“ Lodge park in the Lake District. „
I recently enjoyed a short Mon-Fri break with my partner, to celebrate his birthday at Thanet Well Lodges in Greystoke Cumbria. Thanet Well Lodges is a place I had looked at on a couple of occasions when browsing the Hoseasons website as I do love to visit the Lake District and so made a mental note to maybe book a break there at some point. We have stayed at a number of the lodge parks which feature in the Hoseasons brochure and online at their website and have always enjoyed our breaks, often returning to the same park more than once. I decided this time however, to visit one we had not already been to and remembering this one had caught my eye previously, I booked a short break at Thanet Well Lodges in November. Booking was easy via the Hoseasons website, where we also received a discount and paid just over £200 for a lodge with a hot tub for a 4 night break. There are cheaper lodges available if you don't want a hot tub and also some more expensive ones too, depending on the size and where they are situated in the park. ~~Thanet Well Lodges ~~ Thanet Well Lodges sits on the edge of Greystoke Forest just outside the Lake District National Park and is ideally situated for visiting all the Lake District has to offer. Ullswater for example, is only around a 15 minute drive away and this was the main appeal for me when booking this break, as Ullswater is my favourite place to visit in the Lake District. Described as a secluded, rural retreat, Thanet Well is a place I would say where you definitely need a car to get you there. 'In the middle of nowhere' is something that sprang to my mind when we reached the park, but the scenery is truly breathtaking with spectacular views towards Carrock Fell, Blencathra and Bowscale Fell on one side and Greystoke Forest on the other. It didn't take us long to reach the park driving from the North East, where we drove down the A1 to Scotch Corner then across the A66 to Penrith. From there you are taken off the beaten track a little after reaching the tiny village of Greystoke a few minutes drive away. The scenery is beautiful but desolate and the single track road running alongside the edge of the forest leads you to Thanet Well after approx ten minutes. ~~ Arrival ~~ The usual arrival time at these parks is 4pm. We arrived around 3.30pm and noticed a small Reception building as we drove into the park. We were greeted warmly, given the necessary information and told our lodge was ready and we could drive round to it right away. I was surprised to find that there was a small shop inside the Reception building as there was no mention of this on the Hoseasons website. We knew it was a remote location and had taken some food and drink with us as it had stated the nearest shop was a small one in the village of Greystoke and the nearest supermarket was in Penrith. I mentioned my surprise to the woman booking us in and she said she would see about informing Hoseasons about it. It wasn't very big, but stocked a few essentials including alcohol which was actually cheaper to buy than in the supermarket! There were also freshly laid eggs from the farm adjacent to the site. The site was actually bigger than I expected with a large number of lodges and a few caravans at the rear. There is a small playpark on the site, but other than this, the lodges and the Reception building, there is nothing else except lovely scenery. Being November the park was fairly quiet and it seemed that only a few of the lodges were occupied. ~~ Our Lodge ~~ As I mentioned, there are a number of different lodges to choose from and these can be viewed on the Hoseasons website so you can choose one to suit your needs. We chose a Thanet Well Superior Lodge 2 VIP as we wanted a hot tub. The lodge sleeps up to 4 people with one double and one twin room. We pulled up at our lodge which was a wooden single-storey lodge with a verandah at the rear which also housed a patio table, chairs and a sunken hot tub. At the front there was also a place to sit out with a couple of chairs placed there also and this could be accessed from french doors at the front of the lodge. The main door was at the side of the lodge. Our lodge was unlike most others I have stayed in before as there was a hallway as you entered with rooms leading off it, instead of walking in the door to find yourself in the living room which is usually the case. The lodge was very warm, heated by radiators which had been turned on for our arrival. I was immediately impressed by how spacious it was and also that it appeared to be spotlessly clean throughout. The living/dining and kitchen area was open plan and had plenty of windows letting in natural light. Two comfy sofas, a dining table and chairs and a beautifully fitted modern kitchen with an 'island' were the main focal points of the room and I was impressed. The only thing I thought was a little disappointing was the size of the flatscreen TV mounted on the wall above the fireplace. It was small and looked out of place sitting on a wall above the fireplace. The size I thought would be more suited to a bedroom, however, I wasn't going to let this be a big issue, I just thought a slightly larger TV would be more appropriate. The kitchen was really lovely with a built-in hob, oven, dishwasher and microwave. A built-in fridge and separate freezer were housed in the island. The kitchen was stocked with everything we needed and a small pack containing tea towels, cloths etc was provided for our use. There were another five doors leading off from the hallway: two were bedrooms, one was a bathroom and the other two were a walk-in cupboard and a utility room which was also a surprise. In here were more fitted units, a sink and a built-in washer/dryer. I was able to do all our washing before leaving so we didn't have any to do on returning home! The bedrooms were both spacious with the double room also having an en-suite with a large shower, sink and toilet. Fitted wardrobes provided more than enough space to hang clothes and there were matching bedside cabinets either side of the bed. The bathroom had a bath with an overhead shower, but I actually preferred the shower in the en-suite so we never really used the bathroom. The whole lodge was spotless including the bathrooms. The beds were made up with clean white linen and 4 white bath towels and 4 white hand towels were provided. Outside, the hot tub at the rear of the lodge was sunken into the verandah. It was large and again spotlessly clean and it was ready to use upon our arrival. The lodge was situated in a row of lodges and although they are placed quite close to each other, we still felt we had enough privacy, particularly at the back when in the hot tub where we were not overlooked. The rear of the lodge faced trees and then farmland, the front faced other lodges across the road. We were really happy with our lodge, but on taking a walk around the park one day we discovered some facing the fells which had absolutely stunning views. I asked about these on our departure and were told they were a little more expensive because of the view, but I am certainly tempted to book one of these if we visit Thanet Well again. ~~ Overall ~~ We really enjoyed our stay at Thanet Well Lodges and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys visiting the Lake District and also peace and quiet. It is in a very remote location and you certainly need a car to get around. I did find the single track road daunting at night as it was pitch black and although there are passing spaces you can't see these up ahead when it is dark. Fortunately, such is the remoteness of Thanet Well, we only encountered one other car on that road the whole time we were there! The village of Greystoke is very pretty and although small, is home to Greystoke Castle as well as a nice little pub 'The Boot & Shoe' which also serves meals. We visited here twice during our stay and received a friendly welcome on both occasions. The only problem we encountered during our stay was a minor one. There was a dvd player underneath the TV in the lodge and we could not get it to work. The lodge was advertised as having a dvd player and so we had taken some dvd's to watch on an evening after coming out of the hot tub. I mentioned this at Reception and they sent someone round right away to take a look. The man who came said there was also a dvd player on the TV which we hadn't noticed and just to use that instead. It appeared to be working, but it was only after he left we discovered it wouldn't work properly and the remote control for it was one of those universal ones and would not operate the dvd player. The buttons on the TV had no effect either. The next day we saw someone working on the park and mentioned it again. Someone else came and had a look and said that was why the portable dvd player had been installed as the one on the TV didn't work. After he spent some time messing about with it he finally got it working and it remained ok for the rest of our stay. The staff were very helpful and came to the lodge as soon as we asked, so I cannot fault the service. The hot tub was one of my favourite things about our stay. It was so relaxing sitting in this at night listening to the owls hooting in the trees. Thanet Well is a lovely park to visit if you appreciate a remote location with stunning scenery. We enjoyed using it as a base to visit the Lake District too and spent a lovely day at Ullswater which I had been dying to visit again. I can definitely recommend Thanet Well Lodges if you are considering a break near the Lake District, I am sure we will be visiting here again. Gas and electricity is included in the cost of your stay. For further information go to www.hoseasons.co.uk Thanet Well Lodges Greystoke, Nr Ullswater, Cumbria.