Picturesque, peaceful, private -I’m trying to think of words beginning with ‘P’ that sum up Paradise Lakeside Lodges. Here’s a review from our latest holiday stay…
The site is just outside Storwood in Yorkshire, and is home to thirteen large wooden clad lodges, thirteen ’ecopods’ and a large three storey five bedroom luxury house, all for rent via the Hoseasons website. These are clustered around two decent size lakes, sensitively managed to blend in with the woodland environment while providing a useable amenity space for the visitors to the site.
We visited the site in Mid October 2017, in the middle of very unseasonal high temperatures (21’C) and lovely blue skies. Driving to the lodge was relatively easy except for the last half a mile or so – the satnavs of our two cars had different ideas of where we should go – one was following the route advised by the Hoseasons instructions, which I had neglected to read, while our own car chose a different route, approaching from the opposite direction – only ten minutes in it.
If you pay attention the site is very adequately signed, but be warned the approach road is quite narrow with passing places in either direction, and I was so busy concentrating on oncoming traffic I nearly drove past, despite the ample signage.
We hired Lodge 3 which is sat next to the larger Lodge Lake. If I’m being honest my ideal let would have been a lodge with its veranda overhanging the lake, so I didn’t have to walk anywhere to fish. However, the lodges are close enough to the lake to allow anyone but the most serious couch potato easy access to the fishing.
The exterior of the lodges are well maintained and although obviously not brand new lodges, the interiors are immaculate and well kept, well appointed and equipped and the most critical of people would be hard pushed to find something to complain about. The lounge is spacious as is the kitchen.
Our lodge slept four in two bedrooms, and there is ample space – the main double bedroom has an ensuite with shower, while there is a family bathroom (shower over bath) next to the second twin bedroom.
Furnishings and linen were immaculate; towels you need to provide yourself.
The lodges are set apart sufficiently that you don’t feel on top of your neighbours, something that hasn’t always been the case in some places we have visited.
Our lodge was centrally heated by combi-boiler, giving a nice warmth to the place and lashings of hot water. We don’t have a bath at home so I made good use of the bath during our stay.
The lodge comes with TV, although channels are digital freeview only and a bit limited. It’s worth noting that while the site has free internet, it isn’t fast enough (7Mb/s) to stream movies and apparently if enough people overuse it, the system shuts itself down for the night. It actually only worked for three out of the seven days. Telephone signals are quite sporadic too, which ensured that the relaxation and tranquillity were properly adhered to – although it did curtail some of my intended activities like editing some more film footage and renewing our passports!
Apart from the two fishing lakes, the site has a small play area for children, a covered BBQ area set by the second lake, and a few woodland walks to choose from.
There are a few villages in the surrounding area, which have a variety of small shops – we found the main superstores were in the direction of York, about 12 miles up the road. Pocklington is closer and probably has more amenities, although we tended to pick things up while we were out and about.
The site is an ideal base for visiting this part of Yorkshire, with most places being less than a hours drive – there are too many places to mention, but there’s something to please everyone close by – Castle Howard, an Air Museum, the North Yorkshire Moors railway, Flamingo Land, Eden Camp, a variety of craft and local farming centres, lavender growers, superstores and retail parks, a huge factory outlet, York Racecourse, no end of Golf Clubs and Spas, and a splendid choice of other destinations like Malton, Pickering, Goathland (Aidenfield from the Heartbeat TV series) and further afield Scarborough, Filey and Whitby. And of course there’s York too if you haven’t been before, with masses of things to see like the Castle, the Viking centre and much more. Having visited York before, we chose to visit Eden Camp War Museum, spend the morning in Pickering and visit the McCarthey Glen York Factory outlet, interspersed with fishing on the lakes. Those destinations will be reviewed separately.
Of course, Paradise Lakes is primarily a fishing destination, and has two well stocked lakes to choose from. You can choose to pay daily, or take a week ticket for £20. I took the latter, and managed to fish two full days, two half days and one evening.
We were met by the owners Karen and John, and John gave me a load of tips and hints on how to catch some big fish. Anyone who knows me will also know that while I enjoy the peace and tranquillity that goes along with a day by a nice fishing lake, I am not renowned for catching huge fish.
Following John’s advice, and armed with just some bread and sweetcorn (the only downside is the site does not stock maggots and the nearest angling store is in York) but I need not have worried – on the first cast I dragged in (sorry, carefully played and landed) a HUGE carp – Well, it was huge to me; anything over 3” long is huge to me. By the end of the first day I had fifteen fish on my score card, three of them decent size carp, and there are no tiny fish – everything I caught was a reasonable size.
The weather was a ridiculous 21’C on the Sunday, and after that it dropped sharply to 13’C, and the fishing dropped off too. But I still managed a few per day and a nice huge carp on the last cast of the last day.
This was a first for me in so many ways. First carp. First fish weighing more than ½ lb. First time I’ve caught anything on bread. First time on sweetcorn. First time on luncheon meat. In fact, it seemed I could have cast anything out and the carp would have had a go at it. I found the best bait to be garden peas, which I had purchased by accident mixed in with a can of sweetcorn.
I’ll be posting some videos of my fishing activities on YouTube, but I can quite happily say that even the most amateur of anglers should have a decent chance of pulling something big out of the water at Paradise Lakes. Unfortunately ( I know, fishermen’s tales and all that) I caught a huge fish last off on Friday night and spent a long time discussing it to camera, only to find when I was reviewing the footage that it couldn’t have been switched on. Forgive the pun, but I’m gutted…
We’ve visited a few lodges over the last few years, and generally the lodges are all well kept and well stocked; with a couple of exceptions I have found little to complain about.
At Paradise Lakes, I can honestly say that there was nothing that spoiled our stay. Even the bad internet connection at times (which seems pretty common to most of these remote sites) didn’t spoil our week – in fact probably made it better as we weren’t totally wrapped up in facebook and candy crush.
Would we go again – Another first for our lodge; I can quite happily say that I’d be more than happy to come back for another week – there’s a carp out there who I have unfinished business with!
Thanks to John and Karen and their onsite staff for a wonderful stay – Thoroughly recommended.
Friendliness of owners