Thornton Lodge Plans New Development

Thornton Lodge Retreats, an all-action holiday park near York, has fired the starting pistol on a new development of luxury lodges, triggered by a surge in demand for escapes with a sports and adventure theme. 

The company says its planned 20 bespoke lodges, to own and rent, are designed to satisfy the growing appetite for outdoor challenges among guests.

The park, based on a 220-acre farm owned by the same family for over 70 years, is winning a national reputation for the excellence of its country sport activities.

Its extensive fishing lakes and clay pigeon shooting facilities provide the opportunity for all ages to learn traditional sporting skills under expert tuition.

There are equestrian facilities on offer including stabling, cross country, show jumps and regular events, plus instant access to some of North Yorkshire’s finest cycling and walking routes.

Matt Bessey, a member of the park-owning family who is helping spearhead the new lodge development, says the park occupies an extremely privileged position in the countryside.

It’s based near the picture-postcard Georgian market town of Easingwold, some 13 miles north of York, amid scenery made famous by the books and TV series of vet James Herriot.

The new lodges will sport luxury features such as hot-tubs, high-end furnishings, glass-fronted decking, and spectacular views across the park’s lakes and the surrounding Howardian Hills.

They will join the touring pitch facilities and farmhouse accommodation already in place and enjoying great popularity at Thornton Lodge Farm.

According to Matt, there has been a fasting-rising enthusiasm for activity holidays in recent times:

“We are finding that an increasing number of people are keen to take up traditional outdoor sports which have been enjoyed by rural folk for many years,” said Matt.

“Many live in towns and cities, and see such sports as a great way to quickly unwind from their busy lives, and to come closer to some of Britain’s loveliest countryside.

“That’s why, over recent years, we have been expanding the number of instruction and skills development courses on offer to both youngsters and grown-ups.

“This is also idyllic countryside to explore on bike or foot with the popular Foss Way footpath running through the park, and a picturesque national cycling route passing our entrance.

“Now we have taken the decision to add luxury lodges to the accommodation options so that guests – sporting or not – can enjoy a truly pampering experience here,” added Matt.

The two lakes at the park – which is open all year round – cover 2.5 acres in total, and are well stocked with rainbow, brown and blue trout including many sizeable specimens.

Fishing tuition is available from top-level coaches for both novices and experienced fly fishers.

For those setting their sights on clay shooting, professional instruction is provided by highly qualified coaches who can teach the etiquette and techniques from stage one.

The park is also an ideal base for the many large sporting shoots in North Yorkshire.

There is more information about the park at