Last weekend, we went to Longleat Forest Centre Parcs for a long weekend with all of husband’s family. It was our first time visiting but everyone i told who had already been said i would not be disappointed… and boy was they right!
Firstly, lets start with our wonderful accommodation, we stayed in an exclusive lodge (apologies these photos were taken as we were leaving so may not be as perfect as when we arrived!) We had 6 adults and 3 little ones in our party and the lodge was a perfect size for us all.
The living area had plenty of seating and due to the Indian Summer that we experienced the weekend we went, we did not get to enjoy the wood fire.
Adjoined to the living room was our dining area, again plenty of seats and room, we had some lovely meals around the table and also some fierce games of the card game ‘cheat’!
The kitchen was well equipped with everything you would need and plenty of cupboard space, which was good as the Mother In Law bought half of Morrison’s with her!
The games room was a great addition, the kids loved playing in there in the day and the grown ups enjoyed a few tournaments of pool… competitive us… no!
The outside area had a lovely hot tub and a separate sauna and steam room, i had planned before arriving at Centre Parcs to spend a lot of time using these facilities as they were for our personal use only… however i only got in the hot tub once, we were just too busy.
The property contained 2 double rooms and 2 twin rooms, all en suite with either a bath or a shower. With so many people in one house, it was so nice to have our own bathrooms and also a personal balcony. The nicest thing was waking up each morning, opening the door, hearing the birdsong and seeing nothing but beautiful forest.
One of the en suite bathrooms.
The accommodation also had another toilet downstairs and a drying room to put wet swimming costumes, they really did think of everything.
As soon as all our party had arrived we headed to the Subtropical Swimming Pool. There were plenty of family changing rooms and lockers.
We took our own inflatable rocket which the staff very kindly offered to blow up for us. There were also plenty of flotation vests for little ones to hand too. We first had a play in the waves and then went for a few goes around the flowing river. We went to the pool everyday and also enjoyed the outside pool, flumes and rapids.
We also hired bikes… i think bikes are pretty essential if you have small children who can not walk far as the park is actually quite big! The first day we had a trailer for the boys to sit in but when boy 1 spotted the bikes fitted onto the back of an adult bike, we went back and swapped for one of those and a seat on the back of my bike for boy 2. I actually loved all the cycling, i haven’t cycled in about 6 years but liked that i felt so fit (guess the Insanity workouts are paying off) and could actually cycle up the steep cycle path… and my bike didn’t have any gears!
We spent a lot of time around the lake. The weather was glorious, so we sat on the little beach that they have there, the boys went for a ride on a pedalo.
The lake was buzzing with so many activities going on, it really did remind me of Kellerman’s in Dirty Dancing 🙂 With all the trees surrounding us, it felt just like being in Canada (without the risk of bears).
There was also lots and lots of play parks for the boys, they were spoilt for choice.
Whilst the boys had a play, i had my first Pumpkin Spiced Latte from one of the two Starbucks on the site… happy boys and happy Mum!
We had a meal at Bella Italia on our last evening, we had a lovely meal and great service. On our final day we had one more play in the pool and then had a bite to eat at Hucks, a burger restaurant on site. The kids had an all you can eat buffet… they got their monies worth. I went for a Texas Burger, it was a nice end to a great break.
I had one more place to check out before i left… the gift shops, which actually were reasonably priced. I bought the boys a Centre Parcs squirel to remember our time at Longleat Forest, we saw so many of the little fellas on our bike rides. The boys had an amazing time and promptly fell asleep holding their new friends as soon as we hit the A303 home!
We had an amazing couple of days at Centre Parcs, the only problem with the place was there were not enough hours in the day. We had purchased gym passes prior to our trip but unfortunately did not get round to using them as ran out of time. Just bike riding and the swimming pool was enough really but there were many bookable activities on offer for all ages. We hope to enjoy Centre Parcs again one day… a week on, i think i have finally got over all that swimming and cycling.