Friday 11 March 2016

Our Holiday To Center Parcs - Longleat Forest

We have just got home from what can only be described as an amazing holiday. My husband has been wanting to go to Center Parcs, Longleat Forest for a while as he has heard so many great things about it and the boys love the outdoors. I wasn't too sure as it isn't that far from us and I didn't think it would feel like a holiday, but how wrong was I! (Don't tell my husband that!)

We arrived at about 11am on Monday but we were unable to get into our lodge until 3pm. We could still use all of the facilities until then though which meant we could start our holiday early. Our plan was to do some exploring and basically figure out the place so that we knew where everything was and everything that Center Parcs had to offer. It is set in the most stunning woodland and really is beautiful. We made our way down to the Jardin Des Sports as we were a little bit peckish and saw that the cafe there had a soft play. We found a table and with the boys off playing I went to make my way to order when a lovely lady came over and said rather than us queuing she would take our order. The food came really quickly and it was really lovely, the boys ate it all so it must have been tasty! From here we made our way to the park where we spent a good half hour playing on the zip wire and going down the slides which the boys loved, and so did we.

After the park we still had half an hour before we could get into the lodge so we went onto the beach to see the ducks. This is such a lovely touch to the park, it really does have everything you need for a family holiday.

We then headed back up the hill to get our car to go to the lodge. The lodge was fantastic, it was spacious and beautifully decorated. There was even a log fire which I know my husband was pretty excited about. Once all unloaded we headed out to the onsite supermarket to get some food for the week. The supermarket has practically everything you would want, and a bit more. Loaded up with food we headed back to the lodge for tea.

Tuesday morning came and we hadn't really had a bad night with the boys so I got up and went for a run. There was no way that I was going to a place a beautiful as it was and not running. I didn't really know where I was going so I just ran, I had only planned to run about 4k but ended up doing 6k due to getting lost and going a little too far. But I didn't mind as it was one of the best runs I have done. 

When I got back my husband and the boys had been desperate for a bacon sandwich but had found that there was no frying plan. But with one trip to the booking desk we had a brand new frying pan with no questions asked. Fantastic service once again.

Once all dressed we headed off to our first booked activity which was Mini Trek. This was an activity where the boys wore a harness and were hooked to a mini climbing frame, a bit like the ones you see at places like go ape. They then got half an hour to go around the course which consists of bridges, ropes and steps. The boys absolutely loved it as they could do it by themselves knowing that they wouldn't fall. The instructor was great as he made the boys feel at ease and they were all given a badge at the end. Which if you know my boys, this is amazing!!

After this the boys had seen the boats on the boating lake and were desperate to go on a pedalo. Now anyone that knows me, knows I am not a fan of water so this wasn't really my idea of fun. But with 3 against 1 I was forced into it and I am glad I did as the boys loved it. I was a little on edge as I was so worried the boys would fall out but it was fun and a great adventure for them.

On our way back up the hill Finley was struggling so I started to push both the bikes up, on seeing this a very kind handy man asked if he could help and he pulled the bike up the hill for us. He didn't need to and could have walked on past but his kindness made our day.
After a little pit stop at our lodge we headed off to do our second activity of the day which was the Teddy Bears Picnic. The boys got given a little lunch box and we had to follow some teddy footprints until we came to a room which had Rupert the bear in. They got to all sit on their own rug to eat their lunch, have a photo with Rupert and play a few games. At the end they were all give a Center Parcs teddy which the boys have been taking to bed with them ever since.

From here we headed up the big hill again, which the boys got to have a lift on Daddy's bike and I struggled up with mine & Finley's bikes.

Once up the hill we went off swimming and there really is so much to do at the swimming pool. Loads of slides and even a children's pool with their very own slides that they could go down by themselves. This is brilliant as it builds up their confidence in the water. Finley refused to go down the big slide though, even though he would have been going down with us. That evening we put on the fire and toasted some more marshmallows as we were all absolutely knackered from a very action packed day.

We had an early one on Wednesday morning with the boys booked to do Roller Tots at 9am. Finley was so excited about this and couldn't wait. We arrived and the boys were shown their skates and all the safety gear they needed to wear. The lady doing the class was lovely and very interactive with the children and remembered each child's name, pretty amazing as I sometime forget my own boys names!! Finley really got into it but Noah wasn't all that keen, I think it is due to his confidence level and that he didn't feel all that safe on the skates. But with a little encouragement from us and having us push him around he enjoyed himself. At the end they got another badge to add to their collection.

The weather wasn't all that great so it was back to the lodge for lunch before we headed off to go swimming again. This time with a lot of encouragement Finley went on the slides and wanted to go on them again and again. To get him on the slide the first time people did look as he was screaming but it was all for his own good as after that he loved them. After swimming we went bowling then headed to Hucks to have our tea. We had booked a table early so that the boys could have a little play in the wooden play area and also so that it wasn't too busy. This place is great with the play area and the children's buffet as they could pick and choose what they wanted. We were all rather tired so it was back to the lodge for an early night and a gin & tonic for me!

Thursday morning came and thankfully the weather had improved so I headed off for another run as we weren't due at our first activity until 11am. I did the same route I had done on Tuesday but added in a run around the lake as I was in no rush to get back.

Our activity at 11am was Tots Go Wild and I think this has to be my favourite activity of the holiday. But on our way we had a little bike malfunction, Finley's stabiliser fell off. Which we actually found quite funny. While picking up the different bolts to put it back together one of the Center Parcs employees in a van on the way to a job stopped and kindly helped us put the stabiliser back on and make sure it was tightly on. Back on the road we went to the Nature Workshop where the boys learnt what some of the animals that live in Center Parcs eat. They then were told what animal they were going to be and told they would need to find this animals food in the woods. They were given a mask of the animal, a basket to collect the food coupons in which had been hidden in the wood and a card showing what foods they needed to find.

We then headed into the woods where the boys had to look for the foods on their cards. The ranger in charge of this activity was brilliant and so interactive with the children. At the end they got another badge and this time some chocolate.

For lunch we thought we would have a little treat and went to the Pancake House. Now I had been told this place was great but it was pretty awesome - I came out feeling like I never wanted to eat a thing again! We all had a main and a pudding, if you can't treat yourself on holiday when can you hey!

On Thursday afternoon we hopped on the land train to take a trip around the whole park before going swimming. It was lovely to see the whole park and have a little bit of down time. Noah made a little friend spent the whole time waving to her on the carriage behind. When he got off the train to go swimming so did his friend who wanted to hold his hand so they walked hand in hand until we reached the pool.

After swimming as a little treat for our last night we had a movie night. We toasted (more) marshmallows and the boys had a few sweets. They thought this was amazing and they actually watched the whole film.

We woke on Friday morning to some visitors on the doorstep. This is one of the lovely things about being in the middle of the forest, you are surrounded by wildlife and the boys were fascinated. Nearly everyday we saw a squirrel or two go past the window.

We needed to check out by 10am so we packed up the cars but as we didn't need to leave the complex straight away we wanted to make the most of it. So went on a bike ride and had some time at the park. After some more swimming we had a spot of lunch before heading home.

I have got to say this has been one of the best holidays we have had. The complex was amazing and the staff were incredible and helped us in any way they could when we needed them. And nothing was ever too much bother. Even when we wanted to change an activity the day before we were due to do it they did it without a fuss.

And the best bit was spending a whole week with my little family! 

Binky Linky
A Cornish Mum
Quite Frankly She Said
Marvellous Mondays badge by Hello Archie


  1. I've always fancied Center Paris but school holiday prices put me off! Glad toy had a fab time #justanotherlinky

  2. I'm so pleased that you've had such a lovely time. We were in Center Parcs this week too but at Elveden. We adore Center Parcs as it's just so brilliant for the little ones. It's so well set out, and the forest (particularly Longleat) is stunning. Longleat is the furthest one from us but we're booked to go again in the summer as we loved it so much last time we went. We are officially C Parcs addicts haha.

    Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos!

    Dawn x

  3. I'm so jealous! Have always wanted to go but the price always puts us off (even though I've heard such fantastic things). Will have to try and save up to make the effort, and I love that it's a local holiday. #justanotherlinky

    1. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo

  4. I've never been, but my husband has. It looks lovely #justanotherlinky

  5. This post has made my day! We've never been to centreparcs before and for our first family holiday in June we have booked to go to this exact one! Great to see you have a lovely time and that there's so much to do. My little one will be nearly 3 when we go :) we've waited a long time for our first family holiday and I'm super excited now!

  6. Yes! I love Centre Parcs. The ducks are so tame. I visited with family and the kids were so excited by their little visits to our door #justanotherlinky

  7. Love Centre Parcs!! We have been to Elveden a few times and then in January we went to the Woburn which which was brilliant. Need to think about when to go again! #JustanotherLinky

  8. I always hated the idea of somewhere like Centre Parcs until I had kids - now it sounds like my dream holiday!! #justanotherlinky

  9. So jealous. Love centre parcs but haven't been for 3 or 4 years. Sounds like you had a perfect break & amazing you still went for your runs. Puts me to shame. #justanotherlinky lifeinthemumslane

  10. So jealous. Love centre parcs but haven't been for 3 or 4 years. Sounds like you had a perfect break & amazing you still went for your runs. Puts me to shame. #justanotherlinky lifeinthemumslane

  11. I've never been to Centre Parcs and would really like to go. The idea of being in the middle of the woods really appeals to me! Loks like you all had a great time. #justanotherlinky

  12. awww very jealous, this has been high on my to do list since the kiddies were born, but every year i say we will go and every year we dont, i must make a point of going soon as it looks brilliant xx #justanotherlinky

  13. Aww wow it looks like you had a fantastic, fun filled holiday! Like you say, family holidays are such precious time altogether :) #justanotherlinky

    Helen x

  14. Glad you all had a wonderful time. :). I love the idea of Center Parcs but it's so expensive in the school holidays :(

  15. This literally sounds like the best uk holiday ever! I have family friends who go and also have fantastic comments to say about all the staff and the whole setting. We are doing one uk holiday this year and hopefully a Spanish trip too, so deffo checking out the lodges at centre parks, thanks for sharing. #justanotherlinky

  16. Sounds like a fab holiday after all! Have not heard of Centre Parcs yet but reading your post, looking at the beautiful photos got me interested to visit the place one day. #justanotherlinky

  17. Wow, sounds like a great holiday - I love Center Parcs! xx

  18. I've been to Centre parks once, on a hen do, it was such a lovely setting. I really want to go with the kid one day. The other half thinks it would be rubbish. Only got a baby at the moment but when he's older I'd love to take him! I have time to work on the other half till then! #happydayslinky

  19. My other half is desperate to go to centre parcs this year and this just looks amazing! We deserve a treat so might go for it, I was worried about a lack of activities for smaller kids but it looks like there is loads to do!

  20. Looks like you had a lot of fun. Also ducks! I love ducks.

  21. Aw this looks fab! I really want to go to longleat too...even more so now! #picknmix xx

  22. I've been to this particular Center parks and it's great looks like you had a brilliant time fab photos Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky

  23. Great post Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky

  24. Looks like you had a really great time!

    We always do it on the cheap so just camp out at the pool! We did the teddy bears picnic last time and the unintentionally spooky Rupert scared the cubs so they spent most of the time clamped to our legs!


  25. I'd love to go to centre parks with the Agents but it always seems so pricey during the school/college holidays. You look like you had an amazing time though :) Thanks for co-hosting :) xxx

  26. I'd love to go to centre parks with the Agents but it always seems so pricey during the school/college holidays. You look like you had an amazing time though :) Thanks for co-hosting :) xxx

  27. Hi Kirsty, Center Parcs sounds a really nice place to holiday made even more pleasant by the helpful staff. I have heard of them before, but had no idea that there was so much to do there. I like the way the children's activities sound like they were well organised with no pressure on the children.

    So glad you had an amazing time with your family, almost on your doorstep too!


  28. Love this and so glad you had a great time :) Some of our best holidays have been only 40 minutes from home! Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie xx

  29. What a fabulous holiday, it's great just having some family time. I love the photo of the boys in their lifevests, utterly cute! Thanks for linking up to #HappyDaysLinky x

  30. I use to holiday at Centre Parcs as a child and loved it!! I love the look of the mini go ape, Monkey is always fascinated by it in a local park but obviously too small at 3.5 so I know he would love that so much! Sounds like you had an action packed week away. Thank you for hosting #Justanotherlinky x

  31. My family and I love center parcs. We took the kids when they were little a number of times. It has all the facilities you need for small children! Now they school age its harder. We went last year and got threatened with a fine from the school which at £60 per child per parent is extortionate! They really want to go again but looking at non term time its sooo expensive! Might have to factor if its cheaper to go term time and be fined :/ We always go Elvedon as its our local one but we really want to try the new woburn one. #justanotherlinky


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