Another year, another mad birthday in the woods with my friends. This year we rented the rather wonderful Tanners Hatch in Surrey and played woodland olympics, climbed very tall trees, drank a lot of Fortey’s Homemade Gin (™) and walked up Box Hill with terrible hangovers.
YHA Tanner’s Hatch is a little cottage lost in the woods (quite literally – you have to walk through the trees for 15 minutes to get there, which is easier said than done at nighttime with just a wobbly head torch). All low beams and funny angles, this little wizardy house is the perfect place to mess around in. Outside is a big fire pit to char sausages over, trees to climb, a rope swing and wonderful woodland, inside there’s a roaring fire to tell ghost stories around and triple bunkbeds to fall out of.
We ventured out to Box Hill on the Saturday, wandering around the vineyards at Denbies Wine Estate and regretting our levels of alcohol consumption. After our epic perambulation we headed back and had a bonfire barbecue, which quickly descended into harmonies of Bohemian Rhapsody and running amok in the trees. Happy days.
I think my favourite thing about Tanner’s Hatch is that it’s been a much-loved youth hostel since the 50s, and there are tons of gorgeous vintage pictures of groups of young people staying there, like this one from 1959. Spooky and wonderful.
We stayed at the YHA Tanner’s Hatch, which offers exclusive hire to groups for £100 per night.