On a rather blustery September weekend we arrived at Ribby Hall Holiday Village with high expectations. While registering our arrival, the kids immediately spotted the outdoor play area and ran off to stretch legs after the journey. We were a bit eager, so our cottage was not quite ready but we were issued with passes to allow us access to all the amenities. When the kids had finished playing we set off on a fact finding mission. The children were keen to see the indoor swimming pool and on eyeing up two water shoots as far as they were concerned there was nothing else to discover. However Alfie (2) spotted the indoor soft play room and the girls (Hannah 6 and Emily 8) shrieked with delight. Dave and I were then able to take full advantage of the adjoining Starbucks and read up on all the gym classes available. With good intentions I earmarked the Body Pump class.
After a coffee interlude we picked up the keys and arrived at our Jasmine Cottage. We were pleasantly surprised at how spacious and modern the 3 bed cottage was. It had recently been renovated with all contemporary fixtures and fittings and the decor was beautiful. The bathrooms were luxurious and obviously no expense had been spared in the re-vamp. Alfie's cot had been set up in the Master bedroom and there was bags of room to move around.
Of course the first job was to unpack the swimming costumes and after a fun swim we located the on-site shop to stock up on supplies and I mentally noted the adjacent spa and treatments available.
One of the best things we girls did was to book a session at the handy on-site equestrian centre. Perhaps a lesson would have been of more benefit to us but as I had never ridden before we opted for being lead around the grounds of Ribby Hall - felt like a big kid but enjoyed it nonetheless.
The evening entertainment is good all round family fun and keeps all ages amused with shows, disco and party games. Hannah (who is quite shy) certainly wanted to go back for more after wining one of the prizes. The family entertainment really is a natural progression after dining in the Bar and Grill area which is very popular and would advise you to book. Nigel Smith's restaurant is highly recommended where only the finest and freshest of local produce is used in stylish surroundings. They also actively encourage children to sample the fantastic food available yet realise little ones taste buds can be hard to please so chef is very accommodating. Also on certain evenings children eat for FREE.
You do not need to worry if the weather is unpredictable as there are some great family attractions in the area that suits even the wettest of days. Blackpool Tower with its in house Blackpool Circus and Aquarium will take up the best part of a day to get round everything. On the promenade at Blackpool you will also find Sandcastle Waterpark, an enormous indoor waterpark which is a labyrinth of splash pools, chutes and adrenaline rides. For those of you who prefer good old fashion seaside fun Lytham St Anne's is glorious if the weather is kind. For animal lovers Formby Squirrel Sanctuary is located south of Southport and closer to Ribby there is of course Blackpool Zoo.
For us Ribby Hall is a most excellent choice for a family holiday destination. Not only do you have such a wide choice of luxury accommodation and the huge variety of leisure and dining facilities but it is a great base to explore Lancashire. I am planning on going back when I can sort out a large family get-together where we can enjoy the facilities to the full with tennis competitions, rowing boats and letting the kids loose on the climbing wall. Then maybe I will get round to pampering in the Spa and the Body Pump class - as is with all good intentions, I never had the time!