Which centre parcs would you recommend

(25 Posts)
Mumofmanychores Sun 17-Jan-16 07:46:54

I'm planning to go to centre parcs this year with 4 children, 1,5,10,14. We have never been before and heard good reviews. I know is expensive so we hope to have a balance of cooking and eating out as well as bringing stuff for the kids to do to cut down the costs of restaurants and activities. I have already marked the activities we will be doing.

So not sure when best to go, whether to go in the summer holidays when the weather is supposed to be nicer and warmer (although no guarantees with British weather) or go for Christmas although cold I expect there will be lots on to do but a bit unsure about swimming with young ones in the winter.

We are coming from London so which centre parcs would you recommend out of Elveden, longleat and wolbun forest.

dannydyerismydad Sun 17-Jan-16 07:50:59

I've only done Longleat, which is nice, although we stay in the executive lodges, which are closer to everything. The cheaper lodges tend to involve a lot of waiting for the land train (it is hilly). Its nice to do safari before heading home on the last day.

Lots of mumsnetters also recommend Bluestone in Wales. We liked that too - accommodation was nicer and some good activities, but eating out there isn't good at all and we found the pool a bit rubbish as it's also open to the public, so very overcrowded.

Fairylea Sun 17-Jan-16 07:53:28

We have been to Elveden lots of times. It's very nice but as you say quite expensive and personally I got very bored after a couple of days.

We preferred Wild Duck Haven in Suffolk actually which is like a woodland haven site not totally dissimilar to centre parcs but obviously with less activities....!

Hopelass Sun 17-Jan-16 08:15:26

I love Longleat. If you go there though beware there are lots of hills!

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sun 17-Jan-16 08:36:15

Elvedon.

Longleat too hilly.
Woburn too new and small.

Elvedon has the best pool.

cece Sun 17-Jan-16 08:40:49

The pools are indoors so the swimming in winter will be fine - although the river bit is outside at Longleat.
I've been to Longleat - very hilly and quite long walks to get anywhere unless you book accommodation close to everything.
I've been to Elvedon and preferred it. Flatter and less distance between things. Also I really liked the inflatable water slide!

VashtaNerada Sun 17-Jan-16 08:47:41

I agree Longleat is very hilly. We like Woburn best, although it's small it seems the most sensible in terms of layout. There's more kids activities at the bigger ones though.
Basically, pros and cons of all of them so just go for the one nearest to you!

VashtaNerada Sun 17-Jan-16 08:48:50

And I would choose summer over Christmas, lots of outdoor activities which can be miserable in the rain!

GreenRug Sun 17-Jan-16 08:53:51

I've been to all 3 and I'd say elveden is the best. Longleat is too hilly and big so you could have a fair distance to the centre. I loved Woburn as it was all shiny and new but it's more expensive than the others. Also, because it's new, alot of the woodland hasn't developed yet so you don't get a sense of being in a forest as much (was 1.5 years ago, might not be the case now).

ThomasRichard Sun 17-Jan-16 09:00:01

I've been to Elveden and Woburn. Woburn has a very steep walk back to the villas from the centre. Elveden is flatter with a bigger pool.

The best one I've been to is Centerparcs De Vossemeren in Belgium. The swimming pool is exactly the same as Elveden, there's loads to do and it's much cheaper than any of the UK parcs. Have a look at the May half term dates; as it's still term time on the continent it's off-peak rates. We got a nice villa for £280 for the week last year.

mouldycheesefan Sun 17-Jan-16 09:02:56

If you go to longleat, stay in a central lodge or you could be miles out. The spa is fantastic one of the best I have been to.

wannabestressfree Sun 17-Jan-16 09:03:26

I have been to all of them and elveden and Woburn get my vote. I don't think it matters when you go... We went to Woburn just before Xmas. Loads to do inside and out. It is expensive but the kids love it.... As do I.

Mumofmanychores Sun 17-Jan-16 10:24:20

Thank you all for your comments. I have just looked at prices to Elveden for both may and July and it's over £800 cheaper going outside the half term. Such a shame being constricted to certain dates to take your children on holiday.

As we have young children I think closest to home is best and less hilly as we have the buggy.

ukgirlatheart Mon 18-Jan-16 10:27:31

With regards to cost...welcome to the world of CP's!!! But we all still go smile

cestlavielife Tue 19-Jan-16 17:28:35

woburn nearest less than one hour tho it's quicker to elveden (2.5 hours) than before now main A road has been revamped .

woburn has hills choose lodge location carefully, some are flatter access to the pool etc.

wobrun pool every day good slides rapids etc cycling around - plus one or two activities like high ropes plus playing badminton, crazy golf, boats... ...you dont need to spend hundreds on activities

Purplepicnic Mon 01-Feb-16 11:28:30

Can I ask as a first timer - are bikes essential or not? If yes, can you hire them for the day or is the whole break hire the only option?

Also, are all the same activities on offer during term time or do they scale it back outside the holidays?

pinkchampagne1 Mon 01-Feb-16 13:26:03

We have been to Elvedon many times. We haven't tried Woburn yet as it always comes up around £100 more expensive. My sister has been to Woburn though and says the slides are better and as there are more of them you don't tend to get such big queues. She also said she preferred the swimming area for toddlers as it is not tucked away from main pool area like the one at Elvedon. Everything is newer there but village is smaller and hillier than Elvedon.

Bikes are not essential. We have only hired bikes once in the 5 plus years we have been visiting Center Parcs. It is normally an easy walk from lodge to main area.

We have been in both summer and winter. I prefer summer as there are more outdoor activities you can do, and both times we have visited in winter at least one member of our family has had some kind of winter bug, which spoils the whole break.

I refuse to pay school holiday prices. We normally go for long weekends when the boys have a Monday development day. However, in August we are trying out Center Parcs in Belgium (De Vossemeren) as it was less than half the price of the same break in the UK, so am really pleased to hear how good it is. smile

pinkchampagne1 Mon 01-Feb-16 13:27:49

Activities are on offer both term time and school holidays but they get booked up quickly so you are best booking before you get there.

Pootles2010 Mon 01-Feb-16 13:30:20

You want to go to the European ones, esp with your being down south! Its only £50 for the ferry. We went to Erperheide in Belgium, it was ace. So much cheaper than UK, and obviously our hols are different to theirs so prices are great. We had lots of freebies thrown in - DS had 'be a farmer for a day', 3 pony rides, and bike hire for free.

Pool is really great there - they have a 'scuba' thai fishing village thing, with underwater aquariums so it feels like you're swimming with the fish - sounds odd but worked really well.

pinkchampagne1 Mon 01-Feb-16 13:38:01

We are trying Center Parcs in Belgium for the first time this summer so it is great to hear positive reviews. We have opted for De Vossemeren on the recommendation of a friend. It cost us £399 for a VIP lodge with a sauna and fresh rolls delivered to your door each morning. The same 4 night break in the UK Center Parcs was working out £1000! We also get 3 free activity vouchers thrown in.

pinkchampagne1 Mon 01-Feb-16 15:51:29

De Kempervennen in Holland is meant to be really good too. They have a big indoor ski dome and it is only a 3 hour drive from Calais. I have friends who go back there year after year.

green18 Mon 01-Feb-16 16:08:45

I have never been. I like the idea but when I cost it up for school holidays it is so much more expensive than getting a cottage by the sea for example, just doesn't stack up. A friend said it's Butlins in disguise and that really put me off.

pinkchampagne1 Mon 01-Feb-16 16:32:08

It is very expensive to go to Center Parcs UK in the school holidays. Over October half term for instance, it was £450 the week before half term & £1599 during half term for a 4 night break! shock I went all inclusive in Tenerife for a whole week during half term for just £200 more than that!
I refuse to pay those kind of prices so we only go for long weekends during term time when boys have a Monday development day. The Eurpean Center Parcs work out lots cheaper in school holidays though, so they are worth looking into.

Don't think Center Parcs is anything like Butlins though.

AliceMum09 Mon 01-Feb-16 21:43:48

I agree about the prices during school holidays being just silly. It's not necessarily that we couldn't afford it, it just seems a lot of money for a house to live in and a swimming pool to use!

We're going to Elveden Forest next week, lucky for us it's half term in Sheffield but not in many other places! So we've paid £400 for a 4-bed Woodland lodge (that we are sharing with friends, so it's £200 per family) which is going to cost the occupants arriving on Monday 15th Feb £1,200!

pinkchampagne1 Mon 01-Feb-16 22:38:25

Wow, that's a huge price increase!

We are just not prepared to pay 3x the price during school holidays, which is why we looked into Center Parcs in Belgium for the summer holidays this year.

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