We were kindly invited to stay in The Monarch of the Glen Caravan by the lovely people from Springfield Holiday Homes. Located in Swarland Northumberland it is just perfect for dark skies viewing.
We left our house, in Sunderland, and arrived just under an hour later, travelling with 3 kiddies who bicker in the car like an old married couple and 2 dogs, who aren't much better. One of the dogs doesn't travel well, so this is a good distance for us, as any further would have caused problems.
The park itself (Percy Wood Holiday Park) was easy enough to find, just 1 mile west of the A1 on the outskirts of the pretty village of Swarland, between Morpeth and Alnwick. On arrival, the park seems welcoming, and very clean, with plenty of space.
The static caravan we stayed in was one of four offered by Springfield Holiday Homes;
Squirrels End – Sleeps up to 8 guests
Badgers Hollow – Sleeps up to 4 guests
Foxes Den – Sleeps up to 4 guests
Monarch of the Glen – Sleeps up to 4 guests
All of which are nature themed, with various wall art, cushions and other little touches, in keeping with their names.
We stayed in Monarch of the Glen, the theme of which is a majestic Scottish Stag.
On entry we found the caravan to be spacious and spotlessly clean, with a large, open plan lounge/diner/kitchen, equipped with everything you could need, whether you have booked a short break or a longer stay.
We enjoyed the welcome pack, with sparking wine and chocolates, and the welcome pack for the dogs was a lovely touch (poop bags,tennis ball & biscuits).
The seating areas are comfortable, with space for plenty of guests and the kitchen features a good quality 4 ring gas burner, with a good sized oven and grill, which we made use of for a massive cooked breakfast, mostly consisting of high quality, locally sourced produce.
In addition to the oven, hob and grill, there is also a microwave, toaster and kettle.There is also plenty of cupboard space in the kitchen and more than enough cutlery, crockery, pan and cooking utensils. Again, all of which were spotless and the pans looked like they were brand new. Near the entrance door is an ample sized fridge freezer and a cupboard, housing the boiler, as well as an ironing board and some cleaning supplies.
The lounge is equipped with a good sized TV with freeview and a gas fire and the themed cushions and wall art make it extra homely. We also found the folder full of useful local information and small selection of board games very handy. There is a large window, at this end of the unit, looking out over a private veranda with seating and small tables, which we made the most of, in between rain showers.
The veranda itself is fairly sheltered, with a line of trees just a few feet away and also has a good view of the surrounding countryside and has a couple of spotlights, for those darker evenings.
Back inside the unit and to the other end are 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.
The smaller bedroom is fairly typical of a good quality static caravan, with just enough space for 2 comfortable single beds and a useful wardrobe.
The bathroom is surprisingly spacious with toilet, basin and large shower cubicle and comes with a small selection of high quality toiletries.
The real wow factor, for us, was the master bedroom. We have stayed in a few static caravans over the years, but we have never seen a bedroom of this size. It features a fairly comfortable, well made up double bed, 2 lamps, a good sized wardrobe and a dressing table, but still had stacks of space to spare. We have found that static caravan bedrooms have a tendency to be quite cramped, specially for 2 adults with plenty of luggage, but not in this case. More than enough space for everyone and everything!
Back to the bathroom and the shower was actually better than ours at home. Plenty of space and, once you get the water to the desired temperature, it actually stays there!
Outside the unit, there is plenty of space to park and to take the dogs out. We find that with a lot of holiday parks, specially with static caravans, outdoor space can be at a premium. A lot of the bigger parks will cram as many units in as possible, leaving little to no usable space, but not here.
Speaking of taking the dogs out, that was the first thing we did, after we unpacked. We took a stroll around the whole park, most of which has a very pleasant woodland feel to it. We also found that the variety of types of holiday homes here makes just wandering around the park, that bit more enjoyable.
The park itself is well presented and looks to be well maintained. There is a mixed sports court, where the boys enjoyed kicking a ball around, as well as a play park and cafe (both of which were closed when we visited, due to COVID-19, but will be re-opening soon). One major attraction of the park is the 18 hole golf course, which is free to use. You just need to book your tee time at reception. We had a wander around the edge of the course, which again, looked to be in good condition, though we didn't actually use it.
Following the golf course away from the holiday park, you get easy access to Swarland village, which does have an amazing play park, unfortunately, this was also closed, due to the virus outbreak, though we still enjoyed our walk, even if we did manage to get slightly lost on the way back
Outside of the park, there is plenty to see and do, all within a fairly short drive.
Northumberland's coastline never fails to impress and there are various beautiful beaches within easy reach. 2 of our favourite beaches at Alnmouth and Druridge bay easily accessible.
The holy Island of Lindisfarne is just a little further up the A1, with the historic walled town of Berwick upon Tweed just a little further, with it's old walls, barracks, museum, theatre, cinema and a multitude of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants to choose from.
The park also sits not too far from the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, offering amazing opportunities for any stargazers or budding astronomers.
If you don't feel like venturing so far away from your holiday home, there are plenty of woodland walks, just off the park itself.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Springfield Holiday Homes and would highly recommend to anyone looking for a break in Northumberland. Our stay may have been a short one, but it has definitely got us thinking about when to visit again and we will be staying for longer next time.
Springfield Holiday Homes are situated on Percy Wood Holiday Park at Swarland in Northumberland, just 1 mile from the A1. Postcode for sat nav NE65 9JW
All 4 holiday homes are pet friendly, but dogs must be kept on a lead at all times, while in the park.
All details, including pricing, availability and booking, can be found on the Springfield Holiday Homes website. https://www.springfieldholidayhomes.co.uk/
*We were gifted our stay, in return for our honest review*