Having made the short journey from north Lancashire to the excellent Lytham Festival a few weeks ago, I realised there was plenty of new places to discover in the Fylde and Wyre boroughs.
So we packed up the car and headed down the A6 for a weekend break at Sunset Park in Hambleton, after reading about the site’s new luxury holiday lodge development.
Arriving at the large, clean, well set out site at 5.50pm, we were just in time to catch reception before it closed, and picked up our keys and directions to Poplar Lodge.
The kids were immediately impressed and couldn’t wait to get through the door, spotting the hot tub around the back and demanding to be put straight into their swimming costumes.
They had to wait however, as a brief check around the spacious static lodge revealed it wasn’t quite ready for us.
We weren’t kept waiting long, however, following a call to hands on site owner Paul, who arrived 20 minutes later with infinite apologies.
He packed us off to The Shard restaurant a few miles away on the river Wyre for a complimentary meal, and the gesture and excellent food and service more than made up for the initial, very unusual, oversight.
The bottle of Prosecco left on the kitchen worktop when we arrived back an hour later sealed the deal.
Often it’s not about the original problem, it’s about how it’s dealt with, and Sunset Park’s policy on this highlighted how many national company’s responses to problems fall way short of the mark.
Poplar Lodge sleeps four in two bedrooms (one with en-suite) and has everything you’d expect and need for a short break, with dining area, fully equipped kitchen and living room.
A large gas BBQ and outdoor dining equipment added to the appeal. The cluster of lodges were pretty well screened, with a bank of trees at the back, and plenty of colour with the well tended summer flowers.
Friday night was spent lazing in and around the hot tub and on the American style veranda, which proved to be the highlight of everyone’s stay at Sunset Park.
The only drawback with Poplar Lodge however, was that there was no direct access to the tub from the veranda, meaning you have to go round to the front and back around again to get to it.
Acrobatics over the veranda are not reccommended, but this could easily be remedied by a slight improvement of the layout.
Saturday started with an early dip in the hot tub for the kids, and a cooked breakfast, before we headed off to explore the coast.
We settled on Fleetwood, visited the excellent Freeport outlet shopping centre, and then spent some time on the beach and some of the improved seafront, which was very impressive, in particular the park and zipwire to the south of the town.
The drive back to Hambleton identified a number of other future exploring opportunities.
Saturday night was spent much like Friday, the hot tub continuing to be the place to be, especially given the warm, sunny weather.
We BBQ’d, ate outside, then headed down to the Club House for a drink.
It was bingo early on and very busy, the kids perhaps making a bit too much noise in the small arcade and play area at the back of the smart function room, but kids will be kids.
There was a singer on afterwards with a good voice, but we headed back for one last late evening soak in the hot tub.
During summer, extended family conversations often revolve around what type of British holiday is best - camping, caravan, static, hotel, B&B - all have their pros and cons.
And the verdict is usually that it’s best to mix it up, without committing to one.
If you’re up for a quiet weekend getaway, or longer stay, Sunset Park’s new holiday lodges tick all the boxes, and its proximity to the seaside and countryside make it a bit of a hidden gem.
Sunset Park is a residential caravan park with luxury lodges for rent.
There is a reception, bar, entertainment, fishing lake, pool and spa and games room on site.
Carr Royd Parks Ltd
Sower Carr Lane
TEL: 01253 700222
Lodge Rental Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are five luxury lodges available at Sunset Park, sleeping four or six.
Poplar Lodge is available during September. Three or four night stays range in price during September from £357 to £473.
Close to: Blackpool, Fleetwood, Garstang, Lytham St Annes.