We love Center Parcs. As a family we are pretty late to discover the joys of these holidays, car free cycling, hundreds of activities and the most amazing swimming pools EVER! After being a couple of times to different locations this year, we are well and truly hooked.
A few weeks ago, we visited our nearest parc, Longleat. Only an hour away from home, this parc now has two new water slides which we were keen to try out. Typhoon and Cyclone! The names sound awesome and scary right?!
Arriving on Friday afternoon we checked straight in to our lodge. One of the newly built 3 bedroom lodges, with en suite in each bedroom, own sauna and fully equipped kitchen plus daily maid service. Now this is my kind of holiday!
The lodge was tastefully decorated in tonal greys, browns and greens and with the Center Parcs iconic woodland wall paper in the lounge. The best bit was the sauna. Just outside the back door, a private space with a state of the art sauna and a cold water open air shower to the side, for the brave.
First port of call was to hire bikes for the weekend. Biking around the car free lanes of the parc is one of the most pleasurable things to do. Keeping up with my kids, is not so pleasurable – I need to get fitter! Next up, that water slide. Climbing the stairs to join the short queue at the top, we began to get butterflies, the fear of the unknown. Plus hearing the shrieks the people made when going down didn’t help. We tried the family raft ride first, the Cyclone. An inflatable raft ride (we rode as a family of four) with 142 metres of twists, turns and gravity-defying drops and added audio-visual themes to choose from. Rufus chose the shark theme, and we all sat in the inflatable raft. Suddenly I realised I was facing backwards – oh no! Too late. Down we went. At first it was a soft enjoyable ride, lulling us into a false sense of security as all of a suddenly we whipped around a corner, taking air, rising high up to land on the opposite wall of a large funnel shaped ‘room’.
The light show played sharks swimming around us, as we slipped from one side of the room to the other in such deep arcs it felt we were going to flip over…. to finally being spat out the bottom of the funnel to the pool below. We screamed, we were terrified, we laughed – we LOVED it! Again again! During our weekend at Center Parcs Longleat, we tried a variety of activities, from Field Archery to Quad Bike Safari. Ten pin bowling and boating on the lake.
My personal favourite experience was the Aqua Sana spa, where I was treated to an hour long detox massage and facial. I went in feeling what I thought was relaxed, and came out uber chilled. Vowing to treat myself once a month to massage and never be tight and knotty again – we shall see. Center Parcs Longleat is a must for all families, from the really young to the old (we saw a man in his 80s in the rapids) there is something for everyone.
Credit: Little Garden Sheds