Travel Editor David Lewis writes a review on our stunning Silverdale Park for Edinburgh Evening News.
We had endured endured several days of stress in the planning stage of our trip down south.
When a mechanic quipped of our car just 48 hours before we hit the road, “I wouldn’t drive that to Livingston, nevermind the Lake District”, we were left scrambling around trying to secure some emergency wheels.
So when we finally got rolling in our hired car, we hoped we were on our way to four days of peace and tranquillity.
And we weren’t disappointed.
Silverdale Holiday Park – owned by the Holgate family for 60 years – is set in more than 100 acres of beautiful countryside with views sweeping across Morecambe Bay.
The award-winning site was named Park of the Year by the Cumbria Tourist Board in 2014 and was given a prestigious Conservation Award by none other than Professor David Bellamy himself.
The park provides luxury caravans for rent or purchase as well as timber-built “glamping pods” for hire.
Campers can pitch their tent on the land, while there is also space for touring caravans and motorhomes.
Our hire car proved itself shortly after we left the M6, its sat-nav guiding us along a series of single-track country roads until we reached our idyllic location around four hours after leaving Edinburgh.
On arrival, we quickly realised the kids – aged five years and 18 months – would be well catered for, with a large swimming pool visible from the car park and signs within the reception directing us to the games room and soft-play areas.
We were able to drive to and park right outside our large static caravan – extremely helpful given the sheer volume of material we’d brought to keep the children clothed and entertained.
Inside, we were delighted with what was on offer – a large living room with ample seating areas and a widescreen TV mounted on the wall; a spacious kitchen with dining table and all mod-cons, including the holiday favourite – a dishwasher.
We had two bathrooms (one an en-suite to the main double bedroom) each fitted with a shower and a second twin bedroom.
An outdoor dining area, surrounded by beautifully manicured landscape, featured on exquisite decking extending from the rear of the caravan.
After unpacking, we went off to explore the park and enjoy some of the leisure activities on offer.
As well as the family pool, with spa, sauna and gym attached, the games room offered a host of arcade machines, air hockey and even an computerised bowling alley, available for hire for £15 an hour.
There were two separate age-appropriate soft-play areas which suited both kids and were positioned handily close to the bar and restaurant.
We enjoyed a meal on site one night, and discovered plenty of variety in the menu to suit all tastes.
The park’s extensive grounds were also a delight to explore – with no shortage of children’s playparks along the way – via a myriad of woodland paths, which, we learned, were described by Prof Bellamy as “a wildlife wonderland”.
Over the following days, we put the sat-nav to the test, venturing 30 minutes into the Lake District to enjoy a stroll around the stunning town of Bowness-on-Windermere.
We also headed for nearby Lancaster, where we visited the Butterfly House – also home to a pack of heart-melting meerkats – attraction at Williamson Park, where we found the hugely impressive and iconic Ashton Memorial.
Heading home after four days, our only sense of dissatisfaction came from the fact we couldn’t stay longer.
Whether as a permanent holiday base or a launching point for wider travel around the Lakes and Yorkshire Dales, it’s a big thumbs up from us for Silverdale Holiday Park.