Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Center Parcs | Elle Travels | ELLEKATE

Have you ever just needed a weekend away?
A few weeks back, that's exactly what I was in need of. After a week of being at University and work, Dan and I were both given the weekend off. I cannot even remember how we came around to the final decision to book Center Parcs, however, I do recall going to the page and finding out about their Lakeside Apartments being exactly what we needed for a relaxed weekend away.

When I was younger, a trip to Center Parcs, was our annual family get together. A family tradition around Easter time. One year, we had one of the biggest houses on the whole site, complete with a sauna in the backyard. We went and had so much fun for that whole week, going horse riding, tree climbing, hiring tennis courts, playing in the water parks. But my favourite memories of all would be coming back and helping my grandma with dinner, she would make the best spaghetti bolognese. Always serving it with french bread which was smothered to the nines in Lurpac.

But enough about memories, down to our experience. We couldn't leave till later on Friday afternoon since Dan's return train from work didn't get back into Newcastle till around 3:30pm. I went straight to the train station and we set straight off (stopping at Costco to pick up a few bits and bobs). So, we arrived at Whinfell Forrest around 8:30pm and got to check straight in. How it works at most of the Lodges and Appartments at Center Parcs, you check in and drive your car to whichever neighbourhood you are staying in, unpack your car and drive it to the car park to leave it out of the way for the weekend. Since it was, later on, we just went to scout out the area around where we were before heading to bed, to get up nice and early for the next day.

Next morning, we woke up early and spend the majority of our morning heading straight out and going for a woodland walk! We walked around for about two hours, drinking coffee and taking pictures on the trails. Before we knew it it was Midday and shattered from walking... I needed a nap. So after a quick snooze, next on the cards for our little Saturday chill, was to head to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. I have not been swimming in FOREVER, going down some of the slides and sitting in the wave pool. Honestly, I felt like a child just swimming around for the hour. By far the best part was the outside hot pool which looked into the forest, I could have sat in there all day. By the nighttime, so we were hungry and ready for some dinner. We looked at the choices that we had and went with HUCKs since the rest of restaurants we could go to back home. HUCKs was an American Styled dinner in the main centre, slowly working my mind through the cocktail menu, I liked the sound of far too many and had to get Dan to make the final decision for me. Oh my, the starter was amazing, we got a cheesy dip with bread and it just was carb heaven, however, I wish I could say the same about my main course. Unfortunately, the only option for Vegetarians was Mac & Cheese, Spicy Butternut Squash and Spinach (Mac & Cheese)... or a Mac & Cheese Burger. So yes, my options were limited. But, Dan seemed to enjoy his so I would say if you ate meat you'd probably have a better choice. One final note about the restaurant would be, for what we ate and drank, it was a little bit on pricey side especially for the kind of food, so just keep that in mind. After dinner, I was rather tipsy, to say the least, being Saturday night we weren't ready for bed. We ended up walking along to the Lakeside Pub to take part in the quiz, and despite best efforts... we still came dead last.

On Sunday, it was Mothers Day. So most people were spending the day with their loved ones taking their Mums to spa days and such. So again, most of the activities were fully booked, which didn't put a single fault in our day. We had loved walking so much the previous morning we decided to go for another stroll going past Starbucks for a bit of caffeine, this time going around the other side of the park. We ended up going to the Sports area checking out what inside of there had to offer, before going through to this cute wooden village. We found a little shelter there where this lovely member of staff was telling some little kids what animals they had captured in their photos. We continued our walk and came to the edge of the forest. We decided to walk off the track since we seen a few pheasants having a bit of a fight, standing so close we had to be completely still. Following along the track, we came to a bird hide, something Dan had never done before so we sat for a while just watching in silence as to all the birds that came to join in. The best outcome had to be the picture of the overly curious pigeon.

We walked back to the hotel room and decided again, to go swimming. We enjoyed swimming around, a little bit at peace this time since it was later on in the day. If you are older and want to enjoy the swimming pool without there being too many children, especially on the weekends. I would recommend going later on in the day since it is open until 9pm every day. With it being Mothers Day, by the time we were out and dry most of the restaurants were fully booked. So to enjoy our final evening, we went and got a takeaway curry. Out of the meals that we had there, sitting inside of the room with our curry watching weekend tv was my personal favourite.

After another night in the room, it was time to pack up and leave. I could sit here for an hour and complain about the ordeal of the drive home that we had, but wasn't enough to ruin our holiday. We had such a brilliant time out in the woods, I'm glad that we just spent the weekend taking our time and doing things on our accord rather than sticking to schedules.

If you're currently planning a trip to Center Parcs and would like to ask me anything about the trip. Then don't be afraid to ask away in the comments section below. Just also to mention that this blog post wasn't sponsored.

Thanks for reading,

Elle Kate X

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