The Grand Cafe Center Parcs
1989 Joanne's 12th Birthday at Sherwood
Family gathering 2010 Sherwood

1987 The first villas, family fun
New rides introduced with lots of fun
John and a very little Kyle
Paige and John

Review: 25 Years Of Center Parcs & Still Going Back


Last week a friend of mine asked why we keep going back to Center Parcs, we are about to go for another short break, it is something we do every November. Her comment was surely you fancy a change! The thing I have found over the 25 years we have been going is it never stays the same; it has constantly evolved, upgraded, opened new parcs each with slightly different features yet always ensuring the same quality. One of the most important reasons for our constant return is the fact it is truly a family based destination, we do not have to worry about taking children out with us the restaurants expect it.

Parking the car up for a week has always been a treat as well, basically once you are there you do not use it again, the bikes also provided us with lots of fun over the years. I remember reading about the first village going to open, it was an article in one of the Sunday papers, described as being ultra modern villas in the centre of a forest with a subtropical swimming paradise, who could resist, not us?

When we first went to Sherwood, their first village, you were given cards to enter the swimming dome that did cause a few hiccups along the way, such as losing them!

They soon changed that system, I do believe over the years they have listened to the customer, as a lot of the changes they make seem to be in response to needs.

With regards to taking disabled people on holiday to the parcs, it is perfect; we have taken our granddaughter for fifteen years. We have had so much help from the staff, the changing room especially equipped with hoists and bed we could not fault it.

We also have used the adapted accommodation which has also proved fantastic.

Now as we are getting older, my husband and I have had a few trips on our own as a couple, yes we missed the family but it was special in other ways. We found it very easy to have a romantic break away, we booked a penthouse apartment and we took ourselves of to the spa for some pampering and then out for romantic meals, sometimes also went swimming on an evening in starlight, very special.

The other comment we get when we say we are going back is “oh it is so expensive”, I would not agree, it can be! If you have to book in the children’s school holidays then yes it is far too expensive, but I would never do that. I know that it is difficult for families as the government have made it difficult to get children out of school, which often punishes good families, it should be down to head teachers to make these decisions, if children have good attendance then they should be allowed to go, it is also a good educational trip as they can learn a lot about forest life. Getting back to costing, if you book midweek then cost is better still, weekends are expensive and busy. If you can share a villa the cost becomes better still, we love going in November the run up to Christmas, and when you light the log fire on an evening it so cosy in the villas. People also comment on the price of eating out there, but we have found it on a level with any city and also found that often there are deals running during the week you just have to look around, we often get a two for one deal at the sports café which made for a cheap night.

Last year was my husband’s fiftieth birthday and we found ourselves with four generations of us at Center Parcs, no we are not sick of it, quite the opposite and very much looking forward to the new park opening near Woburn.

Well done Center Parcsxxx

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