I know for many people when they think of Hen parties they think of Magaluf, Blackpool or just an extremely drunken night out. Well, this weekend I had the absolute pleasure of spending the weekend with my friends at Center Parcs. We spent 3 nights at Longleat Center Parcs in 2 villas and loved every minute. If you are planning a party away of any kind here is why you should use Longleat Forest Center Parcs as your base.
What Is Center Parcs?
Center Parcs is a woodland village holiday park in the UK. There are 5 sites in total and are based on outdoor activities, places to relax and a self-catering accommodation. The park allows cars to unload and load at certain times of the day but otherwise, cars are not allowed past a certain point. Making this a very safe place for families with children to roam around.
Also has become a great place for not just families but groups looking to celebrate everything from birthdays, hen do’s and stag parties. The park offers up everything you could think of needing as well as self-catering accommodation giving up the option to stay home or go out. The village is also a safe place to be as vehicles are restricted to certain hours meaning you and your children can run around freely with no worries.
What Is There To Do?
The parks have everything you would need for the weekend with a supermarket, a number of restaurants, a spa, swimming pools and slides as well as a little shopping. That doesn’t include the many different outdoor activities like high ropes, cycling, canoeing and zip wiring across the lake that are available.
While checking in can take some time as Friday is a popular time to arrive the lodges themselves aren’t available until 3 pm. You have a couple of hours to park by your villa to unload your car before needing to move it back to the car park. While I drove there were a couple of girls getting the train to the nearest station and getting a lift from there.
When checking we were given a map of the park and how to get to our villa as well as a band that opens the door. Once we unloaded the luggage and food we settled in for the evening and had a PJ party. We opted to stay in that night as everyone was tired from travelling and had an early start the next day. We had party food and prosecco with some board games for fun.
The camp was divided into two on Saturday morning, 5 of us were off early to do the high ropes challenge by the lake. The rest stayed in bed and recovered from the prosecco party the night before. The 5 of us wrapped up warm and headed down to the lake to find our activity. This is just one of the many high ropes activities they do at Longleat Forest Center Parcs.
Once we arrived we were weighed and put on our helmets and harness. There were lockers available to store bags in. While we waited for our turn we were wrapped in blankets to keep warm. We worked on 3 activities though some of us were too scared to do the last one – the leap of faith. Our first activity we timed to try and make into a contest though once the weather worsened we gave up on the competition. During the last 45 minutes of the activity, we were showered in thick snow, though it didn’t stop any of us!
After the morning activity, we headed up to the Pancake House for brunch. There they have the most divine pancakes and omelettes, varying from all-day breakfast to savoury and sweet. It was the perfect way to warm up after the freezing snow. The pancake also has gluten and dairy free options for anyone with allergies or dietary requirements.
After stuffing ourselves with pancakes we headed back to the villa to change for swimming. We got our stuff together and walked in the snow to the Plaza. The swimming facilities are free to use as part of the package at Longleat Forest Center Parcs. The changing areas are gender neutral making it easier for families to get ready with children.
We were so eager to get into the pool and onto the rides. There are 2 main rides at Longleat Forest Center Parcs along with toddler-friendly rides, relaxing spots, wave machine and outdoor water rapids. Our favourite part was the outdoor water rapids as the current carried us along, it is just like a fast-paced lazy river.
After spending a couple of hours swimming and getting bruised riding the water rapids we headed back to the villa. We all rushed to shower to get ready to go out and have some dinner and a couple of drinks. While there are no cars allowed in the park we were picked up from the entrance in a limousine.
The limousine took us from Longleat Forest Center Parcs to the centre of Bath approximately a 40-minute drive. This was a great time and way to get into town as we had a couple of bottles of prosecco while we drove. We then ended up at Turtle Bay for cocktails and food before heading to a couple of bars for more games and drinks.
Sunday we were due to head to the spa at Longleat Forest Center Parcs. We opted for a private room, use of the spa facilities, breakfast and lunch as well as a treatment each. While the snow progressed little staff could make it to work so the spa was limited. Unfortunately, when we arrived we couldn’t use the private room and there was only enough staff to man the spa. We were given use of the spa for the day as well as breakfast and beautiful lunch.
We spent the entire day hopping from the heated outdoor pool to the hot sauna and around the 15 different rooms. There was a quiet area with water beds some of us decided to have a nap and a couple of chairs. There was everything from tropical saunas to traditional Greek and Turkish sauna rooms as well as meditation rooms.
After spending the day in the spa we walked a short walk to the on-site Indian Restaurant Rajinda Pradesh. As there was 10 of us we needed to book a table, the restaurant was laid out well so each table felt they had privacy from everyone else.
The service and food was great, the dishes come in half portions for anyone who needs them. Even ordering half portion I struggled to finish my food. I started with onion bhajis followed with plain chips, chicken dopiaza and Peshwari naan.
Monday morning was pack up and leave time. We had until 11 to pack up the villa and leave the site. I couldn’t recommend using Longleat Forest Center Parcs enough as it was the perfect location and a great place to stay. I especially loved the convenience of having everything on one site and being able to bring your own food and cook.
If you are looking to celebrate a birthday, hen party or stag do or just a mates holiday I would look at spending your time at Center Parcs. There is everything you need and it is all just a short walk away, not to mention the amazing places to eat on site. Check out Longleat Forest Center Parcs for your next weekend away.