‘We were certain a holiday park wasn’t for us – but now our lodge is our happy place.’
Leisure Resorts holiday home owners from Northamptonshire have described how a spur of the moment visit to Angrove Country Park led to them buying a leisure home there the same day – despite never having considered owning one.
Christina and Rob Skeel bought their luxury three bedroom, two bathroom lodge on Angrove Country Park in the North York Moors last summer and have since spent a third of their time in what they now refer to as their ‘happy place.’
Angrove is set in 70 acres of stunning countryside on the edge of the moors, yet just 20 minutes from the coastal resort of Saltburn-by-the-Sea.
Christina, 57, said: “My impressions of holiday parks had come from seeing lots of static caravans, side by side in rows along the Norfolk coastline and when Rob suggested we take a look at a park on our way home from a cottage holiday in Yorkshire my first reaction was ‘Not a chance!’”
“We had never even been to the North York Moors until the day we visited Angrove,” said Rob, 58.
“We fell in love with both the park and the location immediately – and then the lodge itself clinched it for us. It has a deck at both the front and the back, as well as a patio on one side, so as well as the sun throughout the day we have spectacular views in every direction.”
The couple are keen walkers and lovers of the outdoors. After meeting Rob on a skiing holiday in Austria 20 years ago, Christina moved to England from her home in the Netherlands. Since then they have holidayed extensively in the UK, including hiking the peaks of the Lake District and the Scottish highlands with their dog Bessy, a six-year-old Hungarian Vizsla.
“Since buying the lodge we’ve done lots of exploring of the area,” said Christina. “The walks here are less challenging but no less beautiful – as well as the moors on our doorstep, the Cleveland Way coastal walk is just a short drive away.”
“There are also a couple of beautiful little villages within a mile of the park if we don’t want to venture as far,” added Rob. “And the park’s on-site restaurant is a big plus too. It’s on a public footpath and attracts lots of non-park customers, so it has a great atmosphere year-round.”
The couple make the most of every opportunity to spend time at the park, planning their visits around their full-time work, which for Rob includes shiftwork.
“We love the peace and quiet – the chance to be away from the madding crowd,” he said. “Because the park is a mix of holiday lodges and owned lodges, there’s a nice buzz that comes from having people here who are on holiday, without the feeling that you’re at a busy resort.
“At some point in the future once we stop working we know we’ll be able to spend more time and our holidays here, rather than having all the hassle and stress of travelling abroad.
“We’ve visited at every time of year, so we know every season here has its own beauty.”
Christina agrees: “It’s our home from home, without all the stresses ordinary life can bring – and Bessy loves it too. She can be unsettled in new places but as soon as we arrive here she’s completely comfortable, and that matters a lot to us.
“You could say we’re quite impulsive, buying the lodge the first day we visited the park, but we’re strong believers in fate and prepared to take a risk. If we hadn’t visited Angrove that day we wouldn’t have found our happy place.”