“ Address: Scotchman Lane / Flaxton / York / YO60 7RG / United Kingdom / Tel: 01904 468787 „
After reading a review about this place and then looking at the website I decided it was a place that my family would enjoy. There was no family club, pub or entertainment so it would I thought be a nice place to chill.
Griffon Forest has 55 natural oak holiday lodges all with private hot tubs. There are six types of lodges.
********************* Gardeners Lodge ********************
This is a one bedroom lodge that sleeps 2 people, it has a 4 poster king size bed and a spa bath. Upon arrival you get complimentary chocolates and a bottle of wine.
******************** Poachers Lodge ***********************
This lodge has one bedroom and is an open plan lodge. It has a kingsize four poster bed and a six foot circular jacuzzi bath and upon arrival you get complimentary chocolates and a bottle of wine.
****************** Poachers Premium Lodge ****************
This is the one they say for a romantic break. It has one bedroom with a kingsize four poster bed and is open plan. It has a six foot circular jacuzzi bath and a large walk in shower. In this lodge you get complimentary champagne (probably cava - oh I must be jealous), chocolates and red roses.
**************** Gardeners Premium Lodge **********************
This has two double bedrooms and each has a kingsize four poster bed with ensuite, with jacuzzi spa bath and walk in shower. Compimentary wine and chocolates.
*************** Keepers Lodge ***************
2 bedroom lodge one with a double oak canopy bed and one with twin beds. Bathroom with bath and separate walk in shower.
**************** Woodmans Lodge ***************
Spacious lodge with one double bedroom with oak canopy bed and ensuite shower. One twin room and one single room. It has a family bathroom.
Each lodge has a sunken outdoor hot tub, dvd and cd player, kitchen including microwave and dishwasher, central heating, beds made up for arrival and towels. All except poachers has a utility room and some have bathrobes.
I booked a midweek break (Monday - Friday) in a keepers lodge 11th April - 15th April, as I booked it last year I paid the reduced price of £442. I originally thought this quite expensive but as there are 4 of us; staying in a B&B would cost about this. So as we had a hot tub and could come and go as we please it was probably quite reasonable.
I booked through Hoseasons and was informed check in was from 4pm. I always think this is a little late and feel a bit let down when check in is this late. I read a few more reviews before we went and found out if you got there earlier and left your mobile number with them, they would phone you when the lodge was ready. We arrived about 2ish and then drove past the entrance to see if anything was nearby - a pub; that was it which was fine. We then drove back and drove up the very long lane to the reception. We got at reception around 2.15 - 2.30pm and was allowed in our lodge. - great stuff.
The lodges are quite spaced out which means you are not overlooked by another lodge whilst in the hot tub which is a plus.
One of the reasons I booked here was because of what the website said about the wildlife. It said you could watch the wildlife on a channel on the television as they had cameras around the forest. They did have two channels dedicated to the forest but we never saw a single animal on either channel which was a huge disappointment as I expected to see badgers. deer and foxes and the girls were really looking forward to that.
Not far from the site (and you could walk through the forest to get there) was Tykes restaurant which people staying at Griffon could get a 10% discount throughout their stay. We never visited here as I checked the menu before we went and there was lots of meat and fish but not a lot for people who don't eat this ; it also seemed a bit over the top to take a three year old. There was also a sports bar here which closed when the golf had finished being played and served bar meals.
As we first opened the door to the lodge we noticed a door opposite, upon opening we found it was the utility room with a washer dryer in, the boiler (there was a sign saying not to touch or alter it) which was always on and you just set the thermastat to a temperature and all the heating was was controlled by that. Also in there was an iron and ironing board, along with a big torch that was charged by plugging it in.
As we came out of here and opened another door we found this was to the main part of the lodge; which was open plan kitchen diner. It was quite spacious and the living area had 2 two seater couches and a flatscreen TV with DVD and freeview and ....................... we were told it had sky sports and movies. Cool, Man U were playing whilst we were there. We got a big upset there; utd were playing on sky sports 2 which they advertised as having ............... but they were having problems with that channel and it still wasn't sorted so we never got to watch it live.
To the back of the living area was a table with 4 chairs.
The kitchen area was bigger than ours at home and had everything you would want except baking trays so we had to use the grill pan as one. It had more than enough plates, glasses and cutlery etc.
Our bedroom had a bed (oak canopy as stated) a wardrobe chest of drawers and two bedside cabinets with lamps on. The girls room had 2 single beds one wardrobe with shelves and one bedside cabinet inbetween the beds with a lamp on.
We had to rearrange this room by moving the bedside cabinet and pushing the beds together so the youngest wouldn't fall out.
What I liked when I first started looking round the lodge was that they had left some tea, coffee sugar and a small milk in the fridge. Also there was a packet of chocolate biscuits which immediately got opened by the girls. On the table was a vase of fresh flowers.
I hadn't expected towels either but there was a tea towel 4 hand towels and 4 bath towels.
When we had been in the lodge about 10 minutes a guy came to show us how to use the hot tub and to tell us to read the instrutions before we used it. We didn't read the instructions as we had used a hot tub before, but even if we hadn't I don't think I would have read them as from what the guy said it seemed easy enough.
The outdoor furniture was in a definate need of a refurb, there was 2 sunloungers (which you could put some covers on that had been provided) a table and 4 chairs (all wooden of course). We didn't sit on any of them as they just looked dirty and old.
The hot tub was great although a little smaller than I had expected as the lodge was for 4 people. My youngest was the first in the hot tub, she loves water so we had to make sure we programmed the temperature for lower than the average which was 39. When we knew she would be going in we put it to about 37 and she would always say "I like it really hot is it the hottest". When the bubbles are on they are quite noisy.
When in the hot tub we got to see squirrels, they would come on the decking but run off if anyone (well my youngest) shouted. There was also a lot of different birds that we got to see. I love the outdoors so this was a perfect way to relax, only I was more tired hardly doing anything than when we normally go away and end up doing mega long walks.
Surrounding the lodges are lots of really tall trees that are throughout the forest. We went for a walk going off the path and into the forest to see if we could see any animals, we only saw squirrels and some rabbits. We looked for some sticks to walk with (well I didn't but the others did) and the youngest found the best one it had pine cones along the stick but it is her acorn stick! We couldn't really walk too much in the forest and had to follow a path of sorts and it only took about 10 minutes to walk round. Although they do advertise walks and when you sign in they give you a map of the walks but they were too complicated to follow.
At the same place as reception is a shop that seemed to have most of what you would need, although I didn't check too much as we took our food and drink with us. I can imagine it being quite expensive as I decided I wanted to drink fizzy wine in the hot tub (even though you weren't suppossed to) so my husband went to the shop to buy some (if I had gone I would have come back with none at the price). He came back with a bottle that I stuck in the freezer part of the fridge and asked how much - it was £10.50 but to be honest when I tasted it it was good and for the quality it probably wouldn't have been much cheaper in a supermarket. A can of Fosters cost £1.20, so you can decide for yourself if you think it would be expensive to shop there.
Although the shop didn't sell papers you could order one for any day and they would get it for you.
There was also dog kennels here, some lodges allowed dogs so I can only think the kennels were incase you wanted to go out for the day without your dog.
This site is in Flaxton near York and was found easily, we got the directions from the internet and only went wrong once; but that was because the turning was upon us before we noticed and it was too late to turn.
This was one of the better lodges (or even chalets) that we have stayed, the little extras made it nice and they wouldn't have been to difficult to do. The tea, coffee etc, the iron and ironing board, torch and towels.
It was also good that they had freeview and some sky channels although the fact that it said it had sky 2 and they were having a problem with it wasn't that good.
The fact that they had the extras did make me notice the things I thought they should also have, baking trays and a normal tray, some place mats and coasters. The outdoor furniture needed sorting and maybe some candles. This was only because they had the extra touch that it left me wanting more.
The area was great , York is about 10 miles from here so if you want a couple of days out it isn't far to go and York has lots of interesting places and things to do.
If you have children you might think this would be a bit boring for them but mine loved the hot tub and we took books games and the wii so we could do things together. The wii was played on about twice and my eldest read quite a bit at night (but she is a bookworm) and the youngest did jigsaws if she wasn't in the hot tub or someone playing a game or reading to her. I found it was a lot more chilled than being at home and we did things other than watch television. It was quite funny on the last night I decided to watch coronation street so my hubby decided to go in the hot tub the eldest was reading and the youngest was eating chocolate that had been bought and in her pyjamas. He knew if he was seen going in the youngest would be there like a shot so I mouthed to him to climb out of the bedroom window to go in, he didn't think this was a good idea but I assured him it was the only way he was going to be able to go in on his own. So he did and he crawled along whilst he was pulling the hot tub lid back and then ................... ded ded dar ....................... he was caught and the clothes came off and the swimsuit on all before he even managed to get in. So I had the peace for half an hour!
If you want peace and quiet this is the place to go the only disappointment was not seeing any badgers.
I have wanted to stay at Griffon Forest Holiday Lodges for a long time now. I like to book through Hoseasons various short breaks to lodges and Griffon Forest has always been one of those ones I would love to book... but it was also very expensive. The reviews on TripAdvisor made it sound amazing, but I was determined not to spend the amounts that they quote.
However not so long ago I was looking at lodges for January and noticed stays at Griffon Forest were cheap during that month, so decided to book up and finally go and see what all the fuss is about!
Griffon Forest Lodges are just on the outskirts of York, only a short 10 minute drive away from Monks Cross. They are set in the heart of 100 acres of woodland, and you can use the lodges as a relaxing break, or a base for venturing into York and the surrounding area.
There are various different types of Lodges to choose from, with lodges sleeping 2, 4 or 5 people. Full details are on the website but we decided to stay in a Poachers Premier which is stated as "The Forest's Finest! Beautifully designed open plan lodge, perfect luxury for a romantic break or honeymoon." It promised a Kingsize four-poster bed and a bathing area with 6ft circular Jacuzzi bath & a walk in shower for two people.
** Getting There & Checking In **
I must warn you now, do not use SatNav to get to Griffon Forest! My boyfriend armed with his iPhone plugged the address on Google maps and before we knew it we were on country lanes in the middle of nowhere, the phone lost signal and when we did get some again and arrived at our 'destination' we were in the middle of nowhere! Luckily a friendly farmer stopped his car when he saw us sat at a junction puzzled and helpfully directed us.
If you do go from the North(A1/A19/A59) then I recommend going all the way down towards York then take the A1237 ring road and follow the signs for A64 Scarborough. Go along the A64 for approximately 5 miles then take the turning left to Flaxton village. Half a mile along this road on your left is the entrance to Griffon Forest.
Turning into Griffon Forest you drive along a drive with speed bumps. This drive feels like it goes on forever, and does take about 5-10 minutes to get along it because of all the speed bumps! On the way we did see some squirrels though and this happened the majority of the time we drove along the drive way.
Check in isn't until 4pm but we got there early around 2pm. I went to reception and said I knew we were early, but I heard there was a big Asda nearby and asked if we could have directions. The man gave us a leaflet explained how to get there and took down our number, saying if our lodge was finished early they would ring to let us know! Whilst we were shopping at about 3pm we got a call to say we could check in if we wanted to, by the time we got back it was just about 3:30pm but it was still nice to get in that bit extra early.
We were given our lodge keys and the swipe card to use at the nearby Tykes Restaurant for 10% discount. You are given 2 maps, one of the lands and one showing the lodges and they explain how to get to your lodge. I was immediately stroke by the number of lodges near reception and the road, as the hot tubs were quite often overlooking the road. I'm always amazed at places such as these as to why they can't put up a bit of bamboo fencing or something to give people some privacy, especially considering the 'cheap' lodges aren't actually cheap at all! The premier lodges are situated off in small cul de sacs and we were pleased with the location of ours. Our hot tub did overlook a lodge in the next cul de sac along and because it was winter and the bushes and trees in-between were bare it didn't provide much privacy, however thankfully the lodge next to us was empty (it appeared it was getting maintenance as we often saw the handyman going in during the week).
** Our Lodge **
Going into our lodge it was nice and warm, and very welcoming. As you go in through the door there is the sitting room area and the kitchen, which lead through to a bathing area and the bedroom. It was a large open plan lodge with big beams over the top and was very homely. It wasn't done out with Ikea furniture like other lodges we have stayed at in the past, and it felt very homely and relaxing!
There was a small box of chocolates on the bed and a bottle of champagne in an empty ice bucket. It wasn't just cava either which made a nice surprise. There were also 4 roses in a jar on the kitchen table, I was expecting a bit more than just 4 slightly wilted roses but not a big deal.
We were in our lodge about 15 minutes when a man turned up to explain how to use the Jacuzzi bath, fire, hot tub and TV. He said 'there should be some instructions for the Jacuzzi bath but... oh there isn't.' Concerning the fire he said 'well it's pretty much self explanatory...' and he actually only showed us how to use the hot tub. This turned out to be slightly annoying as later on we wanted to turn the fire on but couldn't for the life of us figure out how! We gave up in the end and the morning after on the way out for the day we asked reception to check it for us, when we came back it was turned on. We later turned it off and well, we couldn't get it back on again. It would have been nice to have some instructions on how to use the fire, Jacuzzi, hot tub and TV but these were nonexistent.
The TV had free view and the man said 'some sky channels.' To view the Sky channels you had to switch to analogue, but the reception was so poor you couldn't watch them! Again we queried this at reception where they said 'oh because it's in a forest the reception can be pretty bad....' So I don't understand why they have the option if you can't watch them?
The flat screen TV was on a wall in the middle of the lodge which could twist round to face the living area, or the bedroom and bathing area. This meant you could even watch TV in the large Jacuzzi bath, however on an evening if we wanted to snuggle up and watch a DVD, it meant looking up towards the TV. I hate TV's on walls so this was quite annoying, but not too much of a problem.
The 6ft Jacuzzi bath in the corner was just HUGE. I've never seen a bath so big before! Unfortunately this only got used twice by us. The first time we left it to run but didn't realise half way through the hot water had ran out, so it was luke warm and we didn't last long in it. The second time we ran it, then stopped it for 20 minutes to allow the water to heat back up, then carry on filling it. It was nice... but all the effort it took to fill the thing did kind of spoil it and it was much quicker to hop into the hot tub outside!
There is a large walk in shower next to the Jacuzzi bath and a sink with a mirror. This mirror has a light above it which makes for an amusing story. When we first went into the lodge the lights were all on. There seemed to be lights and light switches everywhere! It was very confusing what switch worked what and to be honest it seemed quite badly planned out. Before going to bed my boyfriend and I spent about half an hour looking for a switch for this light above the mirror, its right next to the bed so we simply couldn't sleep with it left switched on. In the end we grabbed a chair to stand on to inspect this light. It turns out the light at some point had a cord to pull it turn it on/off but this cord had snapped. We were clueless as to how we were going to get this light to turn out and in the meantime I popped to the loo, which is in a separate utility room near the front door. It was then I noticed next to the front door another set of switches. After playing around with these it seems one of them was a master switch for all the lights in the lodge, and thankfully it turned out the mirror light! This meant that any visits to the toilet during the night meant stumbling around in the dark as the master switch was out near the front door. Admittedly we did forget to report this light, but they must already know about it was the lights were on in the lodge when we came in!
You are provided with lots of fresh clean towels, which was good for using the hot tub, shower and Jacuzzi bath! You are also given robes which was a nice addition I haven't had at other lodge parks before.
There wasn't a daily maid service which was a big surprise as this is often offered at other lodge parks. The booklet said you could ask for a service and they would tell you the prices, but especially for a premier lodge I'm surprised it's not included.
I had a really nice relaxing break here. The hot tub was really nice and overlooking a forest it was inevitable we could come across wildlife! I put some bread out on the grass area next to the hot tub decking, and sitting there we had pheasants, blue tits, robins and gray squirrels coming over to eat! At night time it's really nice to sit in the hot tub, especially when it's a cold winter night; it's very hard to get out of it!
Griffon Forest Lodges are near Sandburn Golf Hall which has a restaurant called Tykes. We went one night and showed our card for the 10% discount. The restaurant was lovely, the fish menu is made up on the day depending on the fresh fish they have, and it's laid out in an open plan kitchen for you to see. The food was delicious and I would recommend eating there one night.
** Would I go back? **
Overall I had a really nice time at Griffon Forest, however I have also stayed at other lodge parks in the past and, whilst it was a very nice lodge and site, I can't see why people pay the expensive prices it charges! During peak time in the summer it can cost nearly £700 for a Monday to Friday break in the lodge we stayed in. We only paid £300 and this was with a 10% discount offer through work and a special reduced price for January. I can honestly say I wouldn't personally pay nearly £700 for a stay here, as there are other lodge parks all over the country which are just as nice and not nearly as pricey.
Visit GriffonForest.co.uk for more information, or you can book through Hoseasons.co.uk