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Centre Parcs - have jsu booked our 1st w/end there - tell me I've done the right thing!

(30 Posts)
chocolateshoes Sat 21-Apr-07 21:51:30

Please! We wanted a short break - me, DP & Ds who will be 22 mths. We never been and tbh DP & I had far more adventurous holidays in the days pre-DS. But could now just do with something easy with no travelling. It won't be too Butlinsy will it?

Kif Sat 21-Apr-07 22:02:20

it'll be lovely.

do as much or as little as you want - hang out in the pool - hire some bikes.

not at all butlinsey

chocolateshoes Sat 21-Apr-07 22:03:13

Phew! Am really looking forward to it but then had a sudden panic!

Nemo2007 Sat 21-Apr-07 22:04:10

will be great we went in sept last year and ds3.6] still talks about it all the time now.

Lact8 Sat 21-Apr-07 22:05:27

You'll have a great time!

Which one are you going to?

chocolateshoes Sat 21-Apr-07 22:05:59

Ohh good! We are going to Whinfell Forest in the Lakes

wheresthehamster Sat 21-Apr-07 22:11:41

You are aware that Whinfell Forest was originally part of the Butlins group before being sold to Center Parcs?

Lact8 Sat 21-Apr-07 22:14:24

Not been there but have been to Longleat twice.
We love it.
Kids have a great time (1,3,10 yrs old)

I'm jealous!

Nemo2007 Sat 21-Apr-07 22:21:44

whinfell forest was where we went, was lovely and relaxing but very expensive.

Theresa Sun 22-Apr-07 08:47:57

had our first c.p hol at whinfell at end of march and it was fab. we are on the verge of booking again for sept. i loaded the car up with every item of food we'd need as i'd heard so much on here about the prices but actually the supermarket wasn;t that bad. there was a bit of a 'mark up' whihc you;d expect but not over the top. Also we ate out a couple of times (sports cafe & rock cafe) and paid about £45.00 for 2 adults & 2 children with drinks which i didn;t think was too bad. Top tip is take loads of bird seed. The only activity we regretted booking was the squirrel ramble. it was a very nice 2 hour walk thru the woods and the ranger was lovely and very informative, however the only squirrels we saw were by the rangers lodge at the start of the walk, and on the steps of our lodge when we got back eating the seeds we'd put out! We thought in advance that the squirrels (red) might be quite rare whihc is why we booked the walk, but you are actually falling over them and we were quite blase about seeing them by the end of the weekend. The pool is fab. any questions plse ask and enjoy!

LilyLoo Sun 22-Apr-07 08:59:12

Is lovely very of you. We loved it when we went couple of years ago now. Sadly we have to do the more butlinsy type holidays because of the high prices to go there in school hols. It's great and def not butlinsy.

fizzylemonade Sun 22-Apr-07 09:50:36

We love CP and go twice a year both to Whinfell and Sherwood. Whinfell fab because most of the cafes etc are under one big structure in the centre so if it rains you are fine. I have been when it snowed and it didn't stop us doing anything!

Hire a bike with a trailer on the back so you can take your wee one anywhere. I wouldn't say it is very Butlinsy at all. It is a huge mix of those who love the outdoors -lots of people on bikes and those who just want an easy pace of life, walking etc. Seems to cater for young and old and all the cafes have play areas for the children and really good baby changing if you still need that.

If you can try to do World of Spa 3 hours of bliss, you can put your daughter in the creche if you wanted. Pool is fantastic and you can sit on the side, eat and then rejoin the pool. Changing rooms are great as they have family ones.

Supermarket has loads of choice and I think you will be suprised. Remember to take your basics like salt etc we always go comfort plus so we have towels in the villa, dvd player and dishwasher. We stay in the 2 story forest lodges which are the ones you see in the brochures ie the ones that look like a ski lodge. The villas are fab and I honestly believe that you will book to go again!

Go earlier than the check in which is 3.30 at Whinfell, hire your bike and ride round (you'll be given a map on arrival) find your villa and ride into the centre. You can then look at the cafes/restaurants and the pool.

oldwomanwholivedinashoe Sun 22-Apr-07 09:56:13

Just got back from whinfell on Friday - went with dh dd (3) ds (1) - had a great time.
I regretted booking the teddy bears picnic but both my children loved the messy play. tbh though they were both happiest in the pool - we spent 2hrs in there every day.
We took our own bikes with seats on the back and they loved riding round on them.
I agree that the supermarket prices are fairly reasonable. I took most of our own food though (also take loo roll - they don't provide!)
We ate out at the pizza place and the kids made their own pizzas which they loved.
you will haev agreat time. we've already booked to go again!PS - not at all like butlins!!

oldwomanwholivedinashoe Sun 22-Apr-07 09:57:50

Oh forgot to say that I went and had treatments whilst dh looked after kids and it was bliss (a bit expensive though!)
Dh did badminton and footie.

chocolateshoes Sun 22-Apr-07 13:10:17

Am getting really excited now! Thanks for all the info everyone. I really did hesitate before booking but am so glad we did now.

hex Sun 22-Apr-07 20:52:08

I'm sure you'll have a great time. I've been to Whinfell about 4 times and found the standard of cleanliness of the accommodation an issue last time. It was dirty..but they're very good at responding quickly to complaints. A few tips:

1. If you have cot aged kids, make sure you check the cot as soon as you arrive. Three of them were broken, the fourth was fine, tho every time I've been, I've had to tighten up the scews with a screwdriver (which i now pack as a matter of course).

2. Lots of spa therapies you can only book from the day you arrive (altho you can book world of spa - 3 hrs long easily anytime). One way around this, if you want a massage, tc - cause they get quickly booked up - is to book in the morning before you leave yr house - or en route. The spa is fab.

3. supermkt not that bad. get thre early..things do sell out..worth paying for logs you put on yr fire at this time of yr cause it makes it cosy, but they are a bit pricey.

4. Pool is best..esp for kids and very warm

rookiemum Tue 24-Apr-07 20:47:47

Classic description of CP once posted on Mumsnet, wonderful in its pithy accuracy - Center Parcs is Butlins in Boden.

Totally true and I love the place. My top tip, bring your own disposable bbqs as they cost £7.99 in the shop

BeckieB Sat 28-Apr-07 13:03:40

This is my very first message on Mumsnet!! Have just booked a week at Elveden Center Parcs for me, husband, 9 year old and 6 month old, in June. Have been loads before with girlfriends so now need some top tips and recommendations for center parcs avec enfants! Obviously, thing I'm most looking forward to is the spa, but have not mentioned this yet to husband or children! Have heard there's a session in the pool just for babies??
Hope to hear from you soon (youngling is slumbering!)
BeckieB, sahm.

crunchie Sat 28-Apr-07 19:52:07

yes there is a session just for babies, its quite nioce IIRC, loads of nursey rhymes and swishing babies about!!

Personally I think lots of activities are overpriced, although we quite like the cinema!!

Booking a babysitter is cheaper than sessions for 2 children if you want to go to the spa, they will do daytimes and eves. I think we did 3 - 6 and they gave ours an early supper too. Actually the babysitter was fab, dd was terribly sick about 1/2 hr before we were due back. She felt it would take us 1/2 hr anyway to get back from the spa, so cleaned her up and put her to bed, and called housekeeping to clean up teh sick !! result - I would have felt bad and done it myself

hertsnessex Sat 28-Apr-07 20:19:51

weve been to elveden, sherwood and longleat and booked for whinfell in november (exec villa overlooking lake for the fireworks!)

weve stayed in comfort to exec, always been fine accom. we onyl upgrade as we dont go in the school hols as our boys are 2 and 3, but wouldt pay the extra in the hols when we do have to go then.

it was totally my worst nightmare holiday until i had the boys (though of all the kids etc!!!), now i love it. cant wait to go back in nov for a "cuddly and warm" evenings by the fire and "energetic outdoors biking/swimming" in the daytime.

sure youll have a fab time.

cx

calvemjoe Sat 28-Apr-07 20:22:58

It'll be great, you'll love it

BeckieB Sat 28-Apr-07 20:51:11

Thanks Mums for your replies, I'm getting more and more excited about our first week away.
What does IIRC mean?!
We've booked an executive villa - hope its worth the money! And we are going during term time; my eldest son's school wouldn't authorise the week but we're going anyway. This is the first time I've gone away during term time and I always thought 2 weeks were allowed??????? I'm probably a black-listed parent now!

clairemow Sat 28-Apr-07 21:16:26

just come back from a Mon-Fri break at CP in longleat, have been lots of times, pre and post children. It was great. You can do as little or as much as you like. Go to the pool, hire bikes and a seat for DS on the back, feed the ducks in the ponds, there are loads of playgrounds. The activities are expensive but we did the whole week without needing to book one! DS1 loved just going for a ride on the "train" round the roads!

BeckieB Sat 28-Apr-07 21:36:50

Thanks clairemow
Yes think DS2 will be satisfied with bike carriage rides and pool (he is 6 months!) but DS1 who is 9 years old may want to partake in more!! He says he likes the sound of archery and the rapids!

kateyp Wed 02-May-07 19:30:21

Hey - BeckieB - we are going to Elveden in June too! The 12th I think. May well see you there!

My two are age 2.5 and the littley will be nearly 4 months. 5 am hoping to escape to the spa at some point but DH not aware of this as yet...!

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