This weekend, I spent a few fab days in the Yorkshire Dales at Brompton Lakes, a small development of luxury eco-lodges.
We were invited to review the site by Holiday at Home, and I took the opportunity to enjoy a much-needed getaway with some of my very favourite blogging friends.
At this time of year, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Brompton Lakes was an oasis of calm, in a picture perfect setting on the edge of the National Park.
The lodges at Brompton Lakes sleep up to six people in each three-bedroom lodge. There’s a large, open plan kitchen-dining-living space, plus three bedrooms, one bathroom and one en-suite.
Our group was split across two lodges.
Sian, Sarah and Lisa stayed in the Jasper lodge, while Kirstie and Jen stayed with me in the Cara lodge. Each lodge was decorated to a really high standard, with the same basic layout, but little differences in colour and decoration that makes each property feel individual.
The park is peaceful and most of the lodges face over the lakes, giving you lots of privacy and a really peaceful outlook. It’s such a treat to start the morning on the large deck, watching the ducks and swans swim by.
And the views? They’re just spectacular.
Each lodge has floor to ceiling glass windows looking over the lake, meaning wherever you are in the living space, there’s a beautiful view to look at. Sarah and I took a walk around the lake, and along the neighbouring river, and it was so peaceful.
Towards one end of the site, there’s a wood-fired hot tub and sauna, that can be booked 24 hours ahead of time. There’s also a small reception building where you can borrow bikes, and helmets.
The Surrounding Area
From the Brompton Lakes site, it’s a short 2 mile cycle (or walk) to the pretty village of Richmond. We chose to drive, which may or may not have been related to the amount of Baileys that was consumed on Friday night. *cough*
Richmond has a market on weekend mornings, and the town is packed with little independent shops selling gifts and books. There’s also a small supermarket so you can stock up on essentials during your stay. We spent a lovely morning browsing and peering through the gates at the pretty castle in Richmond.
If we had more time, I’d love to have explored more of the Yorkshire Dales. There are loads of nature reserves and walks close by, so it’s the perfect place to spend time outdoors.
Our Lodge at Brompton Lakes
After a couple of hours of fresh air, we headed back to Brompton Lakes for some reading and downtime.
Our lodge was beautifully decorated, and the “eco” credentials certainly don’t mean compromising on luxury touches. We loved the underfloor heating, NEOM toiletries and gorgeous egg-shaped wood burner.
We all commented on how lovely it was to note how many thoughtful extras are included as standard when you stay at Brompton Lakes. When we arrived, there was plenty of tea, coffee, milk and sugar, for example.
But that’s not all. The hosts also provide dishwasher tablets, cleaning products, unlimited wood for the fire and even things like laundry tablets (there’s a washing machine in the lodge’s utility room).
Self-catering can be a bit of a faff when you have to “make do” without those little things that make life easier. But here, they’ve thought of virtually everything.
The kitchen is beautifully kitted out with plenty of utensils and serving platters. Sarah cooked up an amazing chilli on Saturday evening, and we all sat together eating delicious food. There was plenty of Prosecco, and Christmas crackers to boot. What more could you want?
After dinner, we collapsed onto the giant corner sofa for a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity and Sock Puppet Charades. The lovely wood burner kept us cosy, and we stayed up FAR too late, watching a Christmas movie, and giggling like five year olds.
The morning after, there was ALL the coffee and bacon sandwiches. Then it was time to head home, feeling very much refreshed.
A Much Needed Break
I love being a Mum, and I love my job.
But I honestly can’t tell you how great it is to have a few days away with some friends who allow you to be yourself. Blogging can sometimes be an industry where people don’t always feel able to be genuine.
It’s a weird thing when your life is tied in with your “brand”. I think we often wind up feeling that we need to act a certain way, to live up to that brand.
The great thing about having real time to spend with blogging friends is getting to know them as three-dimensional people. And just laughing. I can’t even tell you how much we all laughed together.
It turns out that Sian from Helpful Mum might be the funniest person I’ve ever known. Kirstie from Family Adventure Project is writing a novel, and takes phone photos that put the rest of us to shame.
Sarah from Toby Goes Bananas knows how to cook AND make a fire from scratch. Jen is always first to pop the kettle on, and Lisa can always think of something kind to say about just about anyone. Also she makes weird butterfly noises.
Oh, and I also have a video of Sarah doing the ENTIRE rap from Vanilla Ice’s classic hit “Ice Ice Baby”.
Which might have been worth the drive all by itself.
We were offered free accommodation for the purposes of this review. At around £400 for a weekend break, I think it’s great value, especially given the quality of the accommodation, the many luxury touches and the beautiful views from the lodges. If you’d like to know more about Brompton Lakes, then please do check out their website.