A look back at our Centre Parcs fun In Suffolk, London
After our first week in London we were off the Elveden Forest in Centre Parcs, Suffolk. After the train ride there, I was ready for a drink on arrival (3 kids, 4 adults in the hustle and bustle of a London tube and train – you can imagine the fun). No such luck though as we were greeted by a mountain of kids everywhere. Granted Centre Parcs is a holiday destination for Londoners mainly centred around kids and families, I wasn’t quite expecting the business of it all. I was quite impressed with the grounds though. Our cabin was nestled away amongst a mirage of leafy green trees and a quaint pond. Our accommodation for the week was really nice though with adequate space, 2 bathrooms and everyone getting their own rooms. There were 9 of us in total – all Peter’s side of the family – Myself, Peter, Jane, Richard, Mom, Clive and 3 boys (Aiden, Josh and Alex) in tow. Of course, with the boys energy levels we were off to enjoy swim activities straight away.
For those who don’t know what Centre Parcs is all about let me give you a brief breakdown; Centre Parcs comprises over 400 acres of lush woodland. It has indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It has a huge sports plaza with football, squash courts (we attempted to play a few games but wow it’s not quite like tennis) and table tennis. Centre Parc even has a water sports lakes, where you can try the thrilling Cable Water Ski or finish Aerial Adventure with a dramatic zip wire over the water. For more laid-back visitors, there’s a nine-hole golf course on the parc. They even offer a full range of spa services (where I was lucky enough to indulge). The parc has miles of woodland paths which you can run (like I did) or meander along at leisure. I even got to see lovely fluffy bunny rabbits hopping around, something like out of Farthing wood Friends (for those old enough to remember that childhood series). You are even likely to spot some of the little muntjac deer that make Elveden Forest home. From adrenaline-fuelled thrills and wild adventure to creative activities, there’s something to suit everyone at Centre Parcs. If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself I’ll leave the website at the end of my blog.
So with over 200 indoor and outdoor activities to discover we were in for a wild ride. Of course, the highlight of the whole park for the boys was the subtropical swimming paradise which comprised different swimming pools and activities. The main pool is best described as a blissful 29.5°C wave pool at the heart of the indoor pool area. They also have two wonderful spa pools and a special pool for infants and toddlers which includes its own flume and two slides. We spent quite a bit of our time there seeing as all our boys are under the age of four. If you are looking for a little more excitement they have larger flumes and the rip-roaring Canyon Ride. We ventured that ride twice and it was so much fun although I must admit to closing my eyes for most of the ride. You can literally spend all day in the subtropical swimming paradise with hot and cold food served all day from the Canopy Café and Bar. There are many activities available to book from learning to snorkel, scuba diving and even aqua jetting.
Centre Parcs subtropical swimming paradise could aptly be described “little piece of paradise” is like I stated above heated to 29.5°C (all year round), whatever the weather. You can literally just sit back and watch on as your little ones make a splash in the water playgrounds (like we often did) or dip your toes into the relaxing warm lagoon waters. This was my favourite place as the water was a lot warmer in the cave like lagoon area.
Our week was however not just filled with water, water, water. We did venture out of the swimming pool area to tackle some ceramic painting, farm animal feeding, football lessons and lots of playing in the outdoor parks. We also enjoyed warm evenings barbequing together as a family whilst cousins played, and I couldn’t help but feel that there was a profound sense of family and being together as we hadn’t before. Alex and Aiden were new to meeting each other as cousins and this trip solidified their sweet relationship, Aiden often wanting to hold Alex and literally “smush” him to death. Sense of family and quality time together has always eluded me in the past due to work, study and general life responsibilities. This year thus far has been so amazing as we have really gotten to re connect with family on a different level without all the stresses of external factors. It’s been amazing to have a conversation on a Sunday night (i.e. Sunday night blues) and not have to worry about getting up for work the next morning. My travel this year has really had a major impact on my life and I will forever be grateful to have had this experience with my husband and son to not just travel the world but to more importantly reconnect with family (old and new) and to rediscover friendships half way around the globe.
Back to my Centre Parcs experience though, most close friends know that I am not a fan of water or swimming but I went into the week-long holiday open minded and found that Centre Parcs had a lot more to offer besides water. Like I said I got to indulge in the amazing spa facilities and I got some lovely evening runs in. Running in the Elveden forest was a highlight of the week for me as the scenery was just so breath-taking. Besides spotting deer and fluffy bunnies on my runs, there are also many lakes at Centre Parcs with the cutest ducks and feathery friends to see too. All in all, it was a family filled fun experience that will always hold a special memory in my heart.
Until next time…