When I think back, it’s clear that SO many of my childhood memories involve Center Parcs. We religiously went on holiday there when I was a child: as a family and with other families, too. I even went there on my first ‘solo’ holiday with ‘the girls’ at the age of 15… my parents were in the next chalet along from us but it definitely felt like the most independent thing any of us had ever done.
One of my very earliest memories is c/o Center Parcs. My brother was two, I was four and after an unfortunate bike handlebar/somersault incident at Sherwood Forest he went straight on to the tarmac of the car-free road face-first, scraping the skin off his nose. Oops! We look back on those photos of him and laugh – it’s exactly something Hux would do.
As we got older there was only one thing we wanted to do at Center Parcs: the water rapids. We spent our holidays at the Longleat Center Parcs which to this day I reckon has the best outdoor pool and ride of all the Parcs. We would spend quite literally hours chasing our friends up and down those water slides, starting at 9am in the morning where the action of the overnight draining and re-filling of the rapids meant you could pick up any spare change that had been lost from other guests’ pockets the day before.
We’d often be forced out of the water for lunch (BORING) and an afternoon activity by our parents, but come nightfall we’d be back on the rapids – there was always something so special about going up and down them in the dark.
Because of all the wonderful times I’d spent at Center Parcs as a child, it was the first place I wanted to take my children after they were born. I have wonderful memories of carting Elfie around in a trailer on the back of my bike while six months pregnant with Hux, her waving all the while like a queen in a fairytale while I struggled with a bump and all that extra weight. My lasting memory from that holiday is both of a very happy one year old and very sore thighs.
We’re super lucky that Center Parcs has recently opened a new destination very close to us at Woburn, only 20 minutes down the road. The thing I love about Center Parcs is that, once you’re in there, you could be anywhere in the world. Whether it’s Woburn or Sherwood, 20 minutes away or 2 hours, you’re going to have an amazing time! In the 2 years the Woburn Parc has been open we’ve visited 4 times – good going.
We will be making a journey up to Sherwood soon though, to try out Center Parcs’s new treehouse accommodation! Currently available at Sherwood and Longleat (and in Elveden from 22nd July), these two-storey treehouses are the ultimate in woodland luxury.
Set among the trees, the accommodation is designed to sit in perfect harmony with the forest. The living areas are open plan, there’s a treehouse terrace for dining and, my favourite part, an outdoor hot tub to relax in after a busy day on those rapids. I tell you, after having a glass of wine in a Center Parcs forest hot tub a couple of years ago – there’s nothing like it.
And if you even need any more entertainment there’s also your very own games room to have fun in, as well as free wifi and a full schedule of Sky TV.
What more could you want from a forest retreat?!
You can find out more about Center Parcs’ Treehouse accommodation here – and in the meantime I’d love to hear all of your Center Parcs memories. See you in the outside rapids?