My two sides of Centre Parcs

Posted on February 12, 2013


IMG-20130113-01561Two really great things happened last year.  The first, and most important, was that my fantastic son passed his eleven plus.  The second was that my great friend, Donna, was going to have another birthday and a special weekend was planned to celebrate it.  Clearly, the first is exceptional, the second, nothing new, but the way in which these occasions were being celebrated were the same. IMG-20121123-01295

Visits to Centre Parcs at Longleat.

The first, a family affair, with an eleven year old at the centre of all activities.  The second, a girl’s weekend, with a crate of champagne, pampering and lashings of fine food at the centre of all activities.

Let’s start with the first, because, even though I do adore my friend Donna, let’s face it, passing your eleven plus is pretty momentous and having a birthday is just an annual occurrence (it wasn’t even a landmark birthday).  I know Donna well enough to know that she won’t mind being second.

IMG-20121120-01289A week a Centre Parcs in November: cold, raining, damp and miserable. But that was just the weather. We on the other hand had a whale of a time.  We had a fabulous and toasty cabin in the forest, from where we planned our week’s adventures.  Biking around the beautiful woods, sliding down the rapids (rapidly remembering my age, as it got harder and harder to get over the bumps), high wire walking, badminton playing, firework watching, and rain dodging, muddy fun.

I am not sure I agree with the line ‘There’s nothing better than riding a bike in the rain’, but I have to admit, I did have a blast.

Wiltshire-20130113-01564The second, a weekend in Centre Parcs in January: very cold and wet indeed. But that was just the weather. We on the other hand had an absolute hoot. We, the Devon Divas and Brighton Belles (renamed the Longleat Lovelies for the weekend), had been treated to a tree house, with its own games room and hot tub, and a champagne bar to die for.

A weekend of Spa treats, food, drink, laughter and hot tub bubbles.  We did attempt the rapids, just because we knew our children would be very disappointed in us if we hadn’t.

Some of the group even did some exercise, but the sensible ones stayed in the tree house, guarded the fizz and had a well-deserved relax.Hot tub

IMG_0418I am sure I agree with the line ‘Add a strawberry to the champagne, and that, and the champagne grapes, will count as two of our five a day’. So pour me another one.

So two very different experiences at Centre Parcs, both of them brilliant, both of them leaving me with very special memories.

The first, snuggling up with aching muscles and my gorgeous (and very clever) son at the end of an action packed day: priceless.

The second, laughing until my cheeks hurt, sipping champagne in a hot tub with 6 close friends: delicious.