As a busy, modern family we don’t get an opportunity to get away together very often. In fact this was our first break away as a family unit just Me, Captain Hook and the Hooklings since we have had children. It was a big deal and had a lot to live up to.
It was such a convenient journey from London, we took a direct train to Flitwick, which took just under an hour and a half. Once there the lovely people at Center Parcs picked us up in a coach and drove us directly to reception, bypassing the queue of traffic at the entrance. This service is free of charge and a great incentive for people to leave the car at home.
Once at reception Minty informed the nice lady behind the desk it was her ‘real life truly birthday’ and to her delight they presented her with an ‘It’s my Birthday’ badge to add to her ‘I am 4’ badge.
They stored our suitcases and delivered them to the accommodation, so we could have a day luggage free at the parc, even though our lodge wouldn’t be available until 3pm.
Our lodge was lovely. I would describe it as going to stay in a cabin in the woods, but when you open the door you are greeted with a spotless London apartment with all the amenities you need for your family.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom New Executive Lodge, which is a mid range accommodation, it came with a cot and a high chair for Sprout. Both bedrooms were on suite, one with a massive shower and the other had a jacuzzi bath.
The living accommodation was very comfortable with a large television in every room and the living/dining room was easily big enough for a family of 5.
The kitchen had a cooker, microwave and dishwasher (who wants to spend their holidays washing up!). Each lodge has a small patio and barbecue area which leads onto the woodland.
The Swimming pool at this site is located in this impressive glass building and has a wave pool, rapids, great areas for children to play and lots of fun slides for all ages ranges to enjoy. The water is lovely and warm so you can stay and enjoy the fun for hours without having to take younger ones out after 20 mins because they get too cold. I didn’t take any pictures in the pool as I am pretty sure no one wants to see me in a swimming costume!!!!!!
Did I mention they had a spa?….. Obviously I never got to see inside….. but maybe when the children are older….
Our first pre-booked activity was pony riding for Minty and Twinkle. Twinkle is very frightened of heights and I was unsure whether either of them would actually get on a pony. However they were insistent that real life princesses ride ponies so we thought we would give it a go.
Minty took to it like a natural.
Twinkle gripped on a little tighter but I was so proud of her, she was so determined and overcame her fears. The staff chatted to them all the way and really relaxed them.
This pony is called Fudge.
And this little cutie is called Sweetie.
Not to be outdone, Sprout had a go at pony riding in one of the many play parks available.
And practiced keeping his balance on the wobble boards.
He even insisted on sitting on the big boy swings… (whilst practising his famous pout).
The girls found a family of ducks with new born chicks, Twinkle even found one of the newly hatched egg shells. How cute are these little fuzz balls.
On day 2 we went on a family den building activity. The idea was to build a den from the resources available in the forest which would be water tight….. We ended up next to a family with four very eager boys, who were clearly more competitive then my girls.
My girls spent a lot of the session searching for slugs…
…and making a flag for the den.
Sprout had a great time running around the forest, gathering sticks and throwing them at the den, then giving himself a round of applause…
I think our den is a thing of beauty, but the man with the can of water didn’t make us sit in ours when he poured water over the top to test if it was water proof (which I am very grateful for!!!!!) Lets just hope we are never deserted on an uninhabited island…. We had a great time though, it was wonderful to have a family activity where we could all join in. Especially for my husband who doesn’t get to spend as much time with the children during the week as I do.
The park is mostly car free which makes the roads and pathways really safe for bike riders and mini scooters. Adults and children’s bikes can be hired from the park with trailers for little children.
The girls spent an hour at the fairy activity session, They decorated their own tiara, wand and wings and then got to make a wish in the magic well.
Sprout took part in a Messy Pups session for young children from 18 months and had a great time painting, using chalk, playing with sand and playdoh. They didn’t seem to mind when Sprout took the paint pots as a personal challenge, to see how much paint he could get on the paper and they even posted the dried paintings directly to us at home so that they didn’t get ruined on our journey.
It is definitely the small details which make Center Parcs such a great places for families to holiday. Their customer service is amazing, nothing is too much trouble and they have clearly put great thought into making their Parcs family friendly.
As your children grow the range of wonderful activities open to you also grows.
The great British weather isn’t an issue either, when the sun shines you can stroll/ride about the Parc and when it rains you can swim and take part in the indoor craft and sport activities.
Our holiday was glorious. Twinkle had a small sob on the way home because she didn’t know why we couldn’t live at Center Parcs forever. I pointed out if we lived at Center Parcs where would we go on holiday…. she suggested Croydon….. maybe not!
This review is based solely on my own opinions and I was not paid or sponsored to write it.