To start off our summer holidays this year, Karen from Stopping at Two was invited by Q Lodges to spend the weekend in one of their lodges at Belton Woods near Grantham in Lincolnshire. The lodges (and hotel) are set within 475 acres of beautiful countryside.
Staying in one of the lodges means you get the luxury and facilities that you would have from a hotel, but with the space and freedom you would have from self-catering accommodation – ideal when you are there with the family. The lodges at Belton Woods are two storey with the open plan living room, kitchen and dining area on the top floor, and bedrooms on the lower floor.
We stayed in a two bedroom lodge. Both the double and twin bedrooms had ensuite bathrooms. There was also a pull down double bed in the upstairs living area, so the lodge was actually able to sleep six people. The bathroom upstairs not only had a toilet, sink and shower, but also a sauna – perfect for helping you unwind at the end of the day!
The kitchen was fully equipped with all the crockery, cutlery and utensils needed to be able to self-cater. There were other items of kitchenware that were available on request. Although the dining table was perfectly adequate, the meals were best eaten at the table on the balcony, where you could also enjoy the views along with your food.
We had great weather for our weekend so spent a lot of time outside, walking one of the three nature trails from the lodge to the hotel.
A lot of golfers come to Belton Woods to play its three courses. But there is much more to offer than just golf. There is also a fantastic Health Club and Spa. It is currently undergoing a 300K refurbishment, but the hotel had managed to minimise disruption and maintain a peaceful and relaxing environment. It would be definitely worthwhile a visit when it is finishing in August 2016.
Whilst I enjoyed a massage and a facial in the spa, Rich had taken the girls to the indoor heated pool. They enjoyed it so much that we went back again the same day and the next morning. There are lots of other activities to have a go at too, including quad biking, segways, rifle shooting and archery. We opted for crazy golf as it seemed a bit more inclusive for our 3 and 5 year olds. We didn’t take things too seriously, and just let the girls have lots of fun without worrying about what the “rules” of crazy golf were. So the golf clubs might not have been held correctly, and the balls may have made it into the holes with a “helping hand” but we all had a real giggle.
Obviously, staying in a lodge means that you can cook for the family, but if you didn’t want to, the food at the Claret Jug and Stantons Brasserie is excellent. We tried out the carvery at Stantons Brasserie. To start, you can help yourself to soup and a selection of salads and pates. There is a choice of four meats for the main course and also a fish and a vegetarian option. If you still have room for a dessert, there are several different ones to choose from every day. They also offer a children’s menu from which my two were able to find something they would eat. In addition to the quality of the food, the staff were absolutely amazing – very attentive and helped keep the girls entertained.
We were so impressed with the food and service at Stantons Brasserie that we also ate there for breakfast the next day. This was in the form of a self-service buffet, with everything you could possibly want for breakfast: fruit, cereal, cheese and cold meats, pastries, toast and, hot food such as eggs, bacon and sausages. If none of this took your fancy, you could also order some items freshly cooked, such as kippers.
A lodge at Belton Woods is the perfect location for a family holiday. There is plenty to entertain the whole family, regardless of age, with activities you can enjoy together or individually. It provides the perfect base to explore further afield. The National Trust’s Belton House is a couple of minutes away. As well as the magnificent stately home, there is also an outdoor adventure playground, miniature train and lots of family-friendly activities and events. Slightly further afield (less than ten minutes by car) is the market town of Grantham, which is home to Grantham Museum and the historic St Wulfram’s Church.
All-in-all, Belton Woods provides family-friendly luxury where you can do as much or as little as you want!