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Ickworth House, Elveden Centerparcs... or somewhere else in East Anglia?

(13 Posts)
Peka Thu 28-Mar-13 22:17:14

Hi, I am planning a pre-second baby break with DH and DS (2.3) end of April. We need to go to East Anglia or thereabouts as will be combining with a bit of work. I am humming and hawing between Ickworth House, Elveden Centerparcs or somewhere else? I am slightly terrified of Centerparcs but worry we'll be spending loads on food if we stay at a hotel. Can anyone recommend somewhere for a young family, close to nature, preferably with easy to reach activities? Thanks!

EggBasket Thu 28-Mar-13 22:23:57

Really depends on budget and what you want to do? I didn't rate CP at all but I know loads of people who rave about it and go back every year!

If you want something more low-key than CP, I can recommend Kelling Heath - they have lodges and static caravans, it's got pool, bar/restaurant, playgrounds, own stop on the steam train line to Sheringham and all the nature you could ask for!

Peka Thu 28-Mar-13 22:35:55

We wanted something that felt a bit 'special' as we won't be going away again for a loooong time, but at the same time, don't want to get ripped off!

Peka Thu 28-Mar-13 22:37:45

I absolutely hate our local David Lloyd, which is a huge gym with soft play/creche, bazillions of tennis courts and pools etc - probably slightly irrational but makes me think I'll feel the same about Centerparcs maybe?

EggBasket Thu 28-Mar-13 22:41:53

I thought Center Parcs was like Butlins with 4x4s grin

I have not been here but have a friend who goes regularly and raves about it. Ickworth looks lovely too smile

Peka Thu 28-Mar-13 22:44:08

Uh oh - we won't have one of those... and I will need to leave the place to work and am worried as people keep saying how hard it is to escape confused

EggBasket Thu 28-Mar-13 22:47:52

Oh god yes don't go to CP unless you're prepared to spend the whole visit on site. They make it as inconvenient as possible to get in and out of the place.

renaldo Thu 28-Mar-13 22:48:47

Ickwoorth is like boarding school and very overpriced

ohmygoshandgolly Thu 28-Mar-13 22:53:27

We have been to both Elvedon Center Parcs and Ickworth House.

They are completely different experiences. Center Parcs was fun, plenty for toddlers to do, nothing fancy but we had a brilliant trip and would definitely recommend it.

Ickworth is beautiful. A gorgeous hotel, with some great facilities. A lovely pool, bike hire, fantastic grounds and excellent food. There is a crèche and a spa and baby listening service too so you can enjoy a special meal in the restaurant. Bury St Edmunds is close by and is a really pretty town with some good shops, cinema, parks etc. I would love to go back but it is pricey (although they do have some good last minute deals). If the budget stretches to it, I would definitely choose Ickworth over Elvedon.

Peka Thu 28-Mar-13 22:58:21

ohmygoshandgolly Did you spend the earth on food at Ickworth though? I was thinking that although per night Ickworth is working out cheaper than CP, we'd probably end up spending about £100 per day on food!!

Peka Thu 28-Mar-13 23:00:57

Both have had mixed reviews on Tripadvisor etc TBH and I don't want to spend quite a lot of money only to be underwhelmed...

ohmygoshandgolly Fri 29-Mar-13 20:40:35

I can't honestly remember how much we spent on food etc. We were only there for two nights and as we were a last minute booking, we were upgraded to a suite, which was amazing. I see that menus are displayed on the website, but no prices. Might be worth giving them a call to get an idea of cost or whether there are some deals to negotiate?

The breakfast was really good and we had a lovely evening meal in the posh restaurant.

Cezzy Fri 29-Mar-13 20:47:10

Have a look online at The Elveden Inn, they do really nice rooms, the food it okay in the pub below (not sure about breakfast but they are open for lunch and tea, you can visit the Elveden estate shop and bistro too which are over the road - nice for a wander). It is about 200 yards from the Center Parcs entrance. Don't know room prices at present but they have only been open a year of so, so nice and modern. You can go into Bury for something to eat, cinema, shopping etc, most chains are there and also some nice restaurants if you want something special. Depending where you are working, The White Horse at Brancaster is also very nice but may be a bit far out. Otherwise, there is The Swan at Lavenham, very old, lots of features, if it comes into your budget.

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