Leaplish Waterside Park, Kielder

The benefit of going somewhere off season is that you can usually get a lot more for your money, or afford somewhere that you wouldn’t usually be able to. James and I had wanted to go to Kielder Observatory for a while and knew that this would involve an overnight stay. However, we discovered that lodges are much cheaper off season than they usually are so we decided to stay for a few days which meant that we could enjoy a long weekend in the area.

Although all of the lodges at Leaplish Waterside Park are described as four or five star, we had gone for the most basic of the lodges and weren’t quite sure what to expect. Although we didn’t have a hot tub, jacuzzi bath or any of the other luxury features that some of the more expensive lodges boasted, we were very satisfied with our stay in the “Hadrian” lodge.

The lodge could sleep up to four people with one double room and one twin. With four of you staying the cost per person would have been about £75 for three nights when we went which is very reasonable. I imagine it would have been quite cosy with four of you (especially if you were stuck inside due to the weather), however we had plenty of room for the two of us. Linen, towels and cleaning products were provided as well, and we had been left a pint of milk in the fridge too.

When we arrived we were presented with a parking permit for the duration of our stay which could be used in any of the car parks surrounding Kielder Water. We also had complimentary use of the swimming pool, steam room, sauna and gym, although you are meant to book the swimming pool in advance. There are a range of other activities and facilities that you can make use of on-site, meaning that there is plenty to do if you don’t fancy travelling much. If you have any questions then just ask a member of staff. Everyone we spoke to was really friendly, and there is someone available 24 hours a day.

There is a very difficult crazy golf course which is based on a map of the area. There is a Bird of Prey centre which we had originally intended to visit but didn’t in the end – partly we thought it looked a bit expensive for its size but also because there were plenty of other things to keep us entertained. There is a pub/restaurant if you don’t fancy cooking or want to go out for a drink in the evening and a spa for if you fancy treating yourself. There is also a small shop on site which contains some souvenirs and all the essentials you might need. We did our food shopping before we arrived as we wanted to be prepared but we probably would have managed if we hadn’t. There’s also a children’s play area and plenty of activities going on throughout the day for if you have come as a family.

This year some brand new lodges are opening (due to open in May) which include hot tubs, barbecues, PlayStation 4s, wireless Bluetooth sound systems, bathrobes and slippers, or even a star-gazing pod! We managed fine without all of the extras, and they certainly aren’t necessary, but the pictures of the new lodges do look stunning and I wouldn’t mind trying one if the opportunity came about. All of the lodges can be booked through Hoseasons.

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