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Bainland Country Park
The Victorian town of Woodhall Spa came into existence largely by accident. Locals digging for coal stumbled across the water far below and it wasn’t until the town lord had it tested in 1834 that it was declared a valuable mineral spring. Up popped the spa baths, the shops, the town houses and the grand hotels that all live on to give the town its lasting elegance today, and though nowadays you bubble in campsite hot-tubs rather than the town’s original mineral springs, it’s still a cracking place to holiday and Bainland Country Park is the best way to enjoy it.
A mile from the town centre, and directly opposite the vast grounds of Woodhall Spa Manor, Bainland Country Park is the main residence for most campers and caravanners pitching up in this quiet part of the Lincolnshire countryside. The park has long been home to a series of wooden rental lodges but recently it’s the introduction of a trio of glamping tents that have caused a stir at Cool Camping HQ. If you’re in need of a proper glamping hideout, they’re sure to fit the bill.
Set in a quiet corner of the park, the three canvas safari lodges each sleep up to six people, with two conventional bedrooms (a double and a bunk room), plus sleeping space for kids in a quirky cupboard bed – “it’s a kind of chicken coup”, the Bainland Country Park staff explain – with a snug bean bag area underneath. While modern, en-suite facilities, a fully-equipped kitchen, WiFi and a television may feel a far cry from actual camping, the tents look out into some 40-acres of partial woodland; great mature trees that embrace the surrounding campsite and still ensure a thoroughly outdoor feel. Throw in a few nights bubbling in your own private hot tub beneath the stars and there is a definite sense of basking in the natural world (albeit with man-made luxury).
Along with all the glamping goodies of your safari tent, the campsite has bags of facilities to boot. You can book yourself in for archery or fencing, splash about in the indoor swimming pool or indulge in some family competitiveness with games of badminton or tennis. However, the ample facilities do come at a cost as this is not a small-scale campsite. You can, for example, purchase an on-site Starbucks that slightly smacks of commercialisation. Yet the place still very much gears itself to quiet family groups. Nature trails lace the woodland, there’s an early quiet time of 10pm and children adore the vast amount of space to explore. For exploring the Lincolnshire Wolds and the surrounding, rural villages, it’s certainly an ideal base.
FacilitiesSafari lodges have 2 bedrooms – 1 double bed and a bunk bed – the third bed is inside the living-space cupboard with a den underneath for the children to play fitted with beanbags. Lodge kitchen includes, induction hobs, microwave, kettle, toaster and an outside BBQ for your evening meals. There is a dining table seating for 6. As well as a TV if you can't bear to be away, plus WiFi. All tents come with all bedding and robes and slippers and have their own hot tubs! The Cheetah tent is pet friendly. Also onsite, all guest have access to an indoor heated pool and spa bath, badminton, table tennis, pool table, tennis, archery and an outdoor treehouse and playground. Cycle hire available.
NearbyThe town of Woodhall Spa (more of a village in size) has plenty of quirks to keep you occupied. On rainy days, catch a film in the Kinema In The Woods (01526 352166) – a compact, 2-screen cinema in an old sports pavilion – or visit the tiny Cottage Museum (01526 352456), which hosts artefacts from the local area and tells of the villages history. The museum itself is quite the artefact, an early 19th-century bungalow constructed of corrugated iron and wood. When the weather is good, play a round of golf at the National Golf Centre (01526 352511) just down the road or take a dip in Jubilee Park's outdoor pool. Then of course, there's the excellent walking and cycling of the nearby Lincolnshire Wolds, while the Lincolnshire coast and the resort town of Skegness is 25 miles away.
Food & DrinkThe campsite itself has a small bar, which sells sandwiches and a StarBucks concession. Walk the 25 minutes into Woodhall Spa town centre for a wide range of eateries. Try cute Tea House in the Woods (01526 354455) for a light daytime bite or old-fashioned Janet's Tea Room in the middle of town opposite the Dam Busters Memorial. For dinner, Zucci Mediteranian Restaurant (01526 354466) is our pick. There is also a local supermarket and supermarket deliveries and takeaway deliveries directly to your tent are permitted.
From the South: To get to Bainland Country Park take the A1 North, turn off at Colsterworth near Grantham onto the B6403. Follow road to Sleaford onto the A153, then follow A153 to Tattershall then to Woodhall Spa.
From the North: Take A1 South onto M62, M18, M180 to Hull. Follow route to A15 Lincoln. Lincoln bypass towards Horncastle and Skegness. A158 to Horncastle, follow signs to Woodhall Spa.
From the West Midlands: Take the A46 to Newark and Lincoln. At Newark take the A17 to Sleaford. Then the A153 to Tattershall and follow signs to Woodhall Spa and Bainland Country Park.Metheringham (0845 748 4950) is the nearest train station to Bainland Country Park. From there, walk back across the railway lines and get the IC5 bus to Woodhall Spa at the stop on the same side of the road as the train station. Then take a taxi or 25-minute walk to Bainland lodge park.
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