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An excellent holiday any time of the year
Center Parcs (England)
Member Name: KaribouFluff
Center Parcs (England)
Advantages: Excellent staff, service, activity choice, swimming pool
Disadvantages: self-catering (only a disadvantage if you don't like cooking)
Center Parcs is basically a holiday village in the beautiful English forest countryside with self-contained, self-catering villas in a range of sizes and types (including tree houses at Sherwood!). The villages offer a wonderful subtropical swimming paradise filled with slides, rapids and lovely warm water.
I have always found the facilities to be clean, the staff to be friendly and the activities to be well organised! I have found the same high standards each time I have visited.
I have now visited three out of the four Center Parcs villages in England, so I'll tell you a bit about each one.
I've only visited Sherwood forest as a child and a teenager with my parents, so it's been a while now, but I have many fond memories of all my trips and there must have been a reason why my parents kept taking me back! The subtropical swimming paradise at Sherwood is actually where I learnt to swim, and I remember really enjoying the pool and cycling around the village. For evening entertainment, I would certainly recommend the medieval 'Sherwood Banquet' which offers delicious food, and fantastic entertainment for all the family!
I visited Elveden about 4 years ago as part of a group of 8 University friends to celebrate finishing our degree. The cost of the villa was around £80 each (for a 5 day break). Whilst we were there we took part in archery, horseriding, swimming, badminton, kayaking and pedalo activities and had a blast! There are many more activities available, ranging from £4 to around £35 depending on what types of activity you choose. We also went to a 'Fondue night' held at the Pancake House, which was fantastic (especially as we got to dip lots of delicious things in cheese!).
I visited Longleat forest a week ago and had a lovely time. 6 of us stayed in a standard villa, and it cost us around £80 each. As well as enjoying the suptropical swimming paradise, pedalos, badminton, and the Aqua Sana Spa, we went to the 'Big Family Quiz' night, which was a fun night out!
Whilst at longleat, unfortunately we all ended up with a tummy bug (no fault of Center Parcs), and the guest services team were excellent in assisting us by bringing clean bedding for us and extra towels in the middle of the night!).
The park is across the road from Longleat house and Safari Park, which is a lovely day out, and the park itself offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, sports, crafts and lessons, informative woodland walks and watersports.
There is a free 'landtrain' to help you to get around the (rather hilly) site, and a range of restaurant, takeaway and cafe options.
Center Parcs is excellent for families and for groups of friends. I am certain I will be going back soon, and will continue to lok forward to many a Center Parcs holiday! It doesn't matter what time of year you visit - the water is warm and there are activities a plenty!
Summary: Fantastic value and choice, your holiday can be as relaxing or as exciting as you want!