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‘Hidden beach’ less than hour from Nottingham shut 9 months ago – what it looks like now

today3 July 2022 6

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When it was announced in September last year that Bosworth Water Park in Leicestershire would be closing to day visitors, it came as a shock to many with it an attraction loved by families far and wide. The park would be shut the following month, revealed owners at the time.

Well known for its Blue Lagoon Beach which was created in 2015, the 50 acre site sits just outside the town of Market Bosworth. It also offered visitors the chance to enjoy activities such as sailing, canoeing and crazy golf.

Now, almost nine months after it closed to day visitors, Leicestershire Live decided to head over to the former family attraction, to see what it looks like now. The site is being turned into a private holiday lodge complex and it’s already changed a lot.

READ MORE: Anger as part of play area at popular Midlands beach destroyed by vandals

On the day of the visit, the site looked idyllic. The sky was blue, the sun’s rays were reflected in the vast lake at the heart of the park, and as the first of the new lodges came into view at the water’s edge, the appeal of the exclusive new lakeside development was undeniable.

The look and feel of the park now is a far cry from summer days of years gone by, when it would be packed with thousands of people drawn by the sunshine for a day of fun and frivolity on and off the water – playing on the pirate ship and the crazy golf course, heading across the lake on a pedalo or canoe, sitting on the Blue Lagoon Beach or firing up a barbecue. It wasn’t unusual, on hot sunny days, for queues of cars to stretch down the road, waiting to get into the park.



Toby (right) and Ben Ryley - directors of Bosworth Lakeside Lodges
Toby (right) and Ben Ryley – directors of Bosworth Lakeside Lodges

The water park was opened in 1990 by Nigel Ryley, who wanted to create one of the best visitor destinations in the Midlands. It certainly became a popular place, but as Nigel’s son Toby – who now runs the business with his brother Ben – explained, over the years, the business outgrew itself.

“The business model just wasn’t working anymore. It grew into something it wasn’t intended to be,” said Toby, who recalled groups of young people causing trouble – which was not in keeping with the peaceful, family-friendly attraction they wanted the park to be.

“On sunny days, it got so busy that it wasn’t a nice experience for anyone – including the staff who got verbally abused. If it rained, we’d maybe get 50 customers, but if it was sunny, we’d get 5,000 customers.

“It became so hard to manage. It didn’t work for us as a family any more.”

Closing the site to day visitors and turning it into a holiday lodge complex was not a decision taken lightly. According to Toby, the family spent four-and-a-half years considering the change.

“We wanted a more manageable business model, and the lodges made sense. We still wanted to see the lake being enjoyed, but conditions of the planning permission for the lodges meant that we had to close to the public unless they have a private session.”



The interior of one of the lodges
The interior of one of the lodges

School trips and pre-booked sessions for groups are still possible, though. So, for example, if you and a group of friends want to learn stand-up paddleboarding, this can be arranged.

According to Toby, Bosworth Lakeside Lodges will be gradually constructed over the next seven or eight years, and when complete, will feature 103 lodges. There are five on-site at the moment – with the first residents taking keys on July 1 – and by the end of the year, there will be between 15 to 18 lodges on-site.

The starting price for a lodge is £239,000, and customers can choose to keep it as standard or have as a high a specification as they would like. Extra features include underfloor heating, wine coolers built into the kitchen worktop, television screens in the bathrooms, and bi-folding doors in the bedroom.

Every lodge comes with a deck, providing a lovely outside area from where to enjoy the views. The deck can be upgraded so that it runs along the side and front of the lodge.



Bedroom views
Bedroom views

“We start with a stock lodge and the client designs it just as they like. The same size lodge could be £239,000 or it could be £400,000, depending on what the customer wants,” said Toby.

“The lodges are built in the UK and then transported to the park. They all come fully furnished, so the only things you need to bring are cutlery and food.”



One of the bathrooms in one of the lodges
One of the bathrooms in one of the lodges

The park has a 12 month open licence, so owners can use it as they wish. They just have to have proof of a primary residence before purchasing a lodge.

Key to the development, according to Toby, is minimising the disruption to the land and the wildlife. As such, the majority of the lodges are being situated on what were car parks. Phase three will be located on the caravan and camping site, which will close at the end of this summer.



Decking on one of the lodges
Decking on one of the lodges

There will be an owners’ lounge on-site, as well as a tennis court and a bowling green. Lodge owners can also make use of the pedalos and have a go at windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding. In fact, they can use the main lake for any activity as long as there is no motorised engine. The smaller lake, near to phase one of the lodges, is home to Koi Carp and Trout.



Lodge owners can have a go at windsurfing and paddleboarding
Lodge owners can have a go at windsurfing and paddleboarding

“We want to create a feel of exclusivity, and a community of like-minded people. You’re not buying into a commercial site, you’re buying into a family business,” said Toby.

“We want to offer something different, and be the best rather than sticking to the mould of what other holiday parks are like. I want to see the park succeed, and I want to do it with a smile on my face. I already feel that we’ve got it back to what we wanted it to be – a family-friendly, family-run park, which is a peaceful and relaxing place to spend time.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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