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Is Center Parcs worth the money?

(100 Posts)
perceptionreality Wed 18-Jan-12 10:41:10

Everyone I know goes and says how good it is but it seems really expensive especially as you have to pay for all the activities separately.

Any experience?

ThePsychicSatsuma Wed 18-Jan-12 10:46:24

it is expensive , but it is good, there is a lot of walking though
best for the age group 5-12 from what I saw

ShowOfHands Wed 18-Jan-12 10:53:45

We go off peak, pay £200 for 4 adults and 2 children for 4 nights and do only free stuff (swimming, cycling, parks, walking, nature watching etc). We take our own food too. V good value. I wouldn't do it for the extortionate holiday time prices. Basic villa, make our own entertainment. I wouldn't actually choose it as a holiday myself, but my parents take us along with them and we do really enjoy it. You take it for what it is and make it as cheap as you can if that's of concern (which it is for us- £50 for somebody to wave a hot stone at you is taking the mick).

goingtoofast Wed 18-Jan-12 10:55:56

The prices can triple during school holidays so try to go during term time - not worth the money during holiday times.

perceptionreality Wed 18-Jan-12 11:00:54

My children are 10, 8 and 2.9. The 2 year old is a good walker. I was thinking of going just for a weekend but even off peak can't see anything that would cost less than £400. I think the kids would love it though - the swimming complex is free isn't it? Thanks for replies.

pigsinmud Wed 18-Jan-12 12:22:38

I don't think it os worth the money during school holidays. We went a couple of years ago with 4 dc (then 10, 8, 4 & 2). It was for a weekend at the end of October half term. It peed down with rain the entire time. Swimming pools were packed. Anything else was extra. Vowed never to go back. Glorified holiday camp. Kids loved the cycling etc, but honestly what a rip off.

perceptionreality Wed 18-Jan-12 13:49:59

Yes I am horrified that they can charge £900 for the same holiday that costs £300 at a different time.......but people must be addicted or they wouldn't get away with it, right?

Are all the parcs about the same price? Which one is the best iyo?

perceptionreality Wed 18-Jan-12 13:50:17

parks, haha - brainwashed already

mummymeister Wed 18-Jan-12 14:09:42

sorry we went and i really hated it. it reminded me too much of holiday camps from the 60's only updated! There are so many other fantastic holidays you can have in the UK for the same amount or less that i am staggered that so many people still keep on going. even places like Legoland for a weekend or alton towers resort are better value imo. as for school holiday prices its supply and demand. if all children between the ages of 4 and 16 (soon to be 18) can only do those 6 weeks out of 52 then it means that some of the other summer weeks places are potentially empty. flexible school summer hols with each county choosing a different 6 weeks between mid May and mid September would soon sort it out!

perceptionreality Wed 18-Jan-12 18:17:27

Thanks mummymeister - I have to say I hate the thought of holiday camps generally, but I know so many people who really rate CP that I thought it must be good.

Mrsrobertduvall Wed 18-Jan-12 18:24:39

Love the way on the adverts you only ever see one family/cycling/splashing if you have the whole place to yourself.
It would be my idea of hell, but friends who have been have commented on how busy everything gets.

perceptionreality Wed 18-Jan-12 18:54:34

LOL - I would only go during a 'quiet' time. But tbh if people have said they hated it maybe I won't bother!

AnnoyingOrange Wed 18-Jan-12 18:57:41

We go off pea k, take our own food, take our own bikes and pay for a few activities. The kids love it and if they are happy, we are happy

ChuffMuffin Wed 18-Jan-12 19:06:09

I have one piece of advice if you do go: keep your mouth closed at all times whilst in the pool.

On a related note, they do have on site medical facilities grin

ByTheWay1 Wed 18-Jan-12 19:13:51

I love CP - we have been 5 times now to CP Longleat. Going second weekend of the summer hols this time..... It is busy that time, but hey ho - we are paying £570 for 3 nights in the school holidays for 4 people in a place WHERE THE KIDS GET THEIR OWN ROOM and you get a DAILY CLEANER!!

The best thing is waking up in the morning to find 2 or 3 deer on the patio, to be followed by ducks, then the little birds coming down to feed (always take a bag of seed with us). We had a heron on the tree by the pond/mini lake near the patio, a family of ducklings and an owl at night the last 3 times we've been.

We have our own space, an ensuite, a real fire for the cooler evenings, patio with barbecue. It is a really relaxing holiday - we eat out all the time (costly - but it is a holiday!!) except for breakfast which we get ingredients for from the supermarket.

Swimming pool complex is fantastic - swimming outdoors in a HOT pool is fab -the rapids are great - busy in the day - quiet in the evening. Once we had the ducks coming in to land on the pool because it was frosty one November visit - the kids were soooooo surprised!

Only activities we have paid for are Horse riding - a gentle plod round a forest, and bowling - great fun. Oh and I did a silk painting workshop one time which was really good. We take our own bikes, but to be honest won't bother next time - Longleat is very hilly!

The spa is good too - can highly recommend the head massage!!

perceptionreality Wed 18-Jan-12 19:53:06

Thanks for that ByTheWay. Deer?? Seriously? I am sure my daughters would love it. What sort of prices are the activities if you don't mind my asking?

ByTheWay1 Wed 18-Jan-12 20:18:23

Here is a link - if I'm allowed to post it..... shows some activities and prices....
(Swimming is free)

ByTheWay1 Wed 18-Jan-12 20:19:28

doh... forgot to convert links - here it is....

oreocrumbs Wed 18-Jan-12 20:26:37

Sorry to hijack, but was going to post asking about CP! We were thinking of going in spring DD will be 18/20 mo, would the general concensus be that we might be better doing something else and saving this type of holiday untill she is older and can do more?

I've looked at the activities for the little ones and theres nothing overly exciting, she would enjoy the pool and the animals being around but we would be limited as to what else she could take part in.

Has anyone been with an under 2 and found lots to entertain them/you with?

AnnoyingOrange Wed 18-Jan-12 20:28:34

Honestly Oreo , I would wait until they are older

ByTheWay1 Wed 18-Jan-12 20:35:24

I think the thing about CP is it is as relaxing or as exciting as you like - first time we went our eldest was 1 - we went swimming every day, took her for walks in the buggy, went to the soft play area, lit the fire every night, did an animal encounter thing and ate out she loved it, we loved it, it was a relaxing holiday. You can book them into the kids club too - so you can go do some activities.

Now she is 11 and the youngest 9 - we still go swimming and eat out, but now also go ten pin bowling - oh and I forgot crazy golf - loads of fun. We walk round the lake, go to the adventure playgrounds. They love to spend their money in the sweet shop - a half hour experience for them every time they go in!! This time we might play table tennis , go roller skating , take a pedalo round the lake etc....

ggirl Wed 18-Jan-12 20:40:30

in a word NO

lisaro Wed 18-Jan-12 20:40:36

NO! the chalet was a shit hole - gaffer tape holding the floor down, damp smelly bedroom, dishwasher leaked all over - cooker stopped working, if you buy a brek there, it's very cheap beans and sausage, tried to get away with toast only done on one side, it's all designed to part you from your money with no care for customer satisfaction. We got money back, after an enormous struggle, but apparently this is rarer than hens teeth.

ggirl Wed 18-Jan-12 20:42:37

forest holidays much better according to my friend

hillbilly Wed 18-Jan-12 20:43:47

We have been to CP many times since having kids and always had a great time. Now we are restricted to school hols and also now we can go camping instead as the kids are old enough to go wandering on a campsite, we tend to go just 1 weekend a year. Not cheap but it has served a purpose for us and the kids love the pool.

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