"A five star stay in five star Britain and just 90 minutes from home. Brilliant."
A review of Kingfisher Lodge by Nick Peet of the Liverpool Echo
At the end of 2009 we had a visit from Nick Peet, who is a well-known sports reporter on the Liverpool Echo. He stayed with his lovely fiancee, Sally, and his young puppy, Lola. This is his review.
Beauty and peace on your doorstep
Jan 5 2010 by Nick Peet, Liverpool Echo
Lola the bulldog takes Nick Peet for a week of splashing about in the Lake District
THE stress and strain of holiday travel often leaves you needing another break, even before you’re back breathing Mersey air.
Hours queuing at foreign airport check-in desks can test the blood pressure of even the most patient of high flyers, while constant air traffic delays can spoil the most exciting of breaks in the sun.
And I am sure we’ve all suffered from outrageous early morning hotel check-out times, when you’re left to store your luggage with a dozen other families, in some unlocked reception room and forced to shower using the poolside garden tap!
Fortunately for me I’m a happy flyer, so the prospect of a couple of hours in the sky with nothing but dry air and steamed meals in plastic trays actually appeals, but you can see what I’m getting at here.
For all those reasons and for one other – our seductively salivating 12-month old bundle of bulldog – we ditched the flip-flops and sunglasses in favour of a delectably British break this year.
And who would’ve guessed that just 90 minutes from Liverpool lies the kind of picturesque and beautiful landscape that you won’t find on the Costas.
The Lake District is a place which I had associated with retired folk and cub scouts, but I found to be arguably one of the most relaxing holiday destinations I’ve ever been to.
Aside from the fact the door-to-door travel time is shorter than your average trip through passport control, the Lakes offer more adventure for your pennies than any sandy beach or desert island ever could.
So what if the sun shines only briefly through the summer months, this is rural England at its most enchanting.
We stayed in a privately owned, luxury pine lodge which hangs out over the Troutbeck River, on the established Limefitt Park complex.
The park is home to dozens of holiday homes and luxury cabins and boasts a range of facilities including a children’s play area, a swimming hole and even a dog park, which to Lola’s delight included an icy stream for splashing about in.
The lodge, one of three holiday homes owned by Mr and Mrs Hobson located on the park, was extremely cosy with a roaring gas fire and relaxing leather sofas rivalled only by the big comfy beds.
Perhaps surprisingly, for a lodge which welcomes pets, there was no sign of over the top pet-proofing either, which made our stay more welcoming.
From the Sky TV (at the Haybarn) through to the wireless internet connection, the amenities both inside the lodge and on the park itself – there is also on-site pub and newsagents – offer you the chance to either get away from it all or simply take a break in a home away from home.
For the active person the area is, naturally, one big fell-walk or run and so we wrapped Lola up in her harness and headed for the hills most mornings.
The location of the park means that it is ideally positioned to experience the very best of the Lakes.
From the well-developed and established shop-lined streets of Windermere, to the more basic but far more tranquil village of Glenridding at Ullswater, Limefitt Park is slap bang in the middle just a short drive in either direction.
The highlight of our stay was a day spent at Ullswater, first cheering home the hundreds of sportsmen and women taking part in the gruelling annual village triathlon, followed by getting stuck in a cloud while attempting to navigate our way back across the brilliant winding lanes of the Kirkstone Pass.
The landscape here is like something you would expect to find in New Zealand. I was half expecting a gang of Orcs carrying hobbits to rumble by while we were pulled over in the heavy rain munching on crisps and chocolate and peering out through steamy windows.
Another must during any stay is just a short five minute walk from the park in the form of the Mortal Man gastro pub, which has character and charm in abundance.
The old inn dates back to 1689 and welcomes dogs, which meant the Lola didn’t have to miss out on a five star meal, as she sat under the table eating her way through bread rolls and tit-bits.
And I can heartily recommend the house speciality, Sally Birkett’s Hotpot.
Back at the Kingfisher Lodge and Lola was splashing away in the streams, looking on bewildered at the fields of sheep and cows and chasing spiders across the decking.
She absolutely loved it, and so did we. Thoroughly relaxing and now most definitely a calendar event.
A five star stay in five star Britain and just 90 minutes from home. Brilliant.