“ Address: Thurnham / Lancaster / Lancashire / LA2 0DT / England „
Thurnham Hall is situated in Thurnham, Lancaster, LA2 0DT (if you're using a Sat Nav!).
It's a 12th century manor house which was the house of the de Thurnhams, but was then passed on to the Dalton Family in the 15th century, it stayed with the Daltons until 1861, when the direct Dalton lineage ended in Thurnham. Sadly the hall fell into disrepair and was even partially burned down in 1956, but in 1979, the Crabtree family bought the hall and greatly repaired it to it's former glory! The manor house itself is huge, and even has a chapel albeit a small one, and many bedrooms (which are now used as hotel rooms!). But to me the most impressive room of all is the dining room, which has a huge (working) Tudor fireplace, which is lovely in Winter when your sat around it!!!! The decoration is this room is all original and very ornate and impressive!
But that's not all there is to Thurnham Hall, there are massive grounds which now hold new builds, with lovely little apartments and holiday "houses", as well as a leisure centre, which has a gym, pool, jacuzzi, sauna and beauty treatments.
When we first went to Thurnham hall it was when we bought into it, at the time it was Thurnham Leisure, and we bought a share of the company, giving us access to the Hall, holidays at the complex (on a points system), and use of the leisure facilities. It was great back then, it was around 8 years ago now! It was all private, and you could only eat in the restaurant if you were a member, or if you were a "guest" of a member...which you had to be invited by a member to be. You couldn't use the leisure facilities either, and so it was a nice private place you could go, the food was amazing, although a little expensive...but well worth it. And we had a few gorgeous meals there.
But then a few years ago now, Sunterra took over Thurnham Leisure, and it went into a much more corporate company... with a fat cat boss whose aim is to make money. The hall stayed the same, and the grounds have not changed, but the way it works has. You can now go into the hall whether you own it or not...and you can eat there whenever you like etc. (more on eating there in a minute!)
The leisure centre can now be bought by anybody...you can pay for membership there as you can with any gym, which is annoying as it means its no longer anything special for owners anymore, and anybody can go there as long as they can afford the high member fees. BUT something which is very annoying about the leisure centre is that every I think it's Wednesday night, they have a kids club, where youngsters from the surrounding area come and have swimming lessons, there are around 5 lessons a night, for all the different age groups, and so it means if you go on the night this is taking place, you can barely get near the pool, and get the snottiest looks from the "yummy mummies" around the pool side. This would be VERY annoying if you were staying at the expensive complex having a romantic night away, wanting a nice romantic swim...and there are 500 kids running around, half of the pool cut off for them to have their lessons...not exactly something you want from an expensive night away is it...! Rather than been a nice relaxing place to go for a relaxing swim, which used to be empty most of the time during the week when there weren't many visitors staying in the hall, making it very nice for those who wanted to go, it's now full of people who've paid for entry.
The restaurant I have watched go downhill over the last couple of years. It used to be a delicious Al a carte menu at night, and yes it was quite expensive (well around £10-£15 a meal), but it was well worth it.
It was then taken over and went downhill a little, but I didn't eat there until it was again taken over by Baritones who actually made the menu great again, it was lovely once more, and catered more for families as well as couples and adults which was good as it meant you could happily go with families and still have a lovely meal. But then recently it was taken over YET AGAIN by the owners of Wallings Ice Cream parlour The Pudding House, and I'm sorry to say the menu has gone terrible. We went the other week for a lunch, the lunch menu used to be excellent with a massive range with a nice range of prices, but when we went they had only 3 main meals, one of which they didn't have! And a couple of sandwiches for nearly £7 each...for a sandwhich served with crisps and a small salad!!! Although there is nothign wrong with the actual food produced, it was the lack of menu that we didn't like and actually went somewhere else instead.
Ever since the place was taken over it's gone downhill, as the company just want to make money from anyone they can. Now members who bought a large share in the company and pay alot of money every year for maintenance fees etc don't really get anything extra for their money...in fact nothing...you can everything you get as a member as a non member!!! Which is very annoying for us who are members!!!!
But the place is still very impressive, I just hope that the company realise they have ruined Thurnham hall and go back to how it was!!! They make plenty of money from members and to be fair if it's a members club, then only members should reap the benefits....I don't mean this to sound snobby etc...but I do think that when members are paying hundreds or even thousands a year to keep the place running, we should get something extra for the money we pay!!!!
The restaurant and the leisure club have definitely gone downhill in recent years, but I do still love it :)
A 12th century country house.