Staycations are the way forward for the time-pressed new parent - save money on flights by holidaying in the UK. We review this Center Parcs location, ideal for some much-needed new-parent relaxation.
Lara Palamoudian visited Center Parcs Eleveden Forest In Suffolk with her husband Stephen and their sons Raffi, 5, and Alex, 3.
I’ve never been an outdoorsy person. And when it comes to sporting activities, power-walking around the shops at sale time is the only one I’ve ever really mastered. But having two very energetic little boys means that over the last few years I’ve needed to become a lot more active than I used to be, just to keep up with them. So, a family mini-break to Center Parcs in the beautiful Elveden Forest meant we would all be happy.
“Our newly decorated Scandi-style house drew gasps of excitement from the boys”
Our newly decorated Scandi-style house, complete with pool table and en-suite bathrooms, on the outskirts of the village drew gasps of excitement from the boys. And that was before they’d spotted the foxes, pheasants and squirrels pottering about the patio area. Thankfully, we’d ordered a grocery pack in advance, so had all the basics we needed, including crisps and ketchup.
Hiring bikes to get around was easy and convenient. There were plenty of options for children, including toddler trailers and adult/child bicycles made for two. Popping out to the supermarket for extra supplies was much more fun than usual on our bikes, not to mention safer, as cars are confined to the car park.
“There were lots of family-friendly restaurants to choose from”
There were lots of family-friendly restaurants to choose from too, including Bella Italia and our favourite, Huck’s American Bar and Grill with its in-house soft play area and computer games. But the best bits for the boys were the activities. These need to be booked and paid for in advance. My boys tried their hand at everything from archery and mini golf to cupcake decorating. While they were busy with their dad, I managed to fit in a total detox facial at the on-site spa.
The incredible, giant subtropical swimming paradise was a hit with all of us, with slides, rides and a 30-minute swim time for 0-3-year-olds on Saturday mornings. At the end of our stay, Alex didn’t want to leave our ‘new house’ to go home – and he wasn’t the only one...
How Much? Prices start from £249 for a four-night midweek stay in a two-bed Woodland Lodge.