A TRANQUIL cruise on Lake Windermere could not be more different to zip-trekking through Douglas furs high above a dense forest floor. Similarly, a peaceful stroll along Silverdale Cove seems a world away from the rough and tumble of wrestling an ex-Army Land Rover through off-road dirt tracks.
Yet the Lake District offers something for everyone and Silverdale Holiday Park offers both peace and tranquillity plus a few thrills and spills.
Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty amid over 100 acres of woodland and countryside, Silverdale is Holgates’ flagship park, overlooking the sweeping vista of Morecambe Bay.
As well as providing a base for caravans or tents plus quirky camping pods, the complex offers a sprawling assembly of luxury holiday homes which can provide the ideal location to get away from it all – the only ‘disturbance’ will come from the some of the area’s wildlife which is all part of the attraction.
The site also features a swimming pool complex, gym, launderette and even pitch and putt, with the homes equipped with a roaring fire, impressive kitchen and all-too-comfortable beds and sofas. If it’s recharging the batteries you’re after then this is your haven.
But fear not if it’s something somewhat more adventurous you seek with Cumbria Tourism championing hair-raising but equally exhilarating activities like Go Ape Zip-Trekking and Kankku Self Drive Safari which are half an hour’s drive away from your cosy base.
There’s not much in it but the Go Ape Zip-Trekking activity wins first prize for bringing out the dare-devil in you. A new activity in Grizedale Forest that only opened last year, the Go-Ape experience offers a network of seven tandem zip lines that traverse the sky-scraping Douglas Firs at Grizedale Forest, providing an exhilarating experience of flying way above the forest floor.
Once the jangling nerves are shaken off and the “shall I, shan’t I” quandary is solved – you should by the way – re-assuring and expert guides are on hand to take you down seven zip-lines stretching for more than a mile. Double clipped on the zip line for increased safety, the views as you soar through Grizedale Forest, at one point hundreds of feet above Grizedale Beck, are quite simply stunning, especially as the late afternoon sun sets on the Lake District.
The activity is a once in a lifetime experience akin to something from I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Here except the activity will leave you wanting a return visit and not a swift exit.
And it’s a similar story with the drive your own 4x4 off road adventure offered by Kankku which puts you in the driving seat of specially prepared ex-Army Land Rover vehicles. Traditional meets technical as you are guided via an impressive satellite navigation system through challenging rough and rocky off road terrain with a spectacular lake and mountain backdrop..
Rather like the zip-trekking, you are in control – with the instructors left back at the office in Windermere.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Land Rover self-drive experience is actually beginning the activity slap bang in Windermere town centre, mixing with standard traffic in this monstrous vehicle.
But an activity that that will really appeal to those get up and go types provides the reward of some more spectacular views, and no more so than when scaling one of the peaks which provides a stunning view of Lake Windermere below.
There’s guaranteed to be plenty to reflect on over dinner.
And therein lies another of the Lake District’s wonderful attractions – an array of superb restaurants spread around the region.
One word describes the The Pig & Whistle on Aynesome Road in Cartmel – cosy – and the fantastic food served in such a warm ambience will leave you longing to stay a bit longer.
Owner Simon Rogan has created a gem that serves real ale, with a log fire amidst a friendly atmosphere and adjoining bistro. And it’s well worth taking the road on the way back to Yorkshire to visit The Highwayman in Nether Burrow, Kirkby Lonsdale.
Part of the Nigel Haworth empire, The Highwayman has been part of The Ribble Valley Inns for seven years and in re-opened last June following a full refurbishment.
And the food on offer back at Holgates’ headquarters restaurant and bar at Silverdale is also impressive with no complaints after devouring a delicious cheeseburger with onion rings and hand-cut chips on the final night.
When the dare-devil activities of the Lake District adventure had been conquered there was a serene cruise on Lake Windermere chosen to leave the lasting impression of life in the Lakes.
Help yourself to a “Windermere Warmer” cocktail from the below deck bar and get the cameras at the ready for some stunning photos approaching Bowness-in-Windermere.
Equally peaceful is a stroll along Silverdale cove which is quite literally a stone’s throw from the luxury holiday homes, though don’t expect any 3G coverage on your mobile.
In any case, you won’t need it unwinding amidst the tranquillity of the Lake District.
Then again, you might want to boast about how you just mastered an ex-Army vehicle or zip-wired through a forest.