Joanna Davis switches off at the luxurious Silverlake retreat a few miles down the road in rural Dorset

Remember that kind of worry-free sleep you had as a child, where you'd just peg out at the end of the day, collapsed from happy exhaustion brought on by a day of exploration and simple fun?

That's the kind of sleep I had at Silverlake, a luxury retreat on the outskirts of Dorchester.

It couldn't have been an easier destination for me to reach. A few minutes down the road at Warmwell, entering the Silverlake estate instantly makes you feel like you have travelled hundreds of miles for a mini break. You may still be in the same postcode, but it feels like you are worlds away.

Stringent security to enter the estate also gives you peace of mind that you are in a secure environment.

Silverlake is built on the site of RAF Warmwell which was used as a training, fighter and ASR base until 1944.

Today, it's a much more peaceful environment. As soon as we entered the estate, rabbits hopped along the adjacent path. Following a long and winding road we arrived at Beaumont Village, where houses look out on to the appropriately-named Beaumont Lake.

We stayed in a two bedroom cottage, decked out with the type of furnishings I could only dream of having in my own home. It was modern and stylish, perfect for the design-led traveller. It had its own little garden with both bedrooms leading out to a decent-sized terrace.

Our mid-terrace cottage had partial views of the lake and was within touching distance of stunning lakeside villas with ground to ceiling windows, hot tubs and hammocks.

Still, I wouldn't have given up my cosy but luxurious cottage for the world, when, on the first night at dusk I sat out on the balcony with a glass of wine and heard...thick silence interspersed with the sound of geese honking as they flew over to the lake. It was so quiet I heard something I'd never experienced before - the flap of their wings and the splash of the water as they touched down.

If you're an outdoors person you'll thrive on what Silverlake has to offer.

The next morning we were determined to explore the massive estate, made up of four lakes and heathland and woodland. It was like having an unspoilt nature reserve all to ourselves.

It didn't take long before we spotted ponies grazing, a heron soaring across Starling Lake and a sika deer, which skittishly dashed off through the forest.

Exploring the estate was like stepping into a Famous Five novel. Equipped with a colourful illustrated map, I was determined to make my way to The Island, with or without lashings of ginger beer.

It does feel like there is a surprise at Silverlake beyond each twist and turn of the estate's numerous paths. The Island was the perfect child's (and adult's) playground, with a zip wire over an eco pool, a play area and a wigwam. Nearby is a fishing lake where you can borrow rods and – if you're patient enough I'm told – enjoy the sight of a visiting otter.

The real jewel in the crown of Silverlake is the Hurricane Spa. A short stroll from Beaumont Village, it has the kind of swimming pool you see on TV at the homes of the rich and famous. This heated pool was a dream to swim in and, pausing for breath between laps, I enjoyed views out to Silverlake's private beach and Beaumont Lake. The spa itself offers a range of treatments in peaceful and candlelit rooms. The spa's roof terrace felt like a big city private members' club with a much better view – it was the perfect location for whiling away time reading on comfy plush sofas, or even on comfy egg shaped chairs. Hot drinks and refreshments were readily available, including locally made Purbeck ice cream.

There is also a sauna and fantastically equipped gym, available to use after the spa closes. And near to the spa is a tennis court and Multi Use Games Area. Paddle boards, canoes, kayaks and bikes are all available for hire. Everything anyone would want for an active break is delivered on a plate.

The estate is within walking distance of nearby shops at Crossways so there was no need for us to use the car to get the morning papers. The walk took us on a pleasant stroll across the heathland and we didn't see a soul.

On the Sunday it was pleasant venturing a little further afield to the Frampton Arms at Moreton, where we enjoyed the carvery before heading back to our home in its wooded haven.

The beauty of Silverlake is that you can do as much or as little as you like. Beaumont Village has a lovely communal area where you can make friends and gather round a fire pit or enjoy an outdoor cook-out at the communal barbecue. But, if you choose to, you can spend the day not seeing a single soul, wandering around the charmingly named Starling Lake, Reed Lake and Woodlark Heath, communing with nature.

If you're anything like me you'll find that you've hit your reset button after a day of exciting exploring coupled with those moments of peace that only come from being immersed in nature.

As the sun set on our final day I had stood still for long enough to enjoy one of my favourite autumnal sights that always gives me a thrill – a murmuration of starlings flying over the lake, as though they were putting on a show just for me.

Over just three nights I had slowed down the pace so much it was going to be hard to get back to the real world again. But knowing that such a relaxing immersive experience is just a stone's throw away means a return visit is too tempting to resist.

Habitat Escapes offers three nights at Silverlake from £525, based on a two bedroom self-catering property that sleeps up to four guests, some are dog-friendly. To book visit or contact 01285 869489 /

At Silverlake a selection of modern and avant-garde holiday home designs are available. Investors can purchase plots from £250,000 and then the build price on top is from £230,000. See or call 01305 853 490