During August, Danny and Rebecca were invited to an activity weekend at PGL with Little Hearts Matter. Dave, the younger girls and I needed somewhere to stay nearby. Last year we stayed at a Premier Inn in Grantham and would have been happy to stay again but this hotel was already fully booked. So we took a look on Booking.com to find other places to stay in the area. Thankfully we came across a wonderful place called Oscar Lodge on Birchdale Farm near Norton Disney in Lincolnshire. Read on to find out about our stay there:
We dropped the kids off at PGL (no pictures of them this year as Danny was being a moody teen and Rebecca was very nervous as it was her first time). Then we found the closest Tesco and stocked up as Oscar Lodge is self catering accommodation. By the time we arrived it was dark- I did take lots of photos but in hindsight they’re too dark to share with you sorry! Oscar Lodge was easy to find thanks to the owners directions (ignore the Sat Nav!).
The lodge owners had also texted us the information to get our key, where to park and told us to use the trolley to bring our luggage to our lodge. The kids loved using a trolley to bring our shopping to the the lodge. We were greeted by a “Wipe Your paws” dog shaped mat and there were lots of dog friendly touches in the accommodation (sadly we didn’t have a dog with us during this visit and I don’t think Toby dog would enjoy the car journey!).
On arrival as we unpacked our shopping (okay Dave actually did most of this while I sorted our clothes out!) we realised that we could have got away with bringing less with us. The lodge was full of all the essentials we needed from full size washing up liquid (cruelty free and vegan!) to filled coffee, tea and sugar containers. We were so impressed. There was even a lovely welcome hamper with soft drink, cider, crisps, sweets and cakes. This was such a lovely touch.
While I unpacked and Dave prepared tea the girls made themselves at home in the cosy living room.
After a long day travelling we had a quick easy meal of hot dogs and chips but were pleased to see all sorts of cooking equipment was included so we could have cooked up a feast- I spotted a cheese grater, mixer, blender, coffee machine- everything you could possibly need. There was plenty of tableware, pots, pans and serving dishes too. We often choose self catering as a family but sometimes find it difficult to cook what we have in mind due to limited bake ware but this fully stocked kitchen was a cooks dream.
We kept finding lovely surprises all around the lodge. The girls spotted outdoor toys next to the piano – did I mention there was even a piano?
The high ceilings made the lodge feel light and airy. It was very clean and tastefully decorated.
The girls loved their luxurious twin room. They asked could their new room at home be like this, we replied yes if they gave away all their toys!
Dave and I slept in the sumptuous double. It was so beautifully decorated, I wasn’t expecting such luxury touches in a lodge.
Oscar Lodge would be the perfect retreat for a family or group of friends wanting a relaxing weekend. We bought books and games with us to keep the kids entertained. The shelves were full of books, DVDs, CDs and games to make use of. When I finished my hardback I added it to the collection.
One of my favourite parts of the lodge were the patio doors out to the outdoor area. We sat here and enjoyed a glass of wine after tea.
Oscar lodge contains a cloak room and a bathroom. We each made use of the rainfall shower. We slept very well in the comfortable beds. After a nice lie in we all got up. The girls played the piano while we made breakfast (don’t worry we could tell our neighbours were up already as their dogs came into our lodge to say good morning meaning we also got introduced to their humans! There was a very family friendly atmosphere between all the lodges. At one point the toddler from next door came in to play on our lodge’s piano.
Happy girls enjoying breakfast!
Being so close to the outdoors, the kids loved discovering insects such as ladybirds and black beetles.
Oscar Lodge Woodland Walk
After breakfast we decided to explore our surroundings and enjoy the woodland walk.
From our welcome pack we had discovered that there was even a Games Room Lodge on site (we hadn’t realised this when booking). We decided to keep it as a surprise from the girls until after our walk. With our picnic packed, we were good to go!
We walked past the horses in the paddocks. Some guests bring their horses here too. There are stables available.
A map was enclosed in our welcome pack and there were lots of signs to follow (we made sure to stay away from the private areas of other residents).
Caitlyn and Dave watched the ducks in the pond.
We also passed lots of chickens.
These sheep came to see us and bleated at us as we walked away.
A white feather!
Along the way we spotted fungi, flora and fauna.
We looked out for bird’s nests.
We also saw butterflies, moths and dragonflies.
The girls stopped to explore a hay store.
More ladybirds! I know I’ve mentioned this before but we seem to find more ladybirds when we’re out of Pembrokeshire. We did find a few in Nanny’s garden this year but not as many as we used to (if you spot lots of ladybirds somewhere in Pembrokeshire please let me know).
We stopped to eat our picnic. Dave and I wanted to go further and find a picnic table. Caityn, however was now “hangry” by this point. She angrily shouted that “You (pointing at me) NEVER feed me!” Once she’d got some food inside her and relaxed she did say sorry and we laughed about it. It’s become a family running joke now that I never feed poor Caitlyn.
Along the way home we spotted our lodges! The lodges vary in size and can sleep from 3 – 6 persons (so we could come here as a whole family). We stayed in a 4 bed on this occasion.
Sam’s Woodland Games Room
After our walk we popped back to the lodge to swap our wellies for clean shoes and made our way to Sam’s Woodland Games Room. Caitlyn loved that this room was named after the owner’s dog. We passed them during our walk.
Dave’s a sore loser!
It was great fun. We played pool, darts, ping pong, table football and Izzy enjoyed the rocking horse. We spent a few hours in there playing competitive games. It would be amazing to hire a couple of lodges with friends and family and all play in the games room together (we loved the games room at Clydey Cottages, Pembrokeshire too).
Norton Disney and Surrounding Areas
Our reason for staying at Oscar Lodge, was just to have somewhere to stay close to Danny and Rebecca while they were at PGL. Since staying there I can see it would be a lovely place to stay for a longer family break. The lodges and woodland areas are stunning and you could easily spend your whole stay on site for a relaxing break.
However if you want to enjoy family days out there are plenty of places nearby. During our previous visits to this area we have been to Kelham Hall, a country house ten miles away which is free to visit. We also enjoyed a great value day out at Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre which is 25 miles away. When we left Oscar Lodge, we needed somewhere to wile away a few hours before it was time to pick the kids up so we spontaneously drove to a near by town Newark-on-Trent (8 miles away) and had a lovely time exploring Newark Castle and Grounds (another free day out).
Other places close to Oscar Lodge, Birchdale Farm, Lincolnshire include:
Lincoln (12 miles): Visit Lincoln Cathedral and Castle (home of the Magna Carta Centre).
Newark Air Museum (6 miles): An air museum located on a former Royal Air Force station.
The Natural World Centre (7 miles): A visitor centre in Whisby Nature Park offering play areas, fitness walks, a cafe & local gift shop.
You can stay at Oscar Lodge, Birchdale Farm from £195 for 2 nights.
Have you visited this area before? What places of interest would you recommend?