Our Wansfell Pike walk with Walks Around Britain is nearly ready!

You can see a preview of the walk here.

Andrew from Walks around Britain came to stay with us at Otter Lodge at the end of March, and we did the walk on a lovely sunny but hazy day

The finished video will be going live in a very prestigious  and exclusive location by the end of next week – we’ll let you know where once it’s up there :-)

 

Tripadvisor Reviews – What a difference a year makes :-)

Sometimes it’s hard not to take some things personally in this job! (Cue violins)

Those of you who have stayed with us will know how much of our heart and soul we put into making the lodges as welcoming as possible, so I was actually  quite hurt to read a comment from a previous guest on Trip Advisor on the Limefitt Park listing saying

“last year we stayed in otter lodge which was ok it had stunning views but the lodge on reflection was very dated with tiny bedrooms and much dearer than our recent stay in a brand new lodge.”

You can probably imagine why that comment from “Simplysu” from Yorkshire didn’t exactly fill us with joy.

Otter Lodge - Main Bedroom

Otter Lodge – Main Bedroom

Now everyone is entitled to their opinion and not everybody appreciates the beauty of a cosy traditional pine lodge with reclining leather sofas and marshmallow comfortable mattresses, but writing a comment like that on Trip Advisor does seem a bit unnecessary to me!

To be fair to SimplySu (We do know exactly who she is but we’ll let her preserve her anonymity here) , for the break she stayed, there was £40 (about 9%) in it, but then we don’t charge for dogs, we do include free leisure club passes, and we give 10% repeat bookers’ discount compared to the 5% offered by the agency who let the lodge she booked this year.

The published prices for a week in June would have been EXACTLY the same in both lodges (£629) for up to 4 guests with one dog. If you brought 2 dogs we would have been £10 cheaper!

Of course we are not cheaper than every other lodge for every possible stay or combination of circumstances but then we don’t use their prices to set ours and we don’t set out to be the cheapest either. We just concentrate on giving as much value for money as we can for what we believe are very competitive rates in our market.

Strangely enough SimplySu went to the trouble of setting up a new listing for Otter Lodge  on Tripadvisor last year and left a glowing review of her stay but Trip Advisor deleted it as we are not allowed to have our own reviews unless we pay for an advert on the rather useless holidaylettings. co. uk site . I don’t think many people realise that this is the case with all self catering establishments but there we are.

So given Susan’s comments about Otter Lodge I thought I’d better check the visitors’ book to check what they said about their stay with us at the time. This is what I found:

“We have had a fantastic week. We booked this as a surprise for my father-in-law’s 70th birthday and it’s a birthday we will never forget. It has been fantastic. Amazing views and a  lovely lodge that catered for all. We hope to revisit sometime in the future… Thanks for an amazing holiday Alan, Alan, Susan and Lady  (Ripon N/Yorkshire)”

It is hard to believe that the two sets of comments refer to the same holiday at the same lodge isn’t it?

I think that sometimes people get carried away with Trip Advisor and they don’t stop to think of the impact that their words can have on the feelings and indeed on the businesses of the people they casually and perhaps thoughtlessly leave comments about.

Trip Advisor themselves are worse than useless. I have pointed out to them that they are publishing a review which contains unreasonably derogatory remarks and that the review contravenes their own published guidelines as the guest is effectively reviewing our property in spite of not having stayed there in the 12 months prior to the publication of the review. So far they have just told me to reply to the review using the management response feature, which s not really good enough. Apparently they are too short staffed to deal with the multiple problems they get each day in a timely way. The poor girl I spoke to told me that she spends her working day fielding calls from upset owners like me. What a way to earn a living!

Linda tells me I shouldn’t take it so personally but it’s hard not to when it’s something so close to home. At least we have all the lovely messages you send us and the notes you leave in all four of our visitors’ books  to cheer us up.

As a footnote, we were touched when another of our guests who read that review immediately left a lovely review of Otter Lodge entitled “Fantastic value for money holiday”. Thanks for that Rachel :-) That made me feel a lot better!

Did you ever wonder how the Windermere Lodges web pages get to you?

This is a really interesting explanation about how your computer asks for and finally receives web content.

As we rely on the web for 99% of our marketing I found it fascinating.

Now can somebody tell me what Google REALLY want me to do after their Penguin algorithm update? :-)

Nature at Limefitt Park

Nature near our Lake District Lodges

Deer at Limefitt Park

It’s a rare day when you take a walk from one of the lodges and don’t see something interesting.

Yesterday I saw two crows mobbing a buzzard – that’s actually quite a common sight, but I didn’t have my camera with me – next time maybe?

This morning whist walking our dog I spotted this deer in the trees. We both stopped and we stared at each other for a good two minutes before he decided to move away deeper into the trees.

 

 

Did William Wordsworth ever climb Wansfell Pike?

I wonder where Wordsworth was standing when he wrote these lines from Book 4 of The Prelude under the title “Summer Vacation”

Bright was the summer’s noon when quickening steps
Followed each other till a dreary moor
Was crossed, a bare ridge clomb, upon whose top
Standing alone, as from a rampart’s edge,
I overlooked the bed of Windermere,
Like a vast river, stretching in the sun.
With exultation, at my feet I saw
Lake, islands, promontories, gleaming bays,
A universe of Nature’s fairest forms
Proudly revealed with instantaneous burst,
Magnificent, and beautiful, and gay.

View from Wansfell Pike

View from Wansfell Pike

It could easily have been Wansfell Pike, the peak of which is just an hour’s walk from our Lake District lodges.

The Water Temperature on Windermere

John Wakeboarding

John wakeboarding

If you are thinking of using Windermere for water sports it’s as well to now that it gets pretty cold during the winter (which is perhaps how the rare Arctic char survive – they are fish not Icelandic cleaning ladies) and it doesn’t get too again warm until June. According to http://www.ilec.or.jp/database/eur/eur-11.html the temperatures at the surface of Windermere are like this :

 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature C 4.8 3.9 4.8 7.2 11.1 15.8 17.4 17.3 15.1 11.8 8.4 6.2

June would seem to be a good time to start contemplating that first dip. Tom will confirm that the end of April was NOT a great time to try wake boarding for the first time this year . He has just about warmed up again now though :-)

A Troutbeck Treasure Trail

Treasure Trails Troutbeck

Treasure Trails Troutbeck

We have been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the new Troutbeck Treasure Trail from Treasure Trails Cumbria. We haven’t had a chance to follow it yet but it looks really great and we know you’ll enjoy it. It’s really a fantastic way to get the kids out and enjoying a walk, and you can do this on foot from our Lake District lodges in Limefitt Park which is just below the pretty village of Troutbeck.

We are going to road test it shortly and we’ll report back when we have done, but in the meantime great work by it’s author Sean Etherden – you can find Sean on Twitter at @TTrailsCumbria

 

Lake District lodges and cottages mean great value holidays

A lot of our guests choose to holiday by booking a lodge direct with us as private owners because of the combination of value and flexibility that you get by booking a private lodge rather than spending a week in a hotel or in a resort like Centerparcs.

Booking a lodge or cottage means that you have the use of a proper holiday home rather than just having the use of a single room like you would in a hotel.  You get separate bedrooms (two in each of our log cabins), a lounge and a kitchen and in our larger lodges you get en-suite showers as well as the main bathrooms, so you can enjoy what so many of our guests describe as a “home from home” feeling. Your family can spread out and relax just like they would do at home.

You can also bring your dogs as our lodges are all pet-friendly and we don’t charge any extra for that, unlike most of the major lodge resorts who could charge you up to £80 a week to bring 2 dogs!

Perhaps the best thing about a lodge holiday though is the value for money. Book with us in low season and you could bring 4 people for as little as £15 per person per night with your dogs staying free. That compares pretty well with any hotel or B&B and with fully equipped kitchens and bbqs in the garden you can also make great value meals too. Of course we also have some great dog-friendly pubs within walking distance if you feel like splashing out.

You can get a lot of the benefits of a lodge holiday staying in a cottage too, but when you choose on of our lodges you also get to stay in the beautiful (and unique) surroundings of Limefitt Park, nestling on the fells in the breath-taking scenery of the Troutbeck Valley. With a Lakeland stone, dog-friendly pub on site along with a shop and plenty of facilities for your kids like the adventure play park and the riverpool  it’s the perfect combination for a family getaway.

Staying away in the Lake District can be great value if you choose an option that combines space, comfort and affordability like taking a break in our log cabins at Limefitt Park.

Come and give it a try!

50 things to do in the Lake District before you are 11 3/4

We love the National Trust’s idea of listing “50 things to do before you are 11 3/4″ so we decide to take the list and help you to work out how to adapt it to the area around our lodges.

We have created a new website page that lists all 50 activities and gives you some ideas of where and how you can do them if you are staying at one of our lodges.

Keeping kids entertained can be a challenge at times so we hope you will find it helpful.

You can find the list of 50 Things To Do In the Lake District Before You Are 11 3/4 here .

If you’ve been fell-walking in the recent weather you may recognise this feeling!

Lakeland Fells

Lakeland Fells

All day I have climb’d by slate and ling
Now by the low beck’s murmuring
I walk in humble quietude;
Till I turn and see the mountain’s brood,
Long backs, wild manes, against the sky,
And their steaming flanks; and I triumph, ‘I
Have laid on your sides my pride’s fierce rods:
I have tamed and bitted you, steeds of the gods.’

Untitled poem by Edmund Casson
(Edmund Casson was an early 20th Century English poet)

Isn’t that a brilliant description of the exhilaration you get from a wild weather walk on a fell top? I love that image of the hills as wild horses to be tamed.