Stanley Villa Farm – Glamping Family Fun!
So this was our second go at glamping and after loving our stay at Potadoodledo, the adventurers couldn’t wait for our next adventure. We visited Stanley Villa Park Farm on the weekend 5-7th September 2014 and we have all returned after a fantastic weekend. Maya has actually asked to return camping here so we will be back in 2015!
We are from Lancashire so the location of the camping pods was ideal, located between Preston and Blackpool (just off Junction 3 on M55) so just a short drive from home. For us and for others in the northwest, this makes a great place for a short weekend away from the hustle and bustle of life. Alex, who runs the camping pods and fishery was really lovely, very approachable and always around the site with handy tips and information for the guests. Alex is there to greet guests on arrival (if not on site, he usually only nipped away and comes back straight away). Alex also kept going around the pods throughout the weekend to check that all was well with the guests. Alex was great with the kids too and they would be out to talk to him whenever he popped by.
I loved the camping pods. The colour, decor was really tasteful and looked great. It was also great to get the kids to name them all (fun way to get Raihan to learn his colours). I loved that they were all different colours and the setting felt like we were on holiday faraway from home. The set up of the site is ideal for little legs as regardless of which pod you are in everything is easily accessible so all three adventurers could plod along behind us.
The pod was just about big enough for the five of us. You are provided with two single mattresses and bed frame, which we put together to make a double. We also brought our Outwell self inflating mattress with us for the kids. This fitted perfectly alongside the bed, so Maya and Raihan were on that and the rest of us on the beds. These pods have no electrical points or heating within the pod but the pod is insulated so it stays warm. I slept with my duvet and it got a little cold during the night. Would recommend a thick duvet/extra blanket as it would get cold. The kids and Doc were in their fab, toastingly warm sleeping bags so they all slept like logs. We kept most of our things in the car as it would be a tight squeeze with too much luggage in there. The pod made the whole camping part more realistic as there was only a small light in the pod so you really needed your torches and lights to be able to see in the pod. This pod design is perfect for people who want to go camping but without the headache of putting up a tent and sleeping on the floor.
There are 21 pods on site, 3 toilet shower rooms, kitchen and lounge Area in the lodge. The lodge was great as it had a couple of leather sofas, three dining tables and chairs so you can eat food here. I liked that the kitchen was separate as it made the seating area feel less cramped which was the only thing I didn’t like about Potaddodledo set up. However, the kitchen area is small so you may have to wait your turn in washing/warming up food. We hadn’t realised that there was no cooker in the kitchen so we had left our camping cooker at home. I think a cooker (even an electrical one) would be perfect and make the whole glamping experience a little better. In the lounge area there are loads of electrical points to charge up your phones and other electrical equipment.
In addition to the lodge, there is also an extra toilet block. The bathroom facilities are first class, extremely clean and well maintained. I know this aspect often puts people off camping but here they were great and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. Whilst we were visiting, on the Saturday night all the pods were fully booked out so I was worried about it feeling busy in the kitchen / bathroom area. With small children waiting for essentials like toilets can be stressful and with a weak bladder like Raihan’s, I was a little worried. However, it turned out that i was fine and was no queuing for either.
There are a few games in the lounge but I would also recommend that you bring your own. In the camp area outside, there is also a small wigwam which was a toy area. I thought that was a really cute idea.
I often read that people get bored in camping or staying in places where there is no entertainment or activities on site. For me that is part
of the charm, we often don’t let our children just have time out away from stimulus in our hectic lives. Going to a place where there is limited things to do forces us to have old-fashioned fun. It gives us the chance to let our children use their imagination, play with each other and with their parents. I would recommend to pack a few balls, rackets and a ball, Frisbee and a kite.
There was a gorgeous big field behind our pod and we could see the children running around and playing in it from the window in our pod. On the other side, the pods are located on the edge of the woods so the kids could explore the woods and play there. Even though there were lots of people on site, there is a serene feeling on the site and you never feel cramped or under other guests watchful gaze.
The location of the site is also ideal for visiting Blackpool or going to explore the beautiful Flyde Coast. We went to Blackpool for the fireworks on Friday and on Sunday to see the circus in the tower (was free with our Merlin Pass). We didn’t visit the local village but further details of other areas of interest are on the website. The guests at the pods are able to use the fishery area for free provided that they have the appropriate license for fly fishing.
The lodge is fully lit up and the hedges on the path to lodge have lights so you don’t bump into them. You will need torches for each person (there is a handy one on your keys for the pod in case you forget). Outside the pods there is no table or seating, we had our picnic blanket and we sat on the floor but if you want seating, don’t forget to pack the camping chairs.
As we are at the end of summer it was too light to let the children look at the stars however, one night during a toilet stop at 4 am, the sky had loads of stars glistening in the night. I am not a big star gazing buff (but Doc is a true geek and loves the sight of a starry sky and the realization how vast the universe really is) it was lovely to see lots. I think it would be truly awesome in autumn with the darker night sky.
Each pod, is also provided with a fire pit and you can purchase wood and firelighters from Alex. It was reasonably priced at £5 and I always like it when places give their guests good value for their money. The kids loved the camp fire (especially Doc) and it was lovely watching them toasting marsmellows and just laughing around a campfire. It was a lovely moment and places like this ensure that you do end up spending time together.
Overall, we had a great weekend. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you want a weekend away, which is a little unique and fancy giving pod/glamping a try then do give this place a go. Its one of the most reasonably priced pods hire place and at the moment there is a fantatstic offer on here for 2 nights for 2 adults and 2 children (or 3 under 5) for £49. That’s a steal and even at full price of £90 per 2 nights, its fab value for money. You will have a great time but be prepared with lots of requests from the kiddies to get up and play.