13/05/2010
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Abbot's Green Tewkesbury – A little gem

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TINGDENE'S Warreners Lodge, with barn-like timber details, is a lovely piece of work and, at 50ft x 22ft, something of a behemoth. Now, however, Tingdene has expertly shrunk the Warreners in order to produce a version exclusively for Abbot’s Green lodge development overlooking the Hambleton Hills near Thirsk in Yorkshire.

This ‘mini-Warreners’ is called the Tewkesbury and combines the larger model’s style and comfort within a more compact footprint and at a price, around £160,000 sited, within the reach of a larger number of potential leisure lodge buyers. The lodge will be spotlighted at the Abbot’s Green Open Days, which will take place over the weekend of April 10-11.

Having reviewed the original Warreners (August 08) and the excellent Abbot’s Green site (November 09), we now take a look at this new model and weigh up the pros and cons of larger vs smaller.


Exterior


On the outside, the Tewkesbury looks quite similar to the Warreners. There’s a sizeable roof overhang on the front end elevation above conventional patio doors and a trio of tall picture windows, both groups having glazed units above shaped into the roof pitch. (By comparison, the Warreners had two pairs of sliding patio doors.)

The cladding is warm-looking Thermowood  – which is Redwood pine heat treated for extra stability and weather resistance.

There is only one window unit on the side elevation on the front half of the home, beside the entrance door, which is set about half way along beneath a gable hip.  Beyond this is a large, three panel unit. On the rear wall, by contrast, are two pairs of full-height windows towards the front end.

There’s little else to note, externally, apart from a carriage lamp beside the front door, and the uPVC gutters downpipes and oak-effect window and door frames. It’s a fairly simple exterior – tidy, but unassuming.


Utility


You enter through the front door into a vinyl-floored lobby with a utility area to the right. The latter has coat hooks and an L-shaped work area of granite-effect, vinyl-wrapped worktops, the longer arm housing a stainless steel sink with cupboards below.

Above the other arm is a worktop and wall mounted boiler cupboard, a two-cupboard tower unit in the other corner and a bridging cupboard between them. The small worktop below has power points, while the base unit houses a washer/dryer.

A door from the lobby opens into a carpeted hall, and directly opposite is the bathroom. This is fully tiled – including the floor – with a full-size bath (but no shower attachment). The half-moon pedestal sink has a large mirror-doored cabinet above.


Lounge


The hall is an open route through the home, and leads to the bedrooms to the right and the open plan living area to the left The latter is well-filled with natural light from the patio doors and front end windows, plus the two pairs of window units on the back wall, a window to the kitchen area and Velux windows above the kitchen and dining areas. Like the original Warreners, the area is decorated with real timber beams and columns which combine with the vaulted tongue-and-groove timber ceiling to create a real barn-like effect.

The lounge, across the full width of the front of the home, is lovely and spacious (almost big enough for carpet bowls!), and furnished with two and three seater sofas and an armchair, all in an attractive, thick fabric weave and the attractive, creamy, very light brown carpet that runs throughout the home (the interior décor is based on Natural Earth colours).

The front side wall houses a feature fireplace with white surround, black, granite-style backplate and matt chrome electric fire with coal and flame effect. Above the mantlepiece are wall-mounted TV connections and power points.

Either side of the fireplace are tall, retro-style vertical radiators, which double as a kind of sculptural feature. There are three double power points provided – one pair effectively shared with the dining area. No less than 18 spotlights are inset in the vaulted, tongue and groove timber ceiling.


Dining


The simple dining area occupies one rear corner of the living area, with a lovely veneered wooden table and six leather-upholstered seats. There’s plenty of light here from one of the twin, ceiling height window units plus the Velux above, and there are six spotlights inset in the ceiling, too. In the corner is another of the tall vertical radiators.


Kitchen


The kitchen is outstanding. It is basically an L-shape, but with an island unit dividing it from the lounge, and plank effect vinyl flooring rather than carpet. On the partition wall side of the area is a long, granite-effect worktop with a double, wall-mounted cupboard in each corner. In the base units are a cupboard, followed by a built-in, chrome-fronted microwave and then the integrated Baumatic grill/oven, with a five-burner hob on the worktop above. The hob has a stainless steel splashback rising to a lovely semi-circular chrome extractor hood with built-in lights. There is a second cupboard next to the oven.

The shorter leg of the L houses a stainless steel sink below the window. In the base unit is a cupboard (extending into the corner space), an integrated dishwasher and a stack of three drawers, two or which are deep enough for pans. At the end of this worktop is a chrome-fronted, US-style fridge/freezer with water dispenser and ice maker.

The island unit has three drawers (two deep) between a pair of spacious cupboards. On the lounge side of the unit  is a proper breakfast bar, with two bar stools and suitable knee space under the worktop. Above the kitchen area are seven spotlights and the Velux.


Master


The master bedroom is naturally more spacious, with plenty of walk-round space and cabinets either side of the king-size bed. Opposite the end of the bed is a roomy, fully-tiled en suite with a large quadrant shower with sliding doors, and a similar pedestal basin and mirrored cabinet to the bathroom. There is a radiator with a single towel rail above it – and I must admit I was rather surprised that this arrangement wasn’t a ladder radiator/towel dryer, much more commonplace these days.

Next to the en suite is an excellent walk-in wardrobe with lots of shelf and hanging space, a light, a small radiator and a chest of four drawers.

Again, I was a little surprised there was no vanity table in the master. There is probably space in the walk-in (though you would lose some of the hanging space), or in one of the corners of the bedroom.


Second


At the far end of the hall is the second bedroom, which would be worthy of the master in many homes. There’s a king size bed and a large dressing table with two four-drawer pedestals and a mirror and double power point above (but no seat and no fitted light).

The space either side of the bed is not great, especially as there is a radiator on the window side and fitted wardrobes on the partition wall, but is adequate. The wardrobes are quite impressive for a second bedroom, with two double units and one single. One of my few criticisms of the home is that you cannot open the last of the wardrobe doors because one of the two bedside cabinet squeezed into the space between the door and the bed, though the door beside it does give access to this section. Also, the consumer electrical unit is high up on the side wall of this wardrobe and is not easy to get at.

There are double power points behind each of the bedside cabinets, but they are rather difficult to access because the cabinets are such a tight fit either side.


OUR VERDICT


I thought the Warreners was superb, with one caveat – the lack of windows on either of the side walls in the lounge area, which made it less airy than many lodges of similar size. The Tewkesbury doesn’t have this problem – the lounge area is less deep and large windows have been built into the rear wall in the lounge area. As a result, I actually found myself liking the Tewkesbury more than it’s predecessor.

It’s smaller, but still roomy, certainly for two people and occasional guests – even four people in frequent occupation.

I have a few minor criticisms – the lack of dressing table in the master bedroom, for instance. But I’m sure these things would not be difficult or too expensive to add, if you wished.
On the whole, this is an excellent lodge on what is an excellent park, and with the soon-to-be enhanced facilities of York House Leisure Park at the end of the drive. I’d recommend giving it a look.

Technical details
• Type: Twin unit leisure lodge
• Standard: BS3632 residential – though Abbots Green is a leisure park and you cannot live on site
• Size: 45ft x 20ft
• Bedrooms: 2

Main features
• Thermowood timber cladding
• Open plan lounge, kitchen and dining area
• Vaulted ceiling to lounge/kitchen/diner
• Tongue and groove timber ceilings to lounge/kitchen/diner
• Integrated microwave, oven, five-burner hob and extractor
• Integrated dishwasher
• American-style fridge/freezer with water dispenser and ice maker
• Utility area with sink and integrated washer/dryer

Price
c£160,000 sited (inc VAT)


CONTACT


Abbots Green, Balk, near Bagby, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire YO7 2AQ. Tel: 01845 597495. Email: [email protected] Website: www.yorkshire-lodges.co.uk


This review was published in the April 2010 issue of Park & Holiday Homes. To order your copy please click here

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