Sunday, 22 January 2012

Center Parcs Celebrates 25 Years!

It all began in 1987 when Center Parcs revolutionised the UK holiday market by introducing family breaks throughout the year, offering an alternative to the seasonal getaway. As a family we were there practically from the start. 

May 1988, I was seventeen and engaged to my new boyfriend (Papa Syder) when Mum decided to organise a weekend break away to this really cool new place in Nottingham called Center Parcs. Mum very excitedly told us that Center Parcs had an  amazing Swimming complex with slides, flumes, wild water rapids, a wave machine (which was relatively new in the eighties), Jacuzzis and it even had a snack bar in the pool. All this underneath a giant glass dome.  We were intrigued and couldn't wait to get there.

It was mine and Papa's first holiday together and we were not disappointed, we loved it. Mum didn't see us for dust as we made our way to the dome every morning, towels rolled up under our arms, we would jump onto our hired bikes and swim for most of the day. 

That same year Mum was looking to book our family holiday and gave us the choice of (a) A week in the Canaries or (b) two weeks in France staying at Center Parcs. We didn't hesitate and picked Center Parcs. It was booked for September 1988.

 (Center parcs 1988)

Mum took seven kids ranging in age from six months to me who had just turned eighteen. We piled into Mum's mini bus, I put my Bon Jovi cassette into my personal stereo and cranked up the volume as we headed towards the ferry. We made our way across France, all desperate to jump in that pool. 

What Mum liked about Center Parcs was that we all loved it there, having such a big age range there was something for all of us. Also back then the accommodation was ultra modern, spotlessly clean and well equipped just as it still is today.

Since those early days Center Parcs has been our number one holiday choice. We have stayed there almost every year since 1988 and thoroughly enjoyed every visit. All four of our kids (and now our Granddaughter) love staying there. Here are a few snapshots of just some of the years we have been. Our kids and my five brothers have grown up at Center Parcs.

 (Center Parcs 1993 & 1994)

(Center Parcs 1998, 2004 & 2005)


For 2012 Center Parcs celebrates its 25th year with new, exciting developments:

* New features at each Subtropical Swimming Paradise are in the early planning phases to include new water rides, toddler play areas, warm water pools and private cabanas at all locations.

* Center Parcs’ uniquely designed luxury Treehouses have been completed at Longleat Forest. 

* Spa Suite accommodation has been built for luxury spa breaks at Elveden Forest.

* New shops, restaurants and cafes including a children’s toy shop (Just For Kids), gift and home décor shop (The Store Room) and a new burger restaurant (Dexter’s Kitchen).

(Center Parcs Treehouse)

There are four Center Parcs locations across the UK - Sherwood Forest (Nottinghamshire), Elveden Forest (Suffolk), Longleat Forest (Wiltshire) and Whinfell Forest, (Cumbria).

Breaks at Center Parcs in 2012 start from £249. For more information or to make a booking, call: 08448 266 266 or visit:

To follow Center Parcs on Facebook please visit their official UK Facebook page

We have three villa's booked for winter wonderland this year as members of our extended family are coming too. We can't wait, I'm sure it will be a another break to remember!
You can check out my guided tour to the new Woodland lodges here

*This is not a sponsored post.


  1. Love CP, best place ever! Slightly on the pricey side... but worth every penny. Happy days indeed. Amazing they still look so fresh after 25 years.

  2. What fab holidays you've had! Finding somewhere to suit the whole family I'm sure is not any easy task, and I love it that the next generations are enjoying it as much as you did on your first visit!

  3. I really enjoyed this posy Mama I think its great how its still enjoyed down the line. I've looked at CP's many times but Id have to save for a fair while, im sure it's worth every penny though! x

  4. Thanks everyone. It is lovely having a place to holiday that the whole family enjoy and that CP has become a bit of a family tradition.

    Cupcake Mumma - It doesnt have to be expensive at CP. If you go during winter wonderland (which your kids would love as it all chrismassy) villas are not badly priced at all and if you take your own shopping & wine then you can enjoy the swimming & the lovely kids parks for free x

  5. I am very fond of Center Parcs. We first started going in 2009 when our son was 12 weeks old and we've been back every year since at the same time, it's tradition now! This years break is booked... even though it won't be until October, I'm excited! I love that each time we go, Ethan is a bit older and can enjoy it even more than the last time. We always go to Longleat.

  6. Hi Alex, Great place isn't it. I always feel so chilled when I'm there. We have this years booked too but not until November...we all prefer it during the winter months. Longleat is my favourite parc but we visit Elveden the most because its closer to us x



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