Back in 2021, I spent an autumnal weekend at Wigwam Holidays Forcett Grange in one of 12 glamping lodges with my wife and cockapoo, Chester. Located roughly halfway between Darlington and Barnard Castle, just above the A66, the lodges are set within an old historic quarry teaming with wildlife. We saw plenty of rabbits and squirrels though our dog Chester kept thinking they wanted to play with him! The tranquility and peacefulness of Wigwam Holidays Forcett Grange is absolutely perfect for a relaxing weekend away.
We stayed in one of the newer lodges, the Settmaker, complete with a fire pit, table and benches and, most importantly, a wood fired hot tub. You could tell immediately that this was going to be one cosy weekend especially with the smell of wood burning in the air. The Scandinavian hot tubs are pre-heated for your arrival which is such a nice touch meaning you won’t be waiting too long before getting your feet wet.
We discovered quite quickly that the Settmaker, and the other 11 lodges, are more than a home away from home. I was pleasantly surprised when we opened the front door, I couldn’t believe how spacious the lodge was. There were two pull out double beds (so comfy!) and a single bed too which means it’s perfect for families as it fits up to five people. With your own bedding, you’ll feel at home immediately. The wet room at the back of the lodge was huge too and the shower was more powerful than the one at home! This is glamping on another level; you wouldn’t get all of the mod cons you have on offer here in some hotels or apartments!
As check-in was 3pm, we decided to make the most of the lodge and so cooked our own tea. We had a Hello Fresh meal left over and I managed to cook that in the fully stocked kitchen. You’ve got a kettle, induction hob, fridge, microwave and all the pans and utensils you’ll need. If you don’t fancy using the kitchen, the firepit can be used for cooking too with a BBQ grill that can swivel over the top of the flames or just for plain and simple marshmallow toasting.
A huge plus point was the lack of phone signal and no Wi-Fi. I’m sure I can’t be the only one that currently feels that everything is relentless right now and my god it felt good to switch off. I dug out an old DVD to take along and I’m not afraid to admit that both seasons of Phoenix Nights got re-watched over the course of the weekend.
Given the location of Wigwam Holidays Forcett Grange, you can expect very little light pollution meaning that you can get such a clear view of starry night sky and, if you’re lucky, the Milky Way. I can’t think of much better ways to spend the Autumnal dark nights than in a hot tub, hearing owls in the nearby woods underneath a billion and one stars.
Despite being classed as low season, it felt that Autumn was the perfect time to visit; the slight chill in the air upping the cosiness level. In low season, you’re looking at just £149 per night at a weekend and, even then, in high season it’s only £20 more per night. Not bad at all considering what you get included here.
Time to Explore
Wigwam Holidays Forcett Grange is perfectly situated for exploring the border between Yorkshire and County Durham. Within just twenty minutes, you can reach Richmond, Barnard Castle and even Raby Castle. We decided to visit Richmond for just the second time as it was years since we had been. Richmond is a lovely market town in the Yorkshire Dales with plenty of independent shops and pubs plus waterfalls and a castle. I’ve included photos here from Richmond but if you want to read more about Barnard Castle or Raby Castle, I’ve included my posts on those too.
Another top tip of mine is to have a meal at the White Swan in Gilling West where this traditional pub has taken influence from Spanish cuisine when developing their new menu; not one to be missed!
An autumnal weekend away at Wigwam Holidays Forcett Grange was exactly what we needed and there is no doubt that we will be back over the coming years; this is definitely a new favourite getaway of ours. A special mention goes to Ant and Ed, the owners, who are so friendly and welcoming.
Our stay at Wigwam Holidays Forcett Grange was complimentary though, as always, all views and opinions are my own.