Let’s start this adventure right at the beginning, back in July 2021.
This time last year we’d enjoyed our Summer holiday week away with Forest Holidays in Ardgartan Argyll over on the West Coast. It had been postponed from 2020 due to Covid and to postpone it again came with a hefty admin fee. As it was in the middle of nowhere, it felt pretty safe, so we decided to go for it!
It was a fab week, but from a parenting perspective it was not without it’s difficulties. The on site shop selling all the essentials didn’t even have milk or non alcoholic cheese. Getting a loaf of bread was hit or miss and there was no fruit or veg in sight. The nearest shop turned out to be over an hours drive away.
Two of our four prebooked activities had been cancelled due to a staff wedding, obviously we understood and were fully refunded, but we were gutted as we’d been looking forward to doing them for 2 years!
The hot tub, which we were excited about (in lieu of a swimming pool) was so chlorinated it bleached everyone’s swimmers white within 40 minutes. We reached out to them for comment at the end of our stay several times and were ignored, which wasn’t ideal.
But, despite all that, we really did have an amazing week away. The West Coast is a really beautiful part of the world and there was easy access to loads of activities, walks, tourist-y spots close to the site, it was great.
The drive back home, in a bid to beat the holiday blues, we all talked about where we could go next and what we wanted to do in Summer 2022.
Without hesitation a swimming pool was declared the top priority. Closely followed with some sort of aerial adventure activity (which we’d done in Loch Lomond) a water activity, archery and bowling (we don’t have any bowling alleys near us and this one comes up often!) the “adventure holiday” vibe was strong!
By the time we got home Mark and I were googling Havens, Butlins and campsite type places and trying to find somewhere affordable that had everything we wanted and crucially somewhere that wasn’t hundreds of miles away. We obviously looked at a few different Forest Holiday locations as there was a cheeky wee discount if you booked again but their prices had more than doubled thanks to the pandemic and they were completely unaffordable for us.
Then my friend suggested Center Parcs…
We’d never considered it because we both knew it was pricey, but, you could do ALL the activities on site and they have a pool, which is completely free.
We priced up a lodge and the perk of the Scottish Summer holidays starting earlier than England means we can get a week beginning of July significantly cheaper than a week in August. It was actually less than what we’d just paid for our Forest Holiday (minus the activities)
We talked and talked and talked and talked some more and then told my folks, (who’d recently visited with friends) they quickly said we’ll join you and we booked Whinfell Forest later that day.
The countdown to Summer 2022 was on!
Why did you first choose to visit Center Parcs? Was there are defining moment?! What’s your favourite thing about going there and would you go back? Please let me know in the comments below