Thursday 9 January 2014

Cheddar Woods Holiday Park, Cheddar, Somerset

We decided to have Christmas with a difference this year and to go away. How ever tempting some winter sun was we didn't much fancy flying over the Christmas period so decided on a staycation.
I'm always tempted by the lovely woodland lodges with hot tubs in the Hoseason brochure, but often miss out on them as they book up so early. I was so excited to see that the brand new Cheddar Woods Holiday Park had recently opened and had hot tubs available for Christmas week that we booked it.

The park was really easy to find, not far from the M4/M5 and just on the edge of Cheddar. The site looked lovely when we pulled up, really clean and tidy and welcoming. We were given a warm greeting on arrival, with the offer of mulled wine and a biscuit along with the key to our lodge.

Cheddar Woods Holiday Park
The lodges are beyond a security barrier (only minus is the key pad is on the passenger side), and all lodges are numbered and easy to find. The wow factor when we opened the door was there, it was warm and cosy and really tastefully decorated. The kitchen is bigger than ours at home and had just about everything we needed along with some tea, coffee and washing-up supplies. There were large fluffy towels on all the beds along with bathrobes and extra towels for the hot tub on the double bed. There were white company toiletries in the bathrooms.


our lodge
 The hot tub was wonderful, we used it every day. The instructions to turn it on were easy to follow and it was just the right temperature to use. It was really lovely to come back to after a day exploring the local area.

View from our deck and in our hot tub
After unpacking we headed for the swimming pool, and were very pleased to have it to ourselves. The pool was a bit too deep for Charlotte to stand up in (it was the same depth 1.4m the whole length), but she loved the baby pool that was attached. Nice and shallow and also every 15mins had water jets and bubbles start up. We swam every day in the pool, sometimes watching the sun going down over the valley from the windows. The pool has different open swim sessions every day depending on what goactive water activities were on, and an adult only session early every morning. The changing room was clean and tidy, with single cubicles, 3 large family cubicles, showers, hair dryers and lockers (need £1 for these will be returned). Just off the changing rooms was an adult only relaxing/quiet time area along with a sauna, steam room and experience shower.

As well as reception and the swimming pool the club house also has a gym with trainer on hand for any help (sorry we didn't use as we forgot our trainers/were on holiday!) a very nice spa offering espa treatments. I did treat myself to a facial and massage, really lovely it was too. There is a farm shop offering milk, frozen foods, drinks, local items and any essentials you may have forgotten. Beyond this there is a great 2 lane bowling alley, 2 pool tables, golf simulator, kids soft play area, bar and restaurant. The bar leads onto a nice decking area with tables and chairs, astro turf area and a play area. I can imagine this area in the summer would be lovely in the evening.

facilities on site
 We did have dinner in the restaurant one night and it was a lovely meal with great service, we also had breakfast in the bar on saturday morning after a swim and before driving home. Fantastic double egg toastie.

breakfast, site view, our Christmas dinner
The goactive activities are excellent and run by some keen members of staff who are great with the children. The activities are divided into age groups so there is something suitable for most children from 3 upwards. Charlotte did the wizard workshop and pirate paradise sessions and had a great time dressing up, colouring, singing and telling stories. When your 7+ there are way more exciting things like archery, snorkelling, fencing and many others. We were almost tempted ourselves with a few activities, maybe next visit we will take the grandparents to look after Charlotte while we test them out. We took a walk to the top of the site where there is a tennis and basketball court, beside a climbing tower. Behind this was where they do archery.

A pirate, swimming pool and climbing tower
 The staff really made the holiday, every single person was friendly and welcoming. Things like dressing up like Father Christmas on Christmas morning and coming round to visit all lodges with a present was a lovely touch. This really does make a difference to a holiday.

We loved our week and were so sad when it was over, we had such an excellent time and the facilities were wonderful. There were lots of places to explore close by, cheddar gorge was walking distance away and others just a short drive. Not all the lodges were full the week we visited, and there are still more hard standing areas for sale so we do wonder what the site will be like come the summer, as we obviously saw it at a quiet time.We can't wait to return and really would love to visit again as our week went too fast.

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