A little over an hour’s drive from Leicester, just outside the lovely town of Stamford, lies Tallington Lakes. 205 acres of spring fed water lakes with leisure park attached. Not just a holiday for you, but also for your dogs, we were invited to stay at the beautiful dog friendly Lakeside Retreat.

The beauty of Tallington Lakes is that it offers a wonderful holiday spot for all energy levels. The water sports centre based on the lake offers you the opportunity to try jet skiing, wakeboarding, rowing, wind surfing, you can even go water zorbing! But don’t feel guilty if that isn’t your cup of tea. The lakeside lodges are beautifully placed on the water’s edge to allow you to sit back on the decking and do nothing more than chill out and admire the view. 


We stayed at the dog friendly Lakeside Retreat, located on the main lane at Windsurf Bank. I’m sure any dog owner will know what we mean when we say there’s a difference between dog friendly venues and accommodation. Do you really welcome dogs or do you tolerate them? 

This place is set up wonderfully for your four legged friends. And even for multi-dog owners. Living with 3 Jack Russells it’s sometimes hard to find places who welcome them all, and equally with larger dogs some places can become hesitant. Not here. Any breed. Any number. No questions asked. Not only that but there’s been a lot of thought put into the lodge from the dog’s point of view. Each section of the decking and garden has separate gates meaning you can relax knowing the area is fully secure. Whether they lie with you on the sun terrace, or have`a mooch around the garden whilst you’re in the hot tub, you can relax knowing they won’t go roaming around anywhere without you. 


It’s all about being a responsible dog owner. You know them best. Homemade treats, extra leads, dog bowls and towels are provided. If they like to sleep on the settee, let them, but just be sure to give it a little hoover before you leave. 

The only place they’re not allowed to go is in the lake! But you can easily shut the gate at the top of the steps whilst you go and dip your toes in the water. 

(P.S. If you do take a dog with you there’s a jar on the kitchen worktop which the owner puts £5 into for every dog that stays and is donated to Romanian Rescue. Please do contribute as well if you can.)


So back to the lodge. The two-bedroom accommodation offers a beautiful wrap-around decking area with views directly onto the lake. Absolutely stunning in the sunshine and beautiful to wake up to in the morning. With a bright and modern interior everything has been thought of. From a fully equipped kitchen to games to play with, blankets for colder evenings on the terrace, wifi and smart TVs, even a bathroom honesty box that offers everything you might have forgotten back home. 

The space is deceptive with a large kitchen, diner and lounge space that opens up to the lake, leading back to a large main double bedroom with en suite, second smaller double room and main bathroom. The second bedroom can be a double or twin, so it’s also ideal for families as well as couples.

With care taken by the owner to keep that bright but homely feel throughout we felt relaxed the moment we stepped through the door. 


Outside, the wrap-around decking offers sofa space as well as a high top dining area over the water. Then step down to a garden area with sun loungers and hot tub. You also have your own private jetty onto the lake (again secured by a gate so the dogs don’t follow you), with a waterside seat so you can sit and feed the incredibly friendly ducks, enjoy fishing, or simply sit with your feet in the water. You’ll even find a jar of duck food in the lodge as part of your welcome pack. 


Tallington is a large park in terms of the number of lodges and accommodation spaces. With many people choosing to stay here longer term it has meant that there’s a quieter atmosphere, the gardens are kept beautifully across the park and there’s an incredibly friendly and familiar feeling about the place. A walk around the whole lake is a little over 5km and offers a great chance to explore. 


Other facilities at the lakes include the Lakeside Bar, which offers a pub setting and outdoor seating over the water. Head down for casual meal options including burgers, lunchtime baguettes and pizzas or their popular Sunday carvery. If you just fancy a few drinks it’s a nice a short walk from the lodge to sit out and enjoy, and for football fans they have Sky Sports so you don’t miss the big games.


A good option to have on your doorstep if you fancy something casual, but if you don’t mind hopping in the car we also discovered The Bertie Arms in Uffington, just a ten minute drive away between the lodge and Stamford. The beautiful thatched country pub is a lovely slice of quaint Lincolnshire, with classic but modernised pub interior, dining room and outdoor space. If you want something more casual than their restaurant menu you can visit their street food shed outside offering different daily options to enjoy on the terraces (if you go on a Sunday look out for their Yorkshire Pudding Wraps).


Back to Tallington and if you have teenagers or perhaps just fancy your own activities away from the lake, you can also make use of their climbing tower and dry ski slope. The 15 metre climbing tower offers you the chance to get to grips with bouldering and climb high above the park. Suitable for established climbers or you can book a lesson. Similarly the dry ski slope offers both open practice sessions or instructor led ski and snowboard sessions suitable for those aged from just 3-4 years. 

For a holiday on your doorstep with your four-legged friends in tow, The Lakeside Retreat offers everything you need. It’s as relaxing for you as it is for them. 

The Lakeside Retreat at Tallington is available to book for weekend or week-long stays. Full information can be found on their website at lakesideretreatattallington.co.uk. You can also find out more by following them on Facebook and Instagram. Rates begin from £576 for 2 nights.

We were invited to The Lakeside Retreat by the owners but were under no obligation to give a positive review. All views are our own.