We love to get away for a mini break at the end of January! It blows away those January blues, and gives us something to look forward to in that post-Christmas lull. This year we stayed for three nights in a lodge just outside of Keswick in the Northern Lakes. If this is something you fancy, read on!!
Where: For the first time, we stayed in a Hoeseasons Lodge at Keswick Lodge Retreat.
What: We chose a Wainwright Log Burner Lodge, which had two bedrooms and two bathrooms
Cost: Three nights here (Friday-Monday) were great value at £290. There were cheaper and more costly (with hot tubs) available. We booked only a few weeks before, which may have meant we got a good rate, but looking at other dates you can also get a bargain.
Verdict: Ooooooooh we just LOVED it here. From arrival in reception where we received a glass of fizz, to finding a wine fridge in the lodge kitchen. The lodge was clean and spacious and had everything that we needed. The standard and spec was far higher than we anticipated, it really felt like a treat to stay there. When I think of some of the grotty city centre hotel rooms I’ve stayed in for well over a £100 a night, staying here is exceptionally well priced. The kitchen is well kitted out, there wasn’t any equipment we felt we were missing. You could quite happily eat in every night, cooking to your hearts content.
The site was peaceful with some great views.You can hire high chairs and travel cots for your stay, but we saved pennies by taking our own. At reception there was a small shop that sold essentials you might need for your stay, as well as extra wood and kindling for the log burner (which they are also happy to deliver for you).
The on-site bar and restaurant provided good food, we particularly liked the bar, and on Saturday night there was a live singer. We let the little ones stay up as a treat, James was absolutely mesmerised by her. The best babysitter we could ask for!!
Highlights Keswick and the surrounding area
1. Walking. Obviously one of the main appeals of the Lakes is to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Luckily you have LOADS to see nearby. If you want help getting the kids on board, this blog might help.
My favourite walks in the area are;
Whinlatter; this forest park is super close to where we stayed. It is honestly AMAZING and should be on your itinerary whatever the weather. This actually should be a highlight itself it’s so so good. There’s lots to do for children, including an adventure play and themed walks. We recently visited on a pretty miserable day but had a fabulous walk; details here.
Catbells; one of the most loved fells in all of the Lakes. It’s great fun with super views, and not without some challenge! If you fancy trying it with children make sure you read this blog post.
South of Lake Dewentwater, Castle Crag is a great climb for children. This blog from one of my favourite blogging sites, Family Walks and Pubs in the Lake District gives a good description to follow.
Parking at the National Trust’s Great Wood carpark, there are a number of routes perfect for children, and make sure you visit the gorgeous Ashness Bridge, one of the most photographed spots in all of the Lakes. If you fancy going a bit further, continue onto Surprise View and Watendlath. Superb.
2. Keswick Launch. Obviously this can be combined with a good walk, but a trip out on the beautiful Derwentwater is unmissable.
3. The Lake District Wildlife Park. On the doorstep of our accommodation is this great park, which holds many fond memories of my childhood. It includes animal encounters, an adventure playground and indoor soft play. Website: https://www.lakedistrictwildlifepark.co.uk
4. Mirehouse and Gardens, on the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake also takes me back to my childhood. Unfortunately the site isn’t open in winter months so check the website before you go. There’s some truly fantastic adventure playgrounds as well as family walks.
5. Castlerigg Stone Circle is half an hour’s walk from Keswick, with spectacular views. Be careful that the Threlkeld Railway path is currently closed for repairs (Feb 2020), so check routes carefully before you start.
And finally, a top tip..
Sometimes, sadly the weather is just too tough to handle with children. If you’re struggling to find somewhere, try Keswick Leisure Centre. It’s got a water slide, wave pool and a few bits for toddlers and is a good way to spend a couple of hours when getting outside really isn’t possible.
There you have it, my personal highlights but there is soooooooooo much more to do, and as much as I love a good mini break here, it always makes me want more!! We’re already looking to when we can book again.
Any more suggestions? Questions? Leave me a comment!