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Lording It Up At Oakerthorpe Manor, UK

Who wouldn’t want to be the lord of your own manor for the weekend? My sister was looking for a house that could fit four families (each with two kids) for a weekend of fun in the countryside, within fairly easy reach of London and Manchester. Oakerthorpe Manor was the perfect choice:

Oakerthorpe - Outside Seating Area

Who: Georgina, husband, Abbie (3 yrs), Sam (9 months) plus three other families – so eight adults and eight children in total.

Where: Oakerthorpe Manor, Derbyshire.

Booking:

We found the house via www.holidaylettings.co.uk and paid an upfront deposit when we booked, then the balance and a £350 security deposit around 10 weeks before our stay. The owners were quick to respond and very helpful with any queries. Our only other main cost was food during our stay, and we arranged for a Tesco delivery to arrive when we got there. 

Facilities for children:

The house has two cots (proper wooden cots, but bring your own sheets) and a highchair (the Ikea Antilop) available on request. There are kids plates and cups available in the kitchen.

Other than that there wasn’t anything specifically for babies and toddlers but the house is well laid out for children to run around and play in. The bedrooms are upstairs on the first and second floor and there are no stairgates so you do need to keep an eye out.

Oakerthorpe Manor Location:

The house was a two hour drive from London in easy traffic, or a three hour drive in busy Friday afternoon half term traffic. It’s set in the heart of the Peak District and the surrounding countryside is beautiful.

We didn’t really explore the immediate area as we brought food with us (we had a Tesco delivery booked for our arrival) and stayed at home in the evening, but the house is close to a nice looking pub (www.peacockinfo.co.uk).

We took a trip to Chatsworth House (www.chatsworth.org) which was perfect for the kids. We didn’t venture into the stately home itself (too pricey for all of us, plus probably a waste of time with such young kids) but the grounds are stunning and there is a great farm area and playground. Entry for just this area cost £6 each. We spent the whole morning there and gave the kids a picnic lunch before returning home for the afternoon. 

Picnic Lunch At Chatsworth House

Picnic Lunch At Chatsworth House

The House:

Bedrooms:

There are eight bedrooms in the house. There are five doubles on the first floor (one of which is the master suite which is very big, and four of which have an en suite bathroom) and then three kids rooms upstairs (one small twin, one medium sized twin, and one triple). You can fit a cot in all of the bedrooms if necessary. All linen (apart from cot sheets) and towels were provided.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Ensuite

Master Ensuite

The number of bedrooms was perfect for us, although it did mean that parents (apart from one family) were on a different floor from their kids. This wasn’t really a problem, and most of us had baby monitors with us, but might concern parents if their kids might go wandering in the night. The master suite is huge though so you could potentially put cots/ready beds in there if anyone really wanted to share a room with the kids.  

The house was very bright and the curtains weren’t great so if you are light sleepers then pack eye masks and blackout for the kids. We took our Cot Canopy Breeze with us and it was very useful to hang over the cot.

Kitchen & Dining Room:

The kitchen was very well equipped for us to cook breakfasts and dinners, and there is a washing machine, dishwasher, coffee machine and two fridge freezers, and a table that can seat eight. The owners provide a nice basket of basic food supplies when you arrive.  

We did all of our own cooking but from the reviews I read online it looks like you can also arrange for the owners to provide catering services at an extra cost.

Living Areas:

The downstairs is very spacious with two lounges (one with an open fireplace and one which gives onto the BBQ area outside), a dining room with a huge long table, and a games room with a pool table and quiz machine. There is also a downstairs toilet and a boot room. Most of the basics were provided, such as toilet paper and washing up liquid, although there was no hand soap in any of the bathrooms.

Oakerthorpe - Dining Room

Garden:

The house is set in several acres of land, which would be fun to explore with older children. As ours were mostly toddler age we stayed in the small garden area next to the house, which was a bit of a letdown as it was overgrown and had patches of stinging nettles, and it also doubles as a parking area. There is a gas BBQ available on request (we brought our own tongs) and a long picnic table for everyone to sit on.

Oakerthorpe - kids playing in garden

Although the local area is beautiful, the house itself does more or less back onto the railway so be prepared for some noise and close views of the train track, but it didn’t spoil our enjoyment.

Overall:

We all had a wonderful time in the house at Oakerthorpe Manor.   The house is very spacious and provides a lovely setting for a gathering of friends or family. It was well kept and furnished, but shabby enough (in a nice way!) that we didn’t feel bad about letting the kids run around and have fun. Communication with the owners was easy and our deposit was returned promptly. The only real letdown was the garden, and all it needs is a bit of TLC to keep the grass and weeds under control and get rid of the nettles, and then it would be lovely.

After our stay we contacted the owners to complain about the state of the garden and they have told us that they have now sorted it out.  It’s a shame that it was a in a bit of a state when we stayed there, but hopefully that means it shouldn’t put anyone off from now on!

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