Other than lodge holidays, it’s pretty hard to find a decent and comfortable holiday getaway on a budget. But even amongst lodges, there are many options. One could go to the countryside for a nice quiet forest park lodge, or head for the coast. Then there’s the cost and the facilities that might come in handy at a lodge.
Location: The UK has a huge number of lodges and lodge parks spread over Scotland, Wales and England. Whether any of them are actually well worth a stay depends on the drive and the season. The lodge shouldn’t be inaccessible, but it should also not be so close to everything that it doesn’t seem like a getaway.
If on the coast, there has to be easy beach access. If in a park, there should be enough facilities, and nearby activities and wildlife, to keep guests from getting bored. It’s also a good idea to find out how crowded (or not) it tends to be. Not much point in trying to getaway from the City only to get stuck in the middle of a huge rush of visitors.
On the other hand, tourists might want to enjoy the lodge experience along with a visit to a historic locale. An example would be a stay in a lodge park in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. This is right in the heart of Robinhood Country, made even more popular by the new Robinhood movie starring Russell Crowe.
Food & Dining: Most lodges will by default have a kitchen. But it’s better to verify if it’s functional and good enough for self-catering, with a microwave, fridge, dishwasher and a cooker. It’s also better to find a lodge where there’s a restaurant nearby.
Amenities: The rest of the facilities will vary depending on the budget, but as a rule there are some things that are always found in a lodge. Private parking is essential, as is a veranda and a nicely furnished lounge with a TV, a selection of DVDs and a music system. The bedrooms should sleep at least 4 and offer bathrooms with showers and fresh towels.
Family Friendly: A lodge which can neither claim to be family friendly nor a romantic getaway for couples is not worth considering. To verify that a property is indeed family friendly or a cozy place for couples, look for reviews on the internet. If it’s a good place there’ll be positive reviews available.
The facilities might also provide an indication. Family friendly lodges tend to be in or near popular holiday spots. They offer a separate bedroom for kids with twin beds, and can comfortably house 6 to 8 people. A romantic one, on the other hand, will be smaller and offer seclusion from civilization, along with things like Jacuzzis and four-poster beds in the master bedroom.
Group: Lodges paid for by the week are nowhere near as costly as a hotel or renting a country manor. Even so, it’s possible to cut down on the cost even more by going as a group. Some lodges will offer accommodations for 8-10 people, which means 2-3 families can team up to stay in the same lodge.
To summarize, lodge holidays away from the City are highly gratifying on both counts – relaxation and price. It’s still essential to do a fair bit of research before diving into a lodge booking. Just enough to make sure the holiday isn’t spent trying to get the dishwasher working, or asking directions to the nearest restaurant.
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