Name: Center Parcs, Woburn Forest
Type: Family resort
Cost: Cost for a 4 Bedroom Woodland Lodge varies from approx £859 in low season to £1499 over school holidays for a Friday – Monday stay
Facilities: Swimming complex, Spa, Kids activities
Tripadvisor rating: 4
Last week, a friend asked me for advice on where to go on holiday in the wintertime. They were looking for somewhere in the UK, and asked what was one of the most popular winter break destinations in the UK. Well, naturally one of the options we discussed was Center Parcs. After chatting a bit to her, it prompted me to write this blog entry on Center Parcs in the winter, in case anyone else was considering going there too.
A few years back, in November, we visited Center Parcs, Woburn Forest with some good friends. We’d already had previous experience at Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest and so it was with quite a lot of excitement that we headed the short distance down the M1 to get to Woburn Forest.
The first thing that struck us as a point of difference between the two Center Parcs, was the much more compact nature of Woburn Forest. Sherwood, by contrast, was much more sprawling and required us to rent out bikes for the family, given the distance from our accommodation to the village. To be honest, we loved biking around, but our visit to Sherwood had been in September. And now, given the colder season, we did appreciate the proximity of our accommodation to the activities, something which made getting around with young kids that much easier, especially in the cold.
Our accommodation was a four bedroom Woodland Lodge. It was the perfect size and layout for both us and our friends to comfortably stay in. One of the big benefits of the accommodation to a larger group, is that you can club together on food and self-cater whenever you fancy with the well equipped kitchenettes available. However, should you want to eat out, there are plenty of restaurants & food options in the village. It leaves you free to eat in or out as you please.
During our stay at Woburn Forest, aside from the pretty darn exciting Subtropical Swimming Paradise (best visited early or late in the day to avoid the crowds), our kids did a bunch of activities – learning how to bike ride, football lessons, pottery classes..
The most loved winter activity however was the Winter Wonderland. Options include having Breakfast with Santa, meeting his reindeer, enrolling in Elf Academy or designing a Giant Christmas Stocking. Our kids also got to do some festive pony riding, which was a total hit!
In case you were wondering though, Center Parcs, Woburn Forest isn’t just for kids.. There is a fabulous spa called Aqua Sana. One of the many benefits of going with friends is that you can babysit for each other. Center Parcs do provide babysitting but you have to book well in advance – there were no spaces available when we enquired a few weeks before arriving. So my friend and I had a girly night with a Twilight Treat at the spa – 5 hours of kid-free bliss and a treatment! Obviously we repaid the favour to the boys the next night.. The Aqua Sana Spa is so good that I’ve actually returned with some girlfriends, for a day spa trip. Make sure you book your spa slot early though – don’t leave it to the last minute otherwise you may miss out. And we wouldn’t want that!
The weather was pretty rainy when we were there but that didn’t dampen the fun. I would definitely go back to Center Parcs again for a short break, in fact it’s been an ongoing discussion with our friends – recon it’s time to book again Mr & Mrs W 🙂
So there concludes today’s blog post on Center Parcs. If you’ve visited Center Parcs and have some tips to share, do comment on this post – we’d love to hear from you!
And whilst you are here, check out the landing page for our new start-up called TripAbrood: www.tripabrood.com. This is a first of it’s kind, one-stop-shop for researching and booking family holidays. We’d love you to sign up and be added to our VIP list. Should you do this, you’ll be the first to know more about this revolutionary new technology solution for family holidays.