As part of our role as a Center Parcs blogging family we were lucky enough to be sent to Longleat for a long weekend to get the full Center Parcs experience. We had an amazing time, especially the kids, and I can’t hope to do it justice on the page, but here is just a taster!
Our 3 bedroom Woodland Lodge was lovely. Clean, practical and with lovely fixtures and fittings. High chairs and cots are provided, which is a huge help for families like us with small peeps, as it means there is room in the boot for everything else we needed. The lodge was warm (even in the snow!) and the beds were very comfortable. The modern well equipped kitchen even included a dishwasher! The open plan living area is a good size, we comfortably had 10 of us in it over a big meal with friends on the Friday night.
We were greeted by a big supply of groceries from the family grocery packs that are available to order, and a welcome message on the blackboard wall. This blackboard wall was VERY popular with big and small alike and ended up being half itinerary, half art exhibit by the end of the weekend!
Is HUGE! Much, much bigger than I had expected, and as a first time visitor it took us a while to get our bearings. We were visiting the Longleat Forest site, and it was set in a beautiful forest and immaculate. If I had one criticism this weekend, it is that there could be more signs, we got lost a few times, and in the dark and the rain it can be tricky to try and find yourself on the map! We had bikes for our group, and although not all of us used them, it did massively cut down journey times between different areas of the Parc, and I would recommend them, the bikes were great quality, and the safety equipment was excellent too.
The main hub is The Plaza, combining pool, shops and restaurants. It is a lovely set up, full of plants and fish, and even when it is busy it still feels spacious and is easy to navigate, even with a buggy. At the other end of the park from us was the Jardins de Sports, which is a big, clean and bright area comprising of food and drink outlets, as well as courts/games/sports of all types!
There is a huge range of activities on offer, and we only had time to do a few each!
Number one rated by my kids would be the Pool. We visited all 4 days of our stay, and they absolutely loved the fabulous big pool, slides, and lazy river. The knock out winner for me was the outdoor hot whirlpool tub, sitting in that in the snow on Sunday morning was a surreal but brilliant moment. For my big two children, the rapids were the top of the list- they went in them hundreds of times I reckon! And Syd, who unfortunately had been poorly in the lead up, was only well enough to make it into the pool on the Monday morning, but he enjoyed himself. The baby/toddler pool is ace, but he wanted to get in the big pool with his siblings too! Center Parcs provide fantastic buoyancy vests for little kids free of charge, and I was so impressed with those I will be buying one for home.
As well as the pool, the use of which is included with your holiday, there are a wide range of add-on activities to choose from. The two eldest kids opted for paintballing, which they really enjoyed, even tho it ended up being in the snow! They also had great fun at the Saturday night roller disco. We all ended up playing adventure golf on the Saturday morning, and it was perfect timing, as the sun shone for almost the whole time we were on the course, and lots of fun was had by all. Even my 18 month old had his own activity to do on the Sunday- we went to messy play, and boy did it live up to its name- but he had a wonderful time, and the stains all came out! We rounded off the weekend with a game of glow in the dark bowling- a great activity for all ages to join in.
Shopping and Restaurants
The shops were actually very reasonable, with prices on a par with the normal high street, which is rare in this sort of environment. The supermarket was well stocked, with a lovely bakery section. My kids LOVED the toy shop. Syd fell a little in love with the Cows in the window, and we had to make frequent visits to say hello! We also bought some delicious things from Treats – I recommend the maple and walnut fudge- scrummy!
There is a fab selection of places to eat out, but as the facilities were so great for cooking in the lodge we only had two meals out over our break. Saturday night saw all 10 of us descend on Hucks. The lovely Mel, our waitress, coped admirably with the Cisco chaos of fussy eaters, party members who were late, and party members who were in a hurry to get to the roller disco! We ate well from their selection of steaks/Mexican/American food, and the children’s buffet went down great with our lot. Mel was lovely enough to find a bowl of grated cheese to accompany my veggie boys choices too, it is always nice when staff make you feel like it is no trouble at all to cater for any extra needs you have.
On the Sunday afternoon, the five ladies of the party, aged 16 to 65, spent 3 hours at the Aqua Sana Spa. It was a gorgeous way to relax after two very busy days. The surroundings are lovely, and we enjoyed sampling a variety of the steam baths and meditation areas. Inviting aromas, peaceful environment, absolute bliss. My Mum and I also had treatments during our visit. We both had the Face and Body sensation, a combination of a hot stone massage and an Elemis facial. I have never had a massage before and it was incredibly relaxing, and definitely something I will be doing again! I really enjoyed sharing this experience with both my Mum and my teenaged daughter, a very special treat for the girls.
|Image courtesy of Center Parcs-
we took no photos in the spa to keep it a peaceful environment!
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF OUR BREAK
Fantastic. Every member of staff I dealt with was helpful and efficient, the accommodation was fab, the parc was clean and well maintained, and the facilities were excellent. The children in our group – aged from 18 months to 17 years all had a FANTASTIC time. And if they are happy, I am happy. It really is a wonderful place for a family holiday, and I think we made some lifelong memories.
Love Miss Cisco XXX
disclaimer :- Our break and some of the extras were supplied to us free of charge as part of our role as members of the Center Parcs Family Bloggers Club. I retain full editorial control and all views and opinions are my own and honest.