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Center Parks in Europe - what do I need to know?

(15 Posts)
JemimaMuddledUp Mon 31-Aug-15 09:47:19

We are thinking of booking CP in Europe next year. We have been to various UK CP over the years and the DC love it (they are 9, 11 and 13) but I am starting to get bored and thought that one of the ones in Europe would be a compromise.

DH wants to do one of the French ones, probably Le Bois France, as it is less distance to drive. We live in West Wales, so will have done a lot of driving before even getting to the Tunnel. I quite like the idea of Holland or Germany.

Any Parc recommendations? Or anything we should know about CP Europe before we book?

mrsnec Mon 31-Aug-15 10:05:44

No advice here but watching thread with interest. I'm not in the UK and can't believe the price difference. I looked at the one nearest schipol and it was a third of the price of longleat for the dates I was looking at and I've often wondered why.

ThomasRichard Mon 31-Aug-15 10:26:24

I took the DC to De Vossemeren in Belgium over May half-term this year and it was brilliant, easily the best holiday we've had. I've been to Centerparcs in the UK before and found that the quality of the activities was the same, the accommodation was good (we were in a Premium chalet, I understand that the Comfort ones are a bit basic), the Market Dome was better, the swimming pool was almost identical to Elveden with a few extras and the staff were friendly and helpful.

Need to know tips:
- if you book early you get up to 20% discount, plus free chalet selection and free 'toppings' which are activities book able once you get there.

- May half-term here is term-time there so it's cheaper anyway and you're paying term-time rates.

- the website isn't as good as the EU one for pre-booking activities and restaurant tables. You can book activities by giving the park a call directly up to 2 weeks in advance but as we went in 'off' season there wasn't a problem booking tables and activities after arrival.

- there is an online shop where you can buy activity passes, arrange bike hire and a few other bits & pieces but you have to pay upfront and can't change things around later. You can also do an online food shop to be delivered to your chalet before your arrival.

- there are lots of activities for older children and teens that they can do by themselves but all activities for under-8's require parental supervision. There isn't a crèche or a babysitting service like in the UK.

ThomasRichard Mon 31-Aug-15 10:29:39

Almost forgot:

- the online shop includes an option to book meal passes. We did and definitely recommend them as cost-effective. The restaurants in De Vossemeren were all excellent.

Asheth Mon 31-Aug-15 13:17:19

We went to De Kempervennen in Holland and had a great time! Definitely recommend the water skiing if you go there! Swimming pool is fab and includes a pool where you can dive down to look into tanks of fish! There's a friendly herd of goats that wander round the site. My DC loved seeingyou them turn up at breakfast!

Only minor negative is that the free 30mins Wi-Fi in the market dome was a bit unreliable. You can pay for Wi-Fi in your cottage.

Definitely book early to get discount, choice of cottage and 3 free activities!

gingerdad Mon 31-Aug-15 13:41:52

Been to the one near Eindhoven and near Ostend. Both brilliant, the Ostend one is a smaller park so not as many activities but our family loved it.

You get some discount vouchers with your booking and when we went kids ate free in the site restaurants. Only issues where onsite shop and restaurants don't open as late as the UK. Both sites we stayed at where flat and very accessible and really family friendly. We rented bikes at the endihoven one only thing to remember is you pedal backwards to break.

JemimaMuddledUp Mon 31-Aug-15 19:59:17

Thank you.

None of mine are under 8, so the supervision thing isn't an issue. TBH when we go to CP in the UK we tend to do things all together as a family, eg badminton, tenpin bowling, canoeing etc as well as obviously lots of cycling and swimming.

Looking at the cottage descriptions there doesn't seem to be an oven. Are the kitchens OK? We tend to cook for ourselves more than eat out as DS2 is lactose intolerant so it is easier.

ThomasRichard Mon 31-Aug-15 20:34:42

There's a hob and a microwave but no oven. You can order a meal to be delivered that you cook on a little table grill, which is quite fun and it's all fresh meat & veg so would be ok for you.

GlowWine Mon 31-Aug-15 20:55:05

Just come back from zandvoort near Amsterdam. In the UK I've only been to elveden and that was quite a while ago. I think Zandvoort is a smaller one. The pool complex is a bit smaller than elveden, only one medium slide and one short one. 3 large pools, one has waves, one is outside, a toddler pool and a childrens pool. BUT you are 5mins from an outstanding, endless sandy beach, where we spent most of our days, and that was also our sole reason for picking that park. Not tried any of the restaurants or other options as you're so close to ZV town we ventured out instead, which would also give you extra choice for food shopping. Yes 'comfort' cottage felt a bit more basic and had no oven, but was perfectly adequate. There are brilliant cycling routes, and you can hire all kinds of bikes including 4- person and parent and child, as well as the usual trailers etc. You're also an easy 30min train ride away from Amsterdam.

NotAnotherNewNappy Thu 03-Sep-15 15:19:56

At the activities - do the supervisors speak in English as well as dutch/french?

BitOutOfPractice Thu 03-Sep-15 15:27:53

Go to De Kempervennen in Holland. 40 minutes drive from Hoek van Holland (get the ferry from Harwich overnight - great start to the holiday) and it has a snow dome with real snow so you can learn to ski / snowboard. It's cheap to hire kit and get lessons and the park is lovely too

Plus it's about a third of the price of the UK

I agree you won't get n oven in a Dutch kitchen - they don't tend to have them but you can take a slow cooker / cook on the stove top / use the microwave

BitOutOfPractice Thu 03-Sep-15 15:28:58

And YY the table cookingthing is great fun. Kids love it but be aware - the portions are huge so don't order 6 portions for 6 people iykwim.

ThomasRichard Thu 03-Sep-15 19:45:08

NotAnotherNewNappy all the staff I spoke to had excellent English. All the instructions were given in the languages of the people taking part and at one of the children's activities I did with DD that meant English, German, Dutch and French. Amazing!

MiniCooperLover Wed 16-Sep-15 11:07:09

We have been to Het Heijderbos and it was great, really good. The accommodation is a little more run down (just think decor rather than cleanliness) than the UK ones but still all good. It had a great indoor play place for our then 2 year old and he loved it. It was like an indoor jungle with waterfalls and lots of places to climb and explore. This Oct half-term we are off to De Vossemeren which I'm really looking forward to now our son is a little older. Luckily we live near Harwich so an easy journey.

Snuggy75 Wed 18-Jan-17 13:50:49

Sorry i know i am replying to an old post but had discounted the Jungle Dome as too big for my 2 year old - but you said yours loved it. Can i ask if he /she is a particular climber or is there lots to do without climbing the cargo nets etc?


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