Touring Lake District retreats in eco-friendly fully electric Skoda Enyaq iV

CHARGED with my new eco-wheels, I watch in the rear-view mirror as bright city buildings blur into a long stretch of the M6.

It’s the first time I’ve driven the fully electric Skoda Enyaq iV 80 and now it’s getting a proper test as I make my six-hour journey to the Lake District.



I roll past Maughnby Farm, winding through the small village of Little Salkeld where my woodland retreat, the Silva Treehouse, sits.

Part of the Rowley Estates, this place is a rare combination of natural beauty, luxe craftsmanship and wacky fun for a family or group of six.

After parking up, we unload our luggage into carts and board the “woodland train”, chugging our way through the forest until our huge multi-level treehouse reveals itself.

The patio showcases a basic seating area and a wood-fired hot tub, while the interior is incredibly stylish with plush velvet hangings, copper pipe radiators, and, in the main bedroom, a handcrafted four-poster bed.

 There is even an indoor slide that carries you from the living area to a party basement below.

I take a walk through the nearby woodland, one of many on the estate. Colourful patches of wildflowers and tall hedgerows have made this place a haven for nature-spotters, with roe deer, brown hares and tawny owls roaming the area.

The Lakes themselves are just up the road, where, if you’re the adventurous type, you can hire a two-person canoe from £20 per hour or explore the mountains – or fells as they are known –  of the national park on one of 49 marked-out hiking routes.

There’s also the Bank House Equestrian school. It’s a family-run business with over 20 horses and offers private riding lessons, grooming sessions and birthday parties.

Delicious

Anglers flock to this area for the scenic lakes and rivers filled with trout and pike.

 The  River Eden is one of the best spots in the country for salmon fishing with 90 miles of flowing water that snakes through stunning valleys and farmland before spilling out into the Solway Firth. Just twenty minutes drive away is the historic market town of Penrith with plenty of cosy pubs, a 14th-century castle and, conveniently, car charging points.

 This electric Skoda can go 330 miles before running out of juice, so I only need to top up once during my trip.

If you are new to electric vehicles, it’s only the charging which requires a bit of planning to ensure a smooth journey.  Download the Zap-Map app, which finds nearby charging stations and shows real-time availability.

Car fully charged, I pick up a picnic at the Chopping Block Penrith in the centre of town. They sell deli boxes for two people from £25, packed with delicious cured meats and creamy cheeses.

But if you fancy a night in, the treehouse has a wood-fired pizza oven as well as a barbecue on the patio.

 There’s also a  dedicated campfire area with a jar of marshmallows left for guests to toast.

I spend the afternoon plodding through sun-dappled trails, before winding down in my hot tub with a chilled glass of wine.

In the Cumbrian countryside you can have as many naps or as much adventure as you want.

Just plan your car recharging – then you can relax and top up your own batteries.


GO: LAKE DISTRICT

GETTING THERE: The Skoda ENYAQ iv 80 costs from £33,685 to buy. A ‘family package’ costs an additional £475 and includes electronic child locks, retractable side window sunshades, foldable tables on the back of the front seats (including drink holders) and two smart device-charging USB-C ports. 

STAYING THERE: The six-person Silva Treehouse costs from £365 per night. See canopyandstars.co.uk

OUT & ABOUT: A two-hour groom & ride private lesson at Bank House Equestrian costs £85pp. See bankhouseequestrian.co.uk. Picnic deli boxes from The Chopping Block Penrith cost from £25 for two people. See thechoppingblockpenrith.com.

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