The cheaping of ducklings floated across the grass as the spring sun set across the diamond-studded lake below. The white wine was perfectly chilled and there was a delicious smell of barbequed meat coming from somewhere not far away. These moments don’t come very often and when they do, we owe it to savour every moment, which is exactly what I was doing that evening.
I was relaxing on the balcony of perfect little Blakeholme Bay View Lodge at The Hill of Oaks Caravan and Lodge Park, beautifully situated on the shore of Windermere in heart of the Lake District. As I drove down the hill, past the whitewashed farmhouse with daffodils decorating its steps, I knew I was going somewhere special. Then I was round the corner and laid out in front was the lodge set a little way above the luminescent lake.
Having got my key from the friendly lady in the nearby shop (very well-stocked I was pleased to note) I opened the door and stepped into a perfectly formed little world of luxury. With its open plan, very modern kitchen, cosy sofa, big TV and contemporary decor, the living area was warm and very welcoming, as was the bottle of wine and box of local biscuits on the dining table. The bedroom has great views out to the lake, woodland and distant Cumbria fells. Having unpacked the box of comestibles (what a great word!) I had brought from home, I put my upmarket ‘ready meal’ in the oven and opened the wine. Then I went out on the balcony to make the most of that gorgeous view.
The lodge is perfect for a couple (with a double bed you’d have to be very good friends!) and would make the ideal romantic getaway, with the luxury of really good hotel combined with all the flexibility of a top-class self-catering cottage. I was there for a writing break; it’s also ideal for anyone who wants to escape the hurly burly with security and tranquillity on tap.
Before dinner, friends and I went for a wander round the Hill of Oaks site. The Fish and Chip van (Friday nights in the season) was doing a good trade and there were still some children playing in the water in wetsuits. A couple of people were hauling their boat out of the water and there a few others wandering along the rippling shoreline. Because the site is built on a hillside many of the plots have great views and the trees give privacy and shelter. We were all struck by the peaceful, harmonious atmosphere and well-kept environment. Easy to see why it was given the Gold David Bellamy Award for Conservation.
There is plenty to do around here – across Windermere is Lakeside from where visitors can catch one of the iconic ferries up to Bowness and Ambleside. There’s the quirky steam train to Haverthwaite and the fascinating Aquarium of the Lakes. Just down the road towards Newby Bridge is the National Trust Fell Foot park and one of my favourite pubs in the Lake District is a short drive away. The Mason’s Arms (or Strawberry Bank as it’s also known) has its own micro-brewery, a huge selection of bottled beers and tasty bar food. for a great view over the lake, a brisk march up Gummers Howe embraces one of England’s prettiest scenes.
During my short stay at Blakeholme Lodge, the weather was mostly very kind, with plenty of the spring sunshine and clear skies. It did rain once, but I was snug inside my lodge, where watching the raindrops pockle gently across the lake seemed to be very much in keeping with the surroundings. The ducklings were setting off in a little flotilla as I left, having totally relaxed, managed to break my writing block and fallen in love with this very idyllic, charming place.
Many thanks to everyone at the Hill Of Oaks Park and Lake District Estates. If you’d like to experience the luxurious tranquility of Blakeholme Bay View Lodge click here for more details and to book your luxurt Lake District escape and get a bit of this very special relaxation …