If you’re searching for luxury self-catering lodge accommodation situated perfectly between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, take a look at South Lakeland Leisure Village. The holiday park is part of Pure Leisure Group who own a number of lodge and caravan sites, mainly in the Southern Lake District, although they do have some in the Midlands, East Anglia and, surprisingly, an incredible estate called Royal Westmoreland on the island of Barbados, where many celebrities have been spotted.
Dougie and I were asked if we wanted to try out a holiday lodge in the South Lakeland Leisure Village for a couple of nights and happily agreed.
Just five minutes from junction 35 of the M6 and yet it’s on the doorstep of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Never have the three words location, location, location been more apt. In half an hour or less you can reach the Lake District to the North West and the Yorkshire Dales to the east. The coast is very near and even a trip to Blackpool is manageable. The only problem is deciding how to fit all this into a short break.
We’re no strangers to holiday parks. Many of our favourite trips when our son was younger were spent in mobile homes. Being familiar with caravan-style accommodation, we thought the lodges would be similar. We were therefore quite astonished to discover how luxurious and spacious they were: truly an eye-opener.
The lodges in the park range from classic to executive lodges set around a large lake. Mostly wooden, although some, like ours, were wood effect which I imagine will be much easier to maintain. Most of them had decking, some had hot tubs, but all of them looked very handsome in this quiet, spotlessly clean park.
All lodges have their own adjacent car parking space, which makes loading, unloading and going out for the day so much easier. Our lodge, number 15, had a large decking area with smart outdoor furniture. It was positioned on the edge of the lake so we had wonderful views across the water. Even on a cool autumn morning, it was good to stand on the decking with a cuppa, watch the ducks on the lake and spot the odd rabbit hopping by.
The interior of the lodge was sumptuous. There was a large open-plan living area with wall-mounted TV (with Freeview), leather sofas and dining suite. We loved the top-notch kitchen with oodles of storage and a contemporary island. The fittings were nothing like those in a mobile home of my recollection. Top quality worktops, oven, hob, microwave and dishwasher. Soft furnishings were very high quality with heavy-weight curtains and roman blinds plus carpets in the bedrooms and living area.
The three bedrooms were spacious and tastefully decorated and bedding was provided (bring your own towels though). There was even a large corner bath in the main bathroom which was a godsend after our long walks and having an extra en-suite meant we weren’t ever short of loos.
With central heating, double-glazing and more cupboards than we knew what to do with, this lodge had nearly everything we needed. Pure Leisure provide a welcome box including tea, coffee, sugar, a miniature bottle of washing up liquid and tea-towel. I’d still bring some of your own supplies, however, if you are going to do any proper cooking.
Amenities at South Lakeland are focused around the leisure centre which includes a 15m indoor heated pool, a steam room, gym and spa. With fitness instructors, personal trainers and experienced beauty technicians, this is a very professional outfit. Passes are available for the use of the facilities, so they aren’t free, but they are very reasonably priced for holiday-makers. For example, current prices include £28 for a family of 2 adults and 3 children for three days.
Fishing and boating on the lake are available but otherwise this is a very chilled, quiet park where the focus is on luxury lodge living. Families will enjoy the park just as much as we did as a couple but the joy of the village is its location close to so many places children will love. You have the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lancashire and Cumbrian coasts as your playground.
There is WiFi in the park. It’s complimentary in some hot spots but otherwise has to be paid for at around £6 a day. I couldn’t get a connection in our lodge, which my husband was delighted about, but this is something to keep in mind if you need to be welded to the internet.
The Waters Edge restaurant serves meals from late morning onwards. Service was friendly and attentive and the food was pretty good. We sampled dinner on our first night and chose well with delicious toasted focaccia bread and sun-blush hummus (£5.25) and a huge helping of Moules Marinière (£6.75). This was followed by lamb hotpot (£12.95) and Cumberland sausage (£11.50) to add some Lancashire cuisine to the mix.
There was a small bar and a patio area outside, very near the little beach which must be a big favourite with everyone in the summer months.
What is there to do in the area?
We were certainly spoilt for choice during our short break. I’ll be writing more about what we did in a future blog post but it included an afternoon in the very pretty town of Kirkby Lonsdale plus a day in the Lake District with a stop at the fascinating Arts and Crafts property, Blackwell House. We also feasted on the most yummy fish and chips in the coastal village of Arnside where the sunset over the River Kent estuary, at the north end of Morecambe Bay, made this photograph possible.
Location is the key to any holiday destination and this one is hard to beat.
We thought we might be staying in a wooden caravan, to tell the truth, but in reality the lodges are a world away from mobile homes, even those at the top end. I did wonder whether we had been given a particularly good one because we were reviewing the park but, having surreptitiously peeked into a few windows as we wandered around the grounds, the high spec of the fittings and furnishings was apparent throughout.
For a quiet, relaxing stay in a spot close to some idyllic areas of England, this is definitely worth considering. In the UK we often think of holiday parks as purely summer vacations. I suggest you take advantage of the low season rates, step into your centrally heated lodge, run yourself a bath, open the wine and enjoy.
I was invited to review the South Lakeland Leisure Village by Pure Leisure. Our accommodation was included plus a leisure pass and restaurant voucher. All opinions are my own.
Lodges are also available to buy from £74,995 at the leisure village, and there are good returns if you choose to rent your holiday home out when you’re not using it.