Saturday, 7 March 2015

Centre Parcs, Elveden Forest, Suffolk

I feel like we have just been let in on a secret that loads of people knew about but we didn't. Until now. Centre Parcs. What a revelation! We have just come home from a great 4 night break in the Elveden Forest. After we had booked our trip (last minute, 2 weeks ago) loads of people we knew remarked "Oh, yes, we go there all the time". Well, thanks for not telling us.

We chose the Elveden Forest location as its only an hour from Colchester and was £100 cheaper than the same holiday in Longleat. I have no idea why as I think they are all pretty much the same. Anyway, it was great and we'll definitely be back. Our son had a wonderful time being driven around in a bike trailor, flopping around in the awesome indoor pool (complete with rapids, slides, waves, complimentary life jackets) and being given balloons at every meal time. Sometimes I am really jealous of my son.

We stayed in one of the hundreds of 6 person 'lodges' deep in the forest, actually furthest away from the main 'plaza' but we needed the exercise frankly. The lodge had 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, another WC, a main living area with kitchen, dining table and lounge area. Outside, all the lodges have their own patio with barbecue and table and chairs. All lodges come with 1 highchair and cot as standard so its perfect for anyone with young kids. Some of the larger places to stay have their own saunas and hot tubs which would have been brilliant if we had stayed in the summer time, and they also have tree houses.

The plaza had places to eat if you didn't want to go completely self catering (Cafe Rouge, 3 Starbucks, a couple of burger places, an Indian Restaurant, and most bigger restaurants had softplay areas in them!). There is a well stocked supermarket (complete with Krispy Kremes), a top shop and they offer a food delivery service if you are feeling super lazy.

We saw this peacock sniffing around one of the coffee shops.

Aside from the pool and the bikes (which you have to pay extra to hire), softplay areas, out door playgrounds, Birds of Prey, there were loads of other things we could have done, but my son is still a little too young. Archery, Quad biking, badminton, zip wire....They did have little kid events on and a creche where you could leave your children for a few hours, but being helicopter parents we didn't like to.

We did try to enjoy a nice family 'treat' of pottery painting but I don't think it was that successful. 2 hours painting a side plate was not my son's idea of a good time. However, I painted this plate which I am pretty happy with:

Overall, it was a triumph and I would recommend it to anyone that has small children, and even anyone that has big children. The only downside was our terrible sense of direction. We lost the car on the first night, the bikes on the second day and trying to get out on the last day was reminiscent of 'Picnic of Hanging Rock' as after I dropped my bike off I tried to locate the car again. And failed. But we eventually found each other and the Exit and reluctantly headed home.

On the way back we popped into the Elveden Estate and saw a chicken. The perfect end to a perfect week. We are all still knackered, hence this rather brief post, but looking forward to planning our next visit.

No comments:

Post a Comment