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Lakeland Leisure Park
Lakeland Leisure Park (Cumbria, England)
Member Name: juleshobs
Lakeland Leisure Park (Cumbria, England)
Advantages: Good for all the family
Disadvantages: Poor evening programme
This year for our holiday there was a big decision to make as to where we all wanted to go. Normally we tend to book about a year in advance but decided about this time last year that we would take a chance see what happens and try to pick up a last minute bargain. Six weeks before anticipated date of departure (leave pre-booked from work earlier in the year) no decision had been made as normally we would opt for mainland Spain but were slightly put off by the sharp downturn in the value of the Euro to the pound and with two teenagers who don't come cheap we envisaged a large spend here.
After much deliberating and a family discussion as to what type of holiday everyone wanted surprisingly a caravan holiday came out on top so off to trawl the internet I stumbled on a reduced rate holiday with Haven at Lakeland saving just under GBP200.00 on the brochure price. The booking process was extremely straight forward and confirmation quickly arrived in my in box closely followed by itinerary with how to get there. We opted for a 3 bedroom standard plus caravan for 7 days.
Arriving at the camp there is a very small car park for you to use until it is you designated check in time and this check in time is strictly adhered to and I would suggest that you leave 1 member of your party in the queue from about 30 minutes before check in otherwise you will be in a long line of people. The queue is long but the process is very quick and you are checked and handed your keys with map of where to find your caravan (or the camping field if in tent or tourer) so this does move along very quickly.
The camp itself is nicely laid out with lots of planting between groups of caravans and the planted areas are fenced off with chicken wire to stop you traipsing through all the caravans or even cutting through in the car and as the plants grow I can imagine you won't be able to see the chicken wire at all. The caravans are well spaced with ample space for parking between unlike some other sites we have been to where there are caravans that are literally on the car park itself with nowhere for sitting out.
Why did we choose Lakeland - after much browsing around different holiday camps and indeed even different companies that offer the same type of holiday we all thought that Lakeland had more to offer that suited our needs and interests that other sites and these include:-
A nine hole golf course - no need to bring your own you can hire clubs at the camp to use for the whole family and if you fancy an 18 hole you can go round twice. The golf course is set at the back of the camp and well away from the main site for caravans though there are a handful of caravans near by and are know as the 'golf village' on the camp map. I can't comment on how hard the course is not being a golfer myself but looked to be mid range by my standards and speaking to others on the course so just about manageable for the inexperienced amongst us - that would be me then. There is a small clubhouse at the golf course also where you can get some refreshments after your game in case you just can't quite make it back to your accommodation.
Indoor and Outdoor swimming pools - whilst neither of these is Olympic sized they are adequate for the camp and both where very clean and well maintained. The indoor pool has changing rooms and lockers (20p required which is returned) ideal if you want to get changed at the poolside. The outdoor pool has a small children's area for the very small and sun loungers are available for use during the nice weather with some tables and chairs but they are not abundant and you would need to be quick to get a lounger on a very nice day, however, there is ample space for you to sit around the pool on one of the chairs or the floor if you have something to stop your bum going numb. Both my children are very keen swimmers and used both pools during our stay though the outdoor pool does feel very cold even though it is heated, but then again a pool aboard always feels cold when you 1st get in.
Day time activities - for our two teenagers it is always a must that there is something more than an amusement arcade for them just to hang around in and most importantly for mum and dad not to have to listen to the complaints of 'I'm board' and 'there's nothing to do' so the list of activities was attractive. Activities included:-
Archery - age restrictions do apply so if you are interested check before you book whether there are different sessions for different age groups.
Fencing - again age restrictions apply - check directly with the park .
Aqua jets - very popular and as my two spend so long getting out of bed each day the sessions where always full by the time they went to book a place or only 1 place left which was no good.
There are also tennis courts on site again as with the golf you don't need to carry all your sports equipment you can hire rackets for a game of tennis.
Basketball courts and football pitch - not sure whether you can hire the balls as we normally take a ball or two for these and we never found that the pitch was in use or the basketball nets either, only a few others around - this may be different as the summer moves but cannot say.
As you can see from above there was lots to keep to grumpy teenagers entertained when on the camp but what else was there?
Evening entertainment is what lets this site down and we found that this was very poor and not run to timetable and in my opinion the whole programme badly planned. We arrived on a Saturday and I can say that there was a very good band on who where excellent and extremely good who played two sets in the evening, however, the 2nd set was given over to karaoke with volunteers from the audience and this let the evening down completely. There was far too much focus on the under tens in my opinion with 'party dances' after 11pm when there entertainment should move up to a more suitable age group after this time. Also for the entertainment three nights a week the staff provide it all which is way too much for a person that goes back to the days of the live residential band plus the cabaret every night, not that I am against the staff show but once a week is sufficient.
The club has an ample sized bar but the service was very slow on the few nights we went in there and they did seem to be short of staff as there were only two bar staff on at during our stay which was just before the main 6 week holiday period for most schools, but already into the Scottish school summer hols and I can imagine that the following weeks would have been busier and the queues at the bar very long. There was also the usual kids bar selling sweets, ice cream and slush drinks and a toy story in the club in order to persuade you to part with even more of your money, thankfully my two are way too old for this now and have their own money to spend on holiday and know they have to make it last.
The bar at Lakeland serves food and well as drinks and have a couple of large screen TVs which are on most of the day. The menu was typically what you would expect in a pub with a children's menu also available, we did not have a full meal in here but on our last day my daughter had the brownies and flapjacks with chocolate dipping sauce and I have to say these were excellent value and very tasty. All tables have a number so as long as you have your table number simply order your food at the bar and once ready it is served to you at your table. Table cleaning was not a quick as I would have liked but it did get done eventually, personally I don't like trying to find a table to sit at that is not covered in somebody else's dirty plates.
We only had one hiccup with our accommodation during our stay, we returned one evening to find that the sink taps had come away from the pipe and we had a small flood in the kitchen area of the caravan. Quick call to security and they arrived within 5 minutes of our call and fixed the leak. The number is in the pack you receive when you arrive and I have to say that the service was very efficient. however, we where advised that somebody would be around the next day to fix the taps properly as they where loose and this caused the problem in the 1st place but nobody ever turned up. This was not a problem as was our last day anyway but would like to think that they fixed this before the same happened to somebody else.
Would I go there again? Yes I would, the site itself is extremely nice and ideally situated as a base for the Lake District with its beautiful surroundings and if you are prepared to take a chance and book last minute there are usually some bargains to be had. This year we paid £424 for 1 week in a standard plus 3 bedroom caravan which was a saving of £185 from the brochure price by booking on line and leaving it until 6 weeks before departure to book.
Summary: Ideally located as base for the Lakes.