Join Beth Hughes, digital marketing and PR exec for Lyons, as she trades Rhyl’s Lyons Robin Hood for the stunning Lyons Manor House Park in Cumbria for a family retreat…
I’m Beth – some of you may have seen me on the Facebook owners groups, answering your owner’s newsletter emails, or even out on park taking lots of photos of the many things there are to do on the Lyons sites! Although based in North Wales, part of my job is working alongside the team at the beautiful Lyons Manor House Park in Cumbria.
What some of you might now know about me: I’m a sucker for travelling. I’ve had the wanderlust bug for years! So the pandemic hit myself – and many other eager adventurers and millennials alike – pretty hard when the borders shut and our passports were made redundant for at least 18 months.
One thing this resulted in though? A huge appreciation of the land we call home. Here in the UK, we’re blessed by so many things on our doorsteps that, let’s face it, none of us would have known about had it not been for the 5-mile rule graciously granted last summer. As a nation, together we laced our boots and took on the challenge of discovering untrodden paths close to home, making it our lockdown ambition to travel the UK’s beautiful soils and capture many an Insta-worthy shot of the motherland.
Why I went to Manor House Park in Cumbria
North Wales is my home, and this place in my heart could never be replaced with a destination in another country: no matter how green the grass or stunning the panoramic views. But my longest ever span in North Wales since a child resulted in an almost stir-crazy need for adventure and travel. As a keen walker, runner and swimmer, I longed to consume hilly mountain tops of a foreign pasture, swim forbidden seas and barbecue on barbarous coasts.
I’d frequently marketed Lyons Manor House Parks as a tourist destination from head office in Rhyl, but (I regret to inform you) I’d never trekked to the Northern Fells. A week’s annual leave presented the perfect opportunity to head up to Cumbria with my family – 8 of us in total, and 1 baby, to see the place I often write about.
What was Lyons Manor House Park like?
For anyone who has visited the delights of the hustling, bustling, touristy North Welsh coast – well, Lyons Manor House is nothing like that. While this Cumbrian park carries the family (and pet!) friendly atmosphere of Lyons Robin Hood, Lyons Winkups and Lyons Lido Beach, it was a complete world away from these busy locations.
My initial thoughts (and my dad’s as the driver) was how remote Lyons Manor House is. And after a struggle with the sat nav, we decided to abandon all digital guides and follow the good old-fashioned road signs, which were commendable. Nestled in an actual farming village named Edderside, a hamlet in the civil parish of Holme St. Cuthbert, the Lyons site is surrounded by sweeping views of the countryside, and only a mile away from the lengthy beach of Allonby.
With sights of the Northern Fells to one side, and the Solway Firth to the next, we were in our absolute element. We checked into two Gold Standard holiday homes which were cleaned immaculately (and I’m not just saying this as a Lyons employee, but my sister who is a new mother on her first baby-holiday commended the standard of the accommodation too.) My parents were pleasantly surprised at the spacious three-bedroom caravan, and commented how much the industry had changed since static caravan holidays in a tourist-filled 1980’s Blackpool.
What did the rest of my family think of the park throughout the week?
I think everyone is in agreement that the staff, Kerry and Katherine, were absolutely wonderful and certainly made our week at Lyons Manor House Park a special one.
For the new parents, Lyons Manor House was the ultimate relaxing getaway where lots of rest and relaxation was allowed. The children’s play park was kept clean and tidy, and was a delight to visit in the mornings with the little one. In my dad and brother in law’s eyes, the on-site pub was homely and served a good pint of local ale…and I don’t think it was the worst thing in the world that the sports was shown 24/7!
The cooking facilities, extra storage space, and handily-filled cupboards of utensils and cooking stuff was to my mum’s delight, who fed us almost every night. This in itself displays the roominess, comfort, and functionality of the Lyons accommodation, as 8 hungry adults and one infant were duly fed each night without hassle, fuss, or smoke alarms chirping away! (We did cheat one night and venture down to the Codfather, which is a must-visit chippy in the nearby town of Allonby…)
My sister and brother in law who work hectic city-based jobs loved the countryside views, the sound of the birds chirping in the morning, and even the WiFi which was sufficient enough to stream Netflix throughout the week! In my sister’s own words: “It was like being a kid again, but in a gold standard caravan which meant we didn’t have to walk to the toilet blocks! I loved spending time with everyone and the campsite was absolutely perfect for us all to get away, spend some time together, and make lots of memories after many months apart.”
Cut to the chase, Beth: what was there to do?
You can tell Lyons Manor House allowed us to holiday properly, as by the end of the week it was hard to keep track of the days! The atmosphere, views, and location allowed us to fully relax and unwind, but with plenty to do in the local area to keep the busybodies (ahem, me) happy. Here’s a list of the must-visit attractions around Lyons Manor House Park…
1. Allonby Beach
The first place I visited, this family-friendly beach is perfect for picnics, swimming, walking – just not with a pram! We wandered down to this lovely seaside almost every day, along the simple mile-long country road that leads right from the park to the beach. It’s worth checking the tide times as we arrived a couple of times to find it was right in. But with waters as warm as Thailand in 2014 (I’m not even joking, I ended up taking off my winter wetsuit!) it was absolute bliss to paddle and swim in. Waves a solid 10/10 for paddleboarding, but not so much for surfing. Watch out for the local fishermen!
2. The Codfather (!)
I urge you before you leave Cumbria to visit the Codfather, which can be found on a stone grey house in the village of Allonby. It’s just a fish and chip shop, but there’s a reason it’s so high on my list! (Although I may be biased as I’d ran a half marathon that morning around Edderside and I was famished.) Get the fish share bucket and you won’t be disappointed. While you wait, you can wander the footpaths along the beach and the best news – there’s a public toilet next to some park benches, which is a must with a family as big as ours.
3. Carlisle Cathedral
Around 40 minutes in the car from Lyons Manor House, the drive itself to Carlisle offered gorgeous views of the Fells. Carlisle itself is similar to any Glaswegian town, but the highlight of our week was the delightful afternoon spent at the cathedral itself. Parking options are great and dense around the city, and you can even walk around the castle grounds for an additional fee! We took in a bit of culture of the 12th century building, which is ancient (the lovely tour guides will tell you more) and had a spot of lunch in the courtyard at the wonderful Cathedral Cafe.
4. Maryport town
5. Nicholl End Marine
Best day of the week for me was when we hired paddleboards, kayaks and a canoe (just the one!) at Nicholl End Marine in Keswick. We phoned in advance to reserve our spaces, and the team were super friendly and helpful – reasonably priced hire too! The pictures I took say it all, and it was absolute bliss to relax for 2 hours on the stunning Derwentwater Lake. Take a look at how we spent the day….
6. Scafell Pike
Blessed by a week’s worth of glorious sunshine but blighted by downpours on our way home, we decided to swerve one of Britain’s highest mountains on our last day, and return with the dog next year! Lyons Manor House is the perfect pet-friendly site, with enough of a community atmosphere to feel like a true getaway, but with enough space and quiet as to not make the dog go wild. Scafell Pike is only an hour and a half’s drive from Manor House Park, so next time we book in we’ll be sure to get up early, climb the wondrous mountain, and book a table at the on-site restaurant (or a takeaway if we’re too tired!)
Wander for hours along the panoramic shore of Wigton, and don’t miss the big fella and his dog for a picture op! Named ‘Sunset’, the 2.7 metre high creation is the culmination of four months of work by artist Ray Lonsdale. It depicts the man reclining on a bench, looking at the Solway Firth and shielding his eyes from the sun. Great photo opportunity for the kids (and great way to make a budding tourist feel tiny too!)
8. Twentyman’s Ice Cream Parlour
Had I visited Allonby as a kid, it’s safe to say that 100% of my pocket money would be spent at this wonderful ice cream parlour on Allonby beach. We visited this shop for delicious homemade ice cream every day (sometimes twice in my case.) With a wide selection of ice creams ranging from salted caramel, liquorice allsorts, Binder Bueno, Malteser and more, and with an adjoining sweet shop, it’s easy to see why we made this our daily stop. A great place only 2 minutes drive from Lyons Manor House to pick up bread, milk…or sweets.
We only passed through on our way home, but the picturesque buildings, sweeping mountain views and quaintness of Keswick made me want to re-visit this market town on our next trip! The Lake District Wildlife Park is definitely on the list, and I’m sure the Derwent Pencil Museum is on my dad’s.
10. Fairydust Emporium
This little cafe nestled in the picturesque streets of Silloth is sweeter than honey, and is definitely a place to take the kids (or in my book, the better half.) With plenty of snacks and light bites for the hungry and the sweet-toothed, the Fairydust Emporium is a wonderful world of magic and holiday vibes. Afternoon tea went down a treat, and I’m not so sure about the locally sourced squid sandwich in brown sugar but, when in Rome…!
Did you like this review of Lyons Manor House Park and want to leave your own thoughts? Comments are welcome in the section below!