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Centre Parcs Europe

(52 Posts)
leobeebs Sun 01-Jul-12 15:27:08

Has anyone been and if so which one? We love Longleat is it the same set up as the ones here?
Heard there is a cheaper time to go in our school hols as the european kids havent broken up but cant remember when.

ClaireBunting Sun 01-Jul-12 15:34:24

We've been to three - Kempervennen in NL and Lac d'Aillette just east of Paris and Bois de something in northern France.

Our favourite was Kempervennen because of the spacious cottages and overall facilities (incl a snow ski area). We went to Lac d'Aillette in its first year, hoping for some kind of major improvement over the standard layout. It was fine, but the cottage was less spacious.

If you have very young children, Lac d'Aillette is very good, as they have a good part of the dome area is given over to toddler facilities.

The third place we went to was very tired and a bit smelly!

bruffin Sun 01-Jul-12 15:57:29

Have been to De Eemhoff, de Huttenheugte,Het Meerdal,Het Heijebois in Netherlands and Erperheide in Belgium.
DCs love it there and even though now in their teens would happily go back, The cheapest time to go is last week in August as the schools have gone back then. The activities are a lot cheaper than the uk ones.
Expensewise it was always cheaper than the uk ones and you could get good deals by paying for food in advance, but last time we went the euro was about 1-1 and it was not so cheap, however the euro is at a better exchange rate now and not sure what. At presernt you can get a VIP waterfront at Eemhoff for 900eur 27/8.

Katz Sun 01-Jul-12 16:00:24

We're going to De Hann in Belgium in 3 weeks. Really looking forward to it too.

bogwobbit Sun 01-Jul-12 16:00:31

Went to de Huttenheugte last year. Apart from the unfortunate poo in the pool incident (not ours I hasten to add smile) it was great. Cheaper than the UK, less busy (not sure whether it was the European school holidays or not) and just a generally more relaxed feel to it. The good weather helped too, I'm sure.

PoppyWearer Tue 03-Jul-12 17:04:34

Thanks OP, was going to come here and ask the same as we want to go to NL Center Parcs next year, not prepared to pay UK prices for school holidays after DC1 starts school!

PoppyWearer Wed 04-Jul-12 15:11:41

Has anyone stayed at De Haan? Love that it is close to the beach and to Bruges, easy for ferry.

Katz please can you report back, PM me, if you remember, when you get home? Thank you!

Lac d'Aillette looks amazing, but we have just been to France and want to try NL/BE next. Got friends in both countries so can combine holidays with catching up with them.

Has anyone booked through the native language sites rather than the English one? Do you get better prices that way?

I am convinced this is the way forward for our future holidays, now much less fearful of how to handle school holidays and how much it will cost. Also very thankful we bought a nice big estate car that can handle the mileage.

Thank you again OP for this thread.

bruffin Wed 04-Jul-12 15:59:48

Have a friend who has been to De Haan but that was when it was a Sunpark before centerparcs took it over and had a very nice time.

Because of this thread have just booked Kempervennen for last week of augustsmile

SecretSquirrels Wed 04-Jul-12 17:05:21

I've been to Kempervennan and .
They are very similar to UK center parcs but a little shabbier, clearly less investment there. However if you like the UK ones then they are of course much cheaper.
Het Hejderbos has a jungle dome which is great for small children.
You can get all sorts of discounts by booking early. Also if your children are still of an age to eat from a kids menu they eat free in school holidays.
The activity coaches are multi lingual. My boys did climbing and the coach spoke Dutch, German and English.
Don't forget to visit Efteling while you are there.

bruffin Wed 04-Jul-12 17:36:16

I love De Eftling, it was where DH and I got to know each other and he asked me out when we got back to the UK,that was 25 years ago. We have taken the dcs a couple of times.

An alternative to Centerparcs is Duinrell It cheaper but not such good facilities but has a lovely theme park on site which you get free access to and a water slide park which again is free. It is really good value for money
One year we went for 5 days At Erperheide then went on for a week at Duinrell.

PoppyWearer Wed 04-Jul-12 20:17:42

bruffin thanks for the Duinrell tip/link - looks great, location is spot on for us.

saffrone Thu 05-Jul-12 11:28:32

Very interested in Kempervennen, but I wondered if anyone knew of a map showing locations...the centerparcs site describes locations, but it is hard to figure out if I can use the eurotunnel with car sensibly or if we are stuck with ferries from Newcastle.

bruffin Thu 05-Jul-12 11:52:22

here you are

We used to go from Harwich - Hook of Holland when the fast crossing was available but the last few times have driven from Calais. Most of the parks are 3-4 hours drive from Calais. We were delayed a longtime once outside of Antwerp coming home once as there was a hold up at the Kennedy Tunnel.

bruffin Thu 05-Jul-12 11:53:41

Meant to say just put the name of the parc in google maps and ask for directions from calais or the tunnel or it will give you the timing of the drive.

saffrone Thu 05-Jul-12 12:08:19

Brilliant! Thank you Bruffin.

gardeningsarah Thu 05-Jul-12 12:47:06

We've been to most of the above center parcs in Holland and I rate De Kempervennen the best, we had a really nice modern villa 2 years ago. We usually travel via the ferry from Harwich to the Hoek of Holland overnight, that usually means the next morning because you leave the ferry about 8am, you can be at Centre parcs by about 10.30am, so you can have a full day there but can't get into your cottage until 3pm. on the way back we travel back again on the overnight ferry from the Hoek, so don't usually leave centre parcs until 3 -4pm. Hope this helps

bruffin Thu 05-Jul-12 15:15:38

Just been trying to book our ferry and it seems Dover -Dunkirk is cheaper and cuts about another half hour off the drive. It's 21/2 hours to Kempervennen.

SecretSquirrels Thu 05-Jul-12 15:42:19

From where we live the Hull to Rotterdam ferry is the best, Harwich is a long drive south, but I priced it up recently and the cost of the ferry is so high that it's more than the actual holiday accommodation. I used to do it with Tesco vouchers grin.
I wouldn't consider going via channel tunnel as it's too far.

bruffin Thu 05-Jul-12 16:26:07

I usually use airmiles for the ferry. I get all my tesco points automatically transferred to airmiles.

SecretSquirrels Thu 05-Jul-12 16:53:27

Airmiles for a ferry?
I have always had a mental block when it comes to airmiles blush.
In recent years I've used all my tesco points on weekend breaks to London (hotel, attractions etc).

bruffin Thu 05-Jul-12 17:05:40

I have used my airmiles for car hire, theatre tickets,thorpe park, hotels etc but I don't know if i am getting a good deal anymore. I went over to airmiles instead of tesco vouchers a long time ago.

saffrone Fri 20-Jul-12 13:48:59

Hi all,

Thanks for sorting my summer holidays! Have booked De Kempervennen & Eftling; going by Eurotunnel.

A quick question or two: I have ordered some bonus cheques to help with cost of skiing & other activities, & I see that their breakfast buffet deals are quite reasonably priced. As a family of nut allergic veggies, any opinions on whether it will be worth it - I have travelled in the Netherlands before and been offered, as vegetarian meals, with no hint of irony, tomato soup with flecks of ham or green salad with lumps of tuna, so I am a little bit wary...

Any other top tips for De K or Eftling? What unusual things would you have on your packing list, that are either exorbitant or nonexistent in those settings?

Incidentally, I priced up Longleat & De Kempervennen in the interests of research, & De K was exactly half the price for last week of Aug, even allowing for Eurotunnel & fuel. Euro exchange rates helped, of course, but still...

Thanks again

gardeningsarah Fri 20-Jul-12 13:56:35

As you going to De Kempervennen, if you want ski lessons book early and if you have your ski clothing take it as it saves having to hire it. As my 2 children had never been skiing before we paid for them to have a private lesson, not cheap but definitely worth it. Have a lovely time, you are doing exact same holiday we had a few years ago!

saffrone Fri 20-Jul-12 15:40:08

Thanks Sarah, I was wondering about ski gear.

Any other top tips welcome!

Vagaceratops Sun 22-Jul-12 19:15:58

I was thinking of booking CP for the whitsun half term (May).

Will the European schools have broken up then, or will they still be in school?

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