Low Park Wood: Discovering The Caravan Club's gateway to the Lake District
Low Park Wood is The Club's closest site to Windermere for the 2012 season
Friday, 22, Jun 2012 10:56
by Chris Jefferies
There are some caravan parks that once visited, simply have to be revisited time and time again - and Low Park Wood definitely falls into this category.
Nestled in the Cumbrian forest of Oxenholme and within striking distance of Britain's biggest stretch of water at Windermere, this 141-pitch rural idyll is at once remote and conveniently sited.
The coast at Morecombe Bay is just ten minutes drive from the site, while the challenging mountain walks of Patterdale are around 45 minutes by car, not that you'd know it from the serene surroundings of this former National Trust woodland site.
After meeting the site's wardens, Phil and Maureen Varty, it's clear that there are an abundance of local attractions to occupy any taste, and they certainly aren't short of suggestions.
Leading directly off the site are four woodland walks, taking in Sizergh Castle, the Lancaster Canal, the local farm shop and the popular Levens Hall, with its deer and Bagot goats.
Looking further afield and you have the lake steamers of Ullswater, the motor museum at Haverthwaite and even the North Yorkshire Moors all within an easy day's drive.
On the other hand, it's just as tempting to spend an entire week at Low Park Wood without even leaving the site.
If you go down to the wood...
Situated on the grounds of a Victorian gunpowder mill, the 20-acre site is certainly unique, offering a real glimpse into the local history of the area.
Built in 1764, the Sedgwick mill was a very dangerous place to work in its day - but don't worry, it's perfectly safe now, as the mill closed nearly 100 years ago!
In terms of pitches, there is everything you could possibly ask for, from secluded woodland groves to extra-large pitches for mammoth twin-axle tourers.
There are four especially reserved pitches next to the toilet block, which are set aside for disabled visitors, but the highlight of the site has to be pitch 21, which Maureen calls "the Honeymoon Suite".
Surrounded by grassy banks on three sides, this pitch is ideal for couples, and Maureen tells us that they have had a fair few honeymooners come to stay over the years.
The facilities on site also make it easy to stay at Low Park Wood for days without needing to venture too far from your pitch.
The reception lodge boasts a good selection of handy provisions, drinks and ice-creams, as well as freshly baked loaves, rolls and scones, delivered each morning from the nearby Grange Bakery.
Wi-Fi internet access was rolled out last year, and Phil tells us that it has been a "fantastic success". Visitors can buy credit from reception, and a network of around a dozen discreetly hidden transmitters ensures you can always get online without any hassle.
What's more, the TV aerial boosters offer good reception for picking up Freeview digital TV on every pitch.
On a more prosaic note, the site even offers laundry facilities (£3 for a wash, 70p for a dry), which, as Maureen tells us, is particularly popular among hardcore caravanners who want to clean their delicates during a particularly long break away from home.
Flora and fauna
The woodland feel of this site isn't just down to its remote location - the wildlife is plentiful, with a wide variety of birds often spotted, from buzzards to dippers.
If you're lucky you might even spot some deer gambolling past, or you can seek out sea trout and salmon on a relaxing day of fly fishing.
Another big draw, particularly among families, is the nearby farm, which regularly opens its doors to visitors who can ride the ponies or even milk the cows.
Moving from fauna to flora and there is an abundance of bluebells and subtly pungent wild garlic (see right) that blooms in season. All in all, there's plenty to inspire any keen wildlife photographer.
So it comes as no surprise, when Phil tells us that 60 per cent of the people who stop in at Low Park Wood have come to stay at least once before.
With so much to see and do both on site and beyond, this charming site definitely has to go down on the list for a repeat visit.
Site Fact File:
- 141 pitches in total (all hardstanding and 9 serviced)
- Pitches available from just £6.20 per night (excluding per capita charges)
- Open to non-members, with a £10/night surcharge
- Town centre within a ten-minute drive
- Open this year from 23rd March to 5th November
*For more details see the Caravan Club website.
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