How Cumbria park is teaching toddlers to aim high

Toddlers staying at a Lake District holiday park have been provided with a £20,000 play zone which could put them – quite literally – on the path to peak fitness. 

created by international play designers Soft Brick

That’s because Silverdale Holiday Park’s new soft play area is designed to help develop the skills needed to tackle Cumbria’s world-famous fells.

The colourful multi-level mini-gym presents a series of fun challenges which are tackled with a combination of climbing, scrambling, clambering and crawling. But while the youngsters are letting rip, says the park, they are also preparing themselves for taking on more grown-up activities in the Lake District.

Benefits will include developing muscular strength, hand-eye coordination, flexibility, balance, endurance and agility as the calories burn away. Park owner Michael Holgate says the new £20,000 facility – created by international play designers Soft Brick – is in keeping with modern holiday trends:

“Once upon a time, a holiday in Cumbria for most people involved little more than driving around the beauty spots and calling into a tea-room,” he said. “But families today are much more keen to put action and adventure on their itineraries, and fell walking is among the most popular of pastimes.

“That’s why we asked our designers to mimic as much as possible the type of physical challenges which are likely to be encountered when ascending upland areas. “By helping youngsters to develop the necessary skills and dexterity, we hope to prepare them for a lifetime’s love of discovering Lakeland’s fantastic mountain landscape,” added Michael.

The play zone is based in Silverdale’s leisure centre where holiday guests, along with local residents, have use of a raft of other sporting facilities. They include a swimming pool complex with spa and sauna, a gymnasium with state-of-the art exercising equipment, and an American-style computerised bowling alley.

 Family-owned Silverdale, which recently marked its 60th anniversary, is set in 100 acres of South Cumbria countryside with sweeping views across Morecambe Bay.

 It provides luxury caravan holiday homes to rent and to own, as well as comfortable timber-built “glamping pods”, and pitches for tents, motorhomes and touring caravans. Meanwhile, the new play zone has received a positive thumbs-up from toddlers and their parents who are able to keep watch on their mini-mountaineers from an adjacent viewing area.

There is more information about Silverdale Holiday Park, and the five other Cumbria and North Lancashire parks belonging to the Holgates group, at www.holgates.co.uk

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