When the opportunity for an impromptu holiday popped up at a fantastic price, we didn’t think about or even discuss it, we just booked it as quickly as we could. This Finlake Winter Break was just what we needed.
Ryan had been wanting to take us and the kids to Finlake since I can remember. We’d both holidayed there ourselves as kids and held onto fond memories of the place.
It was my step-dad that had spotted the deal on the Facebook Market Place. With us in mind, he messaged it over, I forwarded it on to Ryan and immediately received an approving reply.
The deal was for 4 nights in a Luxury Woodland Lodge (Lodge Nine) at Finlake for just £229. The Lodge itself had been newly refurbished and included use of it’s brand new hottub. As well at that, Finlake had just opened it’s brand new indoor waterpark and gym. And best of all, it was for the following week!
Monday 4th December
Monday was a bit of a whirlwind. I dropped both kids off at nursery at 9:30am, ran into town to buy us all suitcases and then quickly back home to pack. I had limited hours as we had to be at the the kid’s Christmas Nativity at 1pm. It wasn’t made any easier by Bernie refusing to get out of my suitcase. No matter how many times I reassured him that he was coming too, he didn’t believe me.
I managed to pack sod all before I had to leave to get to the kid’s nativity – which was absolutely outstanding, our kids rocked it. Packing resumed once we were all home and soon enough, we had everything and everyone in the car and we were off.
Upon arriving, it was now dark and not much could be seen. Our lodge was easy to find and only a stone’s throw from the main reception. We quickly unpacked the car and bundled the kids and dog into the warmth of the lodge. Ryan went back out to get Chinese Takeaway for us and Fish & Chips for the kids whilst we got settled in.
Finlake is only around an hour away from us but both kids insisted on sleeping the entire trip which resulted in a bit of a stressful evening and a much, much later bedtime for them both. Forgetting Delilah’s bouncer (which is pretty much the only place she’ll fall asleep), I popped her in the Tula and took her and Bernie out for a late night walk and a little explore, in hope of her falling asleep – obviously she didn’t. Both kids finally fell asleep around 11pm(!!!) and Ryan and I ended the evening by relaxing in the Hottub.
We started our day by taking a short walk down to the onsite bar & restaurant and enjoying a traditional cooked breakfast each, followed by a play in the little park before heading back to relax and chill with a film.
We took a drive down to Torquay in the afternoon (of course, both kids fell asleep as soon as they were in their car seats) and then back up to Exeter so that Daddy and Travis could pop into Toys R Us to buy a bouncer for Delilah and a new Trackmaster track (which kept them both entertained for the remainder of the holiday – so much for packing toys).
That evening, the whole family jumped in the hottub – minus the dog, of course.
On Wednesday, we decided to spend the day exploring the Finlake resort. We took a long walk down to the big park in the morning which killed a couple of hours, back to the lodge for lunch and then early evening we went to the indoor swimming pool/water park – which was awesome! The kids water park is absolutely fantastic.
We’d been so lucky with the weather. It rained overnight for one night and was dry the rest of our stay. I often shut myself out on the balcony to take a breather and relax (aka; escape the kids). During the day the birds would sing and play in the trees, making the leaves fall and at night, you could hear the owls and rustling leaves on the ground. It was bliss.
We decided to go shopping in Exeter on Thursday. We treated ourselves to new Timberland boots and Barbour coats and then it was back to the lodge to spend our last evening relaxing before heading back to every day life and the impending chaos of Christmas.
We said goodbye to peace and quiet, loaded up everything and everyone and were checked out by 10am.
We’re talking of going back to Finlake during the summer.
There are definitely perks to going during the winter; like the lack of people, the quietness and the couldn’t-say-no-to price. I’m keen to revisit and experience it all during the summer when the resort is alive and bustling.