Holiday entertainment can be a bit hit and miss, but the Tattershall Lakes team has got it right, with such a huge choice of creative and active things to do. Lloyd and the team have boundless energy and enthusiasm which lasts from first thing in the morning to well into the evening.
In fact, that ‘can do’ attitude runs throughout Tattershall Lakes, starting from the lovely welcome at check in, right through to the chatty bar staff and the lifeguards at the pool.
We (my five-year-old daughter Freya, nine year- old niece Zeddi and I) arrived on Friday evening. My plan had been to dump the luggage at the lodge then head straight up to the main Spitfire bar, but it’s a long time since I was a little girl and I forgot how exciting it is to arrive somewhere new when you’re five and nine.
The girls insisted on exploring every corner of each room – ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ as they pulled open drawers, flung open wardrobes and peeked inside the enormous shower cubicle, rushing from their lovely cosy twin room to my fabulous double with en-suite, the family bathroom with huge bath and into the spacious lounge-kitchen with the big, family size TV. They loved the fact the large kitchen table was lovingly set out with plates and cutlery, ready to receive guests. ‘I’m going to pretend to be Goldilocks!’ said Freya.
"If Tattershall Lakes Country Park could clone Lloyd and the rest of the entertainments and leisure team for guests to take home, I guarantee the phrase ‘I’m bored’ would never be uttered again."
Lodge inspection passed with flying colours, we strolled up to the newly opened, £4 million pound Merlin entertainment complex.
Inside the Merlin the weekend was already in full swing, with happy families laughing and chatting about their day and tucking into some wonderful food in the main Spitfire Bar.
The kids’ show ‘Bear in the Woods’, on the main Spitfire stage, had the youngsters hooked, with a few jokes for adults thrown in to keep the grownups amused. After that, it was ‘Back to the 60s’ a show that wouldn’t have been out of place in the West End or on a glamorous cruise ship.
As part of the renovations, the Spitfire Bar now has a larger dining area with plenty of places to sit, extra space for kids’ activities during the day, and dancing and drinking in the evening. It’s got a huge projection screen and a new games arcade just outside. Upstairs is the smaller Propeller Bar, where live entertainment is put on in a cosy atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights.
The food is great, the bar’s well stocked and the staff, although working hard, are not too busy to have a chat, ask how your day’s been and enquire about your plans for tomorrow.
I can’t remember the last time I slept as well as I did during our weekend at Tattershall Lakes. It helped that I’d had a relaxing pre-bedtime soak in the hot tub on our balcony, enjoying the stillness of the September evening. Once in bed, there was complete peace and quiet – no noise from neighbours and no streetlights pouring in through the bedroom curtains.
Plus, my mind wasn’t whizzing with worry about how I was going to entertain the girls over the next two days. The pressure was off and that’s enough to make any grown up sleep soundly.
First up on Saturday morning was pottery painting. I grabbed a coffee and studied the events programme as I watched the girls painting a cup-cake piggy bank and nattering away.
We left it to dry while the girls explored the adventure playground, then we went off to play some crazy golf and had a chat with Tom and Sue, owners of Tom’s Tackle, on the fishing lake.
Next we had a go at puppet-making and then headed across to the marquee to try out Hoverball Archery, which I’d never heard of. It involves shooting different coloured balls that are floating mid-air, using a child-friendly bow and foam tipped arrow.
Lloyd and Georgie made it look so easy, but with the balls moving up and down in the airstream, it took a bit of getting used to.
Back in the Spitfire Bar we admired the life-size replica of a Battle of Britain Spitfire that hangs from the ceiling, celebrating the heroes of the RAF. The Battle of Britain Flight Memorial Centre is at RAF Coningsby, just down the road, and is a popular visitor attraction.
There’s also Tattershall Castle and the lovely town of Woodhall Spa close by, while the historic city of Lincoln with its magnificent cathedral and castle is 40 minutes away.
That’s if you can tear yourself away from Tattershall Lakes itself, with its full Play programme for kids, including arts and crafts, circus workshops and cookery experiences, and its My Active programme for the whole family that includes hoverboards, snorkeling, aquajets, landzorbing, archery and more.
Then there’s the £8 million leisure complex with indoor pool, gym, spa and lakeside outdoor hot tubs. The pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub area closes at 6pm for general use, after which it’s possible to book for private hire – which is what we did. It was a lovely experience – just the three of us in the pool, with two lifeguards on hand, who told me they’d keep an eye on the girls if I wanted to go outside in the hot tub.
Sunday 9.30am: Freya was still fast asleep, exhausted by the previous day’s activities. I had to rouse her so we could get to our first activity – sand painting with the bubbly Jade from Barry Island.
"Next time can we stay forever"
Then some cheerleading and a late brunch – veggie breakfast for me and pancakes with maple syrup for the girls – followed by a pedalo ride on the lake, a final swim in the pool and one last chance to feel the sand between our toes at the ‘beach’.
We couldn’t walk past the adventure playground without the girls pleading to be allowed ‘one more play’. It was hard to prise them away and they dragged their heels as we walked to the car.
‘Come on, girls. We’ve got to go, but we’ll come back again, I promise,’ I said.
‘Next time can we stay forever?’ asked Zeddi.
Visit the stunning Tattershall Lakes in Lincolnshire