Book your Arrive & Drive session at GYG Karting and get an exclusive Darwin Escapes discount code for this Championship Circuit. Hidden in the North Wales landscape, GYG Karting is Redbull’s No.1 kart track in the UK and is open all year round for you to enjoy! Ideal for families and people of all ages to jump in a go kart in one the longest tracks in the country, with a friendly team on hand to guide all skill levels.

Darwin Escapes have partnered with GYG Karting to offer you a fabulous 10% discount off Arrive & Drive sessions booked via their website. Use the code ‘darwin’ when booking for your discount to be applied.


what’s arrive & drive?

Open to anyone aged 9 and up, the Arrive & Drive session is a fun activity for all racing buffs, with both junior and senior kart available for a trip around the British Championship circuit.

Test your karting skills and learn some new ones with these sessions, with non-restricted Honda and Cadet carts. Get competitive with your family and friends as you zoom around the track and try to get to the top of the leader board.

You’ll be given a full safety briefing, racing suit and helmet before the 10 minute race. You’ll have a fabulous day out with all your friends and family racing around this extraordinary track in the heart of Snowdonia.

GYG Karting also have a number of other events you can book, including kids parties and large adult group bookings for Grand Prix experiences.

Aerial view of the GYG karting race track


Darwin Escapes has 4 beautiful locations in North Wales, each offering seaside holidays and holiday home ownership along the North Wales coastline. We will have something for everyone in this wonderful region of the country!

The exclusive Darwin Escapes 10% discount applies to the Arrive & Drive experience only. Use the code ‘darwin’ when booking your session online via their website.

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Darwin Escapes have partnered with Chester Zoo to offer you 30% discount on your entry tickets all year round at our North Wales locations

We are proud to have partnered with Chester Zoo for the fifth year running and offer our holiday guests and owners 30% off your entry tickets when you book through our reception teams.

Darwin Escapes has 4 resorts in North Wales offering holiday and holiday home ownership and all within an hour’s drive from Chester Zoo, so you’re sure to find the perfect base with facilities and great accommodation for you and your family.


here’s what you can see when you visit chester zoo!

 

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Get your 30% discount at our New Pines, Talacre Beach, Seaview and Aberconwy locations, whether you’re staying for a holiday break or enjoying endless holidays as an owner with us.

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Enjoy a 10% off voucher to Manorafon Farm Park in Abergele, North Wales if you’re an owner or holiday with us at New Pines or Talacre Beach. Manorafon Farm Park is a fabulous family attraction in Abergele, where you can visit a wonderful range of animals and feed them too! As well as there being both an indoor and outdoor play area for the children to enjoy and a daily programme of activities to get stuck into.

New Pines Holiday Home Park is perfectly placed to explore the local area and is only a 30 minute drive away from Manorafon Farm Park. Known as the gateway to North Wales, Talacre Beach Resort offers a wonderful escape along the coastline, and is only a 35 minute journey from Manoragon Farm Park too.

 

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10% off admission voucher

Darwin Escapes has partnered with Manorafon Farm Park to help promote local businesses in our destinations. All holiday guests and owners at two of our locations will get a 10% off admission voucher to Manorafon Farm Park, where you can feed the farm animals and meet the other animals and reptiles in residence.

New Pines Holiday Home Park and Talacre Beach Resort owners can visit reception to request their 10% off admission voucher.

Holiday guests of New Pines and Talacre Beach will receive their 10% off admission vouchers as part of their check-in welcome pack.


coming soon to New Pines!

Manorafam Farm Park will also be visiting New Pines Holiday Home Park offering a fantastic small handling animal experience. They will also be visiting with their wonderful mobile farm trailer, so keep an eye out for more information about these sure-to-be fun filled events!

We’re sure you already follow our amazing New Pines Holiday Home Park social channels, but if you’re not, now is the time to click that follow button! We will be doing a ticket giveaway for Manorafon Farm Park, so don’t miss out and keep an eye our page!


Manorafon Farm Park

 

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Manorafon is a wonderful family attraction for all ages to enjoy, with a number of farm animals to visit and feed, including adorable pigs, friendly goats and small horses. But there is so much more here, including meerkats and a fantastically fascinating Reptile Hut to explore.

The outdoor play areas are ideal for little ones to run around and burn off some energy, or try their hand at the Quacking Quads racetrack! If the weather isn’t on your side head to the Silly Sheep Play Barn for a wonderful soft play adventure.

Don’t worry if you get a bit peckish on your day out, The Greedy Goat Snack Hut will be on hand to dole out the goodies!


So, whether you’re a holiday guest or part of our ownership communities at New Pines and Talacre Beach, you can take advantage of the great 10% off admission voucher to Manorafon Farm Park.

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Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat guests receive a fabulous 10% off at the popular Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway

Nestled in the heart of the newly announced UNESCO World Heritage Site, the stunning Lake District, Keswick Reach enjoys beautiful scenery, outstanding accommodation and five-star facilities. Our award-winning destination is a popular place to base yourself while exploring Cumbria, and one of the best ways to see the Lake District is by old-fashioned steam engine! And our guests get an exclusive 10% off tickets until 31st December 2018

 

Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway

The popular railway is one of the oldest and longest narrow gauge railway in England, with unrivalled views of the stunning Lake District. Known in the old Cumbrian dialect as La’al Ratty, which means “little railway”, Ravenglass & Eskdale was opened over 100 years ago in 1915, to the delight of many!

The current train journey takes passengers from Ravenglass through the World Heritage Site, to Dalegarth for Boot, which is around 210ft above sea level and offers breathtaking views. There are a few request stops during the 40 minute journey, the stops are ideally located for experienced walkers (only attempt these trails if you’ve has experience extreme rambling or in similar situations – you could get stuck out there!). You can choose between cosy covered carriages or open top carriages for your trip, where you can soak up the weather and beautiful views around you, while keeping an eye open for the local wildlife, including Greylog Geese and Buzzards, as well as Curlew’s, Shelduck’s and even Red Squirrels. When you get back to Ravenglass & Eskdale station, make sure to treat yourself to some delicious homemade snacks and warming hot drink from the café. There are also plenty of gifts to browse and mementoes to purchase in the gift shop, as well as information about fantastic trails and walks to explore this corner of the Lake District.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway also offers a full programme of events and themed journeys all year round. From a fish and chip supper trip and teddy bears ride free journeys, to magical station gardens, which includes fancy dress and magical crafts! Along with annual seasonal events, including the spooky Ghost Train and the ever-popular Santa Express!

 

10% off vouchers available at reception

Here at Keswick Reach, we are lucky enough to have 10% off vouchers available in our reception area!
The voucher applies to a full line return for adult and child tickets, as well as full family fares, each ticket has a maximum of 4 adults and 4 children per vouchers, this fabulous offer is valid until 31st December 2018!

 


So on your next trip to Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat make sure to visit our reception and pick up your 10% off voucher and explore the Lake District and all its wonders in a completely unique way!

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Exploring the Islands on Windermere – England’s Largest Natural Lake

Windermere in the heart of the Lake District national park is 10.5 miles in length and at its widest over 1.5miles in width. Always a popular choice for tourists, people have flocked here for decades, with even the Victorians enjoying cruises on the lake since the 1800s, soaking up the peaceful atmosphere and taking in the breathtaking views. There are 3 main boat piers you can take a cruise from, Bowness, Ambleside (Waterhead) and Lakeside. Windermere Lake Cruises offer a stunning cruise for you to view the Lake District in a completely unique way!

 

a range of stunning cruises to choose from

Located approximately 1 hour away from Thanet Well Lodge Retreat and Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat by car or bus, Windermere Lake Cruises offer cruises from 45 minutes to over 3 hours in length and operate all year round, except Christmas Day.

If you are short on time, the circular ‘Blue’ Islands cruise is a great choice but there are plenty of other cruises available; some even visiting local lakeshore attractions with joint tickets. Many people report that the Islands’ Cruise has given them a whole new perspective of Windermere – with a string of 18 islands overall to see, the experience provides a stunning way to enjoy the lake’s unforgettable scenery. Interestingly, many of the islands are called ‘holme’ after the local word for ‘island’, which originates from the old Norse language.

Most of the islands are in the Bowness area, roughly dividing the lake into two halves. The largest is Belle Isle, which covers around 37 acres and is the only privately owned and inhabited island.

 

steeped in history & natural beauty

On the cruise, be sure to catch a glimpse of the ‘Round House’ in the centre of the island – it was built in 1774 and was the first of its kind in England.
The island has an even longer history though. It was used as a Royalist stronghold during the Civil War and it’s rumoured that a Roman commander once built a villa here too.

Keep an eye out for Blake Holme and Silver Holme, which were thought to be part of the inspiration for Wild Cat Island and Cormorant Island in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series of books. Published in 1930, the original novel from the series was a family favourite for many before the popularisation of the TV in the 1950s. (Incidentally, ‘Rio’ was apparently based on Bowness-on-Windermere).

The island named – Lady Holme (previously called Mary Holme) also has a literary link having featured in William Wordsworth poem, The Prelude. Two monks used to run a leper colony here, although the main visitors nowadays are Cormorants and you can often see these distinctive water birds quietly roosting on the island.

 

an array of islands with their own tales to tell

Another highlight during the cruise is the Crow Holme island, which was used to kennel the local hounds of the Windermere Harriers; it’s said there are still kennels hidden by the trees on the island. Many visitors will also be interested to see the two ‘Lillies of the Valley’, named after the wildflowers which used to grow here. Of course, there’s also the smallest island of them all the islands – Maiden Holme, which has just one tree!

The Blue Islands Cruise is a fitting introduction to the beauty and tranquillity of this iconic lake. Although trying out one of Windermere Lake Cruises’ self-drive motor boats to get an even closer look at some of the little-known gems in the centre of England’s largest lake is also highly recommended!

You can book online here – windermere-lakecruises.co.uk

Darwin Escapes customers can download this discount voucher PDF to receive 10% discount

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Darwin Escapes Customers at Talacre Beach are entitled to 10% off the cost of Go Karting at GYG Karting. The new Formula 1 season is now under way, and Darwin Escapes is giving its holiday home owners and holiday makers at Talacre Beach Resort the opportunity to get a taste of what it feels like to take to the race track for themselves by partnering with one of the best outdoor Go Karting circuits in the country by offering 10% off the cost of arrive and drive karting experiences.

All you have to do to claim this offer is pick up one of the voucher which are available from the reception area of our 5 star resort. Just ask a friendly member of our reception team who will be more than happy to help at any time so you can really make the most of your stay in the North Wales region.

Update – planning to book online? Then simply enter the unique code “darwin” in order to receive your 10% discount!


petrol head’s paradise

The GYG Karting facility is unquestionably one of the finest outdoor go karting circuits in the country, with two layouts available to utilise so that all levels of enthusiasm and skill can be accommodated. There are also two levels of go-kart available to use – single and twin engine vehicles, the latter of which are only really usable by the most experienced and confident driver.

The longer circuit is part of the official National Karting Championship Calendar which is contested by the F1 superstars of tomorrow. It is where the likes of Lewis Hamilton cut their teeth prior to breaking through to the big time. It comprises a mix of long straight, tight turns and high speed corners to really challenge even the best of them.

Championship events from the circuit are regularly broadcast on Sky Sports and S4C, as well as being exciting to attend first hand if you fancy a trip up to the circuit to see how the best in the business negotiate this notorious circuit themselves. It could help to provide some good pointers before you take to the track for yourself!

The next spectator event at the circuit takes place on the weekend of the 14th/15th/16th April when the Dragon Kart Club turns up. Arrive and drive will not be available on this weekend on account of this, but we’d highly recommend a trip up if you happen to be in the area and want to behold a spectacular championship event filled with young stars who are keen to make an impression.


darwin escapes at gyg karting

In Summer 2016, we headed up to the GYG karting circuit to sample the karts and circuit for ourselves. The guys on-site were incredibly friendly and made us feel very, very welcome. The fine selection of food and refreshments in the spectacular on-site complex just added to the overall experience, with those not keen to get behind the wheel for themselves able to take advantage of a viewing area which provides great picture opportunities overlooking the circuit as well as the breathtaking countryside surrounding the Cerrigydrudion area.

You can catch a glimpse of what the arrive and drive experience consists of below in our video featuring the highlights of our experience at the GYG circuit on that day:

You can find out more about GYG Karting on their website

So why not book your holiday with Talacre Beach Resort today and get yourself over to GYG for a fun filled day in North Wales!

Happy Holidaying Folks!

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Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat guests receive 10% discount on range of activities at the Keswick Climbing Wall and Outdoor Activity Centre

 

Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat is one of Darwin Escapes’ brand new destinations, and located in the heart of the Lake District, is fast becoming one of the most popular holiday destinations in Cumbria. With the onsite Copper Fells restaurant providing mouth-watering food, and Ammara Spa offering luxury Aromatherapy Associates treatments, exploring the region is ideal when having a massage to return too!

Just 20 minutes away is the famous Keswick Climbing Wall and Outdoor Activity Centre, where our guests receive a 10% discount, by quoting ‘Keswick Reach Lodges’ on an indoor climbing session, archery lesson or half day course session! Book your holiday and your exciting adventure in Cumbria, with breath taking views and something for all ages and abilities to enjoy!

 

a great day out in all seasons…

 

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The Keswick Climbing Wall and Outdoor Activity Centre is designed to be the perfect location for a fun family day out, with something to do for people of all ages. Regardless of whether you are an Adrenalin junkie keen to try their hand at canoeing or simply want to sit back and sample the fine food on offer a the Hungry Heifer Cafe, you will always have something to do at this exciting centre where you can easily fill countless days out during your stay at Keswick Reach.

It is a great attraction to visit in any season, regardless of the weather outside with there being plenty of indoor activities to take advantage of including indoor rock climbing and also archery!

A bit of a novelty in the area is the fact that free parking is provided for anyone visiting the Keswick Climbing Wall. This combined with your exclusive Darwin 10% off voucher makes it a very affordable destination for a fun family day out.

 

the activities

 

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Being located in the heart of the Lake District has its perks, with breath taking views of Blencathra and the Helvellyn Range, as well as some tasty treats from the Hungry Heifer Café. Keswick Climbing Wall & Activity Centre offers a wide range of outdoor and indoor activities in this beautiful region.

  • Indoor climbing
  • Indoor climbing lessons
  • Outdoor archery
  • Indoor archery
  • 170m Zipline
  • Outdoor rock climbing
  • Orienteering
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Ghyll Scramble
  • Orienteering
  • Rookery Woods – Under 8’s adventure play area

 

the darwin discount

Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat guests receive a 10% discount when booking certain activities, all you have to do is quote “Keswick Reach Lodges” when booking. There are three activities you can chose from to receive this fantastic discount on: an archery lesson, an indoor climbing wall session or a half day course (3 hours).

 

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The half day course is a 3 hours session of one activity of your choice, you can try your hand at kayaking, canoeing or outdoor rock climbing, as well as testing your balance skills on the high ropes course. Or for the real thrill seekers explore the Lake District in a brand new way with a Ghyll Scramble session, where you will slide, jump and dive down streams, jump off waterfalls and plunge into pools!

The indoor climbing wall is actually a full room of climbing, bringing the outdoors, inside, this room has something for all abilities. Whether you are a total new-comer, where you will receive a lesson beforehand, or an experienced climber looking for a new challenge, the wall will have the perfect pace for you to test your skills.

There is the option of indoor and outdoor archery, so no matter the weather you are sure to perfect your aim. The outdoor range gives you the opportunity to feel like Robin Hood, surrounded by the beautiful views of Blencathra with a bow and arrow. You will be introduced to the activity by fun games and exercises, so you will slowly move further from the target, and maybe even hit the bull’s eye!

 


Book your next holiday at Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat and have an adventure filled time at the Keswick Climbing Wall & Activity Centre! Don’t forget to quote ‘Keswick Reach Lodges’ when booking your activity to get the 10% off!

 

Happy Adventuring!

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Take advantage of one of the UK’s Best Go-Kart Circuits During Half Term. As part of our partnership with GYG Karting, we are delighted to be able to offer 10% off the price of arrive and drive karting for all Darwin Escapes customers this half term. All you have to do in order to redeem this offer is enter the promotional code “darwin” when you are booking your arrive and drive session on the gygkarting.com website.


family fun in the North Wales countryside

The circuit is located in the midst of the tranquil North Wales countryside near Cerrigydrduion, perfectly located for a great day out for anyone staying at one of our North Wales Holiday Parks over the course of the half term week. This offer is open to both owners and holiday makers alike.

The Glan Y Gors circuit is generally regarding as being one of the most challenging and spectacular outdoor karting circuits in the UK. It regularly plays host to national karting championship events featuring many of the stars of tomorrow. This is a circuit where the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button honed their skills in their younger years prior to hitting the big time in the world of Formula One. The circuit is regularly featured on championship broadcasts on Sky Sports and S4C.


Darwin Escapes offer of 10% off at GYG

You can find out whether or not you have got what it takes behind the wheel of a go-kart in these fantastic arrive and drive sessions which are now even more affordable than before thanks to this special Darwin Escapes offer.

It is the perfect day out for all the family, with various skills levels taken account of courtesy of the two circuit layouts which are available. The shorter track is ideal for beginners or those who are not overly confident with their driving abilities, while the longer configuration is not for the faint hearted featuring the notorious devils pinch corner. Take this at full throttle if you dare!

There are also two different sizes of go-kart available to hire for arrive and drive sessions. The smallest of which is the Honda 160cc kart which is designed for the less-confident, inexperienced and younger drivers, including children aged nine and above, who are taller than 4ft 5 inches, all welcome to take to the track. The larger go-kart is the Honda 270cc kart, which is great for those who are confident in their abilities and keen to push the limits.

Happy Driving Thrill-Seekers!

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Take a trip back in time during your stay at Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat when you pay a visit to Ravenglass & Esdkale Steam Railway

 

The Lake District is a truly stunning part of the country, with gorgeous scenery and tranquil surroundings. You can enjoy this in style when you visit Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway.

Jump on-board one of these iconic contraptions and take the seven mile journey up the line from Ravenglass, which is the Lake District’s only coastal village, all the way to Dalegarth near the bottom of the England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike.

 

travel in style

You can enjoy this breathtaking scenic route on-board one the stations four steam engines, the oldest of which is the River Irt locomotive, which was constructed in 1894 by Sir Arthur Heywood. It is now the oldest working 15 inch gauge locomotive in the world, having first arrived in Ravenglass in 1917, after first served at a munitions factory in Gretna.

Also almost a century old is the River Esk steam engine locomotive which was actually built for Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway by Davey, Paxman & Co of Colchester in 1923. It featured various design innovations at the time, some of which proved more successful than others. Many of the original questionable design innovations such as the steam powered tender have now been replaced, resulting in a locomotive which is surprisingly reliable for its age.

The Rivermite is another steam locomotive in service on the line, which was built by Clarkson’s of York in the year of the England World Cup win of 1966. It made headlines when it was first created, being delivered to the Lake District via traction engine and caught the public’s eye due to its stunning Indian Red colours.

The baby of the group is Northern Rock, which was built in the actual workshops at Ravenglass by an on-site team led by chief designer Ian Smith in 1976. This beautiful piece of engineering was used as the basis for two further locomotives which were designed for the Shuzenji Romney Railway in Izu, Shizuoka in Japan.

 

10% discount for Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat customers

With these fantastic contraptions available to view and ride on, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway really is a train enthusiast’s dream day out. However, it is not just train spotters that the railway will appeal to, with the stunning scenery and many additional attractions in the places around the stations making it a great day out for the entire family.

Between March and October you can pay a visit to the on-site museum located in the former Ravenglass railway station and signal box. This is completely free to enter and run by Eskdale Cumbria Trust, which has been set up to preserve the Railway collections. It features models, archive information and items showcasing the history of this fantastic railway.

There is even more reason for Darwin Escapes customers to pay a visit to Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway with guests staying at Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat entitled to a 10% discount on the cost of tickets. Simply present the voucher you are given upon your arrival to our resort to the Railway reception when purchasing your tickets in order to redeem the offer.

Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat is still under construction, with it currently on course to be opened to the public for the first time in December 2016. Keep up to date with the Darwin Escapes blog for more information on special offers that will be available to our guests upon their arrival in the coming months.

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Go behind bars at Bodmin Jail for a fascinating family days out in a historic building which was once used to house the crown jewels…

 

If you are looking for a great family day out in Cornwall which is as educational as it is fun, then head over to Bodmin Jail which was built for King George III in 1779 on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

Designed by Sir John Call, the jail was originally intended for prisoners of war and is famous for being the first British jail to hold prisoners in individual cells. During the First World War, it was used to house some of the countries national treasures including the Domesday Book and the crown jewels.

 

look back in time

The jail eventually closed in 1927, but the building is now used as the base for this fascinating attraction which houses countless interesting exhibitions to showcase the history of the jail and the prisoners who were detained there.

Jaunt through the various cells where you will find mannequins, historic documents and objects which will highlight the crimes of the inhabitants and what life was like for them once they were behind bars.

Please be aware that the jail tends to get very cold and there are many steps to navigate, so make sure that you wrap up warm and wear sensible shoes to ensure you can make the most of the attraction.

You may not automatically associate jails with fine cuisine, but Bodmin Jail is doing its bit to alter this with a range of food and beverages on offer in the impressive Governors Hall and the Witness Box Wine Bar.

 

the paranormal

On account of the public hangings and grim nature of the past undertakings which took place in the building, it is perhaps inevitable that it has become closely linked to paranormal activities. It has even recently been used as the setting for an episode of Most Haunted.

You can learn more about these paranormal events when you book yourself onto an After Dark event at the Jail where a resident medium will teach you the basics of Reiki and energy management before setting your lose on the jail over night. The event includes a 3 course meal, souvenirs and a free family pass for a day visit to the jail at a different time. You will also receive a complimentary £20 gift voucher. Take a look at the available booking slots if you are interested in one of these events.

 


20% discount off tickets

Bodmin Jail is just a twenty minute journey away from Piran Meadows Resort & Spa, and anyone staying at our resort can enjoy a 20% discount off the price of tickets to the attraction.

All you need to do is show your holiday park card to staff on reception when you are buying your tickets in order to benefit from this.

Want to keep up to date with all the latest information? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all things Darwin Escapes!

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

All our resorts in England and Wales are now open.

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