After the excitement of our Summer road trip, which was undoubtedly the most incredible, fun filled trip we have ever shared, by the end of the six weeks holidays we were all feeling utterly exhausted, and in need of a relaxing few days, escaping it all for one last adventure. So when Hoseasons invited us to stay at their brand new park, Ullswater Heights, we didn’t hesitate to say yes!
Ullswater Heights opened for the first time in July this year, and boasts hand-picked lodges and a glamping village featuring deluxe safari tents, all with their own decking and hot tubs! The site is set around the landscaped grounds of a former quarry and honestly, the moment we arrived it was as though all of our back to school worries just melted away.
From the moment I set foot in reception and was greeted by the manager, I knew that this wasn’t your average holiday park. Even the reception area just felt so stylish and serene and, despite countless families being onsite during our stay, it just felt so peaceful! Not a word I hear often when I’m talking about our family getaways!
We were lucky enough to be staying in the Contemporary 6 lodge, a 3 bedroomed, ultra spacious, luxury lodge for six people, and as we pulled up outside in our own private parking space we couldn’t wait to see what was inside!
From the moment we set foot in the door the lodge had the wow factor with a huge open plan kitchen, dining and living room, in the most gorgeous neutral palette, with double French doors leading out onto a large decking area.
We find that an open plan living space is perfect for us as a large family, meaning we can spread out as we like whilst still all being in the same living space together. Whilst the children are sat at the dining table colouring or playing on their tablets (a holiday treat!), we can be preparing meals, lounging on the couch (a rare treat for us too!) or even outside enjoying the sunshine on the decking.
I love that the lodges are a real home from home, we even joked about moving in at one point, and the kitchen is fully equipped with everything you need! Our lodge had a full sized fridge/freezer, an oven and grill, a microwave, dishwasher, and even a washing machine in a separate utility. A washing machine is always a real bonus for us as it means that a) we don’t have to pack as much stuff which is great when there’s six of us and b) we can do all of our laundry before we return home to avoid that hideous post-holiday washing pile that never seems to end!
In the lounge there are gorgeous, plush sofas, a large flat screen television and a fire which, although being Summer we didn’t have on, I imagine is lovely and cosy in the cooler months. The decor is gorgeous, and very much in keeping with our own style, and in the evening when we snuggled up on the couch with the children to watch a movie, it really did feel so lovely and homely.
At the other end of the lodge there are three bedrooms, two twins and a double. I was really impressed with the size of the twin bedrooms and that the beds were full sized singles as opposed to the smaller camping style beds you sometimes find in holiday accommodation.
Of course the children loved that each room had a television, something we don’t have in our bedrooms at home, which actually works well for us because they couldn’t wait to get to bed each night!
Between the bedrooms was the family bathroom which was a great size with the added bonus of a shower as well as a bath. Although my children don’t mind a shower these days, with younger children a bath is essential and I love that Hoseasons really understand the needs of a young family and accommodate that.
In the master bedroom is a large double bed with ample storage, something which again we’ve struggled with previously with similar accommodation. There is nothing worse than having to live out of a suitcase and I love that there was both hanging and drawer space for us to unpack, put away the cases, and feel completely at home.
Again in the master bedroom was a television which I didn’t think I would make use of but it’s surprising how relaxing it is to get in bed that little bit earlier and watch TV until your eyes are practically closing. I really struggle with insomnia and yet I had a good eight hours sleep every night of our stay – perhaps there really is something a little magical about Ullswater Heights!
Not only is all bedding provided, but towels too which is great for saving up space in the suitcase. Every single part of the lodge was utterly spotless, I literally could not fault a single thing!
I loved that there was the added bonus of an en-suite for Gaz and I which was really spacious and had the most amazing rain shower. After a night in the hot tub it was so lovely to step into the shower, get all nice and clean, and put on my bath robe which again was included with the lodge.
The outside area was just stunning, looking directly out to the quarry. Every morning we opened the curtains and saw those blue skies and that view and it was just the perfect start to our day!
Also on the decking was a table and chairs to seat all six of us, which was great for those warmer evenings when we wanted to enjoy the sunshine for as long as possible. On several of the nights Gaz would leave me to catch up on some emails whilst he took the children across to the playground and I was able to see them as they played.
But for the kids, and for us too, the best thing about the lodge was undoubtedly the hot tub!! My kid are literally obsessed with hot tubs and whenever we stay somewhere with one, it’s the absolute highlight of their day! I loved how each hot tub was privately enclosed so you could relax in the evening, completely shielded from view, and, as the kids liked to say, throw our very own “Hot tub party!”.
On our first night we were invited to eat at The Lake House, the most stunning bar and restaurant with a children’s play area, a large outdoor terrace, and indoor dining. I love that every single part of Ullswater Heights has been designed in keeping with its surroundings and, with. wooden cladding and a beautiful water feature, The Lake House really is pretty special.
Inside you have the choice to sit indoors or outdoors and, although the views outdoors on the decking are just beautiful, with the children in the play area we chose to sit inside where we could see them play through the open French doors as we ordered.
The restaurant is beautifully designed, with the wooden theme following through to the interior, and the most gorgeous, plush velvet chairs which I instantly got on google to seek out for our own home!
The design of the restaurant with the playground attached couldn’t be any better for families, especially in the Summer when the doors are open and they are able to run in and out (usually to tell tales but still..). Although crayons and drawing sheets were provided, my children do get very bored waiting for their food to arrive and it was so much easier for Gaz and I that they played right up until the food was on the table to avoid the inevitable, “I’m hungry!” fifty million times!
When the food arrives I was so impressed, not only with the presentation which was lovely, but also how wholesome the meals were, even for the children. Eva ordered sausage and mash and was delighted with her little pan of gravy! I was happy to see vegetables on the plate too, something I find many children’s meals can be lacking. Unsurprisingly, Megan and Harry went for burger, chips and beans and the portion sizes were great. They would still have been suited to older children as I did have to help Megan out with her chips at the end – sometimes you just have to step up and take one for the team, ahem….
Both Gaz and I went for a steak, myself with a side of sour cream and chive crushed potatoes, and Gaz with the chips. We shared a portion of green beans and broccoli and as much as I thought the meal was utterly delicious, I knew the real test would come from Gaz. Now I’m not saying he’s fussy but, when it comes to steak, he can be a little over critical to say the least. So when he declared it the best steak he has ever tasted, and sent on his compliments to the chef, I think that speaks volumes!!!
I absolutely loved our meal at The Lake House, not just because the food was delicious, but because of how sunny and light the restaurant was, and how relaxed the entire meal felt from start to finish. The kids tucked into their food without a single word of complaint and, when they had finished and were waiting for their desserts they were able to go back outside and play again leaving Gaz and I to sit back, enjoy our drinks, and just soak up the last of the Summer.
One of the most unique things about Ullswater Heights, and something we personally haven’t seen anywhere else before, is that it has it’s own petting farm which you can visit each day with feeding on Thursdays.
The petting farm has a whole range of animals including several smaller animals indoors that you can stroke and hold, which of course the children wanted to do! They are clearly far braver than me!!
From bearded dragons to adorable bunnies, the kids were in their absolute element and I think they would quite happily have stayed there all day just playing with the animals! The member of staff who runs the farm was so lovely and patient with them, even when they asked to hold every single animal going, and answered all of their questions in a way they could really understand.
The farm is actually free to members of the public as well as guests of Ullswater Heights, something which I thought was a really lovely thing to do. You don’t find many little farms like this for free these days and for those living or visiting locally it’s well worth popping in.
Outside we were greeted by the alpacas, all of which were pregnant! Although new to the farm this July, the animals were really friendly and allowed the children to feed them from their hands much to their excitement!
My personal favourites were the goats, greedy as ever, and happily taking as much food as the children would give them! I l love seeing the children at farms such as this, particularly Eva who struggles so much with her confidence in so many areas of life but when it comes to animals she is the first to get stuck in there, stroke and feed them and show the others how it’s done.
As with everything at Ullswater Heights, the farm was beautifully done, the animals looked happy and well cared for, with the member of staff who showed us rounf coming from a farming back ground. Of all the things we did at Ullswater, the farm was the children’s favourite part and the thing they still speak of, several weeks later. For me, seeing their little faces as they fed their animals, the wind in their hair on a wet and blustery day, was the perfect way to end our Summer adventures and a moment I won’t ever forget from the best Summer of our whole lives.
When it was time for us to leave the children waved out of the window at each of the animals and made me promise that we will be back to visit in no time at all. And I can honestly say that we will. Ullswater Heights is possibly one of my favourite places we have stayed at – just beautifully kept, perfectly thought out, and a real country escape in the perfect location. For anyone considering visiting Cumbria, I can’t recommend it enough.
I will be sharing everything we got up to during our stay over the next few days so stay tuned to see what there is to do in the local area. You can check out the Hoseasons website for more locations and up to date prices here – www.hoseasons.co.uk.
** We were invited to Hoseasons for a complimentary break. All words and opinions are my own. **