Mumsnetter from Ireland here, seriously thinking about Centerparcing in England this year. I'm here to pick the collective Mumsnet brain.
Which is the best park? Any tips about which accomodation to choose, what to bring etc.
Hi there. Not been myself yet, but have seen a couple of threads before about Centreparcs. If you go to archived messages you might find something useful. Good luck
nerdgirl have been to elvendon loads of times and you will gets masses of tips in arhieved messages
if there is anything i can help you with after going through that lot please ask again
elvendon is very flat and so is easy for cycling and everything is in one place.
definetly choose an "executive villa/apartment" as opposed to the basic comfort ones, really makes the difference.
i love CP, we have been there loads of times (sherwood) and have always had a great time.
Found Centerparcs to be great for DS (now 2.5yrs). We've visited Oasis Whinfell and Longleat and had a great time in both - we're booked into Elveden in May. DS loves the pools (esp flumes), play areas and being in the cycle trailer.
Everywhere is geared up for kids (eg restaurants supply free jars of babyfood) and the villa provides a nice home-from-home environment in addition to all the facilities - if you want to just slob in front of the telly for a while and cook yourself tea, you can. This mix of facilities and self-catering means that you can spend as much or as little as you want. It costs nothing to use the pools or the play areas, so if you take your own food you can get away with spending very little. We've also been lucky in managing to find abandoned bikes and trailers, so haven't had to pay to hire them .
And don't be afraid to take advantage of the creche or babysitting once or twice while you have a little bit of pampering at the spa .
TBH, I think I'd have hated Centerparcs as a non-parent (far too many screaming kids!), but now I think it's pretty cool!!
Bigfatmomma .. i think you might find the 'abandoned' bikes and trailers you've found have been left there by people who actually paid for them and you've actually nicked 'em
Does it work out really expensive with all the "extras"? What is there for a 5yo to do?
I was just reading the old threads becuz DH had the idea he'd like to go, really, we should just hire a maid for a week to take care of us at home! I think we'd be bored to bits.
Twiglett - many apologies if you've had your paid-for bike nicked by an unprincipled swine such as moi .
"Bike nicking" was a piece of advice given to us by a Centerparcs veteran and it seems to be commonplace, judging by the number of people on changeover days who wander round the car park testing out unlocked bikes!! Why do people who are using them have cause to leave them unlocked in the car park on the day they're leaving (by 10am), anyway? Surely there aren't people who are too lazy to return them?
from what I can gather the place is designed for 5 year olds to have a superb time and as long as you're having a short break with entertaining the kids in mind its great
the swimming pool complex is free
you can feed yourself as they're all self-catering
the playgrounds are free
you can hire bikes / or choose to walk
I reckon its probably as expensive as you make it
aha .. talk me through the bike nicking then .. if its above board might just try it out
i've always thought thaat Zebra - for the money you pay for CP you could have a very nice weekend catered for at a hotel with pool
We went to Elveden, and did have a very ggod time. Top tip - with two kids use babysitters during theday rather than kids clubs. THey will come your villa and feed/bathe kids as necessary, and it works out cheaper than the clubs.
I wouldn't go again by ourselves - do think that it is quite expensive fo what is fairly basic accommodation even in exec). But I would definately go agin with a group - in fact plnning to go next year with 6 adults and 5 kids. The more there are the cheaper the accommodation, and the kids can amuse each other.
We're going for the first time to Oasis for the weekend towards the end of Jan. We've just had all the info through, and are trying to decide what activities to book. DSs are 5 and 7, and not very sporty (but love swimming). There are endless activites to choose from, it's quite mind-boggling!
We went to centre parcs again this Christmas (been loads of times but first time with a baby) The whole family went and we had a fantastic time. It was magical and so stressfree compared to Christmas at home!
Granted you can do the same stuff at home (ie swim, bike ride etc) but aren't you limited to that sort of stuff no matter where you go on holiday? Difference we found was that everything was perfectly geared towards little ones. The free babyfood, microwaves and ballpools in the restaurants alone meant that we could enjoy a meal out for the first time in ages and really helped make the holiday easier. Our first family holiday abroad was a disaster so we found the little extras such as qualified babysitters, baby equipment in the villa and massive childrens section in the pool really made the holiday. Also you really can do as much or as little as you want, we normally have an action packed week but this time 3 hours in the spa experience was more than enough activity (highly recommended!)
Guess its not for everyone but we had a great time and thought it was worth every penny.
Thanks for the info guys. Sorry it took so long for me to rejoin the thread - DH hogging the PC!!
Did look at the archive but the info seemed a little out of date. Has anyone been to Sherwood?
Thanks Dior. Longleat would be a bit further for us to travel. Do you think it would be worth it? My little guys are 5 and 7 and they caught me checking out the centerparcs website and are now desperate to go!!
To give you an idea of costs of some sample activities:
Kids Club - you leave them - Dragonflies, 5-7 yrs
Activities such as craft, baking, etc.
£8 for 2 hrs, £12 for 3 hrs.
An Outing with Owls 4 yrs +, 45 mins, must have adult with them - 45 mins
£4.60 child, £5.50 adult
Soccer Coaching Jnr (7-11 yrs) 55 mins
£5.20 per person
Babysitting - £6.50 per hr til midnight.
We went to Sherwood last year - thoroughly enjoyed it. Girls forever asking when we're going back. They enjoyed everything but would have been happy to just live in the swimming pool . Found the basic accommodation to be just that (ie basic) but perfectly acceptable for a short break. Dd's not forgotten the swan trying to get in the patio either!!
I love this place! You send a question out into cyberspace and you get honest, helpful advice everytime!
Thank you all for taking the trouble to help me. Thanks for the heads up on the discount Roisin but I think we would be staying for at least a week so it doesn't apply.
How much is bike / trailer hire for monday to friday? anyone? please?
i think its about 27 quid ( pound sign not working!!) approx IIRC, plus a deposit.
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