There is something refreshing with the opportunity to learn about heritage, participate in cultural activities or get closer nature when on holiday. In the UK there is so much to see and do, depending on where you’re headed. From afternoon tea to a spa break there are so many options for a staycation, but what about getting closer with nature?
Center Parcs revolutionised the holiday market in Holland over 40 years ago and in July 1987 opened it’s first UK village in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. The overall concept is to provide short breaks in the forest, bringing families together and back to nature with high quality accommodation, a range of outstanding leisure facilities and more than 200 indoor and outdoor activities all set within a protected and enhanced woodland environment. The UK now has five villages and recently I went to Center Parcs, Longleat.
When you first arrive you are captured into the magic of the woodland. Even though there are paths and roads throughout the village you walk or cycle everywhere – I don’t remember the last time I did so much exercise! Having said that, walking around meant that you get to take in your surroundings and notice beauty in simple gifts of nature. One night I was lucky enough to spot some deer which really brought the woodland to life.
I’m not going to lie to you, it’s not the cheapest way to have a staycation but you are paying for the quality in accommodation and the exclusivity of the resort. But here’s a tip – be smart. Take your own food, book your activities or meals up in advance and then you get the best of both worlds.
I loved the pool, and although I didn’t go as much as I probably would have liked to, it was by far my favourite part of the trip. The water rapids was so much fun, especially as it took you outside – reconnecting you with the nature once more. There was a cold deep plunge pool and at at 10-19 degrees celcius I couldn’t be tempted… I would’ve loved to have tried the spa but for some reason didn’t book myself in (normally the first port of call), oh well – just means I’ll have to go on the next trip. With so many activities on offer there is something for everyone and if you don’t get everything done in one trip, save it for the next one!
Would I recommend Center Parcs, Longleat? Yes, I would and I also would love to visit one other four in the UK – question is which one next?! Have you ever been to a Center Parcs – if so which one?