Center Parcs is unlike any type of vacation I’ve been on.
Picture this: a beautiful hotel and spa smacked in the middle of a forest, surrounded by small cabins, activities and a giant indoor waterpark. That’s essentially Center Parcs Woburn Forest.
We stayed in the hotel portion for a long weekend in July and it was the perfect amount of time. If you’re coming with a group, you can also rent different sized cabins. Walking around the woods really feels like being back at a summer camp (if you ignore the beautiful spa).
Every day we spent most of our time on the waterslides, lazy river and indoor pool. In between, we’d book (and pay) an activity like ping-pong, tennis, badminton, outdoor mini-putt and three hours at their special spa as our big treat.
But the activities definitely don’t end there. If you felt up for it and are OK with spending the money, there’s archery, tree-trekking, canoes, rock-climbing, geocaching, row boats, crafts and that’s only scraping the surface.
A lot of the Center Parcs events are aimed for children so it would be a really lovely family trip but there’s definitely still lots to do for adults.
Back to the spa: it was incredible. We’re talking multiple floors, tons of different saunas, steam and ice rooms, each with their own theme like Fire & Ice, Blossom, Herbal, Sensory, Mineral & Gemstone and Salt. It was totally indulgent.
The forest has a bunch of different restaurants so there’s never any lack of food and the prices are reasonable. There’s even a small grocery store if you want to buy meals to cook in your cabin.
The downside? Accommodation and all the activities can get pricey, so book well in advance and set a budget for activities you want to do to avoid crying when you see your bill.
While we went to Woburn Forest, there’s actually lots of different Center Parcs around England and it’s likely there’s one close to you. Overall it was a lovely break away and would love to do it again!
Center Parcs Tips
- Set a realistic budget and stick to it. It’s so easy to go crazy and end up with a bill you can’t afford
- You’ll get a stretchy waterproof bracelet to wear instead of having to carry around a room keycard. This will get you into the hotel hallways, your room, water park lockers, etc. You can also hook up your credit card to your bracelet so it’s easier to pay for stuff, which also makes it easier to spend a lot of money without realizing!
- Bring pool towels to take to the indoor water park
- Take time to actually walk around the forest. It’s massive and a great walk in nice weather
- If you want to ride around the forest, bring your own bike (and many people do). You can rent one for your trip, but it’s better to save money
- Spend your time wisely. If it’s a nice day weather-wise, make sure to do any outdoor activities that you have your heart set on. Being England, the weather can change to rainy quite quickly so save that time for the indoor activities