With the 2022 summer holiday season having already suffered disruption on so many fronts, it's no wonder that families are opting to stay much closer to home this summer, writes Alan Wooding.
In the week following the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the UK and as an alternative to the current airport chaos, I spent a four-night break in a peaceful parkland setting in rural Lincolnshire instead of opting for a crowded seaside resort.
With the school holidays in full swing and with many families continuing to risk flight delays, ferry disruption or even complete cancellations, I booked into Away Resorts' stunning new Appletree Holiday Park complex located in Hubbert's Bridge, close to the town of Boston – www.awayresorts.co.uk/parks/lincolnshire/appletree
With £3.5million having already been spent, the Appletree holiday complex officially opened on 14 July and holidaying with my daughter and 11-year-old granddaughter, we booked into a Woodland Lodge with its two spacious bedrooms... and a glorious hot tub!
The whole complex incorporates the modern Boston West Hotel together with its challenging nine hole golf course although the 150 acre site has been established on just half of what was once an 18-hole course. Work on a new indoor swimming pool, fitness gym, spa and sauna is due to start in September and should be ready for the latter part of the 2023 season.
Accommodation comes in a variety of brand new executive double-glazed and fully heated lodges or in luxury eight-berth caravans. My master en suite bedroom had a free-standing bathtub plus two televisions, one a unique mirror-style design mounted above the enomous tub, the other a 32-inch version in front of the bed. The other bedroom sleeps three next to a rather smart family bathroom with a woodland-themed shower cubicle.
With a smattering of Scottish-looking baronial tartan upholstery, the Woodland Lodge has everything you would expect from luxury accommodation. In the impressively equipped kitchen is a double oven with a five burners, a microwave, dishwasher, large fridge-freezer plus all the usual utensils, crockery, cutlery and glassware.
In the spacious lounge-diner is a 50-inch television and DVD player watched from an extra large Chesterfield-style corner sofa. All the beds were made up on arrival while there are complimentary toiletries, towels and a handy information welcome pack which included an ice cold bottle of Prosecco which we enjoyed while sitting in the hot tub. And just in case you're wondering, there's also a full WiFi service.
The novelty of a hot tub on the private decking and patio area certainly wowed my granddaughter who would have happily stayed in all day but we were also there to enjoy the rest of the park and the surrounding countryside.
There's an outdoor cinema on Tuesdays and Saturdays but unfortunately we missed out as it was rather chilly on our last night, so instead of watching The Lion King, we went back to our lodge to watch England's Women beat Sweden 4-0 in the European Cup semi-final.
We tried out the driving range with its 20 floodlit bays which gave us plenty of laughs while we dined at the park's Six West Restaurant and Tipsey Eagle Lounge Bar after enjoying woodland walks.
There's a colourful splash zone for younger guests plus a well-equipped children's playground while you can play foot golf or hire bicycles and, should you wish to venture out onto the nine-hole course, golf buggies are also available.
OUT AND ABOUT
Just a six minute drive from Appletree Holiday Park we visited the unique Bubblecar Museum (www.bubbecarmuseum.co.uk) in the village of Langrick. It's the home of around 50 different tiny microcars made popular in the 1950s and 60s.
The Lincolnshire Wildlife Park (www.lincswildlife.com) at Friskney has all manner of animals including white lions and tigers plus over 100 different species of parrots, the charity park's long time patron being top illusionist Derren Brown.
We also visited Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve which looks out across The Wash and nearby Skegness for a fish and chip lunch. At Boston's St Botolph's Church – more commondly known as The Stump – we climbed the 209 steps for splendid views across the town and the muddy tidal river known as The Haven before visting the Maud Foster Windmill only to find that it's only opens on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Appletree Holiday Park, Hubbert's Bridge, Boston, Lincolnshire PE20 3QX.
For more details, see the website at www.awayresorts.co.uk/parks/lincolnshire/appletree
Call 03304 332 854 or email [email protected]
* Away Resorts parent company is based in Hemel Hempsted and was founded in 2008 by Carl Castledine. Purchasing 11 holiday parks in both coastal and countryside locations across the country, today that number has grown to 23 parks offering a range of accommodation from the classic caravan to exclusive lodges.