Based on a stay in the Oakey Koakey family treehouse
Price: from £210 per night
Sleeps: 4 people
Location: Ticehurst, East Sussex
Tucked away down a narrow farming lane on the outskirts of Ticehurst, Downash Wood feels special the moment you arrive. Set in an Area of Outstanding and Natural Beauty on the border between Kent and East Sussex, guests are greeted by wide views towards Bewl Water surrounded by rolling farmland and ancient woodland. Since buying Downash in 2013 owners Stephen and Jane have worked hard to create a haven of treetop dwellings and quirky cabin spaces that they share with couples and families wanting to indulge in a dose of absolute escapism.
Downash currently offers accommodation in 4 properties, with a brand new cabin in the pipeline for 2021. All treehouses and cabins allow guests to reconnect with the sounds and senses of nature without compromising on luxury and comfort. So whether you want to sip fizz on the decking with the neighbouring woodpeckers, feel the sun on your face as you soak in your al fresco bathtub or simply read your book to the sound of the wind in the trees there’s something for everyone. Full options are listed below:
Tinkers Treehouse – A romantic treehouse sleeping 2 – includes a fully fitted kitchen, bathroom and wood burner.
Willow the Wisp Cabin – A willow coppice cabin for 2 with Swedish bath tub on the decking.
The Coddiwomple Cabin – New for 2020 a stylish cabin for 2 with a wood fuelled hot tub on the decking.
The Oakey Koakey Treehouse – The only family sized accommodation at Downash complete with wood themed bunk beds for the kids!
Our Review of The Oakey Koakey
We were invited to spend a couple of days in the Oakey Koakey Treehouse to provide Stephen and Jane with photos and feedback on a family experience at Downash. To say we were all pretty excited is an understatement. The idea of staying in such luxurious surroundings, not to mention the fact that we’d be sleeping in the canopy with the birds and other wildlife felt too good to be true. But here we were, charging across the cute wooden drawbridge to explore our new surroundings and get settled in.
Our first impressions of the Oakey Koakey left us blown away. We’ve stayed in a number of unusual places before, we’ve even stayed in tree top dwellings before but the Oakey Koakey goes above and beyond. Every effort has been made to make sure that this is as much a magical place for children to stay as adults thanks to details such as colour changing disco lights and woodland themed bunks. Light floods into the main living space giving a really light and modern feel. And while it’s easy to switch off and enjoy getting back to basics all creature comforts are provided from smart TV to fully kitted out kitchen and underfloor heating throughout.
Walking in from the decking area we’re greeted with a large, bright, clean space. A king size bed dominates the right hand side of the room topped with snug blankets, plump pillows and goose down duvet. To the left is is a fully equipped kitchen and dining area with more than enough space for the whole family. Essentials such as washing up liquid, tea towels, coffee, tea and milk are all generously provided not to mention samples of some of Kent’s finest apple juices. The kitchen provides everything you might need in a home away from home including oven, microwave, dishwasher, toaster and all crockery and utensils making it breeze to keep on top of family meals. In the middle of the room is a cute sitting area perfect for enjoying a lazy cuppa or reading the Sunday papers while listening to the birds chatter as the sun rises. The living area has been well thought out allowing enough space for a family to function and relax without feeling on top of each other. Indeed the Oakey Koakey is so much more than a comfortable family space – there’s a real sense of magic to a stay here. Our two days spent up in the trees were filled with giggles, silliness and genuine quality time together. Something that can so easily become absent from day to day family life, achieved in abundance in this perfect little spot in the branches.
When our children saw where they were sleeping there were gasps and squeals from their cute little woodland themed bunk room. They then disappeared for a good 30 minutes exploring all the hidden extras that the room has to offer. Cue excited cries of Mum the lights change colour! Mum we’ve got our own TV! We love it here! There’s something very welcoming about a place that has gone the extra mile to ensure that young guests are made to feel this special. Downash has excelled here creating a space that has clearly been made to make memories to treasure.
There’s no escaping the feeling of being immersed in the local flora during your stay, not even in the washroom where the walls are adorned with landscapes of bluebells. All services are connected to the mains so expect hot & cold running water as and when needed, including a flushing loo. Step into the rainfall shower to unwind after a day of exploring before wrapping up in a snug towel fresh from the heated rail. And don’t worry about getting cold toes – the underfloor heating will see to that, all you have to do is choose which bottle of shower gel to use!
It was a bit too cold to make the most of the decking during our stay but I can imagine breakfast on the terrace would be a pretty incredible way to start the day! We did however, enjoy the enclosed BBQ and fire pit area making the most of the combination of indoor and outdoor cooking facilities. My husband did a grand job of serving up a batch of flame grilled burgers and even a bit of venison thanks to the clever BBQ grill function in the fire pit.
We all loved every minute of the time we spent in the Oakey Koakey treehouse and were genuinely sad to leave. Stephen and Jane have struck a perfect balance between rural escapism and secluded luxury. The accommodation and its facilities allows you to decide how much or how little you want to switch off – as a family it’s always reassuring to have hot water, cooking facilities and even a TV on hand for bad weather days or times when you just need life to be a bit easier. This tree top hang out really does tick all the boxes for a fun filled family getaway with a difference!
Disclosure: We were invited to stay at Downash Wood Treehouses in exchange for this review. All opinions are our own.