Staying in the Fells//Bowland Food Hall

Gerald and I ‘get away from it all’ at Bowland Fell Park

When we first embarked on our retirement Gerald and I were a bit at a loss as to what to do.

Most people have a plan heading out of their retirement.

Folks who don’t own their own businesses spend the last few years of their working life daydreaming about how they’ll jet set around the world, or go fishing on the Amalfi coast, or learn how to play an instrument. Gerald and I believed wholeheartedly that we’d be content to spend the next 20 or so years together simply relaxing in each other’s company. After all, we’d spent a lifetime working together; surely it wouldn’t be difficult to simply put our feet up and relax?

It only took a few days for us to realise that sitting on our bottoms watching television all day really wasn’t for us. Before we knew it we were pottering around the Farm Food Shop, making little adjustments here and there. It wasn’t long until our kids realised that our retirements weren’t going that well and soon we’d been caught red-handed rearranging the fruit displays.

It’s thanks to our kids that we were given the idea of starting this site. 

They told us that if we still wanted to work then we should work, but that we couldn’t work at home anymore. They set us the task of exploring the UK and finding the very best places to eat locally sourced food. They called it ‘research’ but we know they were just trying to get rid of us.

Our latest adventure took us to the Forest of Bowland where we would stay in a lovely lodge and eat our fill at one of the best pubs in the country…

The first stop in our little mission up North was at Bowland Fell. This sited caravan park (which also runs a sideline as a semi-retirement village) is situated pretty much right on the edge of the forest, making it a great starting point for anyone who’s looking to get lost in the woods for a weekend. We assumed that this was going to cost us a fortune, but luckily it turned out that you can hire a holiday home in the Forest of Bowland for as little as £200 for three nights!

Once we’d settled in it was off to a place that Gerald had been dreaming about for weeks.

We first saw the Inn at Whitewell featured in the comedy series ‘The Trip’. Although I can’t say I wholeheartedly agreed with the disagreeable nature of the two lead characters, the food featured in the show looked uniformly excellent and regularly had us both salivating despite ourselves. There weren’t any Abba singalongs on our trip over, but we enjoyed the scenic ride nonetheless and before we knew it we were parking outside the Inn.

Calling the Inn at Whitewell a ‘pub’ would certainly be doing it a disservice. The plush fittings and well-kempt staff were clear signs that both Gerald and I probably should have worn smarter shoes. The welcome was warm nonetheless and we soon found ourselves sitting down to a sumptuous meal featuring hits such as a mouth-watering plate of Venison Carpaccio, a ludicrously blushing Rack of Lamb and a generous English Cheese Board.

Although the ride back to the lodge was mercifully short, I must admit that I fell asleep on a couple of occasions – that’s the effect that good food has on me!

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