A Review of Our Time at Center Parcs, Elveden Forest.

So, we’ve just got back from Center Parcs and although I wasn’t overwhelmed by the experience, I thought the whole set up was great. The accommodation was fantastic, really well thought out and modern with a beautiful view from the patio doors. We even saw deer and ducks every day, as they’d come up to the window, obviously after some grub.

20130405-173733.jpgOne morning we actually had the pleasure of front row seats to some amorous ducks having a “special cuddle”. Who knew male ducks were so, err, forceful? Anyway, randy ducks aside, the setting was lovely.

The holiday itself though… I just don’t know. It didn’t help that it was FREEZING. There was loads to do outside but outside was basically out-of-bounds because of the weather, so we ended up in the pool every day and the pool was cold for my now, delicate disposition. The kids loved it though and Sam basically taught himself to swim in the shallows which was great without a doubt.

We managed to book Sam in for a go on the indoor rock climbing wall, which he really enjoyed, so hopefully if we go again he’ll be up for the outside version.

20130405-173858.jpg It was lovely having time all together, but it just seemed like after the pool, we would end up in the rather “Wetherspoon-esque” Sports Cafe, which didn’t leave me feeling like we were having a special holiday experience. Having said that, it was super convenient as it had a mini play-barn and plenty of free seats. In fact pretty much all the restaurants had mini soft play areas for kids which was brilliant.

I had a couple of spa treatments in the Aqua Sana, and they were really good. The atmosphere there was very luxurious and peaceful so that did feel like a special experience.

We put Izzy into child care for 3 afternoons and I was very impressed with the set up. The women in the crèche were all lovely and enthusiastic and considering that was Izzy’s first experience of child care, they all did a wonderful job of making sure she was happy. The crèche facilities were fantastic, bright and spacious with loads of great toys to play with.

Now that I’m writing it all down and gathering my thoughts I’d say that on the whole, it’s a great place to go with kids, there are loads of activities and the pool is amazing. Also, Center Parcs can’t help the weather and the weather was just too cold to be outside. If we go again and I think we will, we’ll book more activities for the children as there were things they wanted to try but couldn’t as they were already booked up. If you’re thinking of going then make sure you book activities in advance and also book restaurants if you plan to eat out as they also often get booked up. I think my lack of enthusiasm stems from the fact that the Sports Cafe and Pancake House were a little “tired” and the pool area was chilly as there wasn’t any sun to warm up the pool dome. Next time I’d love to explore outside more and maybe hire some bikes.

All in all, a good family time was had by all, I think it may just take a while for my frozen body to tell my frozen mind how much fun we had.

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