“ Holiday home rentals - caravans and timber lodges. „
Well my mum and dad actually live on one of the Southlakeland parks, Marina Park in Glasson Dock, Lancaster and so I thought I would write a little review about the company and the parks.
Southlakeland Parks are a company of Sites across the Lancashire and Cumbria areas, the parks vary from just Static Caravans, to touring sites. There are 3 sites in the Lake District, and 6 in the Lanaster area. These parks are:
Todber: The Ribble Valley
Marina: Glasson Dock
Hawthorne: Middleton Sands
Ocean Edge: Morecambe Bay
Regent: Morecambe Bay
Gatebeck: North Kendal
Fallborrow: Lake Windamere
White Cross Bay: Lake Windamere
Limefitt: The Lake District
Some of the parks are "ownership only" which means that to stay on the site you must own one of the park homes, and you can't hire them out for holiday. These sites are: Marina; Gatebeck; Hawthorne. If you are wanting to own a caravan, in my opinion these sites are the best as you get to know the people around you and know who they are. On the "holiday" type sites, there are new people coming every week and you dont know who your neighbors will be from one week to the next, making meeting new friends a litle difficult. But some of the parks are like this, which is good if you want to go to a holiday park, the caravans are a great quality and the parks are always well cared for.
As I have not been to the other parks I am reviewing mainly Marina Park which is an owners only park.
Park Itself: The park has around 150 caravans ranging from one bedroom (2-4 berth) to 3 bedrooms (6-8 berth). The park has an inside pool, which was refurbished in 2008, and is now housed by a glass room which sides open up in nice weather, surrounded by a wonderful decking area where you can sit and relax in the sun!
A pool Bar, which is open every weekend, and some days during the holidays, which serves alcoholic and soft drinks, but doesn't serve food (other than the usual bar snacks or crisps and nuts).
A games room: which contains a pool table and a variety of slot machines.
The park itself is situated in the middle of the countryside with the River Lune to the front of the park, and the Lancaster canal at the back of the park, the canal leads right up to the village of Glasson Dock which has a lovely little cafe, two pubs, a crown green bowling green, the "smokehouse" which makes and sells smoked goods, a village shop, as well as an ice cream van which also sells chips and coffee etc, a play area for children. As well as the dock where you can go "crabbing", or just amble along peacefully and look at the boats in the marina.
In the other direction along the canal you can walk all the way up to the little village of Galgate which has a chip shop, Spar, post office and other amenities. And along the way is a lovely little pub called the Mill Inn which does amazing meals at reasonable prices- the village and the Mill Inn are both a 10 minute walk along the canal and so very easy to get to.
As well as nearby, there is the city of lancaster 3 miles away, though walking is around 8 miles as you need to go along the old railway line which has been converted into a cycle path, due to the road leading to the city not been particularly safe. But there is a local bus service which stops right outside the gates of Marina Park, its every 2 hours, but once you know the timetable is VERY handy! And can take you as far as Knott End, right through to Lancaster (where you can go to the bus interchange and go on to Kenal, Keswick etc).
Marina is presently managed by Linda and Dave Campbell who are very friendly and are a great help if you ever need anything!!!
The site is open from March through to January 2nd (so 10 months), and the site fees this year were around £2300, plus your electricity and gas on top, as well as "rates", which vary. There are always caravans available to buy and they vary in price from around £11k right through to £60k. But your sure to find something to suit your needs, and your bound to make new friends.
Me and my husband looked into moving onto the site as we have seen what a great difference it has made to my parents lives, probably extending them by 10 years!!!! Its in the perfect location, and of all the sites I have come across, Marina will always be my favourite!!!!
So if your looking to buy a holiday home...and your looking in the North West area, I would 100% recommend Marina or another South Lakeland site :0)
A bit of background
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South Lakeland Parks is a holiday and holiday home ownership company. They were established in 1988 and previously known as South Lakeland Caravans until June 2006. They specialise in developing and running holiday parks in the UK, these include caravan holidays and sales, and wood lodge holidays and sales.
I came across the company when my friend recommended it as a summer UK holiday destination. There were a group of about 7 family members (myself included) who were looking to go on holiday together and so after looking at their website we decided on White Cross Bay in the Lake District. I have to say we all have a thoroughly fantastic time and I would definitely recommend it and we will be going back.
The company has 9 locations ranging from smaller caravan parks to larger holiday villages all are complete with leisure facilities. 6 of the parks offer holiday breaks, all 9 parks offer holiday homes to buy and 4 have timber lodges.
While I can only comment personally on the facilities and experience we had at White Cross Bay, to provide a full review I have researched all the parks available from South Lakeland Parks.
South Lakeland Parks is split into three divisions of the company:
1) SLHolidays - http://www.slholidays.co.uk/
These are available at White Cross Bay, Fallbarrow, Limefitt, Todber, Ocean Edge and Regent.
2) SLParks - http://www.slparks.co.uk
These are available at White Cross Bay, Fallbarrow, Limefitt, Todber, Gatebeck, Regent, Ocean Edge, Hawthorne and Marina.
3) SLLodges - http://www.sllodges.co.uk
SLLodges focuses on the private holiday lodge home provided by South Lakeland Parks. These are available at White Cross Bay, Fallbarrow, Limefitt and Gatebeck.
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* White Cross Bay *
We absolutely loved it at White Cross Bay. The setting of Lake Windermere was idyllic and the surroundings unbelievably beautiful.
The park facilities were amazing, we couldn't have asked for anything else. And the location placed us slap bang in the heart of the Lake District.
The park facilities were unbelievable - with an indoor heated swimming pool we began each morning with a dip, then sauna. My brothers enjoyed the gym while we swam. There was a family lounge for us all to meet up after our morning exercise and have a coffee. A great outdoor play ground for the kids kept them entertained. And the beer garden and picnic area meant we could spend plenty of time outdoors. There was a shop for all the basics that I always forget, and a great restaurant on-site for a relaxing, delicious evening meal.
During our week stay there really was so much for us to do. We went to the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, which I absolutely loved and ended up sponsoring a tiger called Tess (after our dog). The little ones loved the World of Beatrix Potter and the Aquarium of the lakes, although for older children they might not keep their interest for long. The grand parents looked after the kids one day and we all went mountain biking to explore the Lakes. We took a leisurely trip across Lake Windermere on a Lake cruises, which was lovely (although take a cardigan as it is colder than you'd expect). The boys enjoyed a spot of fishing and golf while us girls went shopping in Ambleside and Kendal. Finally there was Go Ape at Grizedale forest which everyone enjoyed, although it was takeaway that evening cause we were all to tired to move.
We had an unbelievably adventurous, fun holiday here at White Cross Bay and will definitely be returning in the near future.
* Fallbarrow *
Fallbarrow Park is in a 5 star parks set in the wooded countryside of Lake Windermere. There are extensive grounds to the park that runs alongside the waters edge. Fallbarrow has boat launch facilities, a Bar and Eatery, Outdoor Children's Play Area, Games Room, Launderette, Shop, Picnic Area, and a new Deli and Café, plus use of the leisure facilities at nearby White Cross Bay.
* Limefitt *
Limefitt Park is again in the beautiful setting of the Lake District. Limefitt is a little different to White Cross Bay and Fallbarrow with Lakeland stone buildings, mature trees, traditional stone walls and grazing sheep. On park facilities include a fully equipped adventure playground, cosy Lakeland bar and lounge area, Games Room, nearby Fishing, Launderette and use of the leisure facilities at nearby White Cross Bay.
* Todber *
Todber is a country holiday retreat with views across the gorgeous Ribble Valley, Ingleborough, Penyghent and Wernside. The park is situated just a short drive away from the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, the Trough of Bowland, Gisburn Forest and Skipton. On park facilities include Family bar and lounge, a football field, Basketball & Volleyball courts, a Launderette, Pets are allowed, there is a new Outdoor Children's Play Area, Arcade and on-site Shops.
* Ocean Edge *
Ocean Edge is based on the coast of Morecambe Bay in the village of Heysham (pronounced He-Sham not Hay-sham). on park facilities include a family beer garden, café, indoor heated swimming pool and sauna, and soft play area.
* Regent *
Regent Leisure Park is just a short stroll away from Morecambe bay promenade and beach. Whatever the season, on a clear day there can be no finer view in the whole of the country than that across Morecambe Bay. On park facilities include a new indoor swimming pool and sauna, outdoor sports arena and indoor children's play area.
* Gatebeck *
Gatebeck is in a very unique position. A peaceful, quiet park in an ideal woodland location on the outskirts of Kendal. On park facilities include: a Launderette, Dog Freedom Paddock, Outdoor Children's Play Area, Woodland Walks, Fishing close by, RSPB - Leighton Moss nearby and a book and Entertainment Library.
* Hawthorne *
Hawthorne hidden away at Middleton Sands, close to the shores of Morecambe Bay it is a smaller park, on park Facilities include children's area, bar and laundrette. Dogs are allowed.
* Marina *
Marina is based at Glasson Dock, just 4 miles south of the historic city of Lancaster and 8 miles from Garstang. Park facilities include children's play area, bar, laundrette and outdoor swimming pool. Dog are allowed at this park.