It is rare to finish your holiday both relaxed and yet totally energised, especially if, like me, you find it difficult to relax anywhere. But this is how my family and I felt after what can only be described as our best, and most enjoyable holiday ever. This is pretty big praise I know, but there is good reason.
Sika Lodge is a beautiful, charming eco- friendly cabin right next to Wareham Forest on Alpha Farm in Dorset. The owners, Robbie and Rachel, are the ideal hosts and 2 of the most inspiring people you could meet. Their passion and enthusiasm is infectious, they accomplish so much in their lives we were truly stunned at everything they manage to fit in. We left full of ideas and plans to not just simplify our life but to live more fully. One of the greatest things about the lodge, besides its location, is that there is no TV, no internet and no phone reception. A fact we only told our 12 year old daughter shortly before going! Mortified at first, she quickly relished the chance to ‘just be’ and we all enjoyed the time together playing games and cards, reading and cooking. Since being home, we have barely turned our TV on, and I can honestly say this has had a profound affect. We have been writing, reading and making all kinds of plans for projects and ideas we have never properly got around to before. I feel like I have more energy. Robbie and Rachel don’t have a TV either, and I’m sure this is part of what makes them so productive. Rachel is an artist, illustrator, printmaker and runner! Robbie is a carpenter, runs the farm, lodge, beekeeping courses ( he is a natural beekeeper himself ) and plans for much more- I am particularly excited about their wellness lectures and workshops! Evidence of Rachel’s work is dotted around the lodge, and it is wonderful to stay in a place that is so beautifully handcrafted, Robbie has done an amazing job. When you’re staying in a place that is overflowing with creativity like this, it is a truly remarkable feeling. I would much rather stay somewhere which has been crafted with someones hands, someone who I get to meet, than to stay in a over-priced cottage or a soulless hotel. And where else charges the same all year round, without hiking up prices in the school holidays? Nowhere!
The lodge itself is a great size, with a double bed in the main area, and a mezzanine with another bed comfortable enough for 2 children or they could choose the sofa bed in the living area. The kitchen is gorgeous and well equipped, with a dining table-and a blender! I have never stayed anywhere which had a blender before, this was the first holiday I did not have to go without my green smoothies!!!! And Robbie and Rachel are into them as well so I had great chats over shared smoothies. There is a wood burner in the living area which provides not just your heating but your hot water too, and the shower is fantastic. The loo is eco friendly, meaning its a composting toilet. Everything has been thought of and we found the lodge so lovely we spent less time out and about because we just wanted to get back to enjoy it!
The area is also beautiful, with much to do. We walked plenty, hired bikes from the train station and cycled the Sika Trail through the forest, and to a nearby farm shop, and caught a bus to the ‘Blue Pool’. We were going to go kayaking but ended up too keen to get back to the lodge and start the fire for the hot tub! Yes really! It comes with a HOT TUB!!!! It takes between 6-8 hours to heat up depending on the weather, as its also eco friendly of course and a blazing fire needs to be lit and kept going for it to heat up. Unfortunately, I missed out. I feel asleep I was so darn relaxed! But my husband was out there with our daughter Ruby and they both really loved it. The local village is small but enough for all your needs, with a couple of cafes, a supermarket and an excellent health shop, Purbeck Wholefoods, which had anything I would need for my usual diet including gluten free items, hay fever remedies, raw snacks and lots of products were sold by weight from jars behind the counter, something I particularly liked.
I could not write this without mentioning Elvis, their gorgeous and super friendly dog. We loved taking him for walks and he is a welcome addition to the holiday. We read lots of comments in the visitors book, it seems Elvis is indeed quite the rock star.
We were so buzzed from this little haven that we booked our next holiday before we had even left! We are back for a full week in summer, 4 nights was lovely but we want a whole week next time! And I plan to keep in touch with Robbie & Rachel about all their amazing plans for wellness workshops.
I write mainly about physical health on this blog, but our mental, emotional or spiritual health is equally important, and something I often don’t give enough time to. This type of holiday will allow you that time to unwind and disconnect from all the over-stimulation, stress and anxiety so common with modern life. We can practice daily meditation and yoga anywhere, but allowing yourself proper time with your family and loved ones, without unnecessary interruption is truly invaluable. To spend time somewhere that is peaceful and quiet helps mental clarity, allows you to relax more fully, helps hormone production and balance and restores your energy levels. And in our case, it gave us quiet time to reflect and reconsider things that are important, where we are heading and what we would like to change so we can achieve this kind of contentment wherever we are. Having said that, we are going back there in 3 months and I doubt very much that will be our last visit! Until we have our own rural space, something we must be content to dream about for now, Sika Lodge will be our place to retreat to. I just hope Robbie, Rachel and Elvis don’t get sick of us turning up!
For details about this accommodation, and the natural beekeeping courses visit:
And if you’re curious about Rachel’s work or children’s books, visit her site: