One of Away Resorts' magnificent seven-berth Woodland Retreat Lodges at the brand new Appletree Holiday Park near Boston in Lincolnshire.
Relaxation comes as standard at Away Resorts' brand new Appletree Holiday Park
Three generations enjoy a four night break at a pristine holiday park and golf resort in rural Lincolnshire
With the 2022 summer holiday season having already suffered disruption on so many fronts, it's no wonder that families are opting to stay much closer to home this year, writes Alan Wooding.
In the week following the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the UK and as an alternative to the current airport chaos, I've just enjoyed a four-night break in a peaceful parkland setting in rural Lincolnshire instead of opting for a crowded seaside resort.
With the school holidays now in full swing and with many families continuing to risk flight delays, ferry disruption or even complete cancellations, I booked into Away Resorts' stunning new 150 acre Appletree Holiday Park complex located in Hubbert's Bridge which is close to the town of Boston.
Holidaying with my youngest daughter Melanie and 11-year-old granddaughter Eva, we opted for an exclusive custom-designed Woodland Retreat Lodge which has two spacious bedrooms... and it comes with a glorious hot tub as standard!
With a staggering £3.5million having already been spent by the parent company on its latest acquisition, the Appletree holiday complex officially opened on 14 July 2022 although it had been available to book from early June.
The whole complex also incorporates the modern Boston West Hotel together with its challenging nine hole golf course, the whole 150 acre site having been established on what was once an 18-hole course while plans have been drawn up to finally place up to 340 lodges and caravans on it!
Appletree currently employs 60 full time staff, either in the hotel and its bars and restaurants alongside those working in management, cleaning, maintenace, catering and leisure facilities. Now the next step is to start building a new indoor swimming pool – which will include a fitness gym, spa and sauna! – with the work due to start in early September. It should take around 18 months but will hopefully be ready for the latter part of the 2023 season.
The accommodation comes in a variety of brand new executive double-glazed and fully heated lodges or luxury eight-berth caravans.
In the corner of the king-size master bedroom in our lodge was a free-standing bathtub along with two LG televisions – one a unique mirror-style mounted above the enomous tub – the other a 32-inch version in front of the bed.
The other bedroom – which sleeps three – had bunk beds plus a comfy single next to a rather smart family bathroom with a woodland-themed shower cubicle. In addition there's also a pull-out double in the impressively large lounge, thus increasing the accommodation to a full seven berths.
Finished in a woodland theme with a smattering of Scottish-looking baronial tartan upholstery, the Woodland Lodge has everything you would expect from luxury accommodation.
In the impressively equipped kitchen you'll find a Belling double gas oven with a five burner hob, a Beko microwave, a nine-setting Candy Brava dishwasher, a large fridge-freezer, kettle, toaster, quality utensils plus plenty of crockery, cutlery and glassware.
In the large lounge-diner you can watch a 50-inch Freeview LG flatcreen television with an accompanyine DVD player from the comfort of an extra large Chesterfield-style corner sofa.
There are further LG televisions in both
bedrooms which enjoy quality bed linen, smart duvets and pumped up pillows. All the beds were made up on arrival with fresh linen giving you the very best welcome while I also had priority check-in at 2.30pm instead of the usual 3pm.
Complimentary toiletries and towels are also included together with a handy information welcome pack along which included an ice cold bottle of Prosecco which we enjoyed while sitting in the hot tub. And just in case you're wondering, there's also a full WiFi service!
The novelty of a hot tub on the private decking and patio area certainly wowed Eva who would have happily stayed in all day but we were also there to enjoy the rest of the park and the surrounding countryside.
We tried out the driving range with its 20 floodlit bays and while we didn't use the 'Top Tracer' equipment, it certainly gave us plenty of laughs. We also dined in the Six West Restaurant and smart Tipsey Eagle Lounge Bar and enjoyed the woodland walks.
Meanwhile there is a large outdoor cinema on Tuesdays and Saturdays but unfortunately we missed out as it was rather chilly on our last night, so instead of watching The Lion King, we went back to our lodge to watch England's Women beat Sweden 4-0 in the European Cup semi-final.
There is a colourful splash zone for younger children and a well-equipped children's playground while several climbing frames are dotted around the park which is currently expanding by the week with new lodges and caravans being installed.
You can play foot golf and also hire cycles by the hour or day along with golf clubs should you wish to venture out onto the nine-hole course, either with a trolley or in one of the park's electric buggies!
Just a six minute drive from the Appletree Holiday Park we visited an interesting and totally unique Bubblecar Museum –www.bubbecarmuseum.co.uk – in the village of Langrick. It's the home of around 50 different tiny microcar vehicles made popular in the 1950s and 60s.
Names like Reliant, Berkeley, Heinkel Trojan, NSU, Bond, Trabant, Messerschmitt and Isetta were commonplace back then while the museum now has several fascinating diaramas depicting a 1950s kitchen and living room along with a hardware shop and garage, all packed with memorabiliia from a bygone age.
The collection also houses many motorcycles and scooters from the era while on certain days you can also take a ride in a bubblecar which, considering the size of the average family car today, will certainly make you feel rather small and insignificent.
Following our visit to the museum it was then time for granddaughter Eva who immediately chose to go to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park – www.lincswildlife.com – in the village of Friskney.
It's an interesting animal park packed with all manner of species including white lions, tigers and pumas along with over 100 different species of parrot. In fact, one aviary alone houses over 150 African Grey Parrots while there are also macaws and cockatoos galore.
There's the usual children's play area plus a quirky Rainforest Diner but the park is run as a charity – including the National Parrot Sanctuary – and top illusionist Derren Brown is its long time patron.
The following day we headed to the coast, first visiting Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve which looks out across The Wash and the miles of pristine sand which stretches across to the north Norfolk coast.
There is a popular cafe with a wonderful lookout point on its roof while after a stroll across the marshes, you reach the deserted beach which runs for miles.
Walk the other way and you'll pass yachts stranded on the muddy banks awaiting the next high tide on the creek-like River Stepping.
Passing back along the narrow coastal road we called in at Skegness for a fish and chip lunch, the packed seaside resort with its huge fun fare, slot machines and Kiss Me Quick hats not really of interest to any of us.
We headed along to Sutton-on-Sea, passing the massive Butlins Holiday Camp, before finally reaching the town of Mablethorpe, a smaller and less crowded version of Skegness but still with plenty of attractions for families to enjoy.
Our final day saw us spend time in Boston where we paid a visit to St Botolph's Church, more commondly known as The Stump. However we were so surprised to see the place buzzing thanks to what appeared to be a dog show.
As it turned out, it was actually a competition to find the cuddliest pet and was being judged by a local vet... and third place went to a black cat whose owner bravely took it out of its cage while surrounded by dogs.
We climbed the bell tower's 209 steps which gave us splendid views across the town and of the muddy tidal river known as The Haven.
We also learned that it had taken 70 years to build the tower, having been started in 1450 after digging out the footings some 30 feet below the level of the river. Climbing down, there are only 206 steps as the tower leans slightly and that counter-balances the main church (erected in 1309) which leans the opposite way!
After that we walked through the central park and on to view the Maud Foster Windmill only to find that it's only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Holiday Fact File
Appletree Holiday Park, Hubbert's Bridge, Boston, Lincolnshire
Away Resorts parent company is based in Hemel Hempsted and was founded in 2008 by Carl Castledine. Purchasing 11 holiday parks in both coastal and countryside locations across the country, today that number has grown to 23 holiday parks offering a range of accommodation from the classic caravan to exclusive lodges.