We've just arrived back from a chilly weekend away in Ellesmere staying at the Woodland Park Camping Huts. All 3 families on this trip, we hired out 2 of the 4 berth huts and the 9 berth hut (named Squirral, Stoat and Rabbit). We took the 9 berth as it has a bit more space for us to hang out in case it got cold. Quite glad we got it in the end because it snowed at one point!
We checked in at the Lodges (they look rather nice too) and got our keys. Then its a short 2 min drive back out to the huts. The track down is pretty rough but it is off the beaten track and doesn't have any other traffic. We trundled down it in our Zafira regardless with no real problems, the odd scrape on the bottom but nothing more. Once there you can pull in by the shower and toilet block and unload the car. Once unloaded you've got to move the cars down the track out of the way (50m or so).
There are 5 huts surrounding a small pond, the 7 berth and two 4 berths are on the right, whilst the 9 berth and another 4 berth are on the left. The huts are surprisingly fitted out with more than we expected. They're really solid and warm. They've got lighting and electricity outlets throughout too. We didn't know how many outlets so we'd taken extension leads in case, but we didn't need them. We slept in the 9 berth, upstairs there are two large doubles and a single space. Downstairs there are two sets of bunk beds and a small living area with some folding plastic chairs and two large tables. There's a work surface with an electric kettle, water container and a washing up bowl too. They were really clean and we'd hired a heater and bought some firewood for an extra couple of quid, both were sitting inside ready for us. The stairs are a bit dodgy with small kids, we blocked them off for Finn (2yo) and Erin went down on her bum most of the time.
The toilet block is super clean, really nicely presented, warm. The showers are super powerful, better than ours at home and didn't require any tokens or anything. Outside the block is an outdoor (undercover though) washing sink and 4-5 great big bins for rubbish.
We had two dogs with us and as were the only ones there we let them roam freely around the woods and huts. They absolutely loved it. It was our first trip with both Jasper and Remy, both had a really great time. Nice little test before we go canvas camping in April.
It's pretty muddy (more so because it's February) so the kids were covered in warm and waterproof gear all day and they just roamed freely too. The mud gets everywhere, so learn to embrace it. The huts have brooms, dustpans and brushes and a mop and bucket too if things get too bad. We just gave the place a quick broom every now and then.
The firepit was awesome, had it going most of the time. Don't forget firelighters/newspaper etc to light it. Though it really did get cold at times and ended up in the living area of the 9 berth. Adults in the main bit and kids in the bunks all watching a DVD at night time. The heater was great and the huts were super toasty.
All in all a great little trip and our first of the year. The weather was against us, but then it was February. You do genuinely feel quite isolated out there, we took all our food and everything we needed so didn't leave the site once. Remember, they're just huts. You need to bring all your camping gear with you like chairs and gas cookers etc. We tied all our food up in a tree outside to keep it cool (it nearly froze though). The surrounding forest isn't really very extensive. We decided to head off into the woods only to be met by near impassable terrain within 100m of the huts. It's very quiet and the stars and moon look awesome here.
We heard that they're expanding it, not sure how I feel about it, hope it still feels as intimate as it does now, but we're all planning on going back later in the year, so we'll find out then :)
Thanks for reading!