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Joys in the Hood; ALISON JONES goes glamping in Sherwood Forest, home of Nottingham's famous outlaw.

Byline: ALISON JONES

WHEN I was a kid we used to have a caravan. It was called Andy. While it was certainly a step above camping it lacked certain luxuries. The toilet occupied a space no bigger dian a broom closet (seriously, if you leaned forward your forehead would touch die wall opposite) while the shower was in a block at die bottom of die hill and you would share a cubicle widi a spider or two. I reflected on mat while sitting back in a hot tub sipping Champagne in die darkness of Sherwood Forest at about 10.30pm. Apart from the hot tub on die terrace (where mere was also space for a barbecue), diis cabin was as luxurious as a four-star hotel.

There were fluffy badirobes, Egyptian cotton sheets, iPod docks and Molton Brown toiletries in die master bedroom's en suite. Huge kitchen/ dining room tables big enough to seat up to eight were a luxurious change from a narrow table and bench seats diat doubled as a bed at night. The cabins were heated but mere was also the more romantic option of a wood burning stove. As tempting as it was to stay in the hot tub, diere were odier kinds of relaxation just a short drive or a brisk walk away at Thoresby Hall. The Sherwood Hideaway Lodges where we were staying were tucked away on die 100-acre Thoresby Estate.

Thoresby was originally owned by Earl Manvers, a descendant of Robert de Pierrepont who joined William I during die conquest of 1066. The Grade I listed mansion at its heart was home to die Manvers family until the deadi of the 8th Earl in 1955. It now operates as a Warner Leisure Hotel widi a spa, including pool, mat can be used by lodge guests at a discounted rate. As we were in Sherwood Forest, we decided to keep our activities outdoors. We headed for Go Ape at nearby Sherwood Pines. As die name suggests, it ^ encourages all kinds of ' Thoresby Hall Hotel in Sherwood Forest (top) and the spa and pool monkeying around in die tree tops, completing a course mat involves climbing up trees and edging across rope bridges before attaching yourself to a zip wire and hurding towards me ground. The whole experience was surprisingly exhilarating. We reluctandy left our stylish new home me next morning and headed up to Thoresby Hall in search of brunch.

The Courtyard in me grounds is full of charming litde shops, cafes, galleries, a glass blower's and even The Queen's Royal Lancers and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum. Shopping and eating done, we finally headed back home, wishing we had a hot tub time machine (it's a film, honestly) to go all the way back to die start of die weekend.

BBC's drama Robin Hood has renewed interest in the Nottingham legend thrills of the forest VTHE SHERWOOD Hideaway offers a choice of rustic, contemporary or traditional-styled lodges. Long weekend breaks start from PS300 per two-bed lodge (sleeps four) and from PS380 per diree-bed lodge (sleeps six). A week-long stay costs from PS485 (two-bed) or PS595 (diree-bed). Hot tubs are available on die decks of selected lodges. For furdier information and to book visit www.sherwoodhideaway.com or call 01623 824 594. ^^. THERE are 28 Go Ape Adventures across die UK. It costs PS30 for gorillas (adults) PS20 for baboons (10-17 year olds) for two to three hours. For details look up www.goape.co.uk or call 0845 6439215

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The dancing fountains at the Bellagio Hotel

Thoresby Hall Hotel in Sherwood Forest (top) and the spa and pool
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2013
Words:604
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