The wild and windy Bronte landscape was living up to its name on a freezing January weekend.

We’d made our journey in the winter weather enjoying gorgeous ‘top of the world’ views of hills dusted with snow and an impressive purple sunset.

Arriving at the luxurious riverside eco-lodge just outside of Haworth in Bronte Country Park, we stepped into calm and warmth. Our three-bedroom lodge, one of two by the lakeside, was a cocoon of Scandi-style decor. Wood floors, pale walls, rugs, throws and inviting chairs and sofas. And, ta-dah! The heroic log burner we’d call our friend during the weekend.

Great British Life: Stunning views over the over the lake in summertimeStunning views over the over the lake in summertime (Image: Sarah Walton)

The design of the lodges, which are located in a quiet corner of a well-maintained caravan park, is about luxury and whilst they’re smart to look at, they are very accessible too, built on one level – so they work for all ages and abilities. The decked area overlooking the lake is also gated so dogs are safe.

From the door there is access to more than 50 acres of countryside park with well-maintained walking trails catering to all levels of hikers, from easy strolls for families to more challenging paths for avid hikers and nature enthusiasts.

The park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Deer call this place home and of course, rabbits, geese and ducks are your neighbours too.

Great British Life: A log burner keeps the lodge cosy all year round.A log burner keeps the lodge cosy all year round. (Image: Sarah Walton)Great British Life: The inviting lounge is calming with Scandi-style decor. The inviting lounge is calming with Scandi-style decor. (Image: Sarah Walton)

Inside it is all about cosying up. As befits a ‘pals reunited’ Friday, pjs were soon on, wine was uncorked, nibbles were nibbled, and chat gushed forth. The log burned did its stuff – cosying the place very effectively and making us feel not only like we were home but seduced into staying put.

The weather, it being January, was gruesomely wild and windy, so the inviting furniture on the balcony was never going to be graced by our company. Nor the boat and paddleboard that you can make use of on your stay in brighter weather.

However, one of the best bits of this location is the train-spotting! Almost on your doorstep is the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway line. So just as you’re making a morning cuppa, you hear the chuff-chuff, see the steam billowing and are stopped in your slippered tracks to watch it pass by. There’s a great viewing platform too by the lodge which is part of the wider mobile home site.

Great British Life: Steam trains pass by on the line close to the lodge. Steam trains pass by on the line close to the lodge. (Image: Sarah Walton)

It is of course the line used in the Railway Children films and you can walk to Damems (about a 15-minute walk from the lodge – we weren’t fast enough and missed it!) to hop on for a nostalgic journey to Haworth or Oxenhope.

We headed up to Haworth - a quick bus ride - stopping in at the always fascinating Bronte Parsonage Museum.

It wasn't a day for it when we visited this time, but on a past trip we followed in the footsteps of the literary sisters to the unspoilt moorland to see the inspirational spots where they wrote.

Great British Life: Pretty Haworth at dusk. Pretty Haworth at dusk. (Image: Newsquest)Great British Life: Visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth. (Image: Newsquest)

See the Brontë Bridge, the ruins of Top Withens (said to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights), and the Brontë Falls. Ponden Kirk is a large block of gritstone which is said to have magical properties. Local legend says if a girl crawls through the large hole at the foot of the rock they will marry within the year! Away from the village itself you have the rugged and breathtaking Pennine countryside. You can undertake the Brontë Way, a way-marked trail linking the key locations associated with the Brontë family.

We made the most of having time for a good mooch in Haworth’s excellent independent shops. Impressed by the quality of them all, we were particularly taken by Modo Creative at the bottom of the hill with its inspiring wall art, personalised graphic prints and stylish prints – one of our buys was a print featuring a quotation from E Nesbit’s Railway Children and another with a quote from Roald Dahl’s The Minpins.

We evaded bad weather in a bookshop, which is never a bad thing. Wave of Nostalgia is a real gem with its inspiring theme of strong women. As well as books, it is filled with lovely items for all ages designed by inspiring women, many local.

Great British Life: The Wave of Nostalgia bookshop. The Wave of Nostalgia bookshop. (Image: Newsquest)Great British Life: Eat cake and paint pots at popular Cobbles & Clay.Eat cake and paint pots at popular Cobbles & Clay. (Image: Newsquest)

We had lunch at the pottery cafe, Cobbles & Clay which was packed with folks having a fine time painting pots as they indulged in cake – there were kids, couples on dates, pals like us and grandchildren and grandparents – it’s a joyful place.

Then we made time for cocktails. We loved The Cloth Store ( for superb early evening margaritas and tacos. It’s a cool spot which holds regular pop-up events for the vinyl, vintage and fashion enthusiast.

Next, we hopped in a taxi for the short journey back to our lodge – got the fire going, wrapped ourselves in cosy throws, gossiped, watched some TV and thoroughly enjoyed being busy doing nothing in a stylish Scandi kind of way. Would recommend

Great British Life: Bedroom overlooking the lake with a cot. Bedroom overlooking the lake with a cot. (Image: Sarah Walton)

Family friendly facts:

Bronte Country Park has two neighbouring lakeside lodges: a three-bed and a two-bed lodge. Both lodges have access to a rowing boat and paddleboard or you could do a spot of fishing or bird-watching from the balcony. They have a fire pit you can use and EV chargers by the lodges. There’s also a children’s park onsite, as well as a picnic park. The lodges are child and baby-friendly inside with cot, highchair, plates and cutlery, children’s (books including kiddy versions of the Bronte and Railway Children stories) as well as toys and games. and games. There’s a utility and boot room with washing machine and storage. The lodges are also dog friendly with plenty of woodland walks trails within the country park. Two-bedroom lodge approx £225 per night in April.

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