Orchard Hideaways Review

 This is an advertisement for August 2021. Any edits / shares beyond this date have not been asked or paid for. Prices and details last checked August 2021. 

Orchard Hideaways is a small glamping site in the North Lakes area of the Lake District. There are just 17 glamping pods on site and the accommodation and facilities are immaculate. No additional camping/tourers are allowed and you do feel as if you are part of a lovely little community of glampers when you stay here. 

There are various types of accommodation available sleeping between 1-4 guests per unit. The site is dog and child friendly and has plenty of facilities for walkers and cyclists too but more on that later. 

Glamping pods come with their own dedicated parking spot at reception and the main site is car-free and enclosed making it super safe for children and dogs. 

I love that free WiFi is included with your holiday with unlimited devices and it was decent too. Yes, screen-free time is all well and good but it is nice to be able to read the news, share photos on Social Media and check emails if needed. Plus obviously it keeps the tweens and teens happy too. My phone signal was also pretty good on site (EE). 

Orchard Hideaways is a 1.2 mile / 25 minute walk from Penrith. I didn't walk it myself but did chat to others who had walked it and mentioned that it was easy enough. Ask at reception for the best route to follow. From Penrith it is easy to catch a bus / train to other areas of the lakes and it is perfectly possible to have a car-free holiday here.

The train journey from Cramlington (or Newcastle) to Penrith is around 2 hours with a quick change at Carlisle and I found tickets from around £60 return for 2 adults and 2 children in October Half Term (with a Friends & Family Railcard)

One final thing I would like to point out in this opening section before we delve deeper into the review is that Orchard Hideaways has been carefully built around an ancient apple orchard.

You are surrounded with lovely apple trees and guests are invited to enjoy apples fresh from the tree if they wish at no additional charge. I love this little touch. 

You are close to a busy road and a railway line. The noise didn't bother us at all / was barely audible but I have noticed some people complain about the noise so this is something to be aware of. 

Orchard Hideaways Review | Glamping with a Private Enclosed Garden

We stayed in pod #16 which is a larger style pod with an enclosed garden in a quieter location towards the rear of the site. This pod is part of the 'Enclosure' collection and is available from £75 per night (or £60 per night if booked for a minimum of three nights mid-week) based on 3 guests. Other accommodation is available from £50 per night (or £40 per night if booked for a minimum of three nights mid-week) based on 2 guests.

Personally, I think these prices are extremely reasonable. Stays work out at being available from £20 per person per night which considering the prime location, quality and facilities available, feels like a bit of a bargain to me. I am sure it is probably cheaper than pitching a tent in some circumstances and a lot less hassle too. 

You can view other accommodation types, prices and offers available here.  Please do check what facilities are available in the pod type you choose as they may vary slightly from ours. 

The Enclosure Collection Pods are perfect for staying with little ones / dogs as they all have their own enclosed garden. You can't really see it in these photos but there is chicken wire between the wooden parts of the fence - there are no big gaps where a dog/child could crawl through and the fences feel nice and secure. 

Our garden came with a picnic table and disposable BBQ stand and the garden was nice and spacious too. The whole site is linked by wooden walkways meaning you don't need to walk on the grass and helps to keep things nice and clean. 

I loved the view from our door. Behind each door is a magnetic fly net which clips together to form a complete seal and is very useful for those warm days when you need to keep the door open but don't want to share your pod with flies. 

Everywhere on site is keyless entry. You are provided with a unique code for your pod and then a code for the loos / communal spaces too. 

The keypads on the pod doors are digital - you 'wake them up' by placing your hand on the pad then enter your code and the door opens. This feels nice and secure and I like that every time you close the door, it locks. 

The keypads on the communal toilets / bathroom are the manual type where you type a number in followed by *. This is good for security but if you are visiting with children, they may struggle to open the toilet doors themselves and may always require adult supervision.

Personally, I like my kids to have lots of freedom when we are glamping and would rather they can just go to the toilet when they want without having to be accompanied BUT on the flip side, for safety reasons I get that it is better for kids to be accompanied and I guess there is a school of thought that says if kids can't manage a keypad, they shouldn't be visiting a toilet unaccompanied. 

I visited with kids aged 10, 12 and 12. They managed the keypads just fine but it is something to be aware of if visiting with slightly younger kids.  

Our pod was well equipped with a kitchenette including a fridge, small freezer, microwave, cutlery and crockery. There is also a kitchen bench and a travel kettle. Remember you are glamping so will need to bring your own tea/ coffee / food etc..... Having a fridge where we could keep our drinks cool was certainly a major benefit and I imagine a microwave is super handy if travelling with babies / younger kids.

You will also find a double plug socket - handy for charging phones. I usually bring an extension lead on holiday wherever I stay and this was handy for charging four phones at once. 

The pods are insulated and come with a heater. The temperature reached 10C during the evening of our stay and we were super snug without the heater. In fact, I slept without my blanket for most of the night. It is nice to know there is a heater if needed though. I would have zero worries about staying here in Autumn or Winter, I would just make sure we brought fleecy PJs and socks. We have stayed in a similar pod in December before and it was actually nice and cosy and beautiful with the snow outside. 

There is a bin and a little fold down table which could easily fit in between the two single beds (used as a bench) should you need to dine inside. In terms of space, this pod felt wider and more spacious than other similar pods we have stayed in. We didn't feel as if we were on top of each other. 

There is a main light and windows with blinds plus coat hooks which were handy. They really have thought of everything. 

Obviously, glamping pods aren't huge so don't expect wardrobes and drawers. We each had a travel bag and just stored these at the end of our beds / on the floor next to the kitchen area. 

Our pod was able to sleep up to 4 guests with a bunk bed and two singles. The beds come with a simple sheet covering but you do need to either bring your own bedding or there is the option to add bedding onto your booking as an optional extra which may be useful if you are walking / travelling by public transport / travelling light. 

I was asked a few times about space for travel cots. You can move the beds so that they form a double and this may free up space for a travel cot in the space opposite the kitchenette. You can also lift the mattresses up and I think you'd be able to use a bed guard (the type that fits under a mattress). Please message Orchard Hideaways if you are bringing a baby though as they will be able to advise best. 

Dee and their friend slept in the bunks and liked that they had their own little shelf to store their personal belongings. 

Orchard Hideaways have a no noise after 11pm policy. I am sure I was asleep by 10pm and slept like a log. It was lovely and dark / quiet and the bed was comfortable enough too. I didn't wake up with a bad back which is always a good sign. 

I was really pleased with our pod and would struggle to find any negative whatsoever. It had everything we needed and more. 

Orchard Hideaways Review | Other Glamping Pods 

Dogs and children are welcome in all of the pods on site and can stay in pods without an enclosed garden too. Most people who did this brought a stake / tied their dog on a longer piece of rope to their picnic table. 

Although some pods don't have an enclosed garden, they do all come with their own picnic table and disposable BBQ stand. 

There are various pods on offer at Orchard Hideaways, some smaller than others. If you aren't restricted by the size of your pod or what is available on your chosen dates, I really think you should choose by location. Below is a handy location map. Pods 1-6 are closer to the toilets and play park, pods 14-17 are in a quieter location at the back of the sitem pods 4-8 surround the covered communal eating area. 

The pods look so pretty surrounded by apple trees. 

Whichever pod you choose to stay in, the site is quite small and everywhere is just a very short walk away. This photos below was taken at the site entrance and you can see the enclosed pods to the back of the photo. It's not far. 

Orchard Hideaways Review | Site Facilities & Cleanliness 

During the past year or so, Orchard Hideaways has had some new additions to their site and honestly, the whole place feels as if it is brand new and is very clean and well kept. 

New facilities for 2021 include: 
  • A new children's play area 
  • Covered communal dining area (pictured below) 
  • Bike storage / drying room 
  • Snack vending machine 
  • Booking journey / comprehensive digital welcome guide 
  • Optional extras such as early/late check out, bedding, additional car parking spaces, disposable BBQs
The covered communal dining area is fab and perfect for two groups of friends who have booked together. This space was well used in the evenings as a place for friends to enjoy a glass of wine and play cards together. 

There is a 'hub' on site near reception which is home to a snack vending machine and lockers. 

There is a family/accessible bathroom with a shower seat and baby change which is a good size (alongside individual shower / toilet cubicles). 

The kids play park was a hit. If you look at the map shared earlier in this post, you will see that there are two enclosed areas and an access road runs between these areas - one area is where the pods are, the other is where the reception / car park / play park / showers and loos are. You do have to open and close a gate and cross a small access road to cross between the two. 

Now during our visit, we didn't see one single car on this road and it doesn't really seem to be in use. However it is there and something your kids need to be aware of if they are crossing over to the park. 

The park is fairly small but the right size for the site and there is a picnic table next to it if you need to sit and supervise your little ones. The park is where the kids tend to gather and make friends in the early evening after a day of adventuring. Pod 2 has a really good view of the park and is the closest. 

As well as the family bathroom, there are four individual shower/toilet cubicles which include a sink with hand wash, toilet and shower all in their own unit. As mentioned above, they are only accessible if you know the door code and nice and secure. They have been really well designed and include mirrors and hooks on the walls. They are also really well stocked with loo roll - no shortages or fear of running short here. 

Each bathroom has a free hairdryer too. 

Everything was modern and really clean. Some of the best shower facilities I have come across in fact. I love how private they are. There is also an additional male & female toilet cubicle and during our stay, we didn't have to queue at any point. 

Lots of guests chose to cook via disposable BBQ (the smell was so good and made me regret not doing the same). If you cook on site, there is a decent washing up station with washing up liquid available too. Remember to bring your own cloth and tea towel though. The washing up station is covered over so you won't get wet if the weather turns. 

The site looks so pretty at night all lit up too. It's lovely and there are lights along the walkways making it easy to find the loos in the middle of the night if needed. 

There is a recycling centre / main bins next to the main reception and there are dog water bowls at reception too. 

As mentioned earlier in this post, you can access FREE WiFi across the whole of the site. 

Orchard Hideaways Review | Location 

If you are viewing this on a mobile, click on any of the images to enlarge them. 

Orchard Hideaways is located in the North Lakes. You are super close to Penrith, Ullswater and Pooley Bridge and within an easy drive of popular spots such as Keswick and Bowness-on-Windermere. Aira Force Waterfall is close by and a popular attraction. 

If you travel North, Hadrian's Wall, Carlisle and the Scottish Borders are all within easy reach too. 

Orchard Hideaways is a 75 mile drive from Newcastle. Personally, I much prefer to drive along the A69 to Carlisle and then down the M6. This route is super easy to navigate and the one I would recommend. 

For those who are looking for a more scenic drive, I recommend leaving the A69 not far after Hexham and driving via Alston. This will take you through the North Pennines and it is stunning. Lots of twists and turns though. This is the route my husband would choose. 

The map below shares how close you are to Penrith Town Centre. Please note, this is just the walking route recommended by Google and not one I have tried myself. 

You are very close to the A6 road and you can hear a slight traffic noise in the background. I barely noticed it and you are pretty sheltered by trees. There is also a freight train line close by. During our stay, I only spotted trains in the distance three times and one of those was when a toddler on site was running around letting everyone know there was a train as she was so excited. Cute! Basically, it is not a completely silent site but the background noise isn't something that will spoil your stay or is particularly noticeable. I didn't hear it in the evening in our pod. 

Orchard Hideaways Review | Prices & Booking Process

Booking with Orchard Hideaways is an absolute breeze. They have created a 'Booking Journey' and really have thought of everything. To check availability and prices, just click the 'Book Now' button at the top of the Orchard Hideaways website. 

Available lodges along with any discounts available will then show up....... Please note, these prices are per lodge, per night. 

On booking, you enter your card details and payment is automatically taken 6 weeks before your stay begins (or on the same day if your stay is within 6 weeks). 

Once your booking is confirmed, you will receive information about how to sign into your own unique guest area. This does require a photo of your ID to be uploaded (which is simple enough to do with a Smartphone). I love how secure everything is! 

Once you have signed into your guest area you can add any extras (such as early check in, bedding, BBQs etc.....), access all the essential info you need such as your cabin keycode (this is added 24 hours prior to your stay), the free WiFi logins and plus directions. 

The guest area is also packed with ideas for things to do in the area and includes local restaurants and pubs to try, dog-friendly activities, rainy day ideas, outdoor days out and more. I like that it shows how far each attraction is from the site too, really handy when planning things to do. 

Finally, in the guest area you can chat with the site team and ask any questions. They are all really friendly and responsive. Customer service here is fantastic. 

I like that pricing is really clear and up front, there are no hidden charges. There is a two night minimum stay in Mid+High Season plus School Holidays (minimum of three nights over Bank Holiday Weekends). 

Looking for a one night stay? These are available November - February (excluding School Holidays). 

Check in at Orchard Hideaways is 'self check-in' and you can arrive any time after 3pm (or earlier if you have added early check in). The site and cabins are really easy to find and well signposted. Staff are usually around during the day and are always super helpful, happy to recommend places to visit or tips for somewhere you have booked. Or you can always send a message through the guest area too. Please note, there are no staff on site in the evening. 

Orchard Hideaways Review | Where Did We Visit? 

There are loads of places to visit in the area and it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few spots. I really wish we could have visited Aira Force and have heard the Ullswater Steamers are brilliant. Will save these for another time though (good excuse for another visit!). 

I was travelling by myself with three kids and didn't want to end up lost / stressed so we stayed super local and all of the places I visited during our trip were within around a 5 mile drive of Orchard Hideaways. 

Askham Hall Gardens & Pizza Shack

Askham Hall is home to a Michelin Star Restaurant at night but on selected days in the summer months (check their FB page for opening times), their tearoom transforms into a pizza shack. No booking is required - just turn up. There is indoor and outdoor seating and a nice selection of cakes too. Prices were reasonable (£4.50 per a kids pizza / £12 for a 'fancy' pizza) and the pizzas were delicious. I ordered a pizza with wild garlic pesto and prosciutto and it was so good. 

Dogs are welcome inside and out here (but not in the gardens). 

Non-residents can also access the gardens. Under 16s are free and adults are £4 (there are various discounts including Gardeners World available too). Again, no booking required, you just pay in the tearoom. 

The gardens here are beautiful and I actually preferred them to the gardens at Lowther Castle next door. You are provided with a trail map and there are lots of points of interest including a pond, tree swing, farm animals, gypsy caravan, garden kitchen, plum trees, 100 year old trees, land of the giants and more. 100% worth the small entrance fee and I would definitely recommend here as a nice place to stop for lunch with kids. 

Lots of followers also recommended Askham Outdoor Swimming Pool which is nearby and really looks fab and is listed in my '5 Outdoor Swimming Pools within a 2 mile drive of Newcastle' post. 

There is also a small play park for kids which can be accessed either via the garden walk or it is next to the outdoor seating for the pizza shack / tearoom. 

Abbott Lodge Jersey Ice Cream 

We stopped here after our pizza / garden visit to Askham Hall. Again, no booking required. At the moment they are open daily from 11am-5pm but do check their Facebook page before making plans. 

You can order delicious Jersey Ice Cream in a variety of flavours to enjoy inside or out (it is very reasonable too), say hello to the Jersey Cows in the fields (which are fenced off), play in the outdoor play area and there are tractors for toddlers to play on too. There is ample parking and it was a nice little stop off before we checked in. 

Pooley Bridge 

Pooley Bridge is around a 5 mile drive from Orchard Hideaways. It is a popular place and does get busy so we decided to visit in the evening which worked out really well. We parked in Dunmallard Car Park which is right by the water's edge and free after 6pm (use postcode CA10 2NP ) 

There are lots of lovely pubs and cafes in Pooley Bridge with some offering gorgeous views of the lake. 

The kids loved seeing the ducks here and having a little paddle. The water is nice and calm / shallow (although obviously, supervise your children) and there were some dogs having a lovely splash too. I would recommend bringing water shoes / old trainers for kids as the ground isn't the easiest to walk on bare foot. If you are planning on staying for any length of time, bring a camping chair too. 

Lowther Castle 

Lowther Castle is somewhere I have wanted to visit in ages. There is an entrance fee with various discounts available and at time of publishing, visits need to be pre-booked. See their website for more information. 

First of all, Lowther Castle itself is really impressive. It looks like something from a fairytale and is a real stunner. There is an exhibition inside where you can learn about the castle's history too. 

But the main reason for our visit was to play in the Lost Castle which is one of the largest wooden outdoor adventure playgrounds in Britain. It is around a 10-15 minute walk through the grounds to the play area and 100% worth a visit. Our admission slot was the first one of the day and we virtually had the play area to ourselves for the first 30 minutes which was great. I would say after around 10:45am it did start to get significantly busier but not in a way where the kids couldn't get on anything if that makes sense. 

The Lost Castle is just incredible! It is accessible for pushchairs and wheelchair users and parents can easily walk around the play frame with their kids if they need to. There is seating nearby too for those of us with older kids who just want to play on their own. 

Expect zip wires, fireman's poles, nets to climb over, huge slides, forts to run around, basket swings and more. 

There is a smaller toddler castle too (with it's own seating) and they have the cutest toddler zip wire which is like a toddler swing seat attached to a zip wire. The little ones were shrieking with joy on there. 

Next to the Lost Castle is a woodland area with natural obstacle courses, a takeaway cafe and toilets. 

Lowther Castle does have several gardens to visit but they are very much still in development and not a patch on Askham Halls. If you are looking to visit somewhere for their gardens, I would not choose here just yet and maybe return in a few years once things are more established. The exception to this was the rose garden which we enjoyed on the walk back to the Castle. 

There are some beautiful viewing points around the estate too. Lots of readers recommended the food at Lowther Castle but the timings didn't work for us so we didn't try it on this occasion. If you do visit around lunchtime, the cafe at the estate entrance does receive lots of good reviews. 

Orchard Hideaways Review | Top Tips 

  • Sign up to the Orchard Hideaways mailing list (at the bottom of their homepage here) for exclusive offers, news & last minute deals. 
  • Choose your location using the map above - handy if you want to be next to the loos / play park 
  • No campfires are allowed 
  • Remember, there is free WiFi
  • In your guest hub you will see a link to an app that delivers food and drinks from local restaurants to the site. The delivery charge is a little steep at £4.99 but I think this is such a brilliant idea if you don't want to cook 
  • There is a Greggs just a few minutes walk from the site entrance, this is perfect for breakfast and they run some great deals 
  • There is also a Burger King (next to Greggs). Personally, I do not recommend here but good to know if you need something quick and easy for the kids 
  • Bring water shoes for the kids if they want to go paddling at Pooley Bridge (or similar)
  • Visit busier attractions in the evenings when the day visitors have left for home. I have heard Aira Force is much quieter after 5pm too 
  • If you book in advance, make a note of when payment will be taken so you aren't caught out 
  • Chat with the staff - they are super knowledgeable and full of local insider tips 

I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Orchard Hideaways. It is a lovely family business who really put a lot of effort into providing a first class experience for their guests. I am guessing that many people who stay here will be returning guests and I am sure we will be one of them at some point. 

What really stands out for me is the fantastic customer service, cleanliness and quality of facilities on site, location and how close you are to so many fantastic attractions and the fact that you can bring your dog. 

I really like that your cabin comes with a decent sized fridge which is perfect for storing drinks and that there is so much flexibility - you can have a BBQ, dine out or order food to. be delivered. You can walk or cycle from the site to Penrith (and then beyond) so a car isn't necessary or if you do bring a car, you know that you have your own dedicated parking space for the duration of your stay. 

I also really liked how safe and secure the site was for kids (and pets). It is a small site with lots of safety measures in place and it really put my mind at ease as a solo traveller with kids. 

Find out more and book here: https://orchard-hideaways.co.uk/


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