A Derbyshire farming family has launched a collection of eight deluxe holiday lodges on its farm, as the area enjoys a tourism boom, with more people holidaying in the region than ever before.
Knights Lodges of Bretby, near Burton-on-Trent, sit in 14 acres of grounds within Shades Farm, which is owned by the Willshee family, and all have spectacular countryside views looking out towards the Derbyshire Dales and the Peak District.
The family, which owns and runs Burton-based Willshee’s Waste & Recycling, bought the 150-acre farm 25 years ago, transforming the natural landscape into a thriving cattle farm.
Now, to make the most of the beautiful panoramic views of the rolling hills and countryside, it has built eight luxurious lodges, which are ideally located for holidaymakers to enjoy the myriad local attractions, including: The National Arboretum, National Trust properties, National Forest Adventure Farm, Alton Towers, Drayton Manor Park, Twycross Zoo, Conkers, the National Forest Parks and the Peak District.
Dean Willshee, who runs the holiday lets with his family members, said: “We always wanted to use this land to reach its full potential as it has stunning panoramic views.
“My siblings and I spent most of our childhood playing and working on the farm and we want to make sure it has a sustainable future for the family now, and for our children.
“Diversification is essential for farmers to secure a long-term future for their businesses alongside traditional farming, such as breeding our herd of cows. The whole family has been involved in the project and we’re all passionate about creating a sustainable business and further boosting tourism in the area, which is soaring, thanks to incredible visitor destinations such as the National Forest.”
The collection comprises of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom lodges. Each spacious, light-filled centrally heated lodge is luxuriously appointed with en-suite bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen, dining area, and living area. All come with free Wi-Fi, large decking areas and sunken private hot tubs, where you can relax with a glass of something sparkling.
The lodges were designed by Pinelog, a manufacturer based in Bakewell, Derbyshire, and all materials and trades people were sourced locally.
“It’s important for us to support local businesses and because we have a huge number of high-quality businesses on our doorstep, we didn’t have to look far to find the right people to deliver the lodges to the highest standards we were looking for,” said Dean.
“We’re thrilled with the finish and the quality of our lodges and are looking forward to welcoming holidaymakers who want to enjoy a relaxing few days in the beautiful Midlands countryside and take advantage of the fabulous tourist attractions we have within just a few miles.”
The launch of the lodges is perfectly timed as tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in Derbyshire.
Aerial view of eight luxury holiday homes at Knights Lodges of Bretby owned by the Willshee family. By Matthew Jones Photography.
South Derbyshire Council reports it has already seen a dramatic increase in the number of people visiting the area for a week-long holiday, while the nearby National Forest already supports more than 4,800 jobs, attracts more than eight million visitors a year and contributes £395 million to the local economy.
The latest figures from neighbouring Destination Staffordshire reveal that tourism was worth more than £1.8 billion to the county and that in 2017 there were 26.2 million visits, comprising 24.6 million day trips and 1.6 million overnight stays – an increase of 1.9% on 2016.
“There’s so much to enjoy near Knights Lodges, whether it’s a couple wanting to visit historic sights and explore parts of the National Forest Way, or a family heading out to Conkers, Alton Towers or Twycross Zoo,” said Dean.
“We know there is a demand for good quality holiday accommodation around here, so we’ve invested in creating beautiful lodges that sit perfectly in the landscape.”
For more details, visit: https://www.facebook.com/knightslodges/
L-R: Jenna Willshee, Dean Willshee, Maria Willshee, Craig Willshee at the official opening of their holiday park, Knights Lodges of Bretby in 2019. By Matthew Jones Photography.
Willshee family: Jenna, Dean, Maria and Craig