Essentially, it's a really, really smart holiday park-cum-country club – Imagine a vast 850 acres, encompassing over half a dozen freshwater lakes with picturesque Cotswolds woodland, and around 130 luxurious (and huge) self-catering holiday homes combined with private country club facilities and you get the idea.
Just 1.5 hours from London, The Lakes is a doddle for a weekend away, or if you're after an staycation during the holidays then you'll be well occupied for a week or two.
So is it for owners or renters?
In the main, it's owners. You can’t live at The Lakes (they wouldn’t have got planning permission for the properties to be primary residences) but should you have the budget (they don’t come cheap) you can own one as your second home. Which is why most people are there. But if you don’t have a spare million or two to spend on a holiday house then there are a range of properties to rent for as few or as many days as you like.
For a lakeside rental property, Casa del Lago is a favourite of ours when it comes to interiors – think Soho House meets The White Company. Or, if you're keen on your own heated outdoor pool then The Barnhouse is a house like no other. Designed by Kate Moss (who happens to live down the road) the spacious, modern five-bedroom house built from green oak and natural Cotswold stone has a distinctly modern twist. Plus, with a library of enthralling coffee table books, a thrilling rogue’s gallery wall of prints, eclectic accessories in every corner and endless showstopping pieces of furniture, you have a rock’n’roll backdrop for a stay to remember.
The range of activities is endless. Sailing, paddle boarding, canoeing, trout fishing, swimming in the lakes, bike riding, tennis, riding, an indoor pool, gym and spa offering botanical Bamford treatments – you name it. Plus a chicken coup and pet hut, a zip wire, playground not forgetting the kids’ club if you want some adult time.
And if you fancy venturing out of the estate and exploring the area further then its neighbouring Cotswolds villages have an array of picture postcard pubs – The Five Alls at Filkins, The Swan at Southrop, The Bull Hotel at Fairford to name but a few.
The Tipi is open daily with a menu that offers something for everyone from burgers and chips to kale and quinoa salad. Plus, a pizza oven and delicious rosé to keep the grown-ups happy – sit outside under the apple trees or cosy up inside with a mulled wine in winter.
But most of the time guests eat in; the properties’ kitchens are a home from home. But if you don’t fancy cooking their in-house chef can cater private dinner parties or drop off ready prepared meals.
Other than endless Ocado vans, expect to see a lot of Range Rovers, private planes and the odd famous face. This kind of luxury doesn’t come cheap but it is the ultimate when you want a seriously civilised getaway.
For more information on buying or renting at The Lakes visit TheLakesByYoo.com
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