Treat Yourself, with A Lodge in the Forest

We’ve always liked the idea of a cabin in the woods. Waking up to bird song, walks and bike rides right on the door step, and getting away from it all.

So when Pine Lodge Holidays asked us to review one of their lodges at Darwin Forest, we jumped at the chance.

Darwin Forest

Darwin Forest Trip Advisor AwardDarwin Forest is located in the Peak District National Park, where there’s quite a bit to see and do in the area. However, if you just want to chill out and relax, you can stay right in Darwin Forest itself.

There’s cabins, and then there’s cabins…

One of the things that was immediately obvious was the quality of the lodges.

We were staying in one of the ‘Meadow’ lodges, and very nice it was too…complete with hot tub!

Darwin Forest lodge rooms

This was a three bedroom family lodge, with plenty of space, and lots of storage.

Nice view
The master bedroom had an ensuite bathroom with an overhead rain shower, and a large picture window with views of the woodland meadow.

There are a number of different lodges throughout Darwin Forest.

Different cabins at Darwin Forest
We’ve been lucky enough to visit the large Redwood forests of the Sierra Mountains in California. The log cabins in Darwin Forest reminded me very much of being back in the California mountains 🙂

Things to do at Darwin Forest

Activities at Darwin Forest

There’s plenty to take the family to in this part of the Peak District, but you could quite easily stay in Darwin Forest itself to relax and unwind.

Here’s a few of the things we got up to…

Forest walks

The Forest Trail
There’s lots of walks around Darwin Forest. On the trails there are information boards too.

You can also take a picnic and spend sometime by the ponds or in the grassy meadow.

Trim Trail

Around part of the forest is the Trim Trail track with lots of different exercises.

This proved very popular with the kids, especially the climbing wall.

Cycle Hire

If you are not bringing your own bikes, you can hire bikes at Darwin Forest, including electric bikes.

They don’t have any children’s tag alongs though and only one small child’s bike.

Tip: if you plan in cycling off Darwin Forest you can hire bikes for the whole family and cycle the Monsal Trail, which is a great cycle ride to take your family on. Click here to find out more about the Monsal Trail.

Play Park and the Little Monkeys

Little Monkeys play centre
There’s a good play park and a large indoor play centre called Little Monkeys.

You can get a bite to eat and drink in there while the kids burn off any excess energy they still have left!

Golf and Tennis

There’s a crazy golf course and tennis courts too.

You can hire all the equipment from reception.

Evolution Health and Fitness

Darwin Forest Evolution health and fitness

Kid’s love swimming, and at the Darwin Forest is the Evolution Health and Fitness centre that has a swimming pool.

The pool has lanes for swimming and an area that kids can play.

Pool noodle swimming floats were available for kids to use.

If you want to work out, there’s a gym above the swimming pool with free weights, weight machines, and various cardio machines.

Adults can get a token to access the spa. This contains a large jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, and a shower with warm body jets and…if you are brave enough…an ice cold option!

We took it in shifts to be with in the kids in the pool and visiting the spa 😉

Eating at Darwin Forest

There’s an Explorer’s cafe and snacks at the Little Monkeys play centre.

On site is also the Forester’s Inn. We recommend you reserve a table.

A few things nearby to see

A couple of things we’ve done nearby that we recommend you try if you decide to visit Darwin Forest.

Cycling the Monsal Trail
If the weather is good, a cycle along the Monsal Trail is recommended.

This is a traffic free route along an old railway line. You even get to cycle through old railway tunnels.

Heights of Abraham
When we stayed at Darwin Forest we took a trip to visit The Heights of Abraham, which you get too in an Alpine cable car that rises above Matlock Bath.

Final Thoughts

If you want to stay somewhere in the Peak District and treat yourself to a bit of luxury, then Darwin Forest doesn’t disappoint.

As well as great facilities, we found the place had a nice relaxed atmosphere, very friendly and helpful staff throughout, and even when busy, it didn’t feel crowded.

It get’s the thumbs up from us.

Getting in Touch with Pine Lodge Holidays

Here's how you can get in contact with Pine Lodge Holidays.

Pine Lodge Holidays Website

[email protected]


Pine Lodge Holidays Facebook Page

01629 732428

Where to find Pine Lodge Holidays

Sat Nav Postcode: DE4 5PL

Latitude: 53.1428299, Longitude: -1.5917196

Click here for directions

If your Sat Nav doesn't recognise DE4 5PL then use DE4 5LN.

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Other Places Nearby


Disclaimer: We’d like to thank Pine Lodge Holidays for inviting us to Darwin Forest. All opinions are our own.

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Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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