Lincolnshire

The splashes, screams and laughter fell silent as a Dakota bomber with D-Day stripes swooped over the outdoor pool.
Later, the low rumble of our hot tub’s jets quickly grew louder and louder until we realised the thunderous noise was actually being created by a Typhoon fighter taking to the skies.
Both planes had taken off from RAF Coningsby, and the runway is just a few hundred yards from the edge of Tattershall Lakes Country Park, where we stayed during the school summer holidays.
Far from being noisy nuisances the daily aerial ‘displays’ were a highlight of our Lincolnshire break.
RAF Coningsby, which was home to 617 Squadron (known as the Dambusters) during World War Two, is now one of two Quick Reaction Alert Stations which protect UK airspace.


The Typhoon base is also home to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which maintains historic aircraft in airworthy conditions for flypasts at special public and military events.
It operates six Spitfires, two Hurricanes, a Lancaster, the C47 Dakota we had a close encounter with and two Chipmunks primarily used for training.
To get closer to the planes (and I would advise ear plugs) you can drive to the viewing area near the end of the runway, which had a snack van there during our visit.
And you can get really up close and personal with them by booking onto a guided tour of the hangar (March to October, family ticket £26).
Tattershall Lakes Country Park is clearly proud of being a near neighbour, having a couple of replica Spitfires and a wooden one forming the centrepiece of its adventure playground.
Another highlight of our stay was our caravan – and it’s not often you get to say that. It looked like no caravan we’d ever stayed in before – inside and out.


Away Resorts, which operates the holiday park, describes the Tribeca as the ”caravan re-invented”, having a ”Manhattan loft feel”, which is a fair boast.
The difference is apparent before you turn the key. While most caravans come in any colour you want as long as its beige, the Tribecas are clad in colourful stripes.
The vertical stripes continue in the swish, surprisingly spacious and light-filled central living area that’s equally eye-catching – with an enormous 55-inch TV on a wall.
From the kitchen window I could spy Tattershall Castle, a 15th century red-brick, rectangular tower in the care of the National Trust.
The two bedrooms were even more impressive, having an abundance of space. There were no awkward sideways shuffles down the side of beds here.


Our comfortable en-suite bedroom featured solid furniture, a 32-inch TV viewable from the king-size bed and a stand-alone roll-top bathtub with its own TV hidden behind a mirror.
The kids adored their room, a triple with two top bunks, a den and a couple of TVs, with funky ‘doors’ and ‘windows’ giving it the feel of a tree house.
The Tribeca caravans are placed around green spaces where kids can play as you watch through the bifold doors or from the outdoor furniture on the decking.
Away Resorts also boasts that they were ”designed by women” with plug points ”all in sensible places, next to mirrors to make drying hair and getting ready easy”.
However, as a follically challenged, past caring 50-year-old man I have to admit I failed to appreciate this kind of attention to detail.
The Tribecas form only a tiny proportion of the caravans at the sprawling Tattershall Lakes Country Park where there’s something for most budgets.
And the facilities mean you get a lot of bang for your buck – crazy golf, high ropes, outdoor movies, arcade games, splash zones, indoor pool and the aforementioned Lido.


On the lakes, you can try the jet-skis, water-skis, wakeboards, paddleboards, pedalos or the giant inflatable obstacle course.
In fact, there’s so much to do that holidaymakers often never leave the confines of the resort, although we were lured away by the nice beaches that can be reached in under an hour.
We had a lovely day in Skegness; saving stranded starfish, cooing over adorable pups at the seal sanctuary, stepping back in time at the vintage funfair and splashing around in the Fairy Dell, a restored 1920s paddling pool.
But you can also paddle and make sand castles on the two man-made beaches on the shores of one of Tattershall’s lakes, beneath an open air ‘sky bar’.
The bar is also a lovely spot to watch those fighter planes, both old and modern, taking off, perhaps raising a glass to our war heroes.

Factfile
A Tribeca caravan with hot tub at Tattershall Lakes Country Park costs £1,286 for seven nights during the February half term holidays. For more information visit www.awayresorts.co.uk

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