How a Hull company takes us 'straight into the pages of a fairytale'
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 20 Oct 2017
STAYING in a little bit of Hull while on holiday isn’t unusual – the city and the suburbs have been home to caravan manufacturing for decades. But this summer we brought you news of something rather different. Humberbusiness.com’s Hayley Coupland – or Fruitpip Longtail – reports.
We took our family to stay at Alton Towers Resort as the annual Scarefest event opened, with the park taking on a spooky makeover in the weeks leading up to Halloween.
The Enchanted Village – Willerby Innovations’ brand new creation – is located next to the Alton Towers and Splash Landings Hotel, only a five minute walk away from the monorail which takes you directly to the park entrance.
And from the moment we arrived we were transported straight into the pages of a fairytale.
The rows of quirky crooked roofed woodland lodges, giant toadstools, twinkling fairy lights and merry folk music set the scene for a magical adventure where we were to find evidence of forest sprites and secret fable folk.
These little people apparently wander unseen throughout the village and keep the place in tip-top condition while you sleep. Little doors and windows dotted around are the only physical signs you will see of them.
The children were entertained from the moment we checked in as in the reception area we found our ‘folklore names’ (mine being Fruitpip Longtail). We also watched bugs and insects crawl around in an enclosure next to a tree stump table where they sat and coloured in Halloween themed pictures.
The sound of birdsong greeted us as we approached our lodge and a tiny frog hopped across the porch, giving us the feeling of being in the great outdoors, and away from the bustle of the main park.
The lodges are full of surprises and it is the attention to detail which really sets them apart.
Each lodge has a main room with a double bed, and a separate, magical room with bunk beds for the children. They can accommodate up to five people as there is also a truckle bed which pulls out from underneath the bottom bunk. The bathroom which comprised both bath and shower carried on the woodland theme with complimentary caterpillar and butterfly shaped shower gels.
The lodge also had a nice decking area with seating at the front.
Dotted around the village are small play areas where the children can play safely without venturing too far away from ‘home’.
We also found a ladybird lodge which encouraged the children to seek out creepy crawlies and other wildlife around the grassy areas, which lead to a search for conkers, acorns, feathers and berries.
The woodland themed decor was present throughout with the children’s room being the most impressive. A huge mysterious lit up tree on the wall, butterflies up high and a picnic blanket set out on the grassy floor, all illustrations but giving the impression of a secret woodland den.
A fairy door with a tiny window and light, and a map above the double bed which shows the location of the mischievous fable folk are just another fabulous detail which adds to the whole experience.
The story of the fable folk is provided as bedtime reading as ‘The Enchanted Village’ a book written exclusively for the resort by author Jeanne Willis.
We found our central heated lodge extremely comfortable. Once the children were tucked up in bed we could relax in front of the wall mounted TV with a cup of tea while planning our adventures in the park for the next day.
With the illuminated trees and fencing, the village does feel quite magical at night, especially with the music being played throughout the village.
In keeping with the woodland theme, the feeling of magical enchantment followed us the next morning to the Crooked Spoon Restaurant, the walls of which are decorated with newspaper cuttings and posters about the Fable Folk. Serving both full English and continental breakfasts, and a great range of cereal and fruit, we were able to fuel up for the hectic day ahead.
We will definitely be making another trip in the near future. Truly a place where adults cannot hide their inner child.