I love nature but, frankly, I also like comfort. When you’re looking for a more remote break, camping is often the suggested solution but I much prefer a roof over my head! That’s why I enjoyed my campervan break with Bumble Campers last year and why I was so excited when Woodlakes Park invited me to stay at a new luxury cabin in Norfolk. Woodlakes Park is a fishing lakes just near King’s Lynn in Norfolk. They’ve offered fishing cabins for years but recently they’ve built some beautiful lakeside cabins for those of us looking for a rural weekend retreat.
AD-Gifted Stay: I was given a complimentary stay in exchange for this blog post
Woodlakes Park offer the perfect balance of remoteness and comfort. The cabin is like a little wooden home with a fully fitted kitchen, modern hotel-style bathroom and a TV and sitting area. It’s a brilliant mix of an AirBnb style break, thanks to its kitchen and living area, and something a bit more unique thanks to its fantastic surroundings. After worrying that the place might resemble a shed more than apartment, I was really impressed with the high quality of the cabin. Even little details, such as excellent heating, plenty of pots and pans in the kitchen and a piping hot shower, meant that our stay felt much more luxurious than an alternative glamping experience. There are a variety of options but the cabin we stayed in had two bedrooms, a couple of sofas and a dining table for four so it’s perfectly set up for a family or a group of friends looking for a weekend away in the countryside. I’ve always loved this kind of break but I’m finding that more and more of my millennial friends are craving a remote weekend, with beautiful walks, plenty of board games and each other’s company, and Woodlakes Park is perfect for this.
The cabins will have WiFi soon but for our stay, we were without internet – and it was wonderful! You know you are truly in the countryside when you have no signal or internet and it was bliss. Digital detoxes are now a bit of a trend but they are fashionable for a reason; they really do make you feel good! It’s important to take a break from screens every once in a while and it felt great to spend an entire weekend off Instagram and in the moment. Returning to work on the Monday, I felt refreshed and ready for the week ahead so I’m determined to try some more rural weekend retreats to regularly give myself a mental boost.
Every morning, I would head out onto our wooden balcony with a cup of coffee and simply stare out across the lake which lay only a few metres away. We saw a huge variety of wildlife from the lakeside during our break, including ducks, cormorants and an unusual Egyptian goose. As well as the cabin balcony, there are also a number of bird hides across the park so it’s perfect for bird lovers or anyone who enjoys wildlife spotting. The lakeside location was so tranquil and although the cabin was only about an hour from home, it felt like a totally different planet, filled with calm. To be so close to the water was so relaxing and I loved watching the gentle movement of the water as I sipped my coffee.
We stayed for two nights at Woodlakes Park and it was just what I needed for a refreshing break. Normally I would pack my itinerary full of things to do but this time, I took a slower pace. In the days, we headed out for walks in the surrounding countryside and in the evenings, we relaxed in our warm and cosy cabin. I did also manage to squeeze a trip to Beers of Europe to pick up a couple of beers from this huge store. My favourite was the Elgoods Coolship Mango sour as I'm really enjoying sour beers at the moment, but there was plenty to choose from! This particular beer was sour yet fruity, thanks to mango, and the perfect tipple to drink on the balcony back at our cabin, watching the ducks.
One day, we headed to the WWT Welney Wetland Centre to see the swans on the nature reserve. Over 9000 of these swans descend on these wetlands for the winter, after a journey of 3,500km from Russia. Every day throughout winter, you can attend a swan feeding session at the main bird hide and see three species of swan jostle with the ducks for food outside the hide. Then, as dusk fell, you can see even more swans fly into the hide to roost for the night, lit by the floodlit banks. We were expecting to see maybe a couple of swans but there were hundreds! It was incredible to see the huge wingspan of these birds as they headed towards the water, before braking at the last second to land perfectly on the water. The noise was incredible and we watched this fantastic sight until the sun entirely set, before heading back to the warmth of our cabin
If you’re looking to get away from it all for a weekend, take a look at Woodlakes Park for a brilliant relaxing stay. Better yet, book a cabin in March or April 2019 and receive 10% off thanks to my exclusive code! Simply call 01553 810414 and quote JESS10 for your own dreamy rural retreat.