The Lake District has been the stay-cation destination of choice of many, for decades. With its scenic vistas, rolling hills and its, well, lakes, it’s not difficult to see why! Accommodation, however, is one element that people are often looking for different options with.

There seems to be a growing trend for holiday home ownership as an investment opportunity, and a privately-owned Lake District park is predicting its best ever year, on the back of just that.

Never one to pass up an opportunity, we were lucky enough to head to Brigham Holiday Park at Cockermouth to see what they have to offer.

Jimmy Stewart has owned and run the park, on the edge of the Lake District National Park, for the past five years, assisted by his wife Esther, and daughter, Rebecca.

In that time, he has built the park up to a five-star standard, spending an estimated £1.5 million on new landscaping, infrastructure and stock.

Holiday home owners at Brigham, which is just thirteen miles from Keswick, are easily able to charge up to £600 per week in rental peak season, providing them with a valuable second income.

Our home for the weekend was a lovely holiday home on the site, with two bedrooms – a double (with en-suite) and a twin – and with more than ample living space for four adults.

Outside decking surrounded the holiday home with patio furniture primed and ready for those lovely summer days.

Jimmy explained: “We’ve seen a massive explosion in the holiday home as investment trend certainly since we took ownership of this park in 2014, but it’s really been since 2016 that it has taken off to a new level, with savings being worth very little in the bank, and a couple of really good domestic summers and autumns boosting the staycation sector.”

“We offer a year-round season at Brigham, as many holiday parks now do – the time of being closed during the winter is well and truly over for many parks. We also now offer turnkey properties that are of a much higher standard than ever before, fully furnished and equipped. We put our faith into three main industry leading manufacturers, ABI, Willerby, and Carnaby, as we believe their product to be the best for our market,” added Jimmy.

“And because of our location – which is just outside the main Lake District area, but you are talking about a short drive of around twenty minute, we can charge a good bit less for the same models that buyers would find at parks actually in the Lake District – up to 50% less, which is quite considerable if you are perhaps considering buying more than one, as some of our owners have now done.”

Jimmy certainly isn’t wrong about the parks location. It’s just two miles – or a five minute drive – from Cockermouth, a thriving market town, home to lots of independent shops, museums and galleries, and an abundance of places to eat and drink with cafes, restaurants, pubs and the award winning Jennings Brewery.

The holiday park, which was clearly busy during our visit, but without feeling like you were being crowded, is also ideally situated for a vast array of activities. Walking, lake cruises, fishing, golf, shopping and boat hire are all just short drives away.

With only a weekend to fit in as much as possible, a round of golf was at the top of the agenda (for some of us…).

The Lake District is famous for its lakes and fells but it also has some of the best golf courses in the north-west. With Cockermouth, Keswick, Workington, Whitehaven, Maryport on the doorstep and regional open championship courses Silloth and Seascale.

Keswick Golf Club is at the heart of the beautiful Lake District and offers a unique golfing experience.

The 18-hole course offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Lakeland Fells, including Blencathra, Skiddaw and the Helvellyn Range.

Described by the golfer in our party as, “a really good course with plenty of challenges and a great walk”, it seemed to be the perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon during a visit to the area.

The course is just on the far side of Keswick from Brigham, also a town with lots to offer eager tourists.

With regular outdoor markets, walking shops galore and Derwentwater to explore, the town is one of the major towns in the Lake District National Park, and was the ideal place to while away a morning if you’re not into golf.

More suited to the other guest on our trip, and also on our weekend itinerary, was a visit to The Lakes Distillery.

Following a £9 million investment and three years in development, The Lakes Distillery was opened in December 2014 in The Lake District National Park with the vision of producing world class spirits that will be global brands.

It’s now producing gin, vodka and whisky, with its first home-made malt whisky set to hit the shops this year.

Close to Bassenthwaite Lake, surrounded by majestic Lakeland peaks and fells, nestled in woods and surrounded by rolling fields of vivid green, the distillery is housed in beautifully renovated 1850s Victorian model farm, The Lakes Distillery has a range of facilities for visitors to enjoy.

We took the tour – which you have to book but is well worth it. It took you through the history of the facility and the distilling process, giving you a real insight into how your favourite tipple is produced.

It certainly didn’t do any harm that you also get to taste all three of the spirits the team produce – make sure you’re not designated driver for this one!

The distillery is also home to a restaurant, where you can grab a bite to eat, or indulge in a spot of afternoon tea.

Feeling the need to stretch our legs after the distillery visit (or maybe clear our heads), a relatively short drive brought us to Lake Windermere – the largest lake in the Lake District National Park.

A pit stop was required for our canine companion and Brokehole on Windermere offered the perfect spot. Just off the main road, with a lovely country house and visitor centre at its heart, the attraction had masses to offer for families, large groups, and for people just fancying a simple scenic walk.

Ideal for a walk along Lake Windermere itself, Brokehole offered boating, canoes and bikes for hire, archery and much, much more, and would be the ideal place to stop for a summer picnic.

With only a day and a half to fill, we were nowhere near to touching the sides of what the area had to offer, and only half an hour further south from Carlisle, Brigham Holiday Park certainly provided us with an excellent base to explore from.

You can see why people are investing in the holiday homes, whether for their own use, or for renting out.

Summarising the current opportunities and challenges for park owners in this sector, Jimmy Stewart explained: “Competition in the sector has become rife, with park owners clamouring to acquire new parks as they come onto the market.

“It’s very much a seller’s market at the moment, and I would welcome anyone getting in touch who has a park to sell. We do want to acquire more parks in the right locations, as we have investment ready to make in them, to quickly bring them up to a higher standard. Many owners prefer to buy at a family run park rather than the big chains. We take great pride in the park, and are bringing many years of experience to bear.”

"Not surprisingly, a growing number of people are making a long-term commitment to taking holidays in Britain by buying a caravan holiday home or lodge on a park. It means they can enjoy short breaks and longer stays right throughout the four seasons without the need to book ahead, and will find all their home-from-home comforts waiting for them.

"Areas such as the Lake District are great to visit all year round, and a park-based holiday home can cost much less than a brick-built property. Even better, there will be no garden care or house maintenance to get in the way of your enjoyment, and the running costs can be driven down substantially if the owners choose to let their holiday home out when they have no need of it."