If I could describe 2020 in one word, it would have to be emotional. SO many emotions experienced in the last couple of months from sheer panic to acceptance, back round to panic again. It really has been a rollercoaster of emotions but I am so full of gratitude that we are coming out of this pandemic relatively unscathed, which I know many haven’t been as lucky.
Anything that was booked for this year has pretty much been cancelled, from weddings to summer holidays. Our big trip to Mexico for my Sister’s wedding has been postponed and with the travel itch creeping over me as lockdown restrictions started to ease, it was no surprise that I was online researching where we could visit in the UK for a family ‘Staycation’
‘Staycationing’ seems to the buzzword of the summer, with families looking to escape for an adventurous break close to home.
After a little bit of research and of course my ever-faithful companion Trip Advisor, I came across North Lakes Hotel & Spa in Penrith. It was ticked every box: Close to home (2 hours’ drive) It had availability for a family room and the big bonus was it was pet friendly too, no need to arrange a pet sitter and Bailey (our furry daughter) could experience her first hotel experience.
We booked straight away and heading down the same day, thrilled to be going somewhere new after so many months of being at home. There was no moaning in the car, no asking when we would be there, just sheer excitement and happiness from the kids that we were going on an adventure.
We arrived at the hotel, which conveniently was 2 seconds from the motorway cut off to arrive at a beautiful, boutique feel hotel. The entrance is cosy and inviting with comfy seating areas and a large fireplace in the centre. We were put at ease straight away with clear paths to enter the reception without bumping into people leaving. Hand sanitiser was available everywhere and all other guests took care to be courteous and keep their distance.
The superior family room that we booked was really nice with ample space for us all (pooch included) The boys LOVED the cool bunk beds and of course bickered over who was having the top bunk. Little touches for the dog included a lovely little dog bed and food and water bowls for Bailey, which was really sweet. Other special touches included some sweet treats for the boys and hot chocolate pouches. My only gripe would be the lack of actual storage in the room, there were smaller wardrobes but no drawers anyway and for someone who overpacks it meant that the room looked a little untidy pretty quickly.
Our room rate included breakfast and dinner which was great to know everything was covered during our stay. The dinner rate included £35 per adult to spend on dinner each evening which was plenty for the menu on offer. Bailey got to dine with us during breakfast and dinner, which made us feel much better knowing she wasn’t left in a new environment on her own.
The dog was the most dog-friendly place we have been to. Everything you needed for your furry companion was there and more, including the luxury dog beds located around the hotel’s restaurant and bar areas, a special doggy door which you were given a key for those midnight pee-pee trips and also doggy exercise areas which were safe and enclosed.
The spa and leisure facility was closed during our stay due to restrictions but from what we have seen, the pool and health suite looked beautiful and inviting. We will definitely make sure to use the facilities on our next visit.
Highlights during our trip would have to be toasting marshmallows over the stunning firepit in the hotel’s grounds, surrounded by festival lights, it really was a moment I will remember forever. The boys loved roaming around the hotel grounds and finding the cute bunny rabbits hopping around.
We spent time exploring the local area, check back for new blog details!
Our trip may have been very last minute but sometimes the best times always come from the spontaneous trips we take. We all had an amazing time, it was the break we all so badly needed and that little touch of luxury we had craved for so many months. We loved the hotel so much; we have already booked to visit again next month.
You can BOOK your staycation at North Lakes Hotel & Spa here: https://www.northlakeshotel.co.uk