With its sweeping lakeside views and convenient location, Sophie Griffiths finds Haven’s Lakeland park to be an ideal base for exploring the landscapes of the Lake District.
A family is eyeing us with interest. They stand among the reeds and rushes, shaking themselves dry. The younger ones toddle along the banks chattering among themselves as their mother rushes to keep up, scolding them loudly. Their father lingers, before turning with a snort and a honk to waddle after his brood.
It is 11pm but it’s summer and in Cumbria, where we have escaped from London for the weekend, the sun’s last rays leave streaks of scarlet and mauve across the sky. We watch the swan family disappear into the rushes, and drink in the tranquillity. I’ll be honest; this is not what I expected from a Haven holiday park.
We are at Lakeland, near the ancient village of Flookburgh. The campsite has amenities to suit every need – from arcades and swimming pools (both indoor and out) to woodland trails to keep kids happy and evening shows to entertain their parents. This, I anticipated. The calming, peaceful lakeside experience we are currently savouring from the balcony of our caravan, I did not.
It is this side of Haven that the brand is particularly keen to remind potential customers of. “It’s not that we’re moving away from family holidays,” explains Erman Housein, head of trade sales and marketing at Bourne Leisure.
“We are most definitely not. But our parks are also perfect for couples or groups of friends who are looking for a few nights away [Haven offers three-night weekend breaks and four-night midweek breaks] who want to enjoy the parks and also use them as a base to explore the local area. It’s another string to our bow.”