Hoseasons Holiday Review: Knights Lodges, Bretby, Derbyshire

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Knights Lodges in Bretby offers luxurious self-catering lodges set in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. We recently had our first visit there and absolutely loved it. We booked through Hoseasons – it’s the first time we’ve used them but it was simple and pain free – and quite honestly Knights Lodges is probably the nicest place that we’ve ever stayed in the UK. So, here’s my full review of our fabulous UK staycation family holiday.

I’ve included photos, information on the local area and days out (including the Peak District, Foremark Reservoir, Alton Towers & the Heights of Abraham), accommodation details, plus everything that you need to know about the leisure / spa complex and swimming facilities, and whether this trip was good value for money.

Holiday: May 2024

 

What’s the accommodation like at Knights Lodges?

The wooden cabins at Knights Lodges definitely gave us some luxury – it was a bit of a step away from our usual budget travel if I’m honest! The owners had definitely thought of everything, and the lodge was really spacious compared with typical UK mobile home / caravan holidays. We stayed in a two bedroom lodge, and both bedrooms had an en-suite, their own TV and very comfortable beds. (Our only niggle was that there weren’t any blackout blinds!)

Knights Lodges, Bretby, Derbyshire, UK staycation review, photo of lodge living space, frugal mum family holiday

The kitchen was stocked with fruit cake, Prosecco, tea / coffee / sugar, milk, butter and jam which was a lovely touch. There was a full sized under the counter fridge and separate freezer, a dishwasher, lots of cupboard space and an island for prepping food. The oven was really good too – better than the one we have at home!

Knights Lodges, Bretby, Derbyshire, UK staycation review, photo of master bedroom, frugal mum family holiday

The lodge was decorated beautifully and was very clean and modern, with attention to detail throughout, and the large windows gave us gorgeous views over the Derbyshire countryside. The sofa area had a big TV in the corner, so we enjoyed movie nights in the evenings snuggled up with the kids. I must just add that the lodge was extremely warm (even when the weather changed at the end of our holiday) so bring short pyjamas!

Knights Lodges, Bretby, Derbyshire, UK staycation review, photo of lodge living space, frugal mum family holiday

 

What was the outside space like at Knights Lodges?

The decking area had a table and chairs and… wait for it… a hot tub!! 😍 To say that the kids were made up with the hot tub would be an understatement. Despite visiting in early May, the weather randomly decided to be 20-24 degrees for most of the trip, which really enhanced our staycation – thank you sunshine!

Knights Lodges, Bretby, Derbyshire, UK staycation review, photo of hot tub, frugal mum and children

We ate outside on the decking every evening (I always cook when we’re away to save money – so the fully equipped kitchen was fantastic for self-catering) and we were in the hot tub everyday, usually after dinner, relaxing.

Knights Lodges, Bretby, Derbyshire, frugal mum photo of children eating on decking, UK staycation review

The views of the surrounding Bretby countryside made sitting outside, or chilling in the hot tub, even more special. The area is extremely quiet, and being able to sit peacefully and listen to the birds singing was exactly what we needed. It was one of the most laid back family holidays we’ve ever been on in the UK.

Knights Lodges, Bretby, Derbyshire, review, photo of view over countryside, sunset evening

 

What was the site like?

The site is home to 16 wooden lodges, and they’re well spaced for privacy and peace and quiet. There’s also lots of grassy areas for the kids to play out on, we saw one family playing rounders all afternoon on one of the days which was lovely.

Knights Lodges, Bretby, Derbyshire, UK staycation review, photo of lodge, frugal mum, hoseasons

The lodges each accommodate 2 -6 guests, and during our stay they were occupied by a mixture of couples, families, and groups of friends. Some lodges were also pet-friendly – the people staying in the lodge next to ours had a cute little dog.

 

Local area: What is there to do near Knights Lodges?

Derbyshire countryside

Close by to the lodges there’s a short woodland walk (parking at a layby down the road), Mercia Marina and Foremark Reservoir. (Thank you to the maintenance man for his recommendations!)  We had a brilliant day at Foremark Reservoir, taking a picnic and doing the 6km orange circular walk through woodland, fields, and around the water. (Completely free besides the cost of parking.)

foremark reservoir, derby, bretby, photo, free family day out, frugal mum, picnic uk staycation

The beautiful weather we had during our stay really enhanced our trip, and this was one of our favourite days out. Foremark Reservoir is only a ten minute drive from Knights Lodges so it was an easy day out, and we were even home in time to chill in the hot tub before dinner!

foremark reservoir, derby, bretby, photo, free family day out, frugal mum, woodland walk uk staycation

We also spent another afternoon picnicking, playing football in the large field and walking along the river at the nearby Hollows area.

 

Burton-on-Trent

About a ten minute drive away from Knights Lodges you’ll find Burton-on-Trent with plenty of supermarkets, restaurants and a cinema. We shopped from the supermarkets, packing up picnics every day and cooking at the lodge (I even did a roast chicken on one of the days!) so if you need to stock up on food, or you fancy eating out, it’s only a short drive away. There are also some pubs nearby, and Mercia Marina (mentioned above) has restaurants with a decking area overlooking the water too.

 

The Peak District

We booked the lodge in order to visit the Peak District as we’re keen walkers and love exploring nature with the kids. It was a little far out for lots of the walks, so I have to admit it probably isn’t the best location if you want to be out walking in the Peak District everyday. We drove 60-90 mins each way some days to get to the places that we wanted to go which was a little bit tedious, and it meant that we didn’t manage all of the walks we’d have liked to do. But we did love our stay at Knights Lodges so much that it was definitely worth the driving.

peak district with kids, bamford edge, photo, free family day out, frugal mum, uk staycation, hike for view

We had a fantastic freebie day out at Bamford Edge, which I would definitely recommend for an easy hike with the kids. There is a longer circular route that you can do, about 8km, but because we’d had a long walk the previous day we decided to cheat and do short climb up and down. We enjoyed a yummy picnic and the views were spectacular – it’s the easiest walk we’ve done for such fabulous views!

peak district with kids, bamford edge, photo, free family day out, frugal mum, uk staycation, hike for view

It’s just a short drive from Bamford Edge to Hathersage Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool – so if you have lovely weather that would be a great combination for a family day out during your stay.

peak district with kids, bamford edge, photo, free family day out, frugal mum, uk staycation, hike for view

We also visited Lumsdale Waterfall, which was stunning (and free to access) – we definitely have a bit of a waterfall addiction so this one didn’t disappoint.

peak district with kids, lumsdale waterfall photo, free family day out, frugal mum, uk staycation

On one of the days we visited the Heights of Abraham attraction – the views over the surrounding countryside and town from the cable car were great. We were able to keep costs down, and get the kids in for free, using their Blue Peter Badges – I’d highly recommend getting your children a badge each if you haven’t already as they can then get in free to over 200 UK days out. (Perfect for keeping costs down during the school holidays or on your UK budget family staycations!)

heights of abraham cable car photo, frugal mum family, free blue peter badges

I have to be honest and admit that I was expecting the caves to be better lit and more like what we’d visited in Switzerland (St Beatus Caves) but this was very dark with narrow mining tunnels, which felt very claustrophobic, so we actually came back out and didn’t complete the tour. So I wouldn’t recommend visiting with small children – there are a couple of playgrounds but the caves themselves are not very child-friendly.

heights of abraham cable car photo view, frugal mum family, free blue peter badges

 

City visits

Knights Lodges is also around 50 minutes away from Birmingham, Nottingham and Leicester if you’d like to explore the nearby cities during your stay. Leicester is also home to The National Space Centre, if you’re looking for something extra to do to occupy the kids.

 

Alton Towers

Alton Towers is about a 35-40 minute drive away from Knights Lodges, so it’s a good base for a day out with the kids, if you want to mix in a bit of thrill-seeking with your countryside walks! We took the kids there the following week (staying in a Premier Inn nearby as we were meeting family) and they had a brilliant time – despite the weather changing, sob sob.

alton towers, frugal mum photo, nemesis rollercoaster, UK days out staycation with kids

Alton Towers is home to Cbeebies Land for the little ones, with a David Walliams area too, and then the full on Alton Towers rollercoaster experience for the older ones and adults. Therefore, I think it’s best suited to young children, or secondary-school age children, so for 8-12 year olds Paultons and Chessington are probably a better bet.

alton towers, frugal mum photo, rapids, UK days out staycation with kids

My two were little dare devils, and surprised me by what they went on and how much they enjoyed it, but the rides (and even the entrances to the attractions) are definitely set up to be scary. I didn’t go on much to be honest – I am a bit of a wimp in my old age! Drayton Manor is also a similar distance from Knights Lodges, and you can get discounted entrance tickets to both Alton Towers and Drayton Manor with a £1 Kids Pass trial!

alton towers, frugal mum photo, UK days out staycation with kids

 

What were the facilities like?

Knights Lodges is not your typical UK family holiday park, it’s a much smaller setting and so doesn’t have a shop, club house, restaurant etc like you’d expect from a Haven / Park Holidays type place.

There is a small leisure and spa complex with a swimming pool on-site, which I believe is run separately from the accommodation. We didn’t use any of these facilities as it wasn’t included in the cost of the holiday. To use the pool for 2 hours would have been £35 for our family of four which I thought was expensive – particularly as it was just a small rectangular pool – and so it would definitely be more affordable to visit a local leisure centre instead if you want to take the kids for a swim.

We accessed the lodge (for check in and check out) via a key safe which made things instantaneous and very simple – the staff used text messages to send us the codes we needed, and also to check in with us during our stay. We asked for the hot tub temperature to be turned down a bit, and someone did this within a few hours, the maintenance team also came to do bits to the hot tub every day and were around if we needed anything. The customer service at Knights Lodges was seamless.

 

How much is a holiday at Knights Lodges – is it good value for money?

You know I love a budget family holiday, so I must admit that this one was probably the dearest UK staycation that we’ve had. Having said that, we got a level of comfort and luxury that we don’t usually go for and I do feel like it was worth the money. It was a good base for exploring what Derbyshire and the Peak District have to offer, and we loved spending our evenings on the sunny deck playing cards, or a board game, and getting wrinkly in the hot tub.

foremark reservoir, frugal mum photo of lake view, bretby knights lodges review

Our 7 night stay at Knights Lodges of Bretby, term-time in May, cost £599 – which worked out at around £85 per night. Considering that you can pay a similar price for something like a Premier Inn stay, it was actually amazing value for such a luxurious lodge in such a beautiful setting. We had a great time, and the kids didn’t want to leave! There are lots of free things to do in the surrounding area, so with lots of nature to explore on your doorstep, and great self-catering facilities, it was easy to keep costs down during the trip.

frugal mum children in tree

 

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Useful information for your stay at Knights Lodges of Bretby…

Website: https://www.hoseasons.co.uk/accom/knights-lodges-knlo

Address and Post Code: Knight’s Ln, Bretby, Burton-on-Trent DE15 0RT

 

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