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Elveden v Longleat Center Parcs(10 Posts)
We've been to Center Parcs a couple of times this year - Longleat & Woburn - and really enjoyed it. We have 2 DDs, 3 & 18 mo. We've just come back from what should have a been a lovely sunny family holiday (with my parents & other family) in a villa but for lots of reasons it just doesn't seem to suit us right now (too hot, too many family members wanting to have a grown up holiday sprinkled with toddler cuteness, too many epic toddler melt downs, lots of judging from family & villa staff, inexperienced nanny, toddlers that refuse to sleep until every one is in bed, unfenced pool, food at fixed times at DDs usual bedtime, gps filling children with snacks and over exciting them when they need to wind down, traumatic travelling on planes, sulking mother over lots of things etc etc, I barely spoke to DH the entire time we were away, no-one was happy to babysit so we could have a coffee / drink together, and we both ended up asleep with overwrought children at 10.30 every night)
So next year we're considering a week in Center Parcs. Just so easy and we're both unphased by the self catering aspect, especially as we can get the girls to bed and have an evening together. DDs will be 2 & 4. We loved the pool and spa at Woburn but there weren't as many activities for under 3s as they had at Longleat and the playground was disappointing in comparison.
Just wondering what other posters think of Elveden (less hills presumably?!) for toddlers? We've stayed in the new exec chalets, are these just as nice too? The Woburn chalets seemed small compared to Longleat.
Sorry to hear about your nightmare holiday, I can picture the scenario entirely and if it were me I'd be craving a quiet family holiday alone next year too!
We went to Elveden in February this year, it was our first visit as we usually go with extended family to Whinfell Forest (my sister lives in Glasgow and the rest of us are in Yorkshire so it's a good half way meeting point!).
Elveden was nice, and I think it's the smallest park (but not 'small' if you see what I mean). Very flat! The playground near the village centre was good (our children were 10, 7 and 3 at the time and we were with friends who had a 3 year old also). The pool is nice, and there is a totally separate 'splash land' area with a baby pool and a 'water playground' (best way I can think of to describe it) to climb on with slides and mini flumes and lots of water spouts coming up from the floor etc.
We didn't do masses of activities (we don't see the friends we went with very often so we wanted to be spending time with each other rather than rushing off all the time), but I seem to remember looking through the lists to book things before we went and there was plenty to do for little ones.
Accommodation-wise we had a Woodland Lodge (which I think is mid-range, not the basic Comfort or Comfort Plus, but not mega expensive either!). The lodge was a 4-bed one, and was definitely smaller than a 4-bed Woodland Lodge at Whinfell (less living space and smaller bedrooms). But I guess the difference is that Elveden is the original Center Parcs in the UK and Whinfell Forest wasn't built as a Center Parcs so there are bound to be differences. But we managed fine, it wasn't cramped.
You can't really go wrong with Center Parcs, I would just try Elveden anyway and enjoy the peace and quiet!
I really shouldn't comment as I haven't been to Elveden (only Longleat, Sherwood and Whinfield Forest), but surely Longleat with the beautiful Giant Sequoia trees takes some beating. I think the scenery at Longleat is glorious and favour it for that alone. We've been several times from when the children were toddlers to present day
- sure its hilly, but that's what the land train is for
Eleveden is great for small people as its all close together and there seems like there is a lot to do...
I prefer Elveden to Longleat as it's smaller. We go in October half term and even then it doesn't feel too busy. It's easier to get around as it's flatter and as it's smaller you are never that far from the pool and it's easier to walk and cycle round
Have you thought about the ones in Europe? Half the price even including ferry/tunnel
I've only been to one of those, but I had a similar conversation with my friend last year, she has been to both and was in no doubt that Longleat was better. She actually only came up with one thing that Elveden won on, and that was location because she is only about 30 minutes away from there
It's been a while since I've been but I think for younger ones I definitely Elveden. The water play area for toddlers is fantastic, warm and perfect for 2 & 4 yr olds. The fact it is flat is also good for walking around with younger ones.
I have not tried Longleat but have heard it is bigger and hillier than Longleat. All activities, swimming and shops are all together and it is nice and flat for cycling.
We have just come back from Center Parcs in Belgium (De Vossemeren) and would really recommend it if you are planning to go in school holiday time as not only was it less than half the price the same 4 nights at Elveden would have cost, it was also far quieter as Belgian children were back at school. You also get 3 free activitity vouchers thrown in and get to choose your location for no extra cost. There is far more for children to do for no extra cost too including an amazing indoor play area you could spend hours in and a little petting farm. The swimming pool is almost identical to the one at Elveden but lots quieter and always loads of free changing rooms. We loved it and would definitely return!
Sorry, was distracted there so my post makes no sense. Should say I have not tried Longleat but have heard it is bigger and hillier than Elveden. Elveden has all activities, swimming etc together in one place.