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Is Center Parcs worth the money? Alternatives?

(19 Posts)
Namelessbabe Mon 06-Jun-16 16:15:01

We usually go abroad (Neilson, Mark Warner, full board active hols with lots included, even childcare), early or late in the season but our newborn's arrival means this year we're looking at a UK break as baby will still be young even by the end of the season and a 4hr flight and Greek heat feels too much.
We tend to book early and pay around £1400 total for a week all in.

So, looking at Center Parcs and shocked at the price. Cheapest I can find at Woburn for a 2 bed basic accommodation is £968 in Sept and £1008 in Oct. Self catering obviously. What is included for the price, beyond entry to the big swimming pool? What are the extras you pay for and are they worth it?
Or what is similar to CP but cheaper? We've done Bluestone once so know what that offers.

SugarMiceInTheRain Mon 06-Jun-16 16:16:33

Center Parcs in another country. Significantly cheaper in Holland/ Belgium/ Germany but just as good if not better. Kids love it. Looking at about £400 for Mon - Fri in October half term.

Wordsmith Mon 06-Jun-16 16:19:48

We used to go to Center Parcs when our kids were pre-school age but it's shocking the cost in school holidays! So no - I wouldn't. BUT... if you want Center Parcs at about half the price, go to their holiday parks in France! We did this a few years back during August and the cost for a 5 day break, including an overnight pre-ferry stay in Dover, Dover-Calais ferry and 5 nights at Center Parks (their Lac d'Ailette resort east of Paris) was about 2/3 of the price of a similar 5 day break at Center Parks Longleat.

MigGril Mon 06-Jun-16 16:20:44

I'd say it isn't worth it in school holidays. Evething is extra apart from the swimming pool.
Plus the basic accommodation isn't that great either. I'd say good be better off spending the money on some really nice self catering accommodation somewhere good like to go with its own pool. You'd get a whole week and it'll be a lot nicer.

We've done centre parks term time, it's the only time I'd go can't believe anyone would pay school holiday prices. Unless they have money to burn.

Wordsmith Mon 06-Jun-16 16:21:57

Center Parcs is actually a Dutch company so there are loads more on the continent.

Namelessbabe Mon 06-Jun-16 16:55:22

Those prices are for term time...

MigGril Mon 06-Jun-16 18:57:17

Really think we paid around £300 for 4 nights in June a few years back. Can't go now as birth kids are at school. That is very expensive then I'd look elsewhere.

almostthirty Mon 06-Jun-16 18:59:40

Bluestone in Tenby is similar but cheaper much nicer accommodation and there are golf buggies to drive!

confuugled1 Mon 06-Jun-16 20:09:39

Another vote for the continental CP.

Play around with dates as different countries have different holidays - eg french CP this may bank holidays were about 400 euro for a midweek break, Woburn was well over £1000. Ferries are cheap, especially if booked well in advance. Also the last couple of weeks of the summer holidays are cheaper at the Dutch CP. And I'm sure there are others too, I just haven't needed them.

Sorry it's not much good if you need a Uk holiday though!

I've been looking for Uk places too and came across Potters resort in Norfolk (?) and it seemed to get surprisingly good ratings, although quite traditional. don't know anyone personally who has been to confirm that.

There are also hotels in the Uk that seem to be all in with activities - there's one in Devon - the manor? - and old fashioned big hotels that have revamped to be nice but pricey family hotels - Moonfleet, thurlstone, woolacombe, sandbanks and I'm sure there would be more if you google!

pinkchampagne1 Mon 06-Jun-16 20:35:20

Wow, that seems very expensive for term time! We are going to Elveden Center Parcs on Friday and it cost us just under £500 for a weekend break in a 3 bed lodge. We will probably spend at least another £300 while we are there as activities are expensive. The only thing included is the swimming.

I have booked Center Parcs in Belgium for the summer holidays because, like others have said, it worked out lots cheaper. We paid £399 for a 4 night break in a VIP lodge with fresh bread delivered daily. A basic lodge in Elveden that week would cost £1000! Friends that have been to the Belgium Center Parcs we booked (De Vossemeren) have all said how good it is. Sounds like you get a few extras other than the swimming included in the price. There is a petting farm and an amazing indoor play area for free. We also got a money off code for booking early and 3 activity vouchers.

pinkchampagne1 Mon 06-Jun-16 20:37:55

The Belgium Center Parcs we have booked is apparently an easy 3 hour drive from Calais.

PrincessHairyMclary Mon 06-Jun-16 21:33:31

Confuugled I live 5 mins from Potters, it is very popular and many local people stay there for their show and dinner weekends. They have some lovely restaurants and I've never heard anything bad about me it.

There are a few animal parks nearby, Africa Alive, Thrigby and Banham Zoo. Small theme park Pleasurewoods Hills is very close by. The dinosaur Adventure park, Wroxham barns and Bewilderwood are slightly further afield. Picturesque Southwold is about 20mins away and great to have a go at crabbing or you could drive up to Wells or Cromer or hire a boat on the broads. Norwich is a really nice city to go for a wander around. And ofcourse for more touristy attractions Great Yarmouth is 10mins away, with the Hipperdrome Circus, Joyland (theme park rides for under 7s), sea life centre and arcades etc.

I realise I sound like a work for the Norfolk Tourist Office now (I don't).

confuugled1 Mon 06-Jun-16 23:25:24

Thanks Princess, that's good to know, will have to put it onto my list of ones to definitely consider if we want something in the UK.

And pinkchampagne would be interested to hear what De Vossemeren is like - that's the one that I thought about going to next! But wasn't in a position to book early this year so hoping there might be some cheap last minute bargains...

pinkchampagne1 Tue 07-Jun-16 08:43:07

I am really looking forward to trying it out, confuuled1. A few of my friends have been and have highly reccomended it. The indoor pirate ship play area looks amazing and apparently you can also visit De Kempervennen (the one with the ski dome) and use their facilities for the day. I have been told it is a 10 minute drive from De Vossemeren and you just use your swim pass to get in.
When I looked on their site the other day, there were quite a few 30% off last minute deals for the end of August. You can also get a family discount on top to bring the price down further. smile

takethebiscuit Tue 07-Jun-16 18:46:31

I've heard good things about Forest Holidays and Darwin Forest Country Park.

APlaceOnTheCouch Tue 07-Jun-16 18:56:13

Centerparcs was much cheaper when we went last year. I wonder if it depends how far in advance you book.

Ribby Hall (near Blackpool) is fab. Lots of activities. Brilliant restaurant.

Crieff Hydro is great too. It has a kids' club as well as indoor and outdoor activities. There is also a beautiful adults-only Victoriana spa.

Namelessbabe Tue 07-Jun-16 23:45:18

Thanks for the replies.
We've done Bluestone and fancy something different.
Will look at the continental Center Parcs and the other suggestions here too.

namechangedtoday15 Wed 08-Jun-16 22:33:56

I presume those prices are because you're looking for a 7 day holiday rather than the usual mid week (Mon - Friday) break. The prices for Mon- fri are much lower (just over £600 for Woburn, but lower for the other villages).

I don't think you'd want to go to Center Parcs for 7 nights / 8 days. It does get expensive and a bit same -y after a while.

confuugled1 Fri 10-Jun-16 15:42:20

I've just checked the prices for a midweek break (2 adults, 1 child, 1 baby) the first week of september - cheapest french CP is 360 Euros (approx £285), for a 5* french CP.

Woburn CP for the same midweek - cheapest seems to be £629.

That's still more than double for the accommodation!

Would love to know what exactly it is that makes them so much more expensive in this country!

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