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Center Parcs Virgin - 3 weeks to go(19 Posts)
Myself, DH, DS1(5.5) and DS2(3) will be going to Longleat in 3 weeks for a weekend break. We've never been before, and have booked one of the new executive apartment thingys, but as yet nothing else. We are intending to spend most/all of our time in the swimming pool bit or watching DVDs (it is January after all) but I am open to other suggestions, though it does all seem SUPER expensive. I am planning to have an online shop delivered on the morning of the Friday to take with us (we are coming from Bristol), but are any of the restaurants worth the money? Should we be forking out for extra activities and if so which ones? Both DSs are very physical and the idea is to exhaust them basically. Is there anything we should definitely bring/not bring - eg Scooters? I hear it is quite hilly there.
Thanks in advance
Take scooters .there are flat roads along the valley as well as slopes up and down.
You don't have to book loads of extra activities if they love swimming and play parks and wandering about in woods... See when you get there. Crazy golf is cheap ish as are the boats. Take cheap craft kits with you... instead of paying £20 to paint a mug buy a £5 kit .....
We've done nature trails and they cost a fortune for someone to say roll that tree log over and see what's under it!!! When we've been after that we've got a cheap kit ourselves (magnifying glass, pot to hold creepy crawlies, book to identify them) and we just go off and do our own!!
Oh and take your own logs for your fire from £1 shop or B&M!!
Ooh good advice, thanks. Can you elaborate on the log fire but? I've never done one of these - is there other hearing or will we freeze if we don't take/but logs? How many would you suggest for fri-mon?
Don't worry about the fire, the lodges all have central heating, it's just quite nice to have a real fire. You can buy logs there (£££)
There is plenty of heating don't worry!! We were in a lodge that had a proper combi boiler, radiators, thermostat etc. Can't imagine apartments being any different.
Fire logs don't produce a lot of heat but look fab. As pp has said go to B&M they are £1 as opposed to £4 in the parc market. One per night is great they last 3-4 hours. You just chuck it in the fireplace and light the bag with a match.
If your family love swimming and will spend decent amount of time in the pool each day then I don't think you need to do much else. Agree with pp that crazy golf is one of the cheaper things to do. Don't worry about the logs, they have central heating. I've been to longleat once and it is very hilly and our lodge was in the worst position for it but they do have a bus. Good idea on the online shop, the parc market is very expensive. In terms of eating out we always go to hucks when we're there as the kids can go off and play in the soft play but how convenient this is for you at their ages I don't know - you could well be spending your time stopping the smaller one trying to climb up the equipment! The good thing about hucks is that the kids eat from a buffet so no annoying food delays for them and they love the idea of picking their food and being able to get seconds! Hope you have a great time!
Just saw the ages of your kids, they'll be fine in the hucks soft play!
One final thing - we've never had much luck with the dvd players at center parcs but their service team is very responsive - just make sure you check it works soon after you get into the lodge - that way you won't be disappointed if settling down for a dvd later that night to find it doesn't work....
Oops sorry I should have stated the logs aren't essential but one of my favourite things with the fire going in Centre Parcs looking out onto the forest (sigh)
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks for all the tips. I'll definitely pick up a few logs and I already carry lots of hand gel as DS2 is potty training (joy!). I'll have a look at Hucks as it would be nice not to have to cook every meal there and I'll be sure to check the DVD. We spent our summer holiday in a french gite without a DVD player - never again!!!
My FIL was outraged at the cost of cigarettes - £11.50 per pack. Would not shut up about it!! Take your own cigs if you're a smoker.
Book yourself in to the spa ... ahhh lovely!
The parc shop does hot food like a whole roast chicken and high class ready meals like whole lasagnes pies so cooking does not have to be onerous.
We go loads. Mainly to longleat as it's closest and I must say the park market prices are fine. No different in prices we've found to our supermarkets at home.
we always arrive early and leave late and only swim on those days as its much more pleasant to swim on change over days. scooters/balance bikes a good idea- when we had small children we also borrowed (but you can hire) a bike with a kiddy trailer.
never had any D&V problems - been about 20 times over the last 15 years - UK and europe sites
Hold on to the kids going over the stepping stones on the carp pond. Ds fell in ( fully clothed) in January
Lovelyupnorth did you drive or fly to the European CPs? I've heard they're both nicer and cheaper than the UK ones, but the drive from bristol puts me off.
Didn't want to start a new thread but can anyone tell me the difference between the executive v new executive lodges in Sherwood? Is the only difference location? Also the other option is Whitfell both are equal distance from our ferry