Investing in a holiday home at Ribby Hall Village
- Credit: Archant
Forget motorway queues and airport delays - Ribby Hall Village is a luxurious and relaxing alternative, as Martin Pilkington discovers.
If the dream of owning a holiday home conjures up the nightmare of motorway queues and airport chaos, then you may want to consider buying a luxury getaway at the upmarket Ribby Hall Village near Lytham – as plenty of other Lancastrians in the know have done since its gates first opened in 1994.
‘A lot of our owners live within 90 minutes drive’ says Tracy Richardson, holiday homes sales manager, ‘and quite a few come from nearby Preston and even Lytham. They can finish work, pop across here, have a swim and be studying the menu at one of our eight eateries, wine glass in hand, while their colleagues are still stuck in traffic heading for Lakeland or Wales!’
One part of the substantial terrain contains over 170 holiday cottages available to rent, but they’re outnumbered by the 328 privately-owned lodges and static caravans in beautifully tended grounds. The lodges are like luxurious apartments, and the caravans are almost certainly a world away from any your parents may have taken you to.
Tracy’s guided tour takes in the two pools, one for family fun, the other adults-only for more serious swimmers. ‘The tropical-themed pool has just been refurbished at a cost of £1.6 million,’ she says. ‘We never rest on our laurels, we’re always improving and adding to the facilities – the Tapas Bar and Restaurant was recently extended, the nursery has proved so popular that we’re increasing its capacity, and another 20 acres of land have just been purchased – though I can’t tell you what we have planned for that. Watch this space!’
Tracy shows off the gyms, dance and workout studios, squash, tennis and badminton courts that would put a metropolitan leisure centre to shame, and Ribby can arrange for personal trainers if you really want to tone that body. If you prefer to work on your karma there’s a yoga room, and for armchair athletes there’s a stylish sports bar with – of course – large TV screens. More sedate facilities include a 9-hole golf course, boating lake and a bowling green; less sedate ones encompass playgrounds, Segways, a climbing wall and laser-tag.
‘Owners often come for the weekend or just a night to unwind, it’s an easy place to chill,’ says Tracy. ‘But in the school holidays families spend a week or a fortnight at a time here, and even if you ate out every night it’d be the second week before you needed to revisit one of the restaurants that run from fine dining at The Orangery to the simplicity of Papa John’s Pizza.’
Providing the service that allows you to chill is a big part of what the Village is about. ‘There’s a large team dedicated to looking after guests, sometimes with background matters like the 24-hour gated security, CCTV, and a strictly enforced 10mph speed limit that keeps it quiet and safe here,’ says Tracy. ‘And the annual fee encompasses things like a privilege card for discounts at all the restaurants, free use of the pools and steam rooms, and free fishing in the lakes.’
The Village is accredited by the National Caravan Council which will ensure you buy with confidence. The season runs from March 1st to mid-January, the six-week break meaning that road re-surfacing and larger maintenance projects can be done without disturbing owners, though the leisure and sports facilities remain open for use. ‘That’s a longer season than is standard elsewhere,’ she says. ‘We push the boat out at Christmas, Halloween and Easter too, with a lot of special activities and entertainment.’
Tracy has worked at Ribby Hall for 15 years. ‘I still see people coming here to whom I sold a holiday home when I started. I’ve watched their children grow up, go from playing in the sandpit to hitting the golf course or the gym.
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‘When I arrived it was predominantly young couples with children who bought getaways here. There are plenty of them still around but quite a few grandparents now are buying places to get together with the family, and especially their grandchildren. They can let someone else do the cooking and dishes if they fancy, and do things together, which is lovely. They’re investing in memories.’ w
For more information contact Tracy and the team on 0800 028 6269 or by email at email@example.com. Further details can be found at www.ribbyhall.co.uk/holiday-homes