Lodge Holidays in the Lakes: What to Look For
With so many types of accommodation to choose from in the vast acres of the Lake District, your choice of place to stay can be as important as your itinerary. If you’re thinking about a holiday lodge for your break in the Lakes, you’ll want to know that it’s right for you… your perfect base for a week of exploring our beautiful National Park.
Your ideal lodge will depend on why you’re here, what you want to see, where you want to go and how you’re going to do it. You’re probably mindful of price and location as much as you are comfort and style. With that, here’s our run down on what to consider when looking for a lodge in the Lake District.
The location of your Lakes lodge is one of the most important aspects to consider. If you’re coming to the area for peace, quiet and relaxation, chances are you’d want to avoid settling in too close to the busy town centres such as Ambleside, Bowness and Keswick. That said, those are all perfect options if you prefer to be in the thick of it, ready to explore from the moment you finish your toast.
The traffic in and out of the area, especially during peak seasons, also must be considered. Getting in and out of Ambleside either end of a bank holiday weekend can be long and tiring. If you’d prefer to avoid the rush on changeover days, it makes more sense to set up home on the edge of the National Park, close to walking and cycling routes or near to the main roads. You might also consider staying as close as possible to the M6 to ease your travel problems on your arrival and departure days. The location of your ideal lodge is going to ultimately depend on what’s important to you and finding that balance of peace and quiet, accessibility and how easy it is to reach (or escape from!).
Is it Clean & Tidy?
Trust us, there is nothing quite like walking into your holiday home to find the place borderline uninhabitable, or the otherwise pleasant grounds overrun with litter. But this does happen. And when it does, it leaves a sour taste that’s hard to wash out for the duration of your break.
When looking around for a lodge, absolutely use the park’s photos as a guide but be careful not to put too much faith in them. Many could be years and years old and it’s normal for hotels and parks to show off their best, newest and cleanest accommodation on their websites and literature. If it’s a large or established property, the likes of TripAdvisor will feature reviews from former guests and cleanliness is given its own rating. But again, customer reviews can only go so far. It’s very British, after all, to only think of leaving reviews after a bad time!
Is it Easy to Book?
It wouldn’t shock many of us to learn just how many bookings are lost due to a faulty or difficult-to-use booking system. Double bookings, error pages or simply a lack of choice when it comes to your chosen date range can be incredibly frustrating. So this one isn’t so much something to consider, but still something to be aware of, as even the most seasoned of online shoppers would become frustrated enough to rage-quit on a rubbish booking site!
Are Dogs Welcome?
If you’re thinking of bringing the dog along, this one might seem obvious. Check your lodge site carefully to make sure the lodge you’re booking definitely accepts dogs (and if so, how many are permitted). There’s a chance you’ve already seen that dogs are welcome on a park, but what if this only applies to certain lodges or accommodation types?
The likes of Center Parcs, for instance, do welcome dogs in certain lodges but these tend to be booked up very quickly once they go on sale. Our advice to dog owners looking to bring Rover on a ramble is to book early, and book carefully. If you end up booking a lodge that doesn’t take pets without realising, that arrival day on your dream break would quickly turn into a nightmare...
What About the Basics?
It helps to know what you’re walking into ahead of time, so you know what to bring and how to prepare. Does the lodge have a toaster? Are tea and coffee provided? What about towels? It might not affect your booking decisions but it’s certainly worth asking yourself the basic questions to save time, effort or disappointment on arrival day. Making a list of what is provided and a second list of what you need to hand during your stay will help you plan ahead and make sure you don’t miss out on your home comforts.
How Does it Rate?
We’ve briefly mentioned TripAdvisor above, and there are many other places to find feedback on your lodge of choice. Facebook is becoming increasingly popular for visitors to share the experiences, Google Reviews also features ratings and the park’s booking system will also provide plenty of real-life feedback from former guests. Take note of any negative feedback, stay impartial and objective, and you’ll be able to get a good idea of whether the park would suit your needs.
One person’s idea of a perfect lodge in the lake district is always likely to differ from that of the next person. Some travellers will plan their break around the accommodation and others will look for a lodge near to their places of interest. As long as you’ve made sure your lodge of choice ticks as many boxes as possible, and you’ve done your homework, you’re sure to have a wonderful break in the beautiful lakes!