Just returned from a week in Sudbury woodsman lodge, one of seven set near to the front of the park but off the main thoroughfare.
First impressions of the park were excellent. Very friendly reception and efficient check in. Having stayed at Sandybrook, their sister park, a few years ago and finding the reception staff quite unfriendly, I was already feeling more positive about Darwin. We had a few issues during our stay (of our making not the park's) and the reception were very helpful in resolving.
The lodge itself was very clean. Two doubles and a twin with lots of wardrobe space. Remainder of lodge was well equipped, although could have done with long handle brush for sweeping the floor. Sofas do not have high backs so if you are used to resting your neck against a sofa back be prepared!.
Lodge got lots of sun and they do get hot inside, but not unbearably so. We took a fan and that helped. Parasols can be hired for veranda tables. Lodges were relatively close but their layout meant you never felt you were intruding on others. Screened from behind by trees. Just through some other trees you get a recreational area which is partly shaded late afternoon so was good for a run around. Managed to get one bar of mobile signal if phone was on centre of kitchen island. Wi fi worked fine.
The maintenance staff we saw whilst there were always friendly, our eldest, almost three, loved to wave at them as they walked or drove past and they always waved back. These touches just made it more relaxing and enjoyable for all. Grounds are very well kept.
Soft play on site is relatively small but does the job. Outdoor play area is not really for toddlers, perhaps one area for improvement. Little monkeys we went to - nice and the kids loved it and food was pretty good. Staff friendly. Note it is air conditioned so place to cool off in very hot weather! Golf was good fun and quite challenging.
We did not use the pool and gave Foresters a miss when the request for a look at a children's menu was met with "it's there" and little else in the way of friendliness. Store on site is well stocked and the staff friendly. Prices are like your local convenience store back at home.
Walks on site are very pleasant, kids loved the pond and ducks.
Close to matlock for supermarkets and park. Chatsworth Farm was great for the kids, particularly our eldest. Matlock meadows nice for ice cream and some farm animals.
We did think the laundry man dropping off bedding etc on the veranda for next occupants one hour ahead of check out time came across as a bit of a "hurry up".
I do wonder how busy it gets in school holidays and with older children. We would definitely return and indeed looked at similar spec lodges as the woodsman seems very popular. We would be happy with many of the lodges as they are well spaced and screened.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the heart of the Peak District, Darwin Forest is a 5-star holiday park in a delightful woodland setting. Accommodation is in modern self-catering lodges with everything provided for a great family holiday. Lodges sleep form 2 to 8 people. Facilities include indoor swimming pool, indoor play area, bar/restaurant, tennis, beauty therapy, soft play and woodland walks. Darwin holds the David Bellamy Award for Conservation at Gold standard and a Visit England Award for Excellence. Handy for Chatsworth, Bakewell, Haddon Hall and all the sights of the Peak District. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Darwin Forest Country Park Hotel Two Dales
- Darwin Forest Country Park Darley Moor, Matlock, Derbyshire