In June we went away to Center Parcs Elveden Forest and thought we would film our time away and give a little review so if you are thinking of going you can see what it is really like before you book. I like to do my research before I pay so much money and I like to make sure it will be something the whole family will love so if that is you as well then this is the review for you.
When you first get to Center Parcs you can drive your car to your lodge so you can take your cases in and then you have to park your car in the car park and you can’t drive your car around the forest until the day you leave when you go and get your car so you can put all your stuff back in. This is really nice because there are no cars driving around the whole park, just bikes, scooters and the occasional Center Parcs van delivering food or the cleaners.
The accommodation was really nice and clean. We had a 2 bedroom lodge and the kitchen was well equipped with everything that you need, even a dishwasher! We didn’t use it though because we bought paper plates because we are on holiday and who wants to rinse plates and load and unload a dishwasher (“,) They did give a few supplies like clothes, dishwasher tablets, vacuum cleaner, iron which was another plus. The only negative was the fridge and freezer was really small so if you wanted to stock up on food there wasn’t really a lot of space. If you want to see a more detailed view watch our video tour below.
You are also given a BBQ stand so you can put a disposable BBQ on and we had many meals, breakfasts and coffee on it (“,) My husband even made Greek Cypriot Coffee on it and he said it was the best one he ever made. I think it has something to do with the slow roasting, if you would like to have a go making Greek coffee on the BBQ just follow my Greek Coffee recipe click here and follow all the steps but just place your briki or coffee pot on your hot BBQ coals and then let me know how it tasted (“,)
You have three choices when it comes to food. You can either go and eat out, have food delivered to your lodge or cook in your lodge. Just make sure you don’t get there at 8:30 like we did because everywhere was shut apart from one restaurant. They do have a supermarket there which is reasonably priced, but there is also a Sainsburys and Lidl about a 10 minute drive away if you would rather shop there. The only thing is you can drive out of the car park whenever you want but when you get back you have to leave your car in the car park and walk back to your lodge with all your shopping bags. So if you are quite far from the car park it maybe a good idea to try and stock up on your first day when you can drive your car to your lodge.
My favourite bits were have the view of the forest out of every window, the sound of the trees rusting in the wind and the birds chirping was so relaxing. We also had visits from many woodland animals everyday all day. We saw ducks, rabbits, squirrels and even deer came up to our patio for a feed. If you or your kids love animals then this is the place to take them.
The activities in Center Parcs are quite expensive but the people there are so nice and make everyone feel so welcome. The kids are given badges when they complete an activity which my girls thought was fab, and then wanted to do more activities to collect more badges which can cost too much. They did have three parks for kids of all ages and the swimming pool is free up until 9:00pm. The pool has a wave machine and slides and family cubicles so you can all get ready together and a big dryer you pay £1 and the whole family can fit in and get dry before you go and get changed. You can also hire out bikes when you’re there or better still if you have your own bring them with you to get around. The girls bought their scooters and had the best time because their roads are smooth and hilly which made it more fun. Whilst out on their scooters we went on nature hunts stopped and looked at the animals and flowers and I taped paper around their wrists and put double sided tape around it so when they saw petals, pine anything along the way the would stick it on and in the end they had the most beautiful nature bracelets, they were entertained for hours and best of all it was free (“,) Another free activity ew like to do as a family is nature journaling. For example there were loads of pine cones on the floor every where. So I got out one of my favourite books ‘The Flower Fairies’. The book has poems about plants and flowers of every season which rhyme but best of all explain about the plant or flower. I read the poem about the pinecone fairies to the girls and we all learnt the pine cones grow on tall trees, the pine cones have hidden seeds inside and that the pine elves throw the pinecones down from the tree tops so the squirrel can play and nibble on them. After reading this the girls went and collected a load of pinecones in their baskets and searched in them thoroughly for the hidden seeds. We then all got out our nature journals and drew the pinecones and trees and wrote a few notes about it too. This is on of my favourite activities that we do together because the kids don’t only learn my husband and I are also learning too, the girls are having fun in nature and keeping their imagination alive and we all are using are creative talents to express ourselves through art, plus again it’s a free activity just remember to take paper and pens with you if you want to do this as well.
For us this was a lovely family holiday. If you want to get back and reconnect with nature then this is the holiday for you too.
Just remember it can be costly so do a little research on things you think your family would like to do that is free, have a look on Pinterest for some ideas or look at some of the pins I’ve saved for inspiration click here for a look. Also one other thing I forgot to mention, meal plan. I worked out what meals we were going to have for the 5 days we were there, how many times we were going to eat out and stay in and then bought all the dry ingredients with us and bought the refrigerated food when we got there. This saved us money because we didn’t just go and spend on food, we knew what we were going to eat either at home or go out plus I made quick simple food so we didn’t have to waste time cooking. If you would like some inspiration check out my 30 minute meals
Watch our review below
If you have any questions leave them in the comments below and if you do go to Center Parcs I hope you have a lovely time (“,)