Center Parcs - Our family holiday at Whinfell Forest
Sadly, last year my Uncle Gordon passed away after suffering from cancer. Unfortunately, he and his wife were due to fly out on holiday with my parents for a holiday which had been planned many months previously. This year, my Aunt Catherine organized to take the whole family on holiday to Center Parcs in Whinfell Forest, Cumbria as it was his wish for everyone to be reunited and have fun as a family. So, on 24th August this year, we all met up and had one of the best holidays ever. The group consisted of my Aunt Catherine, my Mum, Dad, David (my brother), my partner Chris, daughter Lyndsey and myself.
The seven of us arrived at Whinfell Forest and this is a review of our holiday:
Center Parcs Accommodation
Our wooden lodge was in the middle of the forest, surrounded by woodland. There were 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a large open plan living space incorporating a lounge, dining room and kitchen. The views from the patio doors were amazing and outside was a built in barbeque, garden table and chairs.
During our one week stay, we had many visitors to the lodge including ducks from a nearby pond, pheasants, robins, red squirrels, moorhens, foxes, hedgehogs, rabbits, toads and a glimpse of a badger. It was truly amazing to watch the abundance of wildlife on our doorstep. The pheasants were even eating out of my brothers hand at one stage.
Outdoor pursuits and activities
There were so many things to do in Whinfell Forest, we didn't try them all out but this was just some of the activities on offer:
canoeing, wind surfing, football, tennis courts, cycling, bowling, abseiling, climbing, woodland walks, adventure/assault courses, outdoor swimming, horse riding, archery, mini golf, quad bikes, paintball, tree trekking, zip wire. There were also guided walks by the forest rangers, wildlife photography courses, bird box building workshops and falconry displays. There was a large hire centre where you could hire everything from skateboards and bikes to mobility scooters.
Throughout the forest there are many playgrounds and toddler play areas for the smaller children.
One of the best indoor activities was the sub tropical swimming pool with its palm trees, water slides and realistic wave machine which actually made you feel like you were swimming in the sea.
There were many activities to choose from indoors if the British weather is not at its best. We only had two days where it rained or was cold, and this gave us all a chance to explore the rest of the holiday village. Again, they had thought of everything and catered for everyone. Here are some of the pursuits on offer:
- pottery studio where you can paint your own pottery.
- ten pin bowling
- amusement arcade
- fitness suite
- health spa
- indoor football, tennis, skateboarding, rollerskating, cycling, table tennis, squash, tennis, netball, volleyball, climbing.
- jewellery making
- fashion makeovers
- craft classes
- photography lessons
Although the lodge had a fully equipped kitchen and outdoor barbeque, we preferred to eat out most of the time. There is a large selection of bars, cafes, restaurants, steak house, burger bar and two Starbuck's eateries. There was a sports cafe which showed live sporting events including football which suited my dad, brother and partner!
Inside the village, there are many shops for that all important retail therapy. Again there is something for everyone, including a supermarket, gift shop, toy shop, hairdresser, candy store, and spa shop.
There are craft tables for the kids, face painting, temporary body art, and hair braiding throughout the mall.
I would certainly recommend Center Parcs for a fun-filled family holiday with something to do for everyone. I am already looking forward to planning a return visit next year.