Breathing in crisp black night by flickering chiminea light, chin deep in illuminated bubbles, ears pricked for the nocturnal rustle of wildlife, we’re at one with nature as soothing jets massage away the stresses of the week.
Up with the lark, my husband and I will be out here again at first light, enjoying the blissful hot tub and boundless rural beauty of Landal’s newest park, Rockingham Forest.
Bordering an ancient forest and set in the grounds of what was once RAF Kings Cliffe airfield, our luxury retreat is nestled in the rolling Northamptonshire countryside, awash with beauty, steeped in history - the perfect choice for a family escape with two teenage children and grandparents in tow.
Boasting a selection of five-star lodges for up to six guests, many with outdoor hot tubs and all with their own unique character and charm, Rockingham Forest is an idyllic base from which to embrace the area’s resplendent landscape, unrivalled views and mile after mile of unspoilt natural beauty.
Our accommodation is The Wansford, a spacious three-bedroom lodge furnished to the highest standard, complete with two super kings and one twin bedroom, all with widescreen TV and en-suite shower room.
Welcoming and spotlessly clean with a blend of essential home comforts and pampering luxuries, the lodge boasts wine cooler, coffee machine, washer dryer, dishwasher and built-in Bluetooth speakers, plus a large sociable kitchen and open plan lounge with patio doors leading out to decking with seating, BBQ stand and a six person hot tub just perfect for socialising under the stars.
Places to visit
Whether you’re cycling, running or walking, exploring is paramount, and with so much to see, do and enjoy, simply pick up your camera, pull on your helmet, hiking boots or running shoes and choose your own adventures.
With guests of all ages making up our party, we split to enjoy separate activities by day before reconvening each evening to swap stories over a hearty meal in the comfort of our homely woodland haven.
Being keen golfers, our teenage children headed straight for the fairways at Orton Meadows, enjoying a round in the picturesque, informal surroundings of the 18-hole course which is just a 20-minute drive away.
Suckers for exquisite scenery, my husband and I explored on foot, drinking in the expansive landscape of the park where we were surprised to find a memorial to the famous Major Glenn Miller, who performed his final hanger concert on the former RAF base in October 1944 before his mysterious disappearance over the English Channel in December of that year.
My parents, meanwhile, picnic and flask at the ready, headed for a slice of history at nearby Rockingham Caste, which was built on the instruction of William the Conquerer and served as a royal residence for 450 years.
Charmed by the Tudor building’s distinctive architecture, they snapped some superb photographs spanning five counties from the castle’s awesome summit.
Mix in a walk around the lakes of nearby Barnwell Country Park, a marvel at the big cats at Hamerton Zoo Park or a scenic stroll around the beautiful cathedral city of Peterborough, just a 15-minute drive away, and it’s easy to tailor a stay at Rockingham Forest to be as riveting or relaxing as you please.
In truth, if it’s down time you desire, simply settle in your robe and slippers, enjoying a glass of wine as the hot tub bursts into life and a lone tawny owl serenades the onset of dusk.
A three-night break at Landal Rockingham Forest in The Wansford for six people costs from £579. For more information visit Landal or 0345 498 6200. Landal has 80 locations throughout Europe across eight countries offering a wide range of parks catering for every holiday experience.