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Advice on Center Parcs please

56 replies

Rhiannon · 07/04/2001 18:55

We're off to Center Parcs in Elveden in a couple of weeks. Can anyone give advice on the do's and don'ts and what we shouldn't miss etc.

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Lil · 09/04/2001 09:09

I went to Longleat for the first time last year, in June, and it was really relaxing. However, next time I will definitely book my health club sessions and Pilates beforehand! i didn't do it then, even though they give out all the timetables of activities beforehand. then when I got there and finally got around to booking, it was too late to have any of the massages and pampering I'd been dreaming about!!!

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Spring · 09/04/2001 09:39

My family went to Longleat last year too, 17 of us!! I agree that a lot of the activities got booked up quickly and we had to queue for ages to find out. Same with the restaurants. On top of that it rained all weekend which wasn't a lot of fun getting 3 prams on and off trains, getting soaked and having to carry wet coats etc. Take some games to play in the chalet (for adults and children) and don't forget the gin!!

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Pj · 09/04/2001 22:19

We went last year and loved it - if you can organise yourself enough to buy the groceries at your local supermarket you will probably save some money. There is a shop on site but, despite Centre Parcs claims, it was more expensive than the usual Tesco shopping bill. Also, book services and treatments asap. We couldnt get a babysitter or a massage by day 3. apparently they get booked up very quickly.

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Nw · 10/04/2001 10:18

Definitely book babysitter immediately, we went to longleat and had a few probs. Also if the weather is cold, ask for heating to stay on all night, it usually goes off for around 6 hours. Let me know how it goes, we're off at the end of April.

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Rhiannon · 24/04/2001 10:41

Nw, had a great time at Center Parcs. Excellent babysitting service and reasonably priced too at £3.80 an hour. Had fondue one night, a barby (in villa) and pancakes another night. On the last evening we went to the Tapas bar and then to the cinema. The kids went swimming, bowling and to the adventure play areas outdoors, at Huckleberrys and at the Country Club. We skipped the bikes as it was rather hilly where we were. Lots of wonderful wildlife rabbits, squirrels, swans at our back door! We'll definitely being going back soon.

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Kathmary · 25/04/2001 08:09

We really enjoyed our visit to Elveden. I loved the Spa area, really nice with one of those bars in the water jobs - and a lovely outside pool, also really enjoyed my first ever facial! It was a good treat to sneak out to in the evening to the spa or a facial. We also did the short tennis and the mini golf and lots of visits to the country club where the kids enjoyed the ball park. I'd definitely get in a load of food in the supermarket, I think the closest is Sainsburys in Thetford - you get a bit fed up of the range they have to offer, also generally I felt the food in the cafes wasn't that good and good to have some options for home cooking. It is lovely to wake up in your own woodland paradise with squirrels and the odd deer; and the kids love the freedom too!

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Marina · 25/04/2001 08:27

As well as the Centerparcs, there is a very good imitation up in Cumbria, near Penrith, called Oasis. We had an excellent break there and there is loads to do for families of all ages/energy levels on site and nearby.
So nice to self-cater in a lodge where a microwave comes as standard and stairgates, cots etc were of a similar standard to home.
Glad to hear you had a good time Rhiannon.

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Lizz · 25/04/2001 10:50

Don't know if I'm too late to reach you before you go. Just came back from Elveden, had a brilliant time, helped by the fact that I went with my sis and brother in law, so we shared a bit of babysitting. Loved the nature walk, the kids were quoting bits back to us days afterwards, so they must have loved it too. Everything is 'extra' but plan well and you shouldn't have to fork out too much more. The food is a bit naff and a bit expensive for what it was but Huckleberrys is the best - mainly for the fantastic kids' play area at the back plus it's a lot more airy - and cooler than the other places. But we had more fun self-catering and stocking up at the local Saino's, pack a good kitchen knife though.
Have a good time.

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Nw · 25/04/2001 11:43

Can't wait, leaving on Friday and looking forward to being somewhere else even if it is in the rain!!

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Tel · 25/04/2001 16:36

Here's a nice thing I remember about Center Parcs: all the chalets have underfloor heating!

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Ems · 25/04/2001 16:52

... and the bathroom floors are so slippy they're lethal!

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Rhiannon · 27/04/2001 14:06

Have just booked a return visit to Center Parcs for October half term weekend. Can't believe they're already getting very booked up. So get on the phone if you want to go.

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Helenmh · 14/09/2001 09:38

We have been to center parcs in sherwood forest some years ago and are now considering a weekend next year (the boys will be 8 and 10). Sherwood is very close but we are wondering whether it is worth trying one of the others for a change or whether to try oasis. any thoughts. We would be loooking at june next year when the boys have some inset days

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Kia · 14/09/2001 19:54

When we lived in London and the kids were small every holiday we had we went to Centre Parcs because it was family oriented. We liked Elvedon and Sherwood the best with the Longleat one way back in 3rd place because of the huge amount of cycling you had to do to get from one centre to another - not to mention the hills! CPs are one of the few places in UK I know where people without children are in the minority and you could go out late at night without anyone looking at you as if you were a vile parent!! My 2 practically learned to swim there and the last time we went it was sheer bliss - they went off to the wild water rapids and I sat and read the paper - wonderful!! I've also been to Oasis which was great, the chalets were much better than Centre Parcs ones but the kids prefered CP overall. We also did a couple of the functions at Sherwood which the kids loved. Dare I say it but the Sherwood staff were way ahead of all the others in terms of customer service, perhaps because jobs in their areas are much harder to find? finally (!) we used to go bowling at about 8ish in the mornings so last time we went we did the same only to find the place heaving with tiddlies yelling and having a great time. Beloved and I exchanged long glances and both said 'we've made it!' we don't have to do this any more - we can have a lie in!! Here endeth the lesson!!!

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Copper · 15/09/2001 11:39

We used to go a lot - but every time we went we always got horrible colds etc the week after. Has anyone else found this?

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Ems · 30/01/2003 13:56

Can anyone recommend any lovely treatments in the Aqua Sana, hoping to go soon.

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Marina · 30/01/2003 15:53

Ems, if you are going to the one that used to be Oasis near Penrith, ask if they have kept the Rhassoul mud treatment suite. Absolute bliss but I don't think it's on the standard Centerparcs menu. They'd have had to bulldoze it out - lovely enamelled benches etc.

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Scatterbrain · 30/01/2003 15:58

I'll tell you after next week - we're at Longleat - and I'm having the Rhassoul mud there too !

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sprout · 30/01/2003 16:11

Are Center Parks any good if you have small children (eg. toddlers), or are they better for when the kids are older and can play/swim on their own?

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Scatterbrain · 30/01/2003 16:16

Fabulous for both !!!

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Girly · 30/01/2003 16:20

I am going too!! With a good friend and her kids. We have babies and toddlers the same ages and are going to put them all in the creche and then go off to the Spa too, can't wait. Were going to Longleat the week after next Scatterbrian so am looking forwrad to your opinions.

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Ems · 30/01/2003 16:52

oooh ... mud, fantastic, as if I dont see enough of it with 2 young boys! But that is just the sort of treatment I want to hear about and try. I've done the usual facials and massages locally, but would love to try something really different, we're going to Sherwood. Look forward to hearing about it Scatterbrain!

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sis · 30/01/2003 16:57

Sprout, it is great for toddlers - loads to see and do, but I think most toddlers just love the whole swimming area all day, everyday!

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ks · 30/01/2003 18:41

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Fionn · 30/01/2003 19:02

We're going to Sherwood (second time) at the end of March with two of my friends and their families - we'll have 6 children between 1 and 4 and will spend most of the time in the pool and it's free! One of the best aspects of CP with children is that if you eat out all the restaurants have a small play area for children so you can eat in relative peace as they play with other kids.

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