In my first blog post I give an outline of the lovely holiday I won for becoming a Center Parcs Family Blogger with Tots100.
In this post I wanted to give a more of a review of our holiday.
We stayed in a New Style Lodge, we were right at the edge of the park but it only took five minutes to walk to the village centre and even less on our bikes. The lodge was lovely and clean when we arrived and we also had a grocery pack delivered which contained all the basics you would need, tea, sugar, coffee, milk, bread, sausages, bacon, sauce, washing up liquid and a lot more. There were also some samples of tea, coffee, sugar and milk for those that do not order a grocery pack.
We were all provided with a bath towel and a hand towel and their was a hairdryer in every bedroom. That sure saved a lot of space in our suitcases. The kitchen was well stocked with utensils, there were even BBQ utensils provided and we had brick BBQ outside on which you could use a portable BBQ pack from the Parc Market. We also had a dishwasher which was a novelty for me, and a microwave. The oven was full size and the fridge a good size too.
The beds were cosy. I found the double to be ok but my 6ft daughter found the single to be a little small. The bedding was really nice and soft. I had no trouble sleeping.
Here is a little video tour of our lodge
The views all around were absolutely stunning. I loved looking out of the window and seeing just trees with the sunlight shining through. The walk to the village centre was lovely, all around you could see evidence of the wild life and the birds would sing you on your way. We saw rabbits, pheasants a grouse and even a few red squirrels. Of a night time we became addicted to watching the badger cam provided on our tv to catch a badger or two.
The village center was like a tropical paradise with a stream flowing through, sometimes you forgot you were indoors. There were many places to eat to suit all tastes from burgers to Chinese, Italian to Indian and of course Cafe Rouge and a Starbucks. There was also a takeaway food place and Pancake House. The Parc Market was the well stocked supermarket. They were good value and had everything you would expect to see in a supermarket. We did notice that the more pricier items where nearer the entrance. They also made fresh sandwiches and pastries.
There was also the usual gift shops, toy shop, sweet shop and clothing shops. Something for everyone for all tastes.
The lake was beautiful, we spent a lot of time sitting around watching the ducks and the fish. The boardwalk was the perfect place for this with tables and chairs under cover and coffee and food shops nearby.
The subtropical pool was a welcoming place with something suitable for all ages. There were baby pools, toddler pools, sharing pool, jacuzzi's, rapids, waves, slides and an outdoor pool. It was lovely and warm in the pool areas which was nice. The changing rooms were a little like a maze but I didn't get lost so they couldn't have been that bad. There are also hairdryers and swimsuit dryers for your use. You can hire towels if you don't want to take your own.
The Aqua Sana Spa was a wonderful experience. I was really worried that I wouldn't enjoy it having never been in a sauna before, and being a little self concious about my body. However, once inside I felt myself relax and enjoy many of the different sensations offered. Each sauna has a notice telling you exactly what to expect, so if you don't like it too hot, or too humid then you know which one to avoid. After your time in the sauna you are refreshed with a shower and then encouraged to drink water or fruit juice and relax on one of the many chairs or beds for twenty minutes before trying the next one.
I was also treated to a facial which involved so much more. I was also given a back and shoulder massage and a scalp massage. The actual facial contained many elements and I have to admit sometimes it was like being at the dentist, not knowing what was going on and feeling a little uncomfortable, but then being treated to something nice afterwards. I did feel really good by the time she had finished and my eyes in particular benefited greatly from the experience.
There are many activities available at the parcs and it's a good idea to plan before you go. We played mini golf and went ten pin bowling. The children enjoyed a few hours at the play scheme. The girls went to fairy school and the Little Man went to the créche. It is hard to fit everything in if you like to relax a little on holiday, that's why it's a good idea to plan. We had also booked a session of pottery painting, but just before our time we walked past the place while the smoke alarm was going off and everyone was being evacuated. It wasn't anything too serious, but it put Star off going, she couldn't face going in. That was a shame as I've tried the pottery painting before and I'm sure the girls would have loved it.
We all had a wonderful time at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest and I wouldn't hesitate in going back there again sometime.