Landal Sandybrook - A short couples break in Derbyshire Peak District
A luxury UK staycation for relaxing & outdoor activities
Going on holiday doesn’t have to involve heading to the airport when there are so many lovely places to experience here in the UK. In a conversation last year my partner and I realised that we had visited more places abroad than we have in our home country, which come to think of it is a little sad especially when I think it’s important to support British businesses and to explore where you live. The UK is a relatively small island, but there are plenty of beautiful sights to uncover that are perfect for all the family and best of all your four-legged companions don’t have to be left behind.
When I’m searching for a holiday, I look for somewhere that I can relax and unwind but also a place that has plenty of things to do nearby, as there’s only so much sitting around relaxing that I can handle. When I’m away all I want to do is explore, be active, experience the local area, find unique independent places to eat and spend some quality time with my partner.
A UK staycation that ticks all these boxes is Landal GreenParks , who kindly invited us to experience their Landal Sandybrook lodges in Derbyshire for 4 nights in mid-August. I had been to Derby town centre before, but I had never visited the Derbyshire Peak District so since my partner and I love to hike we couldn’t wait to pack up the car and get our UK couples holiday started in just over an hour’s drive from home.
The kitchen & livingroom
We arrived at Landal Sandybrook in Ashbourne at 4 pm to pick up the lodge keys from reception. Where we discovered our home for the next 4 nights was in lodge number 37 called the Kedleston Elite Vogue 1 Spa . The stylish cosy lodge accommodates 2 people and has all the facilities you need for a self-catering holiday with a fully equipped kitchen that features an oven, hob, microwave, fridge with freezer, kettle and dishwasher plus all the essentials such as cutlery, plates, utensils, oven dishes, pans, towels and washing up liquid tucked away neatly in the cupboards.
The kitchen, dining and living room is open plan and has plenty of windows to bring in natural light as well as to make you feel closer to nature when your indoors with there being a lot of trees surrounding the cosy lodge.
The living area comes with Freeview TV, an L shaped sofa, dining table and a log fire that would be lovely to use during a winter staycation. There was also a CD player and a few board games. After spending the day outdoors, we loved coming back to the lodge in the evenings, using the spa facilities and making dinner to watch in front of the TV. The oven cooked food superfast so we never had to wait long before we could settle down for the night.
The en-suite bedroom with sauna
The Kedleston Elite Vogue 1 Spa comes with an en-suite bedroom and features a king-size bed with crisp white sheets, TV, plenty of drawer and wardrobe space and essentials such as an iron with ironing board, full-length mirrors and a hairdryer. At night we never heard a sound with the lodge being detached, so it really did feel like we were in the middle of nowhere at night tucked away in the peaceful countryside but with the reassurance of others being nearby.
Apparently, I spend far too much time pampering in the bathroom, but at Landal Sandybrook I sure did since the en-suite comes with a jacuzzi bath and sauna. My partner isn’t usually a fan of baths but as soon as he saw the whirlpool with its several hydrotherapy massaging jets making insane bubbles, he soon jumped in to have one on our first evening in the lodge. After bath time we went in the sauna to sweat it out followed by a shower. The spa facilities were great for our muscles especially as we both have a lot of shoulder and back pain, so it really did help us relax and fall to sleep quickly.
The bathroom comes with Rituals Toiletries, although they are luxurious, I do get annoyed whenever I see mini single-use plastic toiletries being used in hotels. So, after using them for the bubble bath we took them home to re-use as the containers are easy to re-fill making them perfect to put skin, hair and body products in that you won't find in a hotel so that you can keep up with your beauty regime during your travels without weighing down luggage.
The veranda with outdoor hot tub
In the morning it was lovely to make coffee and sit on the veranda overlooking the site with the Woodland Walk behind us. We would listen to the birds sing and see how many rabbits and squirrels we could spot running around the place. As a treat, we made a full vegan breakfast to start the day, ahead of exploring the local area on foot. On the veranda, there is garden furniture for two and a hot tub, yes, a hot tub! Obviously, this is where we spent our evenings with wine while admiring the sun that would set in front of our lodge between two trees. We would get out looking like prunes, but two relaxed sleepy prunes after an active day outdoors in the countryside.
There is wifi available in the lodge, although it does say in the welcome booklet that its relatively slow, which it was but we did our best to stay off our phones during the 4 nights so that we could spend quality time together and enjoy the experience in the moment and not be distracted by our social media feeds. By the end of the trip, I was reluctant to get back on my mobile as I had enjoyed the digital detox.
Fun activities to do on-site
At Landal Sandybrook there are activities to book for all the family such as Fencing (£8), WaterWalkerz (£5), Body Zorbs (£8), Crossbow (£10), Football (£5), Snorkelling and sea scooters (£10) that are taught by fully qualified instructors. We chose to do Archery (£12) for the first time and absolutely loved it, I unleashed my inner wannabe Lara Croft and hit gold twice and a few balloons. My partner is competitive, so he was in his element and have both agreed we are going to do archery again as we enjoyed it so much!
We also played table tennis (£5) and mini golf (£2 each) you don’t have to book these activities, simply pick up the equipment at Reception. At Landal Sandybrook there is also an outdoor playground and an indoor heated pool with sauna, plunge pool and jacuzzi that can be used whenever there aren’t classes between 8:45 pm and 8 pm.
Behind our lodge at number 37 is the Woodland Walk which is the perfect place to walk your dog if you’re staying in a pet-friendly lodge. During Spring the woodland is covered in beautiful bluebells, there was a photo of it on the wall in our lodge so it would be lovely to visit at springtime to see them. The woodland walk guides you through a path of pine trees and you may spot a few unusual specimen trees and creatures along the way.
The Coach House Bar and Restaurant
Our final evening at Landal Sandybrook was spent at The Coach House Bar & Restaurant located near the entrance, in a historic building with plenty of al fresco seating outside perfect for sunny days in the countryside. We had requested a vegan menu ahead of our visit which they were happy to cater for.
For starters, we had chargrilled asparagus salad and Garlic mushrooms on toasted bread served with salad. They tasted gorgeous I especially loved the bread soaking up the flavoursome succulent mushrooms. For mains, I had the Sausage casserole while my partner had the Vegetarian Chilli and rice. We loved how homely and comforting the meals were which went perfectly with the cosy countryside feel of the restaurant.
Overall, we had four soft drinks, two starters, two mains and two desserts for just under £50, the food and service were faultless, so The Coach House is definitely worth a visit at least once during your stay. They also deliver if your feeling far too relaxed to leave the cosy lodge.
You can find more photos of the activities and food including the desserts on my Facebook page.
Thing’s to do near Landal Sandybrook
Landal Sandybrook is the perfect base for exploring the Peak District, the local historic town of Ashbourne and an abundance of National Trust buildings situated in the idyllic Derbyshire countryside. We loved strolling around the quiet town with its Instagramable pubs and coffee shops that sell cute baked treats for dogs. There’s also a variety of vintage clothing & antique furniture stores that you could spend hours looking around in. What we loved about Ashbourne is that it's not touristy at all its simply a charmingly picturesque town tucked away in the countryside with plenty of historical buildings and churches to admire.
To get a little idea of what the local area looks like you can find more photos of what we got up too in Derbyshire on my Facebook page.
You can expect rain to dampen your day during any British Staycation no matter what month you choose to visit. So, below you’ll find 24 places to visit in Derbyshire that you can enjoy indoors and outdoors.
24 Thing’s to do in Derbyshire near Landal Sandybrook lodges:
Asbourne: The local town has plenty of pubs, coffee shops and clothing stores. You’ll also find a park and a Sainsburys to stock up on essentials during your self-catering holiday. (3-minute drive)
Peak District National Park: In the peak district, you’ll find beautiful lush green views and an array of cycling and walking paths with plenty of vantage points including Thor’s Cave, Black rocks, Mam Tor, Curbar Gap and Monsal Head. (31-minute drive)
Dovedale Stepping Stones: Make your way across the popular Dovedale Stepping Stones and soak up the views. (8-minute drive)
Ilam park: Explore the limestone countryside of Ilam Park. (12-minute drive)
Tissington Trail: Walk or cycle along a 13-mile dog friendly trail that was originally a railway line. (5-minute drive)
Gullivers Theme Park Resort: Experience the JCB Zone, Blast Arena and Pirate Training Camp at the family adventure park. (24-minute drive)
Alton Towers: Dare to visit the UK’s biggest theme park with its thrilling rides. (23-minute drive)
World of Wedgwood: Enjoy afternoon tea and learn the history and craftsmanship of the Wedgwood brand and have a go at making your own. (43-minute drive)
Landal Darwin Forest: At Landal Darwin the sister park to Sandybrook you’ll find the Evolution fitness centre, Little Monkeys Play Centre and Foresters Bar & Restaurant. Beauty treatments can be booked too. (32-minute drive)
Cinebowl: A perfect place to visit while it’s raining is Cinebowl, an entertainment centre with an ice rink, cinema and bowling alley. (25-minute drive)
Speedwell Cavern and peak cavern: Experience the largest natural cave entrance in the British Isles with a boat trip 450m under the hills of Castleton. (45-minute drive)
Chatsworth House: Gorgeous stately home with beautiful gardens, a farmyard and playground. On the Chatsworth Estate, you’ll also find Peak Ales visitor centre. (36-minute drive)
Monsal Trail: Enjoy 8.5 miles of traffic-free country views, with the option to hire a bike from Blackwell Mill cycle hire. (31-minute drive)
Go Ape and Poole’s Cavern & Buxton Country Park: Explore a two-million-year-old natural limestone cave on a guided tour. Plus, take part in a treetop adventure challenge at GoApe. (30-minute drive)
Peak Wildlife Park: Walk with lemurs, penguins, wallaby’s and meerkats and enjoy the indoor playground. (21-minute drive)
Bolsover Castle: There are a lot of castles in Derbyshire and the surrounding area, so have a search to see which one appeals to you most. Bolsover Castle, is one of the most popular ones. (56-minute drive)
Carsington Water: A reservoir for sailing and kayaking or cycling and walking nearby. (20-minute drive)
Cromford Mills: Visit the world's first water-powered cotton spinning mill in its historic Grade I listed building with shops and learning experiences for all the family. (22-minute drive)
Haddon Hall: A stunning house from the middle ages with an Elizabethan walled garden, homemade lunches and traditional high teas with live music, gift shops and artisan markets. (35-minute drive)
Ecclesbourne Valley railway: Enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea on board a train making stops along the old line to Wirksworth. (26-minute drive)
Peak Shopping Village: A dog-friendly place to shop for all your hiking the peak district needs. (29-minute drive)
Deception Escape Rooms: A one-hour escape room experience (27-minute drive)
Wild Park Derbyshire: Be adventurous with a quad biking experience at Wild Park. (17-minute drive)
Afternoon tea in Derbyshire: Enjoy afternoon tea at an abundance of places nearby Landal, such as Hassop Station, the Tea Rooms at Lea Gardens, Manifold Tea Rooms, Edensor Tea Rooms, Herberts Fine English Tea Room and the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop.
Our time at Landal Sandybrook was just what we needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, to simply relax and indulge in the luxury spa facilities while also having the benefit of the great outdoors within reach so that we could admire the beautiful scenic green forests and peaks that Great Britain has to offer. As well as experience new places and activities that we had never experienced before, such as Archery which is going to be our new couple’s thing to do together.
So, if you are looking for a luxury staycation in the UK where you can unleash your inner child by doing fun activities on-site, have plenty of places to visit nearby during the day and a stylish yet cosy place to return to for relaxing on the evenings than Landal Sandybrook is a great place to visit for couples, families and friends with your four-legged companion in tow.
Besides from the Derbyshire Peak District Landal UK also have lodges in Northumberland, Scotland and Cornwall - that are well worth checking out too!
Disclaimer: All photos and words belong to me. Our stay at Landal UK was complimentary in exchange for a review.