Centreparcs?

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  • Centreparcs?
  • loddrik
    Member

    Wife is talking about taking the kids for a few days. I know absolutely nothing about it and what goes on there. My perception is that it is probably vastly overpriced.

    What is it like/worth a visit?

    Don’t know if its overpriced but it’s not cheap. We go every year but during an off peak weekend so price is reasonable. I don’t think its ridiculous once you’re there, the bars and restaurants are priced similar to their high street counterparts. I guess the biggest gripe about it is that you don’t get much included in the price of the holiday. All the activities you want to do when there all cost extra. We will only do a couple if activities a day as the kids love the pool so not that expensive in the grand scheme of things.

    But ultimately, we love it, we like the outdoorsy surroundings, the pool is great, there is lots to do. The quality is much better than the cheaper places so you do feel like it’s all better quality for the higher price.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    ROFL @ Houns.

    That aside, I like Centerparcs.

    Yes it can be pricey if you go at the wrong time or you eat out at the restaurants every day and night.
    But if you go off-season, take in your own food and self-cater at least some of it then it is pricey but reasonable. Plus it is a lot quieter off-season so you don’t need to pre-book everything.

    The major plus point is the lack of cars and everyone cycling everywhere. It’s like an idealised suburbia.
    Plenty activities for the kids. It pays to make a bit of a plan before you go if you want to fit a lot in and make the most of it.

    No doubt a bunch of naysayers will be along to berate it as a pretentious pre-packaged middle-class butlins.

    It is of course. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing 😀

    Premier Icon dknwhy
    Subscriber

    It’s the outdoors in a controlled environment. Posh Butlins really.
    Have been a few times and enjoyed it. Bit overpriced for what you get but you’ll have fun.

    rob81
    Member

    We’re going in February with our baby. It’ll be our first time but we’ve heard nothing but good things about the quality etc. Take a bike lock though if using your own bikes; I’ve heard of thefts.

    z1ppy
    Member

    I’d agree with W-Scott’s comments, we’ve used them occasionally (Nott’s and Longleat) as a brainless retreat, and for that it’s fine (for us). Hire a chalet, play in the pool, relax by/in the chalet (feed the fat wildlife), eat dinner out and die.. repeat till you leave. I know ppl who use it to gathering for large families (or groups of friends) together for a easy meet-ups, sharing the cooking “in house” rather than eating out. Dependant on the site you use, we pick a chalet by a pond normally at the end of the run of chalets, just outside the “premium” area & find it easy to walk into the ‘centre’ (pool area)

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    I hated the idea but got ‘dragged’ along. Actually pretty good!

    Pool can keep kids occupied for hours. It empties out after lunch. First thing (which seems to be 10am) its just horrible. If you have older kids then go to the pool in the evening as well as its a ghost town late on. Most annoying thing is that many of the activities (climbing wall etc) don’t run on change over day. which is the only visible evidence of tight fistedness.

    Shop I thought was very reasonable. Accommodation was fine. Off season prices are better but the sites are just as busy, management told us they averaged 97% occupancy throughout the year! Apart from early morning in the pool, it doesn’t feel cramped though.

    Really impressed with the staff as well.

    That said, I’ve only been to the Penrith site. The new one down south looks great but it comes at a premium.

    marcus7
    Member

    my kids love it, especially the pool at night, not really my thing but self cater and its ok, I prefer camping myself but the kids are not as keen….

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    We’ve been to several, 5 I think, but none in the UK. We really like them, kids love them particularly given the Aqua mondo. We always book late and don’t pay anything like what the UK ones cost even with the cost of the Eurotunnel.

    Wife speaks fluent french which helps but, to be honest, English is so well spoken on the continent that it would rarely be an issue. Last one was De Eemhof in the Netherlands…very close to Amsterdam so visited it one day: under 10eur to park the car and take the train for all 4 of us into the centre! Stopped off for a night in Bruges on the way back too…which was nice 🙂

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    Centre Parcs is brilliant. Go with the flow and have a good time.

    lodious
    Member

    I honestly think it’s horrible, regardless of cost. You only need to go to the Dutch equivalent to see how bad UK Center Parcs is. It’s another imported idea where they just make everything a bit cheaper, a bit more profitable and you end up with something with all the good bits removed.

    Too many people crammed in too tightly, crap food outlets, the pool is absolutely rammed, accommodation is horrible unless you pay a fortune.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Use to take the kids when they were younger as provided a nice safe environment for them, a bit pricey during the school hols.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    a bit pricey during the school hols.

    Bloke from work reckons he took his wife & four kids to Eindhoven Centre Parcs, and even with the ferry it was cheaper than UK during the school holidays.

    Whinfell is nice, and we go about once a year. However, it was built to a different company’s spec and sold to CP and is nicer than others. Top tip is not to sign up for too many activities as about one a day is about the practical limit – otherwise you end up running round like a headless chicken.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Whinfell is nice, and we go about once a year. However, it was built to a different company’s spec and sold to CP and is nicer than others.

    It’s Whinfell we go to which may be why I don’t recognise lodious’s description of “horrible” accommodation. It’s nicer than my house 😀

    revs1972
    Member

    We have stayed at a few of them now whilst my wife does mystery shopping, so we have been lucky enough to get free accommodation, meals in various restaurants, activities etc. All adds up to £1000’s .
    Its a lot of work for her writing reports etc, but obviously well worth it.
    Its a great experience bring in an outside pool in the middle of winter with your head freezing cold but your body toasty warm

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    Used to go to Centreparcs every January or February as a mid-week break. Always really enjoyed it. That was until the Longleat park was being refurbished. Almost everything was being rebuilt or out of action. Admittedly it needed to be done, but we only found out when we arrived. The attitude of the management was “tough shit”

    We then went to Bluestone in Pembrokeshire for a few years. Suffered with terrible weather each time. The site at the time wasn’t as weather proof as it needed to be, and the whole ethos of using it as a base to explore was different to the Centreparcs “Trueman Show” atmosphere.

    Due to go to Bluestone in February. Since The Wife has been working as a SEN Teaching Assistant she can only take time off during school holidays, so the prices at both are horrendous at half term. How Centreparcs can justify nearly £1000 for a mid week break for a 2 bedroom chalet. Especially when a week later it will be £300.

    sbob
    Member

    Never been myself, but everyone I know who has has really enjoyed it (probably all went to the same one at Elvedon, Thetford).
    Wouldn’t take my bike though, plenty of thefts.

    sbob
    Member

    £1000 for a mid week break for a 2 bedroom chalet

    I went to India for a month for £1,000 all in.
    Take your pick. 😉

    edlong
    Member

    How Centreparcs can justify nearly £1000 for a mid week break for a 2 bedroom chalet. Especially when a week later it will be £300.

    Do people pay those prices? If yes then price justified.. simple economics.

    phead
    Member

    >Do people pay those prices? If yes then price justified.. simple economics.

    Its been 99+% full for over 20 years. I’m surprised people liked Winfell though, CP had spies in when it opened, and predicted on the first day it would go bust, which it did. It was built on the cheap.

    I’m not sure about woburn, seems the local woodland(milbrook warren) is a little small. I guess people will have to go down to woburn main if they want to ride anywhere.

    Those prices and on season/off season price differentials are not too dissimilar to the cost of renting a nice place on the coast of Cornwall. We used to holiday there off season before the kids went to school for roughly a third of the price for the same place in the summer hols. It’s cheaper to take the family to Majorca than Cornwall in the summer hols.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    dknwhy – Member
    It’s the outdoors in a controlled environment. Posh Butlins really.
    Have been a few times and enjoyed it. Bit overpriced for what you get but you’ll have fun.

    This ^^
    although since one of my mates started referring to the pool as warm toddler wee, I’m less inclined to go on the flumes.

    It does tend to attract a disproportionate number of tattooed Audi driving aspiring middle management types though – same demographic to this place really. 😀

    And for those not in the know, to put Houns’ comment in context, google mumsnet and centerparcs

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    If you are looking for an cheaper alternative then we spent a great long weekend at FlamingoLand.

    We hired a private static caravan (not one of the park ones) and rental included three days full access to the park. Some great rides there for kids and the grown-ups plus staying on-site means you can beat the queues on the big rides by going to them at the start or end of the day.

    Went with the same in-laws that we usually go to Centerparcs with. Considerably cheaper (less than half the cost) and the kids had just as much fun.

    mudshark
    Member

    What about Parkdean or Haven as cheaper options? I went to Parkdean’s Trecco Bay and was happy enough though being close to some good riding helped.

    yunki
    Member

    we go in the first week of November.. it costs **** all if you cater for yourselves

    I was fully expecting to hate the place, but it’s just such a simple holiday.. loads to do (especially if you like sports/swimming/waterslides and suchlike) very clean, comfortable accommodation and site, nice setting (at longleat anyway – chalets amongst the pine forest) I can’t help but like it really

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