Somerset: Cheese, Caves & Cider…

01 December 2016

burnham-on-seaSomerset continues to be a holiday hot spot year in and year out, and is loved for many reasons including its sunny beaches, spectacular views and family outings galore – but there are some things that really put Somerset on the map.

Lakeside Holiday Park, in the heart of Somerset is the perfect base for exploration – whether it be for a short break, a fortnights holiday or several visits throughout the season, there is more than enough to keep the whole family occupied. It is said that the early bird gets the worm, and in the case of your Summer 2017 holiday, this is certainly the case. Start planning, and book early for prime time deals, excellent location and access to a huge variety of attractions, events and outings. There are places to visit year round, but the real adventures begin from March 2017 onwards.
 

Cheese

cheddar-cheeseCheddar is the most popular type of cheese in the UK, and accounts for more than half of the cheese we purchase. The name ‘Cheddar’ was widely used to describe the hard cheese up until 2007, when a Protected Designation of Origin was created making ‘West Country Farmhouse Cheddar’ the only true Cheddar cheese.

Only cheese produced from milk from the four counties of South West England, and manufactured in the traditional way may take on the name proudly.

The small town of Cheddar is just a 25 minute drive away from Lakeside, and is of course home to the famous cheese. Nowadays there is just one company in Cheddar that produces the cheese, and The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company are in fact the makers of ‘the only Cheddar made in Cheddar’. They make cheese every day of the year, and happily welcome visitors. You can watch any or all of the 7 hour process at any time of the day from the viewing gallery, or if you prefer (and are short on time) you can also watch the process from beginning to end on a 20 minute DVD that plays throughout the day.

You can visit at any time of the year, although they do advise to call ahead to avoid disappointment. From Easter until the end of August, staff are happy to show you round and answer any questions you may have. Admission is just £2.00 for Adults with a maximum of 2 Children (under 16) being free of charge.
 

Caves

cheddar-gorgeThere’s more to Cheddar than, well, Cheddar!

A 30 minute drive from Lakeside will get you to Cheddar Gorge. Britain’s biggest natural gorge is world famous, and has been named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – thanks largely to its spectacular views, 450ft high cliffs and stunning stalactite caverns.

A visit to Cheddar Gorge is a must for anyone planning to visit Somerset, no matter what the time of year. There are open-top bus tours, fantastic cliff top walks, and for the more energetic, the Cheddar Gorge Lookout Tower which is a 322 step climb to the top! Like climbing? There is caving and climbing available for beginners to seasoned professionals, with instructors on hand to help you and show you the best routes. Cheddar Gorge is a wonderful family day out, packed full of adventure, history and culture and lots to see and do. Entry is £19.95 for Adults, £13.95 for Children (aged 5-15) and Children under 5 are free.

LS-wookey2Cheddar Gorge brings a whole host of entertainment, but if caving is your thing and you want to ‘dig a little deeper’, then the Wookey Hole Caves are not to be missed. This mysterious network of caves have been around for millions of years, and were home to the Celts during the Iron Age. You can read much more about the caves in our earlier blog post, which provides full details.
 

Cider

somerset-ciderPerhaps Somerset’s most famous export, Cider has been a favourite drink in Britain for at least 2,000 years, and with over 400 different varieties of cider apple grown in Somerset alone, there is an endless choice available.

Originally enjoyed by the Romans around 55 BC, it has come on leaps and bounds with it now being made and manufactured around the world. During your stay at Lakeside, why not take the time out to visit one of Somerset’s most popular Cider Farm – Rich’s Cider, which is in Watchet near Burnham-on-Sea and just 10 minutes away from the Park.

The Rich family have been producing cider since founder Gordon Rich began pressing cider apples at Mill Farm, and specialise in Traditional Farmhouse Cider, and Farm Pressed Apple Juice – leading them to have been awarded ‘Best Drink Product of the Year 2015’ by Somerset Life, and recently been nominated in the Land Love Awards as ‘Britain’s Favourite Drinks Producer’. Open year round, you can watch the process, sample the wares and stop for a bite to eat at the Farm Restaurant. A must for cider (and apple) lovers everywhere.

These are just a few of the many popular attractions in and around Somerset, and with so much to see and do; it really is worth a visit. Not only will you have fun exploring caves, drinking cider, and sampling cheddar, the place is teeming with special events during the season.

Whatever the season, explore Burnham-on-Sea…

01 November 2016

Burnham_7With the winter months closing in, it’s not hard to be distracted by thoughts of spring, summer holidays and warm sandy beaches, and Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset has plenty to offer come rain or shine.

When you think of your next summer holiday, a weekend away or even a family day out, this coastal town is the perfect little spot for a getaway, and even better – it is home to Lakeside Holiday Park, so everything is on your doorstep during your stay.

Burnham_8With seven miles of golden sands, Burnham Beach is one of the longest beaches in Europe, and features no less than eight beautiful spots to visit along its stretch. The award-winning Main Beach hosts the famous Burnham Pier, shops, cafés, donkey rides and entertainment for all the family including Jet Ski’s and boat trips. South Beach is excellent for sitting and watching the boats come in to shore, whereas North Beach is great for families during the summer months. Burnham’s famous beach lighthouse marks the start of the stretch of sand, and Berrow Beach has secluded sand dunes and the shipwreck that is popular amongst tourists and residents alike. Brean Beach also makes up part of the seven miles, is another great spot for families and leads to Brean Down, where you can take your dogs or even take part in some horse riding – all amongst the stunning settings of the local area.

It may not be swimming season at the moment, but come the spring and summer these shores are a wonderful place to splash about it, relax on the beach or take a stroll and take in the surroundings.

If you are thinking of visiting Somerset during November, be sure to catch the Burnham-on-Sea Carnival on the 7th November – the carnival is celebrating it’s 70th year and features more than 100 illuminated floats, so it is sure to be spectacular.

DSC_0039DSC_0128There are plenty of activities, fun things to do and see and events happening in and around the area and surrounding Somerset. As an area of natural beauty, you can explore the cliffs and caves of Cheddar Gorge, and the Quantock, Mendip and Polden Hills, which are perfect for walking enthusiasts. Between the hills, there are the Somerset Levels and Moors and nearby Weston-super-mare and Bridgwater are wonderful places to stop off, have lunch and do a bit of shopping. There is also plenty of fishing to be done, and some gorgeous cycling routes to discover.

No matter what time of year it is, Burnham-on-Sea is a beautiful place to visit, so make the most of the down-time during the darker months to take in the scenery, enjoy the local crafts and food products with a day out shopping, and get yourself acquainted with the area in preparation for the summer season ahead. It’s the ideal time to start planning your next visit, and look forward to the warmer weather in a great location.

Comedy Nite Returns to The Boathouse!

11 October 2016

Just because the Park is closing for the winter at the end of the month, doesn’t mean the fun at The Boathouse has to stop!

On Friday 4th November we are bringing back COMEDY NITE, with 2 professional stand-up comedians, Irish Bingo a disco AND a basket meal and drink included in the ticket price!

Tickets are £10.00 each and are available from Reception at Lakeside Holiday Park.

*Strictly over 18’s only.

boathouse-comedy-nite-november-2016

Autumn Days at Barrington Court

03 October 2016

barrington-court-autumnNestled in stunning surroundings just 45 minutes away from Lakeside Holiday Park, sits Barrington Court – a restored 16th-century manor house brimming with history and culture…

…and October is the perfect time to visit.

Aside from the picturesque grounds and orchards (where it is currently apple harvesting season), it is also full of fiendish fun during the spookiest time of the year and is ideal for a little half-term Halloween fun.

The popular Apple Days are taking place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October this year, and with more than 70 varieties of apples growing in the grounds – there is plenty of choice for picking, including heritage varieties from ancient established orchards. However many more were planted by Ian Lyle back in the 1940’s. The orchards hold a mix of eating and cider apples, with some truly unusual names, e.g. Slack-Ma-Girdle, Brown Snout, Beauty of Bath, Crimson King, Somerset Redstreak, Tom Putt, and Kingsdon Black to name a few! Some of the cider apples also produce award-winning apple juices and ciders.

Children can get in on the fun picking up Windfall apples (which are perfect for cider making) using the specially designed mini wheelbarrows parked in the Goose Orchard, and you can experience the whole cider-making process as the skilled volunteer team put the huge old apple press into action. There are apple games and crafts and interesting walks through the orchards, as well as some song and dance going on too. Experts are available to identify mystery apples and – even better – you get to taste some of the heritage varieties that still grow. Apple Days run from 11.00am to 16.30pm.

For everyone’s favourite October time treats there is plenty of Halloween fun to be had at Barrington Court. From the 22nd to the 30th October, between 10.30am and 16:30pm, you can paint a wooden pumpkin decoration at Jozef the woodcarver’s studio (which is included in with admission). You don’t need to reserve a spot, just show up! But be sure to pack a warm layer because it can get chilly during the autumn months. Oh yes, one more thing – wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a little bit of paint on.

On the same days, from 11.00am to 16:30pm, are the Halloween Creepy Creatures and Scary Faces Trail. Choose your trail and find the foul faces and gruesome ghouls on your way.

The following week, on Monday 24th and Wednesday 26th October, don’t miss the Creepy Creatures Shadow Play, where experienced puppeteers Ken and Jill, from the Armchair Puppet Theatre, will show you the how to create a scary monster or creepy creature as a shadow puppet – don’t worry if you’re stuck for inspiration, there are lots of carvings and details around the court and grounds to use as examples. Once you have perfected your shadow puppets, Ken and Jill will help you show your puppets on their theatre screen. You don’t have to be a child to participant – it’s great fun for all the family – and it’s been known to get quite competitive (especially with the dads!). The Creepy Creatures Shadow Play days run from 11.30am to 16.00pm, with an admission fee of £4.00

For the more hands on amongst you (again – all ages are welcome), there are Den Building activity days on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 27th October, between 11.00am and 15.00pm. Come down to the woods with us and build a den to play in, this is especially fun in Autumn as the weather is so lovely and you get to heap up piles of leaves and run around. Den Building is included in admission (although a donation of £1 per child is encouraged).

On Sunday 30th October from 11.00am to 16.30pm is the annual Barrington Court Spooks Parade. Get dressed up, join in the fun and let your spooky side run wild as you wander through the house and gardens on the lookout for fiendish frights and ghastly horrors. Don’t worry if you don’t have a costume (or even if you do) there is Face Painting available to get you ready for the day ahead.

So that’s October covered – what about the rest of the year? Aside from the breathtaking gardens and orchards, the Barrington Court shop offers a wide range of gifts, including award winning apple juices and ciders, and at The Book Barn at Woolsthorpe Manor, there is a huge lot of quality second hand books covering all topics and tastes. If you are visiting with your dog, there is a map showing the trails around the estate where dog walking is permitted.

Barrington Pottery has five independent local artisan workshops located in the old farm buildings on the avenue, and once you have spent some time exploring, you can get a snack in the Strode House dining and tearooms. Have coffee and homemade cake, a light snack, or hot meal made with fresh and delicious produce from the kitchen garden.

Until 31st October, the admission fees are: Adults – £11.10 and Children £5.50 (or £12.30 / £6.10 with Gift Aid). Family entry is £27.70 (£30.60) and for group bookings with a minimum of 15 people Adults are £9.00 and Children £4.50).

Boathouse Bulletin – October

01 October 2016

It’s October! Which means it’s the last month of the season at Lakeside for 2016. We have had a wonderful summer – and we hope you have too. We’re still rocking throughout October , and we have a fantastic line-up to see us through to the end of the month in style.

We welcome newcomer SAMMY SHEPHERD on Saturday 1st, as well as some debuts by KELLY GRIFFITHS on Friday 7th and KELLY SURRETTI on Tuesday 25th who we’re sure will go down an absolute treat. We also have MUSIC BINGO on Friday 21st where you can sing along and win prizes, as well as being joined by some of our Boathouse favourites who have been with us throughout the year.

sammy-shepherd kelly-griffiths matt-edwards

CHARMAINE TRACEY returns on Tuesday 11th, and STEVIE K will be performing the songs of Showaddywaddy on Friday 14th. FAST COMPANY – everyone’s favourite guitar duo – are also back on Saturday 22nd and MATT EDWARDS will be here with his unique mix of comedy and magic on Sunday 23rd.

We hope to see you there, and we can’t wait to bring some new amazing acts to The Boathouse in 2017. Enjoy…

Sat 1st Oct

SAMMY SHEPHERD
Male Vocalist

Tue 4th Oct

JANET JAMES
Female Vocalist & Keyboard Player

Fri 7th Oct

KELLY GRIFFITHS
Female Vocalist

Sat 8th Oct

IAN HIGGOTT
Male Vocalist

Tue 11th Oct

CHARMAINE TRACEY
Female Vocalist

Fri 14th Oct

STEVIE K
Songs of Showaddywaddy

Sat 15th Oct

DUANE ANDREW JOHNS
Male Vocalist

Tue 18th Oct

MAT ROBERTS
Guitarist & Vocalist

Fri 21st Oct

MUSIC BINGO
Sing Along & Win!

Sat 22nd Oct

FAST COMPANY
Guitar Duo

Sun 23rd Oct

MATT EDWARDS
Comedy Magic Mayhem

Tue 25th Oct

KELLY SURRETTI
Female Vocalist

Fri 28th Oct

MARCUS T
Upbeat Male Vocalist