I think I can safely say that every family deserves a week off. It can be a purely luxurious holiday or just staying at home and doing nothing – but the main point is to reconnect. And that’s exactly what we did last week, on a trip to the fairly new Center Parcs at Woburn Forest. It took us an hour to get there from High Wycombe, which was prefect as I didn’t want to schlepp too far.
I chose it because:
A. The price was great (a week’s self catering for under £400)
B. It was during term time so all the big kids would be at school so little ones can play with little ones
C. I read great reviews about Woburn Forest and thought it deserved a try
And little Yara was in for a treat! Our rustic, woodland lodge was beautiful on the inside and the outside. Set right in the middle of the woods, it had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, open plan kitchen and living/dining space and the highlight of the place – a door that was a blackboard where Yara helped herself to the chalk in a bowl and pretended she was Picasso.
We hired 2 mountain bikes, one with a trailer on the back for Yara as she couldn’t cycle uphill yet. She absolutely loved the idea of being ferried around the place and gave us the freedom to come and go as we please without any whinging!
Some of the activities we did for Yara included Tennis Tots, Encounter with Owls and finally she attended a 3-hour chocolate making course, which meant we had 3 hours to kill.
So given such an opportunity, most people would head to the spa but you know we are quirky so we booked a badminton court and played like we were fighting for a world championship, then hit the pool table for an hour and the last hour was spent power walking around the gorgeous lake and taking in the fresh air and views. We are a couple on a mission to get healthy.
Meanwhile in the chocolate making den, Yara made some lovely biscuits and marshmallows dipped in white chocolate – she obviously had a brilliant time judging by her face.
I must mention that the highlight for Yara was actually the Subtropical Swimming Paradise as there was a wave pool, lots of slides for the little ones and generally a great facility for families – and you don’t pay extra for that!
And because we were swimming a lot, we would come out at 5pm exhausted so ate out quite a bit – plenty of good restaurants and all come with soft play for the kids – that gave the place lots of brownie points! The places we tried were Huck’s, Cafe Rouge, The Sports Cafe and The Pancake House. All were great except for the Sports Cafe where service was very slow at lunchtime.
If you plan to go to any of the Center Parcs locations with your little ones, these are my top tips:
*Take bird food with you as they and squirrels come up to your windows and the kids find it great
*Take paint as you can collect pine cones and rocks and let the kids paint and be entertained for an hour while you prep lunch/dinner
*Don’t take too much food as believe me, you will be tempted by all the great places they have
*Make the most of the pools, it’s at no extra cost and the kids go crazy
So now you’re tempted for that week off, aren’t you? Well, what are you waiting for?!
P.S. I lost a bit of weight from all that cycling and badminton so I’m pretty happy. How often can you say that after a holiday?!