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Centre Parcs Whinfell Advice please :)

(25 Posts)
blacklily3 Thu 17-Sep-15 14:37:01

Hi all, have not been on here for ages and didn't post much before, but found myself with a few q's and thought you lovely people here would be able to help.

Am off to Whinfell next week with a DH, DD 4 and DS 18 mths. Am really looking forward to it, we haven't had a holiday for 4 years lol.

Have booked a couple of the activities and a meal out in Bella Italia, it is quite expensive but looking at some activity prices and Bella Italia prices, not too much more than I would pay to do something local or for F&B's.

Am planning on taking food with us for most meals and snacks as we have a budget smile

Am wondering if anyone has been recently and can tell me what they thought? What the swimming pools were like, anything they did they thought was good and OK money wise, any tips on what to bring etc?

Looking at my booking I am in ME062, it's a comfort plus 2 bed lodge and am guessing it is 62 Meadow View which looks quite a distance away. We don't mind walking, DD will have her scooter and DS will be in a buggy. Just wondered if anyone new how long the walk would be and what the lodge will be like? or if anyone has stayed in the same lodges in that area?

Many Thanks in Advance

LemonBreeland Thu 17-Sep-15 14:41:52

Whinfell Forest isn't as big as some of the other CPs. I think they should have a map on their website telling you how far the walk wil lbe from each part. I don't think it will be more than 15 minutes though.

It's a good idea to take dishwasher tablets or washing up liquid.

The pool is great for kids, they will lvoe it. Mine would spend all day in the pool.

I can't reember any other tips off the top of my head as I haven't been for a couple of years.

blacklily3 Thu 17-Sep-15 15:08:08

Thank LemonBreeland, 15minutes is not so bad smile I have added dishwasher tabs to my list smile Am looking forward to the pool, I read that some pool toys and swimming jackets are available free of charge too.

MyBalletShoes Thu 17-Sep-15 15:22:41

We went in March and are going back again next March. It's great for families.

Take as much food as you can squeeze in your car as the ParcMarket is quite expensive.

Can't help with the lodges as we were in a different area but getting round wise it's so easy and the maps will give you distances and times etc.

The swimming pool was fab, a separate ones for little children with a mini fountain area, a slide and toys were in and amongst.

We really did enjoy it with a 2 yr old and a 5 month old, hopefully you will too!

DramaAlpaca Thu 17-Sep-15 15:26:27

Whinfell is in a lovely setting & the pool is great. Just be careful of your belongings - I had a towel & clothing swiped from the changing rooms when I turned my back for literally a minute. Had to hover around outside waiting for DH to come out so I could use his wet towel. I wasn't happy. Reported it, but the staff weren't interested. Nothing they could do really, to be fair, but it was annoying.

blacklily3 Thu 17-Sep-15 15:48:41

Thanks all for the feedback smile Am really looking forward to the pool now, not been swimming for years! Will keep a close eye on my belongings! Wishing I had a bigger car, won't fit much extra bar luggage and buggy un my wee Twingo lol. I had a google and there is a morrisons about 10 minutes away, have printed off directions so plan on dropping the family and luggage off and nipping out to get shopping for the week. It's a 2.5 hour drive so wasn't wanting to cart fresh cold stuff all that way as don't have a cool box. We don't have any plans the first night so don't mind nipping out (the peace and quiet after a long drive will be good lol).

AliceMum09 Thu 17-Sep-15 18:23:49

We've been to Whinfell a few times and the last time we were there (2nd to 5th Jan this year) the little watering can toys and small plastic chairs had gone from the toddler area of the pool. But there were definitely still float jackets available, over to your right as you walk into the pool area.

BernardBlack Thu 17-Sep-15 18:32:23

We were there in June this year, plenty of little toys in the pool then. It was really nice. DS was 22 months so not a great deal of activities in his age range, but he was really happy just tottering around the site. He loved the fountains at the pool, and there was a messy play session that we booked that he would have enjoyed more if he hadn't been awake since 5am and so was ready for a nap!

blacklily3 Thu 17-Sep-15 18:43:17

Lol, yes that is the downside to pre-booking smile and they are crabby when they need a nap! Hopefully they will still have some toys at the pool. Thanks for letting me know where the float jackets are smile Am very excited to be going away altogether. If we like it and want to go again I think I will prebook an activity a month and not all in one go last minute, spread the cost.

StarSpotter Thu 17-Sep-15 18:56:38

I wouldn't worry too much about nearest supermarket. The Parc market isn't Alsi, granted, but it's more like Sainsburys prices. You'll spend more in petrol than you'd save trekking to a nearby Morrisons I reckon. Nowhere there is very far. We stayed at Moorland View and you find there's something in walking distance from everywhere. The playground near the sports area is good and the indoor soft play thing in the sports but is on every day I think. Swimming is great - get there early or later in afternoon. I think it opens 30 mins before you can actually go in pool. It's got underfloor heating in change area so it can get quite warm if you're getting toddlers changed!!
Oh and you might want to take DVDs... There was no CBeebies, just CBBC in our lodges both times we've been. I've been this year and last if you've any more questions...

charlie0123 Thu 17-Sep-15 19:02:31

Take food and drinks. All drinks are really expensive. The pub is very nice for food - they do a carvery which we think is good value. We spend about half of each day in the pool so pack up, get seats and a table and set up camp for the day. You can take picnic lunch in with you. I think they have a kiddies disco swell in the bar underneath the swimming. Enjoy. I'm jealous!!

blacklily3 Fri 18-Sep-15 08:48:36

Thanks, I had packed a couple of DVD's but thought there would be CBeebies, might pack a couple extra. Good to know that the parcmarket is more like Sains prices, it would save time space and hassle not to bring too much. I think I will bring our own drinks though and bird food after reading some tips.

StarSpotter what activities did you do? I have my DS booked in the crèche, my DD into the pirate princess party and we have a session of bowling and the wizard of Oz show booked, they all look quite good and the prices were reasonable (bar the bowling but it was a good activity for all of us to do as a family). What restaurants did you find reasonable? I have booked Bella Italia, Dexters Café prices look ok, pancake house looks a little expensive for us but the kids meal seems ok.

Thanks everyone like hearing all your experiences and tips smile

blacklily3 Fri 18-Sep-15 08:49:12

charlie0123, by Pub do you mean the Lakeside Inn?

StarSpotter Fri 18-Sep-15 10:50:16

As someone else mentioned, the Lakeside Inn does a carvery - one day it's cheap (set price each) and great value. You still need to book though. We just did it when we were passing. The posters advertising which day it was were usually around where the loos are at the main building.
We didn't book any activities, but our little one was slightly younger. Just took his scooter. I found there was enough to entertain him. I didn't book first time as I wasn't sure, but then never felt the need to while we were there or the second time we went. We just broke up the day by going back to lodge for lunch, then had another little trip out in the afternoon, depending on the weather.
Restaurants - we ate at Bella Italia the most I think. We did Dexter's kitchen once or twice. The portions are quite small there and you have to order at counter and they bring the food rather than full-on table service.
We also did the takeaway service. You can mix and match so if one of you wants pizza, and someone else curry, that's fine. They then had delivery time slots like 5.30-6. I think delivery is free on changeover days. There will be a leaflet in the lodge when you get there.
I hate feeling ripped off at the supermarket, but I honestly wouldn't worry too much about the ParcMarket. They also do lovely fresh pastries in the morning. I used to enjoy a solo chilled out walk to get those first thing!
Yes, it's not cheap cheap, but still much cheaper than eating out. They also deliver free if you spend over a certain amount.
I'm jealous too - you'll have a great time. I was always judgey about CP before I become a parent. Now I love it!
Oh and don't forget the badger cam station on the TV. We used to love watching them!

lokijet Fri 18-Sep-15 10:59:46

`the first time i went with DS he was 2 and one of our best buys was a large bag of duck food ( i think they sold it at the onsite supermarket) as there were loads of ducks and squirrels.

We bought stuff at the onsite supermarket and the swimming pools were great.

If you have time when you leave there is a great zoo at dalton, south lakes (bit of a detour but my son loved it)

blacklily3 Fri 18-Sep-15 17:19:25

I was looking at the southlakes zoo and we are thinking about going there on or last day, glad your son loved it I think we will definitely go now.

Thanks Starspotter, I am not going to stress about the shopping and just check out the parcmarket when we get there.

I was the same about CP before I booked lol. Now am looking forward to it.

blacklily3 Fri 18-Sep-15 17:20:39

Oh, duckfood, that's a great idea. I was going to pick up bird food too and read you can feed the squirrels and I think there is squirrel food in parcmarket too. I looked online and apparently red squirrels like apple and carrot too.

blaeberry Fri 18-Sep-15 17:32:18

Wouldn't go back for morrisons but it is only just off the motorway so we always stop there on the way and end up with shopping round our feet for the last little bit. There is also a Booths opposite morrisons but the parcs market isn't bad. If you fancy a BBQ, bring a disposable one with you - the centre parcs ones are so rubbish you end up frying/grilling everything instead. Horse-riding is the one to watch for distance - it is quite a long walk away if you decide to do that.

CheeseandGherkins Fri 18-Sep-15 17:33:28

We went in July and loved it. It was a long walk from one side of the site to the other, it took me about 45 mins with a pram and a toddler but she doesn't walk that slowly.

The pancake house was amazing, really enjoyed it and all the kids loved it too. We had high hopes for Hucks but it was horrible food, bland and just horrible. None of us liked it at all, lovely drinks though and the service was great.

We shopped at the parc market and found it ok for prices and plenty of choice. We bought fire logs for the fire and it was lovely and cozy. Even in July it was quite cold most days!

Swimming pools and slides were brilliant, kids loved it.

Bella italia the food was lovely and good service.

We hired bikes and they got a lot of use, one thing though, it's very steep and up and down there, not flat much at all. I found that difficult as I pulled my back bowling whilst we were there.

Mine did quite a few different activities and really enjoyed them, the staff were amazing with them all.

blaeberry Fri 18-Sep-15 17:34:20

Don't think they have CBeebies.

IsabellaofFrance Sat 19-Sep-15 18:24:47

I much prefer the pool at Whinfell to the one at Sherwood.

They say not to, but we always take our own logs and they burn much better than the CP ones.

SymbollocksInteractionism Sat 19-Sep-15 18:33:21

We menu plan then do an Aldi shop in Penrith before we check in. Last year we also took our large slow cooker, it was great to go out all day and have a chicken or gammon ready for us when we got in.
Our kids loved the swimming pool and really enjoyed going later in the evening when it is quiet.

NewBallsPlease00 Tue 22-Sep-15 09:53:23

Take a torch! It gets dusky early! Also dishwasher tablets, fairy and a couple of extra towels or something to chuck on the floor at pool. I'd also be tempted to take a pack of detol wipes to pool as whilst it was cleN twice we went into changing rooms where dirty nappies had been left on the bench what is wrong with people the nappy bin is just outside

JohnCusacksWife Tue 22-Sep-15 19:46:03

We always find the catering outlets at CP a bit hit & miss and overpriced. I think a captive market means they don't have to try too hard. We were there in Aug and ate out at Cafe Rouge, and Dexters. The food in cafe rouge was quite nice (apart from completely crap kids menu) but overpriced. Dexters kitchen was better value but more snacky....less of a proper meal out.

We always take a table lamp for the lodge....the overhead lighting is horrible!

irishe Sun 18-Oct-15 00:47:08

We are going next month, can't wait!

We usually book the cheapest lodge, which doesn't come with anything, so need, liquid soap for hand washing and towels for bathrooms. Tea towels, washing up liquid (the cheapest lodge does not have dishwasher) and kitchen cleaner. Yes to DVDs, very limited TV channels. There is no wifi in cheap lodge, so be prepared for no mumsnet browsing once kids in bed!

Floor in swimming pool changing rooms can get manky so take extra towel or flip flops.

Good idea to take own logs for fire, much cheaper. Like the idea of taking table lamp, as pp said bright overhead lighting is horrible!


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