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Shropshire’s Best Christmas Markets

By Places to visit, Things to do

Embrace the Christmas spirit and stay at Woodland Park Lodges to explore the best Christmas markets Shropshire has to offer. Enjoy wandering amongst the festive stalls, sipping on a hot chocolate or mulled wine, and join in singing Christmas carols. Once you are all shopped out, relax and warm up in your private hot tub, finishing the evening with a Christmas movie on the sofa in your cosy wooden lodge or treehouse.

Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre – 2nd December (Free)

Entertainment, performances and over 100 festive stalls. Enjoy the candle lit procession and carol signing from 16:30.

Apley Christmas Market – 18th & 19th November (Free)

Some of the county’s finest artisans and makers will be bought together again this year at Apley Christmas Market. With free tasters, a Christmas craft fair and hot chocolate bar!

Weston Park’s Christmas Food & Craft Fayre – 2nd & 3rd December (£5pp)

Enjoy over 100 artisan food and unique craft stalls. Explore the park and gardens, as well as the spectacularly decorated house. There is also a miniature railway for the children!

December in the Square, Shrewsbury – 9th December (Free)

Shrewsbury’s regular market come to life at Christmas time. Makers, bakers, artists and craftspeople sharing their beautiful products.

Late night at Shrewsbury Market Hall – 2nd December (Free)

Shrewsbury’s famous market hall offers a rare Christmas treat! With drool worthy street food, cool cafes, bars and more. A buzzing atmosphere and Christmas tunes are sure to get you in the spirit.

Romantic Breaks with Hot Tubs

Romantic Breaks with Hot Tubs

By Things to do

Are you considering a a romantic break with a hot tub? If you are looking for somewhere cozy and intimate to spend with your partner there are plenty of options here in the UK. Here are some ideas you might consider:

1. Rent a cozy cabin in the woods or by a lake that has a hot tub outside. Just imagine spending your evenings enjoying the comfort of the hot tub and the beautiful natural scenery with a glass of bubbly. You can experience just that at our lodges in Shropshire.

2. If the great outdoors isn’t for you, you could always book a stay at a luxurious hotel or resort that has a hot tub in the room or on the balcony. Some hotels also offer special packages that include couples’ massages and other romantic amenities to add to the experience.

3. If you’re looking for a more private experience, you could consider renting a secluded Airbnb with a hot tub. You can have the entire place to yourselves and enjoy each other’s company without any distractions.

4. If you prefer to be on the water with your hot tub then renting a houseboat or yacht that has a hot tub on deck could be the answer. You can enjoy the water and the views while relaxing in the hot tub together for the ultimate hot tub experience.

The best walking routes – a guide to the beautiful routes around Ellesmere

The best walking routes – a guide to the beautiful routes around Ellesmere

By Places to visit, Things to do

During your stay at Woodland Park Lodges, you’re surrounded by the beautiful Shropshire countryside – a vast network of unexplored fields, magnificent meres bursting with natural beauty and alive with wildlife.

With so many different walks to choose from, we have highlighted some of our favourites below:

The Ellesmere Sculpture Trail

This enchanting walk interprets the landscape through sculpture. The trail takes you around all the sights of Ellesmere while visiting 27 pieces of art created by contemporary artists. Each piece is specifically made to reflect the history and heritage of the landscape around Ellesmere. The trail is a free and gentle walk that starts at Ellesmere Mere. At 46 hectares it’s the largest mere, surrounded by beautiful woodland, gardens and parkland and a play area for children. Remember to take some duck food to keep the ducks and geese happy!

Colemere Countryside site

Surrounded by mature woodlands, Colemere is one of Shropshire’s most beautiful meres. The walk is a winding woodland path stretching the circumference of the Mere with two attractive hay meadows. Colemere is a perfect habitat for wildlife, and because of this the site has several important designations; Local Nature Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest and RAMSAR Site. Many of these are due to the rare marginal wetland plants that grow around the edges of the Mere. For example, this is the only site in England where the rare Least Water Lily is found. This walk is suitable for wheelchair users and dogs.

Ellesmere Wharf and the Llangollen canal walk

Ellesmere stands on the banks of the charming Llangollen Canal. Starting at the Wharf in Ellesmere you can walk along the towpath passing by Blackwater Meadow Marina. With endless fields this is a pleasant corner of Shropshire countryside to explore.

Oteley Estate and Gardens

Explore the 10 acres of hidden garden at Oteley. Based around a beautiful privately owned house, the estate has been in the same family for over 500 years. 2,000 acres of arable land surrounds the estate, home to two stunning breeds of cattle, the Beef Shorthorn and Highland. The estate is open throughout the spring and summer months and is the perfect place to visit for a walk.

After a day of exploring all the local walks Ellesmere has to offer, why not have a soak in your hot tub and recharge those tired feet whilst overlooking our beautiful woodland? Book your stay here.

Short breaks with small children – what are the essentials to take with you?

Short breaks with small children – what are the essentials to take with you?

By Things to do

When it comes to opportunities for making memories to last a lifetime, it’s hard to top a family holiday. Some of our earliest happy memories are likely to be a particular time away from home with our nearest and dearest.

These days, when time spent away together is more precious than ever, it’s easy to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure that our holiday really is one to remember, for all the right reasons. We should all take care, however, not to put so much pressure on ourselves that we forget to enjoy our break. If you spend too much time worrying about making everything perfect, you won’t have any time left to enjoy the really important part – just relaxing and spending time together.

Cutting down on excess baggage

One way to help reduce the worry is to spend some time before your trip to think about what you really need to take with you. When you have young children, in particular, it’s all too easy to think that you must take everything away with you bar the kitchen sink, and convince yourself that you simply must have everything to hand just as you would have at home. Although this is very far from the case, it is certainly a good idea to be well-equipped.

Taking what you need will reduce your stress levels and help keep the whole family happy. Remember that at Woodland Park Lodges, travel cots and high-chairs are available to book in advance for your little ones, so that’s two big items you don’t have to struggle to fit in the car boot!

The number one rule for holidaying with small children is to remember; if they can get wet and dirty, they will. Children generally love getting thoroughly grubby. But importantly, it doesn’t matter. It just means that you have to be prepared for it with lots of changes of clothes. And don’t forget some strong bin liners to bag up the muddy ones. After all, no one wants to spend time on holiday doing laundry if it can possibly be avoided – though our lodges are equipped with washing machines, just incase!

Wellies and waterproofs

Wellies and waterproofs are a must, especially for family adventures in the woods, which can get a bit muddy at any time of year. Splashing in puddles isn’t just for toddlers of course, so waterproof footwear is a good idea for everyone.

In warmer weather, don’t forget the sun cream and sun hats too, as the British weather can always surprise us by going through four seasons in just one day, even at the height of summer!

Snacks galore

The usual timetable often goes out of the window on the first morning; that’s all part of being on holiday. But this, combined with lots of outdoor fun, may mean that small children (and big children too) are more hungry than usual and more often. Taking plenty of snacks and drinks out with you is a must, and of course even the most basic drink and biscuit can become a fun picnic when you are on holiday.

Pack up your troubles

To avoid the parents being lumbered with carrying absolutely everything for a day out, where practical, provide older children with their own bag to carry some, if not all, the essentials that they need for the day. Even toddlers often like to feel like one of the grown-ups with their own rucksack, and it’s a great habit to get them into early.

Teddies and toys

Children like familiarity so they should be encouraged to take their favourite toy away with them (try to keep it on the smaller side though). For a toddler, this might be a cuddly toy which will help them settle at night. For older ones, it might be a particular book that they love to have read to them in the evening.

And relax

Don’t feel you have to be out and about every minute of every day. Enjoy having the chance to relax and unwind, without any of the usual tasks you would have to do at home. A short break is a great opportunity to enjoy reading a new book, watching a favourite film, or kicking back with some old-fashioned but fun family board games. Even very young children can learn how to play simple games like Snap or Happy Families, so make sure you include these on your packing list.

Our park really is the perfect setting for those seeking to get away from it all with family, friends, and four-legged companions. Book your stay with Woodland Park Lodges today to experience all that we have to offer.