Sunday 16 December 2012

A Christmassy Visit to Center Parcs

When some friends asked if I wanted to go to Center Parcs for a pre-Christmas getaway my first thought was...isn't it really expensive?! But I was pleasantly surprised when we started to look into going. Center Parcs for me was a place I remembered going as a child, with a huge swimming pool and lots of trees! So I was excited at the prospect of going back, especially at my favourite time of year - Christmas!

We went to the Sherwood Forest Center Parcs from Monday 10th December 2012 until Friday 14th December and for an Executive Woodland Lodge (which are REALLY nice and sleep 4) it was only £399! That does sound a lot but as we were each paying for ourselves it was only £100 each for a 4 night, 5 day holiday! I think that's very reasonable nowadays, as hotels can easily be £100 a night, and you get access to a variety of facilities at Center Parcs. We also paid an extra £25 each to hire bikes for the week, which I'd highly recommend because our lodge was in the 'Pine' area of the Parc and it was a good 20 minute walk to the main centre. Here's our cosy lodge:

There were a lot of little touches that made the lodges feel really homely, for example there was a wreath on all of the lodges doors. Also when we arrived there was a nice message on the blackboard in the kitchen (which was changed every day!):

I loved the lodges, the Executive Woodland Lodge had 2 bedrooms, so slept 4 and each bedroom had an en-suite. There was housekeeping every day and a spacious living area, with a dining table, seating area and my favourite, the open fire! I love open fires I just think they are so cosy! So we bought some logs from the on-site shop, it was a lovely addition to a winter getaway.

I am not a particularly sporty person but decided to embrace the large variety of sports they have on offer, including: short tennis, badminton, table tennis, football, high wire ropes, bowling, roller skating, crazy golf, golf driving range, quad biking and clay pigeon shooting! I really enjoyed badminton, except my arm was really hurting the next day!

I had read on Trip Advisor that the sports were very expensive but overall I didn't think they were that bad. It was £2.50 each to play 45 minutes of short tennis or badminton and it actually wasn't that busy so, as long as no one wanted to come onto the court after you, you could stay on longer. The expensive aspect is the food and drink, I'd highly recommend taking your own food and drink. The lodges have brilliant fully equipped kitchens, so there is no need to pay the extortionate prices at the on-site restaurants. A drink at the Sport's Bar was typically £2.50, which is quite expensive in my opinion, so we tended to take our own drinks with us.

A free event every Wednesday and Friday is the Fireworks, they start at 6pm and because they are on twice a week we thought they wouldn't be that long, as they are so expensive but they actually lasted a good 10 minutes! They recommended going to the beach area to watch, as they were set off over a beautiful lake but we were over on the other side of the park and still got a great view!

I was so impressed with Centre Parcs, there were lots of activities to take part in, a good range of restaurants if you do want to eat out (Strada, Cafe Rouge, Starbucks, an Indian Restaurant, Pancake House and an American Restaurant), it was very quiet in and around our lodge and best of all it was very reasonably priced :)
Have you been to Center Parcs?

Mulled Wine and a Mince Pie - Perfect!



  1. I've always wanted to visit centre parks. Glad you had a good time!
    It looks lovely!
    p.s. check out the xmas giveaway :) x

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