Until February 2018 half term, we were Center Parcs virgins. I had heard such great things about the place, but we had never followed through with our attempts to go ourselves. But February 2018 changed all that and on Friday 23rd, we went off to Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest for a four day break.
Top Tips for Arrival
- Before you go, download the app. Here you can access your details, lodge number and book any restaurants, activities and keep record of your family schedule.
- Prior to your arrival, you can check in online, stating all your parties names and car registrations which saves time when greeted by the staff in the check in huts.
- You can access your accommodation from 3pm (unless you pay in advance £40 to access it an hour earlier – we didn’t see the point). You can still get on to the site prior to this time and either park in the main car park or next to your lodge. We parked next to our lodge as we wanted to unpack quickly and then move our car to the car park for the remainder of the weekend (Center Parcs are vehicle free zones during the break)
- There is a supermarket on site, but we did decide to take our own food.
There is several types of lodge you can choose from but we went for the 3 bedroom 3 bathroom New Executive Lodge. This was for four adults (we went with my parents) and our three children. This was PERFECT for our sized family and was extremely spacious, especially having three en-suites. As well as three bedrooms, there was an open plan kitchen/lounge diner and a patio area with a sauna. We were in for a treat! Our lodge was placed in the PINE area of the site which is relatively new so there wasn’t many trees around as they had only been planted. We were quite happy though and this didn’t bother us at all.
In the kitchen there was a microwave, kettle, toaster, coffee machine and dishwasher. There was a hob and oven too which we used to cook a three course meal on the second night which was great! Center Parcs provide you with a small kitchen pack containing a dish cloth, dishwasher tablets and washing up liquid which was a nice touch. In the bathrooms, there was also complimentary soap and shampoo and conditioner.
The bedrooms were lovely and spacious being two twins and one king size. We easily fitted Baby K’s cot in our room with plenty of room to spare. All areas were spotlessly clean and we felt at home straight away!
Restaurants at Center Parcs
Whilst there we dined at
- Hucks American Diner
- Pancake House
- The Foresters Inn
- Sports Cafe
Overall we were pleasantly impressed with all of our dining experiences at Center Parcs, Sherwood. Hucks is an American restaurant that we just love anyway. It has a reasonable sized soft play area for the children within the restaurant as well as a computer area. They had a children’s buffet which is great and the kids can have unlimited main meals such as pizza, pasta, veg and chips to name a few as well as desserts. The cocktails in here were fun and we had excellent service!
Actually, every restaurant we dined in had a soft play area, even in the sports cafe! Every place was so well equipped with colouring available for the children and children’s menus. It really was nice for the children to be able to go and have a safe place for them to play too, especially for Baby K who was desperate to have a crawl around.
One tip I do suggest it to pre-book via the app as the restaurants can get booked up pretty quickly! You do have to pay a £5 per person deposit which comes off your final bill.
Wowzas, well where do I start! There was so much to do!! Having not been before, I wasn’t sure what to expect as initially I thought many of the activities were on the pricier side. I didn’t want to book too many activities as we also wanted to relax and explore at our own pace. Of course, you can come to Center Parcs and not do any at all and still have lots of fun.
FREE ACTIVITIES AT CENTER PARCS
- Subtropical Paradise Swimming Pool
- Walks and wildlife spotting
- Soft plays within restaurants/sports bar
- Outdoor play areas
We found that the kids LOVED going swimming and the outdoor play areas the most I have to say. The kids were free to do as they pleased and were not tied to a time or schedule.
In terms of swimming, we found going in the morning to be super busy so if you go, I’d suggest going after lunchtime around 3pm where we found it to be half as quiet. There is so much going on – several slides, outdoor pool, plunge pool, several whirl pools, a pirate play area, baby pool as well as a Starbucks, cafe and private cabanas you can hire out (3 hours £50-75).
PAID ACTIVITIES AT CENTER PARCS
We chose the following:
- Mini Jet skis (for B and W)
- Indoor Climbing Wall (B)
- Mini Trek Activity (W)
- Bowling (Family)
- Aqua Sana Spa (Couple)
Overall, I found all activities at Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest to be good value however the Jet skis experience was cut short lasting only 7 minutes! However, we kindly asked the instructor to add on a further 5 minutes which he happily did!
I could write so much more but overall we had a super break and will definitely be returning! Has anyone else been on a Center Parcs holiday?
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