AD / THIS POST CONTAINS GIFTED PRODUCT FROM BUYAGIFT. ALL WORDING & OPINION EXPRESSED IS MY OWN, NOT OF THE BRAND.
A family holiday is something I’ve been wanting for a while but postpone. Partially it’s as a result of I’m overly protective of my pets who I can’t take with me and in addition, there’s something concerning the thought of taking a toddler on holiday that fills me with dread. So with out taking a leap into lengthy holidays away, I realised a short staycation can be the perfect answer for a household getaway.
A number of months back I was gifted a glamping pod break from Buyagift which I assumed would tie in properly as a belated honeymoon / first family holiday. I’ve needed to ‘go glamping’ for as long as I can keep in mind so I used to be really wanting ahead to putting the experience to make use of and taking Reuben on his first little holiday.
Nestled near the Lake District’s most northerly lake, Ullswater, is Waterfoot Park, the Lake District Estates‘ touring and self-catering vacation website on which the glamping pod break is obtainable. Catering for two individuals and including two additional complimentary experiences: the Ullswater ‘Steamers’ and the Eskdale and Ravenglass Railway; it’s a deluxe two night time break providing sensible worth for cash. The glamping pods – technically wigwams by design – are compact picket ‘houses away from house’ providing the mod cons typical camping strategies lack reminiscent of operating water, electrical energy and heating, in addition to small luxuries akin to a rest room and fitted bed, promising the last word glamping expertise in probably the most beautiful of places.
Though technically a break for 2 individuals, we have been capable of flip it into a family group and embrace Reuben, and since he’s only two there was no further charge. Reserving the break was a doddle: I’d already emailed Waterfoot Park to enquire about taking Reuben so I used to be capable of ebook by way of e mail which simplified an already simple process! I just wanted to offer the Buyagift voucher number together with my full details and the dates I needed to stay. So with the middle of Might earmarked for our early summer time getaway, it wasn’t lengthy before we have been heading off to the Lakes.
Glamping Day 1
Reuben was so charged up with pleasure on the Monday morning of our vacation. I don’t assume he had a clue what this glamping pod was that we have been telling him about but he positive knew it was an adventure and he loves his adventures. He was so excited that whereas Mum and Dad have been getting the whole lot collectively and within the automotive able to go, Reuben found a purple felt tip pen that I by no means knew he had and prettied up the couch. Thanks Reubs!
So we set off for the Lakes around 10 o’clock later that morning, stopping for lunch on the best way earlier than arriving at Waterfoot Park just after 1pm. With wigwam check-in occasions from 2.30pm we have been a bit of early so after a pleasant chat with the gentleman on reception we went for a stroll into nearby Pooley Bridge. Despite the cooler climate that rained flippantly at occasions, it was pretty to have the ability to walk straight out from the park to the lake. A mild path skirting the underside fringe of the park led us up by means of pasture, over a street and alongside probably the most scenic of trails overlooking the lake which was a reasonably sight for sore eyes. If solely the sector beside the monitor wasn’t having probably the most thunderous floor work undertaken, it might have been peaceable too (we had to wait til the workmen left at 5 for that afterward.) From there, the straightforward stroll took an fascinating turn by main us into a wooden by way of some quite tough terrain, which we spent one of the best part navigating with a drained two yr previous who just needed to be carried. It transpired what was the one solution to safely stroll to Pooley Bridge was principally the Ullswater Method, the official route for mountaineering the points of curiosity across the Lake’s perimeter. Great for fit walkers, not so good for folks of toddlers, those who need a wheelchair or pushchair or anybody just more likely to journey over uneven ground.
After a quick walk right down to Pooley Bridge we made our means back to reception and received checked in, earlier than being led to the glamping pod website by following in our automotive behind the gentleman from reception driving a buggy. Up the top finish of the location was the glamping pod space; there were just 4 of the pods spaced out in a grassed space segregated from the caravans, and a few new vacation huts referred to as ‘hives’ nearer to the gateway. The pods in actual time have been much greater than I’d been imagining, which was a aid! Launched to our pod, we have been briefed on the box of crockery and utensils that was offered to make use of, showed methods to use the heater and handed our door key before being left to get on with shifting our gear in. We had loads of luggage to usher in, so it was useful that there have been a few trolleys to assist cart our luggage containing garments, a billion snacks, bottles of water (not that we notably wanted it because there was operating water) and a mountain of bedding.
Right outdoors the pod was a big raised decking space, a neat place to open up a couple of tenting chairs and chill with a cup of tea, and simply off the decking was our personal picnic bench to use. The pod had double french doorways which opened as much as reveal an open plan area that includes a settee mattress, eating table and chairs, kitchenette and a double mattress, whereas a separate shower room hid away a proper plumbed-in rest room, nook bathe cubicle and sink basin.
We instantly made ourselves at house and popped the kettle on whereas Reuben bounced across the pod with excitement.
Now, one drawback will glamping (or any type of self catering) is you find yourself taking half your home with you because you want stuff but you’re additionally apprehensive about not having enough stuff. We had a ton of crap which meant it took up loads of worthwhile area in the pod. The dining desk ended up being the dumping ground for most luggage, primarily because it was the one place Reuben’s little two yr previous self couldn’t attain. The rest of the luggage – garments and wash luggage – went on the ground at the foot of the bed.
Of all the essentials on prime of essentials that I assumed to convey to the pod, there was still the odd item which caught us brief. No, not the toilet roll. The very first thing: hand wash. Who even thinks of taking hand wash anyplace?! I didn’t but thankfully I do carry a bottle of hand sanitiser on me so that got here in useful. The second important I forgot? Washing up liquid. I simply didn’t assume! And frustratingly the crock field contained a dish material however no dish washing liquid or soap, so I simply ended up rinsing plates and cups with scorching water and cleaning with a touch of bathe gel. Properly, it was better than nothing.
As our first day was already nicely into the afternoon we determined to keep it pretty simple and headed again out over to the lakeside and Pooley Bridge. This time we took the runner pushchair, figuring out that Reuben’s power comes in matches and bursts and can possible need a relaxation sooner or later. We came upon there was an alternate route out of the park from the highest end where the glamping pods have been which took you through the mansion house’s garden, and it was a pleasing walk nevertheless it wasn’t feasible for the pushchair; Sean needed to carry it down some steps and then try to cross by way of some gates which had posts proper within the path of. The route by means of the wooden was still unavoidable but fortunately our rugged pushchair made it.
Our first night time within the pod was a stuffy one. The heater had been on low which was maintaining the pod cosy but by bedtime it felt too scorching so we switched it off. The heat didn’t help with settling Reuben for mattress but to be trustworthy he was just too hyper to sleep, so he spent the night watching Bob the Builder on his pal’s dvd participant and enjoying with the sticker books we brought. We hadn’t taken the black out blind from our bedroom so the pod was still quite mild till late, so it was getting on half 10 by the point all of us hit the hay together. By this time though it was completely quiet and peaceable (nicely, until the fridge kicked in buzzing) and it didn’t take lengthy for us all to drop off.
Glamping Day 2
Come the morning of our second day the clouds have been shifting and the solar was making an appearance, so it was pretty to be able to throw open the french doorways and let within the recent air while we ate breakfast and prepared for a visit on the lake. I used to be thrilled to seek out our Ullswater Steamers voucher that came complimentary with our glamping pod experience have been all day tickets which meant we might hop on and off at totally different stops around the lake. With the Steamers leaving Pooley Bridge it meant one other hike by way of that wood again, although after a number of walks underneath our belt we have been used to clambering via it by now. We referred to as into the ticket office on the pier to purchase our tickets with our voucher which was very straight forward. Inside there was a really handy rest room and a small present shop the place we bought a cute magnet souvenir.
We had a while to kill earlier than the steamer came in so we wandered down toward Pooley Bridge, this time preserving to the lakeside the place Reuben might go down and throw stones in the water. No one else was down there so it was really nice to loosen up and take in the views in our personal secluded spot.
We have been first within the line waiting to board the steamer however a big group of aged people had simply come off a coach they usually weren’t greatest happy to see a toddler waiting to board. Reuben couldn’t understand why we have been waiting when the ferry had arrived and obtained a bit impatiently upset, but he was immediately thrilled once we have been allowed on board. He was a bit daunted as soon as we truly sat down as a result of this boat was completely open and we sat on benches, so I sat close to the aspect with Reuben on my lap. I had been involved concerning the safety of taking him on a ship in order precaution I put his reins on and held tight. I also popped his swim vest on, which I know isn’t a life vest but I figured I’d moderately him put on that than nothing if he occurred to fall out.
So we spent the whole day on the boats, sightseeing around the lake and visiting the varied villages on the stops. Every journey was lengthy in time with a great hour earlier than we stopped off at Glenridding briefly to shortly board the subsequent boat over to Aira Pressure. Once we reached there we stopped to have our packed lunch earlier than taking the difficult hike (for mine and Reuben’s legs and Sean’s for carrying the pushchair up far too many steps to rely) as much as the Nationwide Trust’s Aira Pressure waterfall. We’re members of the belief nevertheless it’s a free to go to attraction for all so a bonus for protecting the holiday purse unspent!
Reuben made slightly pal on the shore, enjoying ball with a young boy and his dog. Reuben loves canine so he was in his aspect, as was I simply taking pictures of the fantastic sun drenched views.
As the steamers are very time thirsty, you don’t actually have all that a lot time to experience totally different ones and go to the villages too, but we discovered all of it sufficient. We stopped off at Glenridding on the best way again and loved wandering right down to the outlets where we stopped for some beautiful regionally produced ice cream and Reuben purchased some Peter Rabbit books from the unbiased gallery and present store.
We took the last steamer again to Pooley Bridge, arriving back just earlier than 6 so it was in good time to go again to our pod and hearth up the mini barbecue we’d brought along. On the best way there we’d purchased some beef burgers and frankfurters, so I microwaved the recent canine for quickness as it was already getting late for Reuben’s tea, and we have been capable of take pleasure in a light-weight lemony lager as we sat around our smoking burgers. After our tea I assumed a wander into the caravan website can be a good suggestion to ensure Reuben had burned sufficient power, and we found the play park where he enjoyed a swing and the slide.
Preparing for bed felt rather more in examine on our second night time. We took turns having a shower in our little washroom – even Reuben had a shower, however I sat him within the bathe tray for his wash because it was too slippy and not using a rubber mat down. He liked it, so I’ve returned residence considering giving him showers the odd time too now. We have been all absolutely shattered on the finish of our day of exploring Ullswater that we all went to bed together by 10 (one other late holiday night time for Reuben, but an early night time for us).
Glamping Day 3
The following morning we woke to deep blue skies. Nicely truly Sean woke earlier at just gone 5 to the sound of a tractor in the area proper subsequent to our pods, but aside from that, the day began on a constructive notice. Day three was going to take us further into the Lake District to Windermere, nevertheless it was additionally a sad goodbye to our glamping pod. With our early morning rise it meant we had good time to get up without any dashing about and start packing away our luggage again into the automotive. Reuben helped Sean wheel the trolley forwards and backwards whereas I casually put some make up on and loved some peace before the mad day ahead. It didn’t take too lengthy to tidy up the pod; sheets have been pulled off the mattresses and cups have been washed and put again into the borrowed crock box. So with a drop of the key back into reception we have been driving to our next vacation spot – to see the Beatrix Potter Attraction.
The climate was a lot hotter and brighter so it got here as no surprise to seek out Windermere bustling. Though, while it had been 9 years since we’d last visited right here (clearly with out Reuben) I’d forgotten how far more touristy it’s right here in this a part of the Lakes. We spent the morning in the Beatrix Potter Attraction which Reuben had combined emotions about (he discovered it a bit scary partially in all probability as a result of it’s so darkish inside) before heading out for a meander across the outlets and stopping for some battered sausage and chips.
A relaxed stroll right down to the lakeside became a mad hunt for a toilet which I might have finished with out however we found one, seemingly miles away, ultimately. With that out of the best way we went back right down to the pier and purchased some whippy ice lotions (one being plopped onto the pavement by you understand who) and then went to feed the geese. It was crazy simply how tame the swans have been who truly allowed you to stroke them, or cuddle in Reuben’s case, but tears abounded when as I was feeding a dove of all creatures in my hand, a feisty goose chomped on Reuben’s arm leaving fairly a nasty nip and bruise.
Not wanting to go away too soon however feeling the necessity to escape the crowds we drove out from the centre a brief distance and stopped for a short stroll right down to a quieter a part of the lake. Reuben was asleep by this level however he awoke ultimately once we obtained near the shore, and after slightly snack he set to work throwing stones once more. It was good simply to take a seat on the rocks for a while to absorb the tranquility of the lakes one last time before leaving for house. It was lovely, just watching yachts bob in the distance on the crystalline water.
So what did we think of the pod?
Holidaying in a glamping pod was definitely totally different to staying in a b&b and even camping in a tent. It had its bonuses and drawbacks. I liked the pod for all its luxurious cosiness compared to a tent or caravan – it was trendy, heat, you may wash and have a wee in consolation and with its picket aesthetic and lightweight giving french doors you felt near nature.
Reuben had some freedom outdoors by operating across the pod but usually it didn’t really feel especially youngster pleasant because the entrance to the glamping space was an open gate. Ball video games weren’t allowed outdoors the pods so I used to be wary of getting our holidays toys out but Reuben was completely satisfied enough together with his monster vans and stickers anyway. There have been some disappointments with the pod itself; we figured we have been staying within the ‘dog friendly’ pod since we discovered so many dog hairs about and it did have a slight doggy wiff. A few of the shelves inside the fridge have been broken so we couldn’t stand the milk up. And the sofa bed was sooo annoying as a result of everytime you’d sit on it the again mattress would fall on you (Reuben thought he was getting attacked and ran away from it.) Oh, after which Reuben spotted cobwebs! “Wobs!” he shouted pointing on the door. He hates cobwebs and may spot them a mile off. Good.
Was glamping with a toddler profitable?
Yeah I might say so! We had the freedom we wouldn’t have had in a lodge, and it was a very good expertise for Reuben. Nevertheless it actually wasn’t enjoyable in the best way each the husband and I had hoped, where we’d imagined sitting outdoors within the cool night watching the sun set whereas sipping a beer or two, because that definitely didn’t occur.
The glamping break package deal was really good worth considering the price of the Ullswater Steamers and the Eskdale and Ravenglass Railway experiences too. While we made as a lot of the steamers as we might, we sadly didn’t get to visit the railway because it was simply too distant and we didn’t have enough time to make a proper day of going even additional into the Lakes.
So whereas the pod had its flaws, we nonetheless liked our little pod. It was our bolt gap out of the elements for us to return again and sit back in and, for all the stressing, we still obtained our special household time together.
You should purchase the Waterfoot Park glamping break expertise here:
Have you ever ever been glamping or tenting with the household? What can be your prime ideas for profitable holidaying with little ones?