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Center Parcs Longleat - top tips please!

(23 Posts)
MrsRichards Mon 05-Aug-13 20:41:50

We're going for a short break in a couple of weeks. DSs are 11 and 9. Not been since they were 3 and 1. Apart from the pancake house what do I need to know now and also what should I book in advance?

Thank you

heidihole Mon 05-Aug-13 20:42:53

marking place, we're off in September with 16 month old!

monkeyfacegrace Mon 05-Aug-13 20:43:23

You need to pack lube, and lots of it.

MrsRichards Mon 05-Aug-13 20:50:19

Heidi - we first went with DS1 at that age. It will be great!

I have lots of memories including; Decorating gingerbread at the pancake house, early morning tots special swim time, cycling round the forest and DS walking round the villa with a frying pan

BeehavingBaby Mon 05-Aug-13 20:54:02

The 3 hour sessions at the kids club are much better value than the activities (think it goes up to their age?). Pool insane at 10am so we explored then and swam later.

Whatevertheweather Mon 05-Aug-13 21:05:25

Oh I love CP!

- Pre book your bikes. We tend to book the flying start package and that includes 2 bikes plus groceries and an early check in to your lodge
- Popular activities will get full in summer so will need to be booked beforehand. Though you often get a 25% off your next activity at the end of one so leave some to be booked there
- Take your own racquets and balls and you can often just hop on a tennis court
- Book them on a 3hr long something at the clubhouse and book yourself a 3hr spa session at Aqua Sana!
- Swimming pool is open until 9pm so don't worry about making it there in the day - night rapids are the best!
- Plan your meals before you go - eating out is quite pricey, we tend to have an 'on the go' cheap lunch from the bakery in the parc market then cook something in the evening except for 1 or 2 evenings
- At 11 and 9 will boys will probably spend a good amount of time cycling/in the adventure playgrounds so don't overbook yourselves
- Archery/crossbows, quad bikes, falconry and tree top trekking are all really good activities
- Treasure hunt and the quiz are good family activities
- Longleat Safari Park is a great day out on the last day

Any questions just ask! We've been lots as Longleat is only 40mins from us. Going there for Christmas week this year - cant wait!

MrsRichards Mon 05-Aug-13 23:38:19

Thanks all! Have spent all evening looking and booking. It's hard work!

Whatever - fab advice. I will be in touch, thanks!

mousebacon Tue 06-Aug-13 11:23:18

We're going in a couple of weeks. I've just booked longleat with my tesco vouchers - £24 instead of £72.

Hope you have a fab time grin

MrsRichards Wed 07-Aug-13 18:16:11

Okay, so we've Boone quad bikes, high ropes, archery and an early morning nature walk and a family laser quest forest thing.

We plan to arrive at 10am but can't get into villa until 2pm. What to Di? Swim and explore?

We will take non perishable groceries with us but will have been away from home for a few days will need to buy fridge and other fresh food when we get there.

Getting excited now

Any more tips? What are changing rooms like? Are there any family rooms? Although the DSs are 11 and 9, they really need supervision drying! Oh do we need £1 for lockers?

What should we absolutely not miss?

Whatevertheweather Wed 07-Aug-13 23:26:51

You can collect your bikes and explore when you get there. 4 hours will whizz by! What type of accommodation are you staying in? Have you checked on the resort map whereabouts your lodge is? You are given your keys as soon as you arrive normally so we always go to the lodge a bit early and see if the cleaners have finished,if they have you can go in.

Lockers are returnable £1 coins and there's loads of seating around the swimming area for towels etc. there's also a cafe and costa coffee in the swimming pool complex. It's lovely and warm in there too so take book/kindle as the boys will probably outlast you in the pool if they are okay unsupervised! There are family changing rooms but I think 4 of you may be a squeeze. Last time we went our girls were 5yrs and 4 months and with dp and I there wasn't much space. But the changing rooms are really clean and the floors kept dry. They also have the haystack dryers.

Fab activities you've booked smile My favourite things there are the rapids and aqua sana. Also they sometimes have fireworks - if they are on get a spot by the lake it's pretty magical.

Some people say the parc market is expensive but I've always found it fairly good considering they've got a captive audience. Very well stocked, on par with something like co-op in terms of price. If you want wildlife right up to your door lay out bread first thing and you will get all sorts. We had a mummy and baby deer last summer. Also don't forget there's a land train too.

Ah have a wonderful time!

Whatevertheweather Wed 07-Aug-13 23:27:59

Forgot to say if you spend £25 (I think) in the parc market they will deliver it to your lodge within an hour or so - well worth doing!

heidihole Sun 11-Aug-13 21:22:53

do they provide swim towels at the pool? Or do you have to use your towels from the villa for the pool too? In which case...I'm really going to miss having a washing machine!!?

Also anyone with a toddler (mine will be 15 months) did you need a wetsuit? Don't want him shivering before i've had my fill of swimming smile

BuntCadger Sun 11-Aug-13 21:30:57

Hi, we tend to go in the winter (jave had to reschedule this winter as was booked and im now preg and it fell on edd).

we have 3dc, 13,5 and 21 months and taken them the last 2 years.

They have large female changing room, so I guess they'll have male as well for your husband and sons.

I recommend the flying start package too, used it last time and beat all the queues and made it much more pleasant.

We did bowling last time and I did spa, time before we booking high ropes, archery etc and tbh it was a bit much and we just wanted to cycle and swim.

I recommend the take away / delivery. It's pricey but delicious.

Re pool temp Heidi, we dd was 4 months I had a wrap for her but last time was just swimming costume. They have little life jackets there free to use.

BuntCadger Sun 11-Aug-13 21:33:33

Heidi - do you have maid service? Leave towels in hall and they change them for you x

heidihole Sun 11-Aug-13 21:43:13

thanks bunt yes I think we do have maid service. That;s great, was imagining a soggy towel for a week!

Alonglongway Sun 11-Aug-13 21:49:06

We've been lots of times - kids now 15 and 13. They now prefer to just cycle, swim and put out bird food to see what comes to the cabin. DD2 has had a few 1:1 swimming lesson and they have both done fencing. We were just talking about it yesterday and they said their all time favourite was geocaching.

Whatevertheweather Sun 11-Aug-13 22:18:41

Yes to the maids changing towels if you leave them out. We do take our own swimming towels though - don't think you're supposed to take the ones from lodge

We went last Christmas when my dd was 4 months and it was warm enough for her in a normal costume as she was in the deep pool in my arms the whole time so could keep her under water. She will be 16 months when we go this Christmas and I think I will get a wetsuit as she will want to be in the shallow toddler area and might get cold in December. I probably wouldn't in the summer though as the air temperature is warmed by the sun.

I'd agree with Bunts description of the takeaway service - tasty but expensive! Is good for a large group though as you can choose from Indian/Chinese/Pizza etc and its all delivered together

BuntCadger Sun 11-Aug-13 23:05:28

Oh yes, I forgot about towels, we did bring our own.

TerraNotSoFirma Sun 11-Aug-13 23:10:38

Looking to book a midweek stay for 15/12/14 at whinfell forest. Mega planning ahead smile
Children will be 5 and 3.

Those who have been before, What is is like at Christmas? Do they have a Santa's grotto?

BuntCadger Sun 11-Aug-13 23:20:56

I've been just after Xmas, we hired bike with trailer and little ones cuddled up in it with blankets. Missed winter wonderland (reindeers) but pretty lights still up.

We were booked for 13th jan but is my edd so rescheduled for nov 2014. Have to say the last 2 jan/feb that we visited we were snowed in grin

TerraNotSoFirma Sun 11-Aug-13 23:45:43

We were there in january last year, really loved it.
Want to see it all done up for Christmas though smile

QualityScout Mon 12-Aug-13 21:47:49

Don't forget you can get in the pool as soon as you arrive. There are lots of family changing rooms.

We like bowling. Always cheaper on first day.

Do not queue to drive your car in - that's just sad.

Jardin des sports is lovely and quiet on changeover day.

Strada toilets are empty (always huge queues in the centre on changeover days).

Take bread down to the lake to watch the fish writhe - fascinates all ages.

MrsRichards Wed 14-Aug-13 08:49:07

Thank you all! I'm working right up to Friday night (we leave home early on Saturday bug dont go to CP until Monday) so this week is manic!

Will take swim towels, thanks for tip!

Have booked exec villa with maid and wifi <hmmmm>

Paid for central villa - looks like 5 mins to pool!

Now taking DSs bikes so need to cancel hired ones

On and I've booked a 3hr aqua sana eve on my own <lucky me>!

What have I forgotten?!

PS excuse all my typos - some weird ones below! I can't type well on my phone!

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