bar.

Whitemead Forest Park FoodChicken fajitas and ribs in Foresters Restaurant

Sated and relaxed, we return back to the pod. At this point the weather is still dry, and we’re slightly disappointed not to have a fire pit (shown in the pictures on the website), having bought a bag of logs and kindling with us, anticipating sitting outside beside the fire in the evening, though as the weather turns on the second night our disappointment is short lived.

Whitemead Forest Park Glamping PodsSome of the lovely grounds at Whitemead Forest Park

We wake after a lovely sleep on Saturday to great weather and after breakfast (the full English and the veggie breakfasts are pretty good) we head off on foot to explore and spend a few hours out walking in the Forest.

out walkingBack at the pods after a morning out walking

We return in time for afternoon tea, which we’d pre-booked for early afternoon, just before we’re due to try archery, and the quirky picnic bench is full of yummy food and sweet treats. Although not sweet-toothed, and thoroughly stuffed from the stilton soup, mini fish and chips, burger and brie bites, we opt for a doggy-bag and take the various cakes and cookies back to our pod.

Picnic bench whitemead forest parkAfternoon tea picnic bench at Whitemead Forest Park

Archery proves to be a lot of fun with good instruction and some fun games to keep it interesting. My companion for the weekend experiences what can only be explained as serious beginners luck; having never done archery before, he manages an impressive 5 bullseyes to my much less impressive 2, though I feel as the session continues that my aim is getting better and I’m more regularly hitting decent numbers, as opposed to missing the target entirely.

Archery Whitemead Forest ParkArchery at Whitemead Forest Park

We’ve glamped in such a wide variety of accommodation in the last few years, but the most ubiquitous has to be timber glamping pods similar to those we are staying in, and it’s easy to understand why they’re such a popular choice. They provide warm, comfortable accommodation whatever the weather making them a practical option, and at Whitemead they have several different types of accommodation to choose from, from lodges and apartments through to several different kinds of pods, starting from the B&B Pod right up to the Mega Pod XL.

Whitemead Forest Park Giant Redwood TreeA giant Redwood in the grounds of the park

Site Facilities

As well as various different accommodation options including caravan touring pitches, the site has excellent facilities. The grounds are attractive and very well kept, with lots of green open spaces, and of course lots of trees! We spotted countless squirrels and pheasants in the grounds and loved the little bug hotel and the stunning huge Redwood tree.

Bug hotelThe bug hotel at Whitemead Forest Park

There’s a shooting range, indoor pool, a really well-equipped gym and there’s also nightly entertainment too, with everything from bingo to live music. Although that’s not really our thing, it appeared to be packed out every night! Activities wise, like us you can choose archery, or if you fancy it zorbing, crossbow shooting, fencing, teddy bear making and more. Take a look at Go Active at Whitemead Forest Park to find out more.

Whitemead Forest Parks Play AreaOne of the two kids play parks

As well as a huge field for ball games and running around, there’s also giant outdoor chess, table tennis and there are two really lovely play parks for the kids, though we gazed longingly at the adventure play park (above) wishing they had an adult version!

Out and About

The Forest of Dene is a really lovely area with loads to do. Usually we’d pack our time with heaps of sight seeing and activities, but this weekend was mainly about some much needed relaxation and with storm Freya making an appearence, the pod provided a snug and cosy sanctuary.

Making the most of the stormy weather in our rain ponchos

Out walking, we found the Dean Forest Railway, a lovely heritage railway, though we didn’t quite manage to get the timing right for a ride, but it’s only a short 10 minute away from Whitemead Forest Park.

Steam Railway Forest Of DeneThe Dean Forest Railway

The Forest of Dene is right on your doorstep making it easy to head out on foot to explore the lovely woodland. The area is superb for both walkers and mountain bikers but not too far away, you’ll find visitor attractions like Puzzlewood, Goodrich Castle and the Forest of Dene Sculpture Trail.

Forest of DeneOut walking in the Forest of Dene

The Verdict

We had a fantastic long weekend break and returned home feeling truly refreshed and like we really had been ‘away’. With staycations on the rise and so many different types of holiday parks and glamping sites to choose from, Whitemead Forest Park is perfect for family holidays and ideal as a weekend getaway for couples.

The park is really pretty with plenty of wide open green spaces and of course lots of trees, so you really do get the feeling that you are in a forest, rather than just in another uninspiring holiday park. The leisure facilities are very good and there’s a great selection of accommodation to choose from. The glamping pod we stayed in provided a really cosy and comfy base and there’s plenty for families to do and great facilities to keep the kids entertained.

Whitemead Forest ParkSome of the grounds

Pros

  • Great value for money, from the accommodation to the activities – far better value than a stay at somewhere like Center Parcs for example.
  • Table service in Foresters restaurant was very good and service throughout our stay was good. Hayley in particular who we dealt with a few times was superb.
  • There’s a good choice of food on the menu and the quality of food was good too.
  • The restaurant area was bright and modern and nice to spend time in.
  • Good on-site facilities including a great little shop and superb leisure facilities with a gym and an indoor pool.
  • Archery was a lot of fun, with great instruction and there are lots of other options to choose if that doesn’t take your fancy.
  • The location of the site is really good and you can go walking in the Forest of Dean right from the site.

Cons

  • Storage in the pods isn’t great. We used the space under the double bed to keep our bags, but there’s nowhere to hang anything, so you’ll need to live out of your bags.
  • The weather was wet and stormy and we really could have done with a doormat as we found the wooden floor got really wet and muddy and it was difficult to keep clean in bad weather.

Whitemead Forest Park Mega Pod X Interior

Thank you to Boundless Breaks UK who invited us to stay at Whitemead Forest Park. We were not paid to write this review.