Travel review: Silverdale, Cumbria
Recharging batteries, no matter how fit and robust we think we are, is an absolute must from time to time.
And it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg and an eight-hour flight.
Sometimes nothing quite beats leaving the office on a Friday, jumping straight in the car, collecting loved ones and shooting off in the direction of a quiet leafy haven or the ocean. Better still, what if you can have both?
Cumbria is a bit of a hidden gem in some respects. Everyone knows about the Lake District. But it also packs some less-talked-about havens on its coastline that give you the deep blue sea on one side and the rolling peaks that keep the lakes in place on the other.
It's a quiet and happy place. Cars wind around bending A roads at manageable speeds. Nothing seems to happen particularly quickly. And cyclists have fought to gain dominance over certain stretches of scenic routes.
The sun was still blazing when we arrived at Silverdale Park for the weekend. A plush and roomy static caravan/holiday home awaited that can sleep six and gives you most of the mod cons you would find in a cottage - and certainly a hell of a lot more than you'd get for your money in a hotel room.
Two bedrooms - one a superbly soft double and the other two singles - add to space on the sofas to sleep six. The kitchen and living areas are comfortable and full of the tools you need, while a large glass table and matching chairs on the quiet balcony offer lovely views out to Morecambe Bay.
Silverdale is set in 100-plus acres of beautiful countryside and holds around 450 permanent homes - most of which are privately owned. There's also room for touring caravans, and comfortable camping pods each with their own name and unique view. Large woodland paths are available for dog walkers, while a butterfly conservation area allows close contact with nature.
There's plenty to keep the kids (young and old) happy too with a pitch & putt course, and leisure facilities that include a pool and jacuzzi, spa, games room and gym as well as the bar area and on-site shop.
We liked the early 9pm closing of the bar, emphasising time spent in the evenings as a couple or family in your home away from home. It was a nice touch, sitting out on the balcony in the evening listening to the happy calls and laughter from other groups doing the same. Not rowdy, just a sense of contentment in the air.
If you do wish to explore, the nearby village of Arnside is serene and sells some excellent ice creams by the pier at Arnside House. Wait 'til the sirens sound warning of the incoming tide. The force and speed of that water coming up-stream has to be seen to be believed.
A little further is the quaint market town of Kendal, too. Nice for a spot of lunch and full of old, winding streets and churches, everyone can find their own peace here.
It's a great form of relaxation, letting the phone signal fluctuate and getting some real peace cut off from the fast-paced world. And it's one we would flop into once again at the drop of a hat.
Silverdale Holiday Park
Middlebarrow Plain, Cove Road, Silverdale, Cumbria LA5 0SH
Cumbria Park of the Year 2015 (Cumbria Tourism Awards)
2018 David Bellamy Conservation Award (Gold)
Touring caravan, motorhome and camping pitches: £36.00 per night (for two people)
i) Caravan holiday homes sleeping six from £299.00 to £845.00 a week (short breaks also available)
ii) Timber camping pods from £45.00 to £55.00 per night (for two: supplement for extra people)
Luxury caravan holiday homes to own from £30,000 to £80,000-plus
100 acres of picturesque grounds. Leisure complex including pool and sauna, gymnasium, bowling alley, bar and café/restaurant, soft-play zone, and children's outdoor playground. Mini-supermarket.
Silverdale Holiday Park is open for 12 months of the year