Back in September we headed up to the Lake District for a review break. We had been invited to stay with Park Resorts and after spending some time looking at different locations in the UK we decided on Fallbarrow Park which is just outside Windermere, Cumbria.
The Fallbarrow Park Resort…
Neither of us had stayed with Park Resorts before so we weren’t entirely sure what to expect but we were really pleasantly surprised, in fact it wasn’t at all like I imagined. The resort was a really nice size, the main bit had a park, pub, shop and reception area then lots of chalets and caravans hidden under lots of big trees. I guess I was expecting more of a cabaret in the evening type of caravan park but it wasn’t like that at all. The shop was really good for the basics but only sold your local corner shop selection of food so we headed into Windermere to buy our other shopping, there is a supermarket in town called Booths which was rather lovely. We don’t have them down here but they sold lots of exciting brands of food that I hadn’t seen before so Cherry and I spent a good hour walking around there while the boys sat in the car.
We were staying out of season so it was really quiet, something which we love when going to stay away. The lodge itself was such a great size, we were in a gold and it had two twin bedrooms, one double bedroom with an en-suite, a bathroom then really large, open-plan kitchen / diner / living area with two sets of doors opening out onto the balcony. The table was really large and there were two big sofas so you could easily have six people staying. The kitchen was well equipped and we didn’t find ourselves missing anything that we needed.
There were a few things we picked up on accommodation wise, firstly the drawer with all the sharp knives in was really low down, at toddler height basically. Ours are a bit old to go looking through the kitchen but if you had younger children then that might be more of an issue. Both of the toilet seats were broken, they just needed to be screwed back on but I’m surprised it wasn’t picked up on when the cleaners had been in there. Then lastly I found the mattresses pretty uncomfortable, they were spring ones but you could feel the metal sticking out which just does not make for a good night’s sleep!
But these few negatives were definitely outweighed by positives and we were really pleased with the accommodation as a whole. The heating worked really well, something which is important when staying away in colder months and the lodge was so spacious.
The Fallbarrow Park resort is situated right on Lake Windermere, some of the lodges look right out onto it. This makes it such a perfect setting for a family holiday as the view really is gorgeous.
Things To Do In Lake Windermere, Cumbria…
During our stay we tried to fit as much in as possible so on day one we went around all the local National Trust places, we have membership which is great because it means no matter where in the country we are we have lots of places to go for free days out. One thing I did notice is how the NT places in the area really cater for kids, the first place we went to was Wray Castle which looks over the lake and can be reached by boat although we drove and ended up doing a full lap of Lake Windermere which takes about an hour.
There was so much to do there and you could easily fill a whole day. Nearly every room inside Wray Castle has some kind of activity for kids but the highlight for ours was a huge room full of fancy dress.
I’m pretty sure the kids would have played happily in there all day but we were on a tight schedule so had to head on to the next place, after checking out the outdoor area which had loads of swings and fun things for kids to climb on.
Then we carried on driving around Lake Windermere to a place called Fell Foot which has a cafe, park, walk and boat hire all over looking the lake. This is also a National Trust property but a free one.
You could even play outdoor table tennis although it was a bit windy when we were there and the ball keep blowing away.
The next day we decided to get a boat to somewhere called Brockhole which had a huge adventure playground with tree top walks and some other things to do. There is loads to do but I would suggest not eating in the cafe like we did as the lady who worked there was really rude after I took my disgusting soup and stale bread back to complain. I’ve worked in catering before and knew as soon as the soup arrived that it had been made from a powder that is supposed to create home-made soup, it has a really distinctive smell and tastes horrid so I went and told her. Had my bread been edible I probably would have just eaten that but given that was really stale and it had cost £5 I was not letting it go! I was really polite and basically just asked if it had been made from the powder to which she said it hadn’t but when asked what vegetables were in it she couldn’t even tell me. Apparently it had ‘you know, carrots and stuff’ in it. I was then accused of insulting the chef! My bread was eventually replaced with another piece from the same loaf of rock hard, stale bread so take a packed lunch if you go!!
The Brockhole park area was really busy as they had some school trips there and as we aren’t fans of places full of screaming kids we headed off for a little walk where we stumbled across a mini beach overlooking Lake Windermere where we had a lovely couple of hours. We we so lucky with the weather, the sun was shining and it was so warm that the kids were able to paddle in the lake.
Then on our last day we went on a steam train, it felt entirely necessary to travel around Lake Windermere by every method possible whilst there and although we only went a few stops up before heading back again it was fun for the kids who hadn’t ever been on a train before.
We had a great time during our stay at Fallbarrow Park and it was without a doubt worth the 5 hour drive to get up there. I think on reflection I would have chosen a different resort though as ours was better suited to older couples. I didn’t realise there wasn’t a pool when I booked it, I just assumed they all had them, but without one it meant there wasn’t much for the kids there. They did have activities at weekends and in the holidays but we were there in the week so there wasn’t anything happening. There is another resort just down the road called White Cross Bay which would probably be better for young children as they had a swimming pool. There are four Park Resorts parks in the Lake District though so one is guaranteed to meet your needs but just don’t make the same mistake as me and assume they all have pools!
The Lake District itself is absolutely stunning, we spent all our time near Lake Windermere as we were only there for a few days but there are lots of other lakes in Cumbria too and we definitely want to go back up at some point to do some exploring.
Here is a little video I made of our time at Fallbarrow Park…
Thanks to Fallbarrow Park for inviting us to stay.