If you follow me on social media, you will know that I went to Center Parcs Longleat forest back in July. I have waited a little while to post this as I went to Center Parcs Elveden back in April. No I am not sponsored by Center Parcs, that would be cool though. This second visit was actually a last minute weekend away with family. It was a much needed break from things that were going on last month.
Center Parcs Longleat Forest
When you book a Center Parcs break over the weekend you arrive on Friday and can check into your accommodation at 3PM. You must leave your accommodation on Monday at 10AM. On both Friday and Monday you are able to use the facilities onsite before/after the check in/out times. We left home in the morning on Friday, anticipating that we would arrive onsite before check in, but due to traffic the drive was longer than expected and we arrived pretty much at 3PM.
Once you have the keys to your lodge you can drive onsite and unpack your items. You are then supposed to park in the car park and not leave your vehicle outside your accommodation unless there is a specific space.
No Cars Parked Onsite?
I noticed on this trip that a few people left their vehicles outside their lodges. They weren’t driving them but they were there almost all weekend. It kind of ruins the no/limited vehicle atmosphere. I am not sure if this happened because it was a weekend visit or more people are trying their luck. Center Parcs do put flyers on cars, asking for them to be moved but some ignored them. This is a very minor thing but something I have not noticed before.
We purchased meals from the local supermarket for the weekend and had decided we would go out to dinner on the Sunday. Forgetting how busy the restaurants would be on the last day, we didn’t go to book a table until Sunday morning. When we tried to book, it said there were none available – oops. Instead we decided to go and grab something from the supermarket. Again, forgetting Sunday trading hours the supermarket wasn’t open. Rookie error! We decided to ask at Huck’s restaurant if they had any tables on the off chance, luckily they did! My tips if you stay over the weekend is to book your table in advance, don’t forget Sunday trading hours and worst case scenario just ask for a table at the restaurant.
If you are planning a holiday at Center Parcs, I would definitely recommend going on the website and seeing how much the activities cost. If you have children the prices can add up quickly, adding quite a cost to your trip. Swimming is included at all sites, you do not have to pay any extra for this. We hired bikes for the weekend, I will explain why in the section below. We chose to go bowling, which is always fun and good for the whole family to do.
One thing I have always wanted to do at Center Parcs is try a water sport/activity. We chose to hire a pedalo, it is the fairly easy option as you don’t have to worry about any rowing. I really enjoyed this and want to get involved in more activities like this.
We also chose to do adventure golf. This is a good activity that you can just walk up and do, you do not have to book in advance. Once you are there you can choose a shorter course or a longer course that does all the available holes. We did the longer one, which was alot of fun. The course is built really well with lots of different scenes and obstacles.
The weather was pretty cold for July throughout the whole weekend and it rained. Not just a little, A LOT. I would never have thought I would be using a log fire in July, but we did and it was lovely. The rain meant we were going back to the lodge alot to dry off, but this didn’t ruin the experience. The lodges are all fitted out really nicely, they quickly feel like home.
Center Parcs Longleat vs Center Parcs Elveden
In comparison to Center Parcs Elveden, I find that Longleat is on a larger site and also has alot of hills. For this reason, we hired bikes for the weekend. It is much easier to get around if you are able to cycle. If you have a lodge that is fairly central you can still walk everywhere, bear in mind if your lodge is in the outer part of the site you are quite far away from the plaza and sports centre. Longleat does run a land train around the site, so if cycling isn’t your thing you can still easily get around the site.
In terms of activities, I believe that Longleat and Elveden offer a similar or the same range of activities. You can see what each site offers on the website and their prices.
Both sites are very similar, you will not miss out on anything if you choose the site that is closer to you. I prefer the layout of Center Parcs Longleat, but this could be because I have been to this site more and I am more familiar with it. I have never had a bad experience whilst visiting Center Parcs, if anything has ever gone wrong, they have fixed it. Whether you are looking for a UK holiday or weekend break away, definitely have a look at Center Parcs!
Read my post on Center Parcs Elveden Forest here.
Check out more pictures on my INSTAGRAM.