How brilliant is Center Parcs? A couple of weekends ago, Mr. M and I took our 5 and 7 year old niece and nephew to Whinfell Forest for a long weekend and we had a fabulous time. During our stay we managed to fit in bowling, kayaking, 18 holes of crazy golf and a treasure trail. We’d hired bikes for the four of us and I’d really recommend having some as they made getting around much easier than it would have been walking! The swimming pool was great too, the kids enjoyed the rapids, the waves and the flumes and were happy to go swimming for 3 days in a row! Personally, one go on each flume was enough for me. I like the sliding, but I’m not a massive fan of being dunked in the water at the end! If I’m honest, I’m not a massive fan of getting my face wet at all.
Our little house in the forest was the cause of much excitement and we had red squirrels, partridges and ducks in the garden during our stay. In fact, the lodge was so nice that the ducks were tapping their beaks on the patio doors in an attempt to be let in. Luckily we only found out about our other co-resident (a mouse) when Mr M spotted it scampering across the carpet on the last night, and not by discovering it in our food cupboard!
The kids really enjoyed themselves too, there was no homesickness and they were on their best behaviour. We had a few minor bike-related bumps and scrapes but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with some magic spray and a plaster! It was strange for me being part of a little family for the weekend. Experiencing Center Parcs through the eyes of the kids was very different from how it would have been had we been alone. We did different activities, ate in different places and structured our days in a different way. We also celebrated Mr M’s birthday differently, with chocolate cake, candles and singing in a restaurant!
I can really see why people with children go the Center Parcs – there is so much to do and it’s a really safe and pleasant place to be. I imagine that we will take the kids again, perhaps yearly, and just change the activities as they grow up. There is such a variety of activities that there would be plenty to choose from for a good few years yet. By the end of the weekend we were exhausted and ready for some adult time, I truly have no idea how parents manage!