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Centre Parcs

(7 Posts)
SurvivalGuide Wed 03-Jun-15 14:31:37

Going to Elveden for the first time. Can anyone give me any tips on what happens at 3pm on arrival? Are there huge car queues to get into the site? We will probably arrive for 10am. Can we wheel our cases to our accommodation from the car park (have booked the central area)? Are the paths concrete or woodland? Don't want a big stressful queue situation at the start of our hols! Any useful info gratefully received!

PicaK Thu 04-Jun-15 18:04:29

I haven't been to Elveden - but it's been the same at the other 3 I have been to. Lots of people head to their cars about 2.30pm and sit in a queue with engines running and kids crying for 30 minutes. It baffles me why anyone would want to do this!
Is much less stress to arrive at 10am. Head for swimming paradise with your swimming things in a rucksack (and a bigger foldable bag eg IKEA blue one for making stuffing Clothes in the lockers easy). Chill in the pool. Then go to a restaurant. Have leisurely lunch (pick one with a soft play). Then book an activity starting about 2.30pm (always bowling for us). Stroll to carpark at 3.30pm hop in your car and drive to villa.
Leave suitcases at home - again stash stuff in IKEA bags and they really are easy to unload. Me and ds head to the villa whilst dh gets the car and then we wave to him so he knows where to pull in. But for a first visit it can be a bit confusing watching the sign posts so go together.
if you look at your map you can see what group of villas you are in. So if there's 5 together eg 351,352,353,354,355 then the signposts will only say 351-355. Plus as you leave the car park it'll probably be only signposted Pine, Oak etc - so memorise your area too.
The paths are all concrete but don't do the suitcase rolling thing cos they're not THAT smooth.
Hope you have a lovely time. Don't forget to book activities asap and restaurants for the evening esp if you want to eat between 5-7pm.

TheSkyIsAwake Thu 04-Jun-15 18:07:42

I'm going there for the first time tomorrow!

Lurking on this thread for tips.

SurvivalGuide Fri 05-Jun-15 15:04:45

Thanks everso Pica. Really helpful tips. I did book everything months ago so feeling smug about that. Just as well because electric boats are fully booked now. Are they flexible about changing booked activities when you are there or is there a charge? Reading the posts on MN don't know if I'm going to love or hate CP! Watch this space.

ChunkyPickle Fri 05-Jun-15 15:09:34

Arrive early park the first space you see, leave everything in the car and go swimming. Head back for the car in the evening, and unpack then.

We have little ones so we actually left our last night rather than join the scrum the following morning - just towed our suitcases around the road to the car and headed off about 9pm. The kids were knackered already and we didn't see the point of one more night. You can always do the swimming thing then too though - take the bags to the car, go swimming, and leave once the traffic has died down.

ItsNotAsPerfectAsItSeems Fri 05-Jun-15 16:35:09

During Sch hols esp there are queues at 10am too so I'd avoid that. Queues to get through the arrivals I mean. I always found it good to arrive around 11, or 1pm, leave everything in the car, have a swim then grab some late lunch then me and the kids walk to the villa whilst DH goes to pick up the car and drives it to the villa. I get in and stick the kettle on and he's back with the car by 4. After going to get it at 3.45.
I wouldn't try and lug your cases from the car park. Unless you join the mad people queuing to get out for 3pm then it will take 5-10mins to go get the car and drive it to the villa.

PicaK Sun 07-Jun-15 09:32:35

If you want to move activities you'll prob have to speak to someone in guest services or on the phone. If you try to do it online by cancelling and rebooking you'll not get much money back at all.
Just reread my post and I sound very didactic! Sometimes we book a travelodge nearby for the night before - drive down late. We've gone at peak times and not had to queue at 10am to get in.
Also whoever takes the car back to the car park after you've unpacked must write down where it is. It's funny how easy it is to forget that all important second parking spot. We always try to get a space on " F" row which we remember using the phrase "Where's the f**** car?" Which is what dh said a lot on our first visit and he had to search the whole car park!

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