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Are ANY Center Parcs any good at all?

(87 Posts)
Dalesgirl16 Sun 04-Feb-18 22:38:49

I really wanted to visit Center Parcs for a long weekend with my husband and toddler this year. However, I have so far read reviews on Woburn, Longleat and Elvedon and am very put off by bad reviews of dirty and tired looking accommodation, dirty changing rooms and that the big pool is too cold everywhere. I know that it's expensive but we are not looking to do many activities, more exploring the walks, cycling, pool and I thought I'd treat myself to a visit to the spa (noisy and too busy at weekends?). I would love to hear reviews about your stays, in particular the accommodation. I have gathered it's expensive.

Ploppymoodypants Sun 04-Feb-18 22:47:14

We stay at longleat every year. It’s much more expensive this year so giving it a miss. The downsides of Longleat are:
1) the cheaper accommodation is starting to show signs on wear. Not enough to put me off or be grubby. But is starting to show.
2) yes I find the big pool cold. But I am a wimp at cold swimming pools and no one else seems to have a problem
3) the changing rooms are ridiculously small and not enough. Worst changing fancilites I have ever used anywhere in terms of fit for purpose. Always clean though
4) always come home with a bug of some sort from the human soup that is the pool (not sick bug, has been chicken pox, tonsillitis, and general cold/virus).

Having said all of that I love centre parcs. We have had brilliant, reasonably priced holidays each spring for the past 5 years and I am gutted DC are now in school and we can’t afford it. These are just 4 points that I can moan about, among a thousand brilliant things that there isn’t room to list.

UnderTheSleepingBaby Sun 04-Feb-18 22:47:27

I really like Woburn (it's the only one I've been to)
Accommodation is nice enough and clean enough imo. The site is small enough that you can walk everywhere, even with tiny toddler legs, which we appreciate.
The pool is lovely and warm (no actual pool to swim in, but kids pools and lazy river types) and changing rooms are fine (they are cold compared to in the pool, I always take the baby back to the poolside to dress him instead)
Just be weary about your toddler drinking the pool water as the humidity and high temperature in there is a perfect breeding ground for anything and everything, but as long as you prevent deliberate drinking of the water then it's fine.
All the cafes/restaurants have little soft play areas in them, which is wonderful.

I really can't fault it (although I am the laid back type), even my fussy DH had a good time despite himself

Dalesgirl16 Sun 04-Feb-18 22:54:41

Really don't want to come back from a holiday with chicken pox or the like. The pool sounds grim at Longleat, not suitable for an 18 mo. That was the big draw for us so not sure. I read Woburn felt v small but maybe good with such a little one.

NoSquirrels Sun 04-Feb-18 22:59:14

Have been to Elvedon and Woburn. Enjoyed both! Preferred Elevdon, the spa was lovely, the pool was great as I recall - I suspect people moan wherever they go, every CP resort caters for huge volumes of people and so some niggles are understandable, I’d think. But I am also a laid-back non complainer type.

sportyfool Sun 04-Feb-18 23:00:22

We love Woburn , it's clean and lovely . Some people have weird standards . We love the swimming pool and there are loads of choices for my 6 year old and 14 year old alike . It's not cheap but 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

TheOriginalFactoryMum Sun 04-Feb-18 23:05:02

I've been to all of them! And Sherwood and Whinfell more than once.With small children they are amazing, but also been as a group of adults in a luxury lodge and had a fab weekend. I have never experienced anything dirty, esp accommodation, which is not exactly luxury for the price (if you go for the cheapest option) but always clean and any problems sorted out immediately by the on-site team. For the facilities, safety and car-free aspect I think it's a great few days away.

donquixotedelamancha Sun 04-Feb-18 23:06:56

Do you like:
-Obeying rules?
-Chain restaurants?
-Crowded pools?

Some people love them. I think it's a very specific type of person who wants a holiday 'done for them'. I guess the point is that it's very self contained, but I would think a caravan park with a pool would be as good.

I've only been to the Penrith one. I'd boil my own head rather than go back.

mummymeister Mon 05-Feb-18 10:25:33

I went to Centreparcs once. it was organised fun. it was expensive for the activities that you got and the time that you got for them. the food was not good either. they are a bit marmite. you either love them or hate.

Dalesgirl16 Mon 05-Feb-18 13:28:03

The only reasons I am considering it is that friends have been and enjoyed it, but also my first uk summer beach holiday last year included accommodation without high chair or cot and 40mph winds. If the accommodation is not, as many on Tripadvidor suggest, dirty and tired; and if there are a few things to do we will be winning compared to uk beach trip.

sportyfool Mon 05-Feb-18 14:15:36

The lodge we stayed in was lovely , like a plush apartment . Not sure how anyone can say it's tired 🙄.. this was Woburn though which is the newest one .

TapStepBallChange Mon 05-Feb-18 14:22:11

I like Elveden as it's quite small. They are in the process of doing up all the accommodation, and I'm sure you can choose the refurbished ones, they're all fine. The older ones were a bit dated, but TBH, apart from the fact it was 1980s decor, didn't have an issue with it. Pools are great for small children. They are busiest when they first open at 10, if you go outside school holidays it's better, and if you go in the afternoon, usually a lot quieter. We've never come home with any bug, and the cycling etc has been fab. We found Longleat a little too big, but the others are great

ineedaholidaynow Mon 05-Feb-18 14:26:54

We have been to Longleat many times, starting off going with a toddler who is now a teen. We tend to get the cheaper accommodation, especially when having to go in school time. Never had a problem with accommodation, they are slowly upgrading it I think.

There is a new pool area for toddlers, which is meant to be really good. Haven't been there since that bit has opened.

Activities for toddlers are also quite cheap (certainly more expensive since DS is a teen), although if you do go, book them in advance. There are free play areas too.

The changing rooms aren't great, and depending on what time you go to the pool they can be getting a bit grim, but never so grim you wouldn't want to use them. Our local pool's changing rooms are much worse and I refuse to go to our local pool now.

We have had some lovely family holidays there, sometimes taking extended family there too. Must be time for us to book our next one soon smile

Dalesgirl16 Mon 05-Feb-18 19:53:41

I read many reviews saying Elvedon had a lot of local aircraft noise?

Lules Mon 05-Feb-18 19:57:07

I stayed in Woburn a couple of months ago and the accommodation was spotlessly clean and comfortable.

StylishMummy Mon 05-Feb-18 19:59:19

Nottingham is a big complex but lovely, fabulous swimming pool and even the basic accommodation is clean and tidy. Does it matter if the patio slabs are a little weather worn and the paths are worn? It's as cheap or expensive as you wish to make it, walks, swimming and the kids disco are all included in the price of the accommodation, you can choose to do the organised fun or not. I'd highly recommend it as it's also safe with no cars to worry about

somewhereovertherain Mon 05-Feb-18 20:02:55

Been to Whinfell loads over the years. Never had an issues top place

Been to Sherwood and a number of European ones won’t hesitste to go to any of them again.

Kidssendingmenuts Mon 05-Feb-18 20:07:03

Every year I stay at centerparcs Sherwood for a mid week break Monday to Friday, and always find it clean and tidy and we love it! Nice open fire in the lodges and plenty to do, best thing to do is try it and see if it's for you. I've been addicted for about 4 years now and even stay in the same area each time x

SwanVests Mon 05-Feb-18 20:08:29

Elveden has the best pool I think. There’s a little grotto area which is warmer than the rest of the pool and little ones love it.

It is near an raf base I think but there’s only ever been 1-2 planes a day and never late.

The walks aren’t exactly up to much at any of them though. It’s just walking through woods with thousands of chalets all pretty much exactly the same, like the running scenes in Scooby Doo.

QuilliamCakespeare Mon 05-Feb-18 20:33:28

Whinfell has a great pool for little ones; they have an early morning baby/toddler session with buckets, watering cans etc which my boys loved. They also have a splash zone with water fountains and stuff where bigger ones can run around.

I think the prices in school holidays are outrageous and perhaps make people think it's going to be more luxurious than it is. That said, we've been at off peak time loads and paid no more than £200-£250 for a family of four sharing with another family of 4. We love it - it's safe for kids to zip about on their bikes, the pool is great, plenty of places to walk to, great playgrounds and soft play to keep the kids happy. I've been to all of them over the years and remember Sherwood having a better spa than Whinfell. It might have changed since then though as we're going back a long time. The spa at Whinfell is still good; I go every time!

Yes, the restaurants can be a bit average and are expensive and I wouldn't go as an adult couple but for an easy family holiday, it's perfect. For us it's about being somewhere safe, clean, fun with good company and a few good bottles of wine.

emsyj37 Mon 05-Feb-18 20:39:00

We have been to Sherwood and to Whinfell. Last year we went to Ribby Hall for a long weekend as it was much cheaper and we liked it better. The pool is new and the site is smaller so less of a walk. It has fewer activities but if you just want self catering, playgrounds and a nice family pool with slides I think it is better value.

Hoppinggreen Mon 05-Feb-18 22:12:23

Ive been to sherwood and whinfell quite a few times and I loathe them both equally
Overpriced and really not my cuppa - too peopley

buntingqueen Mon 05-Feb-18 22:21:45

We go frequently to Woburn and Longleat, and absolutely love them both! Woburn is obviously newer so more up together, and the changing rooms for the pool have always been clean when we have been there. The ones at Longleat can be pretty dirty when it’s busy though. Some of the accommodation is a bit dated, but clean, and I think they are updating most of it.
The new toddler/older child area at Longleat is great! I wouldn’t say either pool areas are cold. We stay in the water or around it for literally hours on end and don’t get cold!

ICanStandtheHeat Mon 05-Feb-18 22:38:18

Been to whinfell loads and loads, the kids love it and despite numerous expensive worldwide hols inc Florida they still ask to go back to Center Parcs

ineedaholidaynow Tue 06-Feb-18 00:00:12

Ican DS is the same, we offer him
all sorts of holiday and all he wants is Center Parcs. He even has his favourite villa number smile

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