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Centre parcs?

(32 Posts)
jalady385 Wed 18-Jul-18 08:48:22

Just wondered what people's opinions of centre parcs is? I would like to try it but Dh is unsure. We are not into caravan holidays or Butlins. But to me it doesn't look like the same type of holiday whereas that is how DH is seeing it.

OP’s posts: |
FatCow2018 Wed 18-Jul-18 08:50:42

We go twice a year, its great for kids. I supoose I can see what he means as there are activities etc like butlins, but far better quality facilities and accommodation.

pinkhorse Wed 18-Jul-18 08:59:03

I hate it but for some reason a lot of people love it. I've been once, would never go again.

jalady385 Wed 18-Jul-18 12:36:02

Thank you both it does seem people either love it or hate it. @FatCow2018 I'm glad you said it's better quality as that's what we we're both abit concerned about. But didn't want to ask in case I offended grin

OP’s posts: |
FatCow2018 Wed 18-Jul-18 12:47:14

No its definitely better quality, more expensive but worth it imo. My children have a blast, we go for a week in summer and a long weekend in December. Which one were you thinking of booking?

jalady385 Wed 18-Jul-18 13:06:02

Either Whinfell Forest or Sherwood simply because they are our closest. Do you have any recommendation as to which you park you think is best? Or are they all similar?
Also had been thinking of going winter time if we don't book for summer. I imagine they do a nice Xmas theme?

OP’s posts: |
FatCow2018 Wed 18-Jul-18 13:13:43

I prefer it in the winter, the lodges are really cosy and its not so heaving, though still busy. I tend to go to Elveden or Woburn but I've heard good things about Sherwood. How old are your children?

FatCow2018 Wed 18-Jul-18 13:14:46

Oh and yes at Christmas its lovely for the little ones, very winter wonderland.

NWQM Wed 18-Jul-18 13:17:41

We love Centreparcs and Butlins at Minehead. Butlins does have good quality accomodation if you go the higher end. We had to complain about poor accommodations at Centreparcs one year....mould etc. Centreparcs = forest and Butlins = seaside with fair. Depends on the holiday type you want.

FoxAndBear Wed 18-Jul-18 13:18:30

Can't think of much worse. Is it really a holiday if it's an hour from your house?
It's often just as cheap to go somewhere nice abroad.

NWQM Wed 18-Jul-18 13:18:47

P.s Butlins has more included in the price so factor in paying for everything at Centreparcs. Sherwood Forest and a nice nature reserve area

HariboIsMyCrack Wed 18-Jul-18 13:25:28

I am with pinkhorse. Once was more than enough for me.

Our chalet was really dirty. Our second chalet was also really dirty. Our second chalet was still dirty after I called and complained and they sent a pissed-off cleaner in to glare at us and flap a duster about.

The swimming pool? You've guessed it - filthy.

Plus it has all the atmosphere of a prison camp.

I never used to think I was a clean freak but I felt like one at that place - it still makes me shudder.

MsSquiz Wed 18-Jul-18 13:27:58

We go every year with the in laws to Whinfell. There's usually 8 adults, 1x 5 year old and 2 x toddlers split over 2 lodges. There's lots to do for the 5 year old and the toddlers love wandering about and going swimming. The spa at Whinfell is amazing.

It can work out an expensive trip though once you add everything up

I8toys Wed 18-Jul-18 17:15:20

We go to the ones in Europe. Cheaper and in my opinion they have better activities and facilities. This year went to Villages Nature near to Disneyland Paris in May and then end August going to one near Strasbourg. Been to Whinfell once and I thought it was a bit rubbish. The Dutch and Belgium parks are also good.

NeedaDiscoNap Thu 19-Jul-18 09:12:18

I love CP for a relaxing family holiday - have been to both Whinfell and Sherwood. I prefer Sherwood overall, although the pool in not as good as Whinfell, but they are refurbishing it. It is nothing like Butlins - no 'entertainment', although they do a kids' disco if that's your thing.

You need to be prepared to spend money on activities for kids, restaurants etc. but we always enjoy it, as does our daughter.

ForalltheSaints Wed 25-Jul-18 21:21:02

Lots of threads about Center Paris elsewhere, especially about 'rear entry'!

busybuildingdens Wed 25-Jul-18 21:32:35

It is NOTHING like a caravan holiday. I genuinely think it is the only place I really feel relaxed. It is such an easy holiday, and I would rather go there than abroad. It takes a bit of preparation, such as cooking meals in advance, but I absolutely love it, and would live there if I could! (Did I mention I love it??)

user546425732 Wed 25-Jul-18 21:39:26

We have been every year for twenty years and love it, it's so relaxing at the start of the summer holidays before our main holiday.

AliMonkey Wed 25-Jul-18 21:42:35

We've been over 20 times so yes we like it! Most years we go for a weekend with a group of other families with kids of mixed ages (gap is about 12 years from youngest to oldest and over the years we've covered ages 0 to 20 plus adults of course). We've also been for whole weeks just as a family and also with grandparents in tow. It's expensive but we find it very relaxing. Things to do for all ages and if your kids are a bit older then it's a safe place to give them some freedom. We tend to eat out mostly which adds to the cost, and if you book one or two activities each day it soon adds up so not a cheap holiday. If we go for a week, we tend to mix days completely at CP with some outings as well. We like all the UK ones and have also done one in France (half the price, including travel). I probably prefer Whinfell but go there the least as too far away!

rosy71 Thu 26-Jul-18 08:44:46

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It was a nice, easy, relaxing holiday. Activities do cost a lot but the swimming is free. The setting in the forest is very nice and I liked the fact it was car free - it meant the kids could ride round on their bikes everywhere. You don't have to eat out - we just ate simple things every night. We've been twice now and have a 3rd visit booked.

pinkchampagne1 Thu 26-Jul-18 11:07:29

Center Parcs is definitely like Marmite - you either love it or you hate it.

We have been a lot to both the parks in the UK and 2 parks in Belgium. The European parks seem to offer you more for your money as over here only the swimming is included (which can get horribly overcrowded as a result) but the parks in Belgium also had huge indoor play areas for the children, plus little petting farms and 3 free activity vouchers included with your holiday. If you book when our school holidays differ from theirs (end of August, May half term, October half term or Feb half term) you can get the holiday for around half the price too.

I wouldn't say Centre Parcs is too much like a holiday camp as you don't get red coats and tacky entertainment but once you're there (in the UK parks more than the European parks) you don't tend to leave to explore other places. It is very family friendly so if somewhere that is heaving with children is not your scene then CP may not be the place for you.
Also, as smoothers have said, it can be an expensive holiday with some of the more popular activities being around £30pp.

We love it though. It is an easy holiday in peaceful surroundings and you get lots of wildlife at your door. It is one of the only places my autistic son is okay with holidaying at the moment, although he refuses to do the pool when crowded!

pinkchampagne1 Thu 26-Jul-18 11:09:06

Sorry, should say "as some others have said" not "smoothers" Not sure what happened there!

EllenJanethickerknickers Thu 26-Jul-18 11:15:27

I loved it when the kids were smaller as they were happy to spend hours in the pool or the play areas which made it cheaper. I took them for a weekend every year for about 10 years. They've grown out of it now, pretty much and we haven't been for 4 years. However, last week we went to Amsterdam for 4 nights then De Eemhof Center Parcs for the weekend. Almost half the price of the UK. Still love the pool!

EllenJanethickerknickers Thu 26-Jul-18 11:17:09

pink, DS2 has ASD and a good thing about each Center Parcs is that they are similar and have become familiar.

pinkchampagne1 Thu 26-Jul-18 11:48:21

Yes I think that's what it is - it all feels very familiar to him. We can't get him on a plane anymore so Centre Parcs holidays it is!

How did you find De Eemhof? We have tried both the Belgian parks and loved them. The pool there was very similar to Eleven but they had an added little snorkelling feature where you could swim under the water and see all different fish! Like you say, they are half the price and it was nice to pop out and try some lovely Belgian restaurants while we were there too.

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