BACK TO CENTER PARCS – OUR HAPPY PLACE

We’ve been going to Center Parcs annually since Isabelle was a baby and we all love it. It’s always been a lovely break away for us along with our holidays abroad and it’s given us so many wonderful memories as our children have grown up.

We’ve always taken my parents with us and often my brother and his family have joined us too. For one reason or another we didn’t go last year, the first time we’ve missed in 15 years so we couldn’t wait to book again for this year.

And thank goodness we did…. With 2020 being such a difficult year and many holidays abroad being cancelled we were so glad we had Center Parcs to look forward to once we knew they were back open. The rush for holidays in the UK has been crazy so we were glad we were already booked in.

We had a slight concern that everything would be covid safe but we needn’t have worried in the least. Center Parcs really couldn’t have done any more to put safety measures into practice and we were extremely impressed, they even empty the pool completely after every week end or weekday break.

Driving into the village always gives me a sense of calm and I always feel totally relaxed when I’m there. The check in is slightly later now to give them time for a deep clean but it really didn’t make any difference and check in was as fast and smooth as it always is.

This was the first time we’ve had a dog with us, and it was fabulous. A perfect place for dogs with so many lovely walks and Dora loved it. Our lodge was in 3 Oaks which was very close to the centre and in a lovely setting. The lodge was extremely clean and as always was well equipped.

We always love the point where we have unpacked, taken the cars back to the car park and have our first glass of wine, that is the point we totally relax and look forward to the days ahead. It’s become a tradition that I cook a huge shepherds pie on the first night, so we all tucked into that followed by a board game. Simple family pleasures, what could be better.

The kids were desperate to get their bikes, so Tony took them straight away. If it was just the 4 of us, we would all get bikes but with my parents coming we chose not to this time although I did enjoy a couple of morning bike rides on Isabelle’s bike.

We tend to take quite a lot of food with us plus use the Parc Market shop, which is very reasonably priced as we enjoy eating in, but there is a wide variety of fabulous restaurants if you prefer eating out. We do always go to The Pancake House on the last day though and we enjoyed that again this year.  

There are a few differences, masks are of course compulsory in shops etc and you must now book times in the swimming pool ahead of time. Rather than being able to go when you want for as long as you want you can now book 2 slots per visit for 2 hours at a time. This initially doesn’t sound a lot, but we actually found it better as it was far less busy, so very well organised and we did more in the 2 hours than we normally do as it was much quieter. We were blessed with glorious weather all week, so we stayed in the heavenly heated outdoor pool and it really felt like we were in the Mediterranean!!!

We booked quite a few other activities such as crazy golf, table tennis, pottery painting, the list to choose from is vast and we try to book different ones each time we go. The only disappointment this trip was that I’d booked Max on the new Ariel adventure with a big zip wire at the end and sadly it was cancelled due to half an hour of thunder right at the time he was booked in. No fault of Center Parcs though and we received a refund very quickly.       

One thing my mum & I have always done is go to the Aqua Sana for a 3-hour spa session in the steam rooms. This is sadly still closed, and we really missed it plus Isabelle was gutted as she would have been old enough to come with us this time!

To us, Center Parcs is the perfect place for family time and making memories. We enjoy the simplicity of board games, woodland walks, swimming, activities, bike rides and uninterrupted family time. The weather made it even better for us this week, but we also love to go in the Winter and have our log fire burning and wear cosy clothes. It’s a place that can be thoroughly enjoyed at any time of the year and in any weather.

Every single staff member we encountered were so friendly and helpful and Center Parcs really couldn’t have done any more to make it safe and secure without taking away any of Center Parcs charm or changing the experience we have loved so much over the years.

Thank you Center Parcs, until the next time! X 

We finished our week away by going to the stunning Lake Windermere for the day. The weather was still beautiful, so we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at

The exclusive Langham Chase Hotel with the most stunning views overlooking the lake. This really was the most  perfect way to end our week.

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