Center Parcs For Couples
I’ll start off by saying this isn’t our first trip to Center Parcs Longleat, it’s in fact our third. Situated in the heart of Wiltshire, surrounded by endless countryside it’s one of the best places to detach from reality. On this occasion, we decided to visit Center Parcs on a weekend which we had never done before. Most people associate Center Parcs with a family holiday which it certainly is, however i never see Center Parcs advertising it as the perfect place for a couple to get away and relax together. I think couples travel is something that is so popular and Center Parcs shouldn’t be overlooked for what an amazing destination it is for a couples retreat.
Center Parcs Longleat Safari Park
Although I would have easily been tempted by a lie in, our intentions for Friday were to spend most of it at Longleat Safari. This is a great option as its just down the road and when I say down the road I don’t mean in the next town its literally on the opposite side of the road to Center Parcs Longleat. If you want to know more about our day at Longleat Safari check out our post on “Our day out at Longleat Safari Park”. There are some money saving tips which I will be writing about in a separate post which includes shopping before you arrive but we can get into that later. As we had packed the night before we were hassle free to set off early hoping to get to Longleat just after opening.
Our day at Longleat Safari was brilliant and we were certainly looking forward to having a well-deserved rest. We were very impressed at how well looked after the Safari Park was and particularly enjoyed the boat ride with the Sea Lions.
Longleat Safari park is not too much money especially for a couple and its certainly somewhere adults will enjoy if they visit Center Parcs without children. You can always get hold of discounted tickets throughout the year, just keep looking around online for them, its also beneficial to note that you can book Longleat Safari as an activity through Center Parcs Longleat, these prices are also discounted.
Center Parcs Arrival Tips
We drove into the Main entrance of Center Parcs Longleat hoping the queuing had gone as it was around 5:30pm, this is something you should watch out for as the ques into the park can get very long. Some little tips are either arrive during off peak times or pack plenty of Haribo to keep everyone in the car happy, personally I’d probably do both.
At the main gate, you will be checked into the park via a person in a booth, who are always very helpful and happy, well why wouldn’t you be if you got to spend all your time at Center Parcs…. Ok I’m sure it’s different if you work there. Check in can be made easier if you have already submitted all your information online. Once checked in you will be given the keys to your accommodation and a map to guide you through the park, we were ready to roll.
If you are arriving after 3pm you can go straight through to your accomodation but it can get crowded just after everyone is allowed in. If your not that desperate to get to your accomodation you can always do it later on as you can drive around the park on the first day you arrive so long as its after 3pm. One tip is to park your car in the main car park and go and explore the site, maybe take a trip to the subtropical swimming pool. Its good to enjoy the park while everyone is unpacking their stuff and organising themselves.
As we had gone to Longleat Safari we arrived well after 3pm and were eager to get into the accommodation as it had been a long day and I was ready for a nap. Funny thing is so was everyone else, even though people had been arriving all day some people were still scurrying around getting everything ready for their stay. It’s not as bad as it sounds, there’s plenty of room to park up and unload so no problems in that department.
Center Parcs Accomodation
The choice of accommodation at Center Parcs is generally the same throughout their entire UK collection however the variety of different types of accommodation has grown over the years. Depending on your budget you can choose anything from a 1 bed apartment to a 4 bedroom tree house with a Jacuzzi, games room, dedicated parking and much more. Unfortunately we don’t currently reside in that hierarchy of wealth so chose something more towards our budget.
The one bedroom apartment is perfectly sufficient for a couple and with a little kitchen area you can be perfectly self sufficient. Many people see Center Parcs as somewhere families go but with apartments like these it is also great for adults or couples who don’t need loads of space and don’t want to break the bank. Of course Center Parcs is for adults or couples and there is certainly nothing stopping you from hiring out one of the bigger lodges or even the tree houses if you can afford it. If you would like more information on what Center Parcs accommodation is available check out their website here. “Center Parcs Accomodation”
We found our accommodation very quickly, a positive for being so close to the main entrance. We parked up and unloaded the car, the apartments we were staying in had off-road parking which meant there was no rush. The staff do like to have cars back in the car park before 6pm but don’t worry too much as people arrive throughout the evening anyway.
Finally, we were unpacked and ready to enjoy a relaxing break. Plans for the evening were to have a small rest involving mainly tea and biscuits and then go in search for food. Rather than going out for dinner we decided to use the onsite takeaway which allows you to choose between pizza, Indian or Chinese, so naturally I chose pizza.
You can have your meal delivered for around £3 which isn’t too bad considering a lot of accommodation is far away from the takeaway, knowing we were close I decided to go and pick it up. If your accommodation is far away from the takeaway and you don’t want to pay for delivery, you can get the onsite train which goes around the site from 8am in the morning until 11pm at night, there are loads of stops around the park so you shouldn’t be too far away from one.
The wait for pizza was reasonable and so was the price, they were similar prices to what you would pay outside of Center Parcs. Feeling in a summery mood we went for a Hawaiian style pizza thin base which filled me up nicely…and that’s saying a lot.
The sleep on the first night was pleasant waking up at around 9am, this is either late or early depending on who you are. I must say that the beds and general comfort of our apartment was great. I know sometimes you can be away from home and the accommodation has rock solid mattresses and just does feel pleasant. I sat on the balcony drinking a cup of tea and watching two squirrels battle it out for what I’m assuming is the entire tree, or maybe just the branch, either way it was relaxing and that’s what I needed.
The apartments we stayed in have recently been refurbished and much to my delight they had upgraded the bathroom meaning it now comes equip with a hydro bath and stand up shower.
What to do at Center Parcs Longleat
Center Parcs has an array of things to do, with many activities for children and adults alike. Don’t think that Center Parcs is just for children there is plenty for adults to do also. If you want to see how many activities Center Parcs offers then check out there website for more details. “Center Parcs Activities”.
Center Parcs is not somewhere you have to stay all day long, if your staying at Logleat Center Parcs then there is plenty to discover in Wiltshire including Bath City which is around 30 minutes away and such an amazing place to visit. If you want to see how we spent 2 days in Bath then check out our post. “How to spend 2 days in Bath”.
The plan for us was to start the day with an all-American breakfast, so knowing that food wasn’t too far away we headed to the Pancake House. This quirky little building offers a delightful range of pancakes waffles and omelettes with a variety of toppings to choose from. Tasha had a black forest pancake stack with whipped cream and I courageously went for a bacon and cheese savoury pancake with lashings of maple syrup. Not being sure why I chose such an ambitious choice I was surprised at how delicious it was although I could only stomach the one as its quite rich…. shame.
Fully satisfied, with our bellies under control it was time for some bowling down at the Plaza. As you may know at Center Parcs Longleat you will need to pre-book your activities which is what we did for our bowling session. The price was £30 for 55 minutes which was pricier than most bowling alleys but as it was only two of us the games we could squeeze in makes it well worth the money. Unfortunately, despite having a great time at the bowling alley and enjoying a slush puppy or two I ended up losing the game overall being beaten by 13 points, I was not happy but knowing we had a table booked at the Indian Restaurant Rajinda Pradesh I soon forgot.
With my mood slowly recovering from the loss, we headed back to the apartment to get ready for a swim. As it was a weekend we knew it would be busy in the pool but we managed find some open space in the deep end where generally no little people could get to.
The one thing that always reminds me of a Center Parcs holiday is the slide they call the canyon ride, most people call it the “Rapids”. This slide is great fun and consists of people bowling themselves over into a slalom of racing water, being taken outside of the subtropical swimming pool meandering down wide slopes and finally finishing inside the building in a whirlpool of warm water.
It does all sound very exciting and certainly a drain on your energy levels but with all this fun there is a place you can go to hide away… the Jacuzzi. If you manage to find a space it’s nice to sit back and relax for a bit I certainly recommend it after a session on the raging rapids.
In recent years Center Parcs has added two more slides of ultimate magnitude. The two slides “Tropical Cyclone and Typhoon” were opened firstly to the public at Longleat Center Parcs. Tropical Cyclone gives riders a water slide experience like no other. 2 or 3 people can clamber onto blowup floats and be launched into a brightly lit tunnel until they are hurtled off an adrenaline pumping drop into a large cone. This ride lets you choose a theme which runs audio and projects images onto the sides, i recommend choosing the thunder one first as it real roars inside the cone. The other slide is Typoon which has a slightly smaller drop but is really fast and also lets you customise the lighting features for your ride, this one is a two person ride.
For the little ones Center Parcs has created a pirate themed adventure water park, with slides and other great things every child would love. After a while in the Jacuzzi and looking at my hands, realising the wrinkles are telling me I’ve been here too long I think it’s now time for dinner!
Center Parcs Longleat Eating Out
Food is always a concern when staying away from home, if you don’t enjoy the food available to you then you generally don’t have a good trip. Eat out is one thing the Center Parcs does very well with such an array of restaurants to choose from and different cuisines to try. Of course as mentioned earlier there is always the chance of getting a takeaway and staying in to watch the telly.
The restaurants at Center Parcs are spread around the site in small clusters so you shouldn’t be too far away from one. The one thing that Center Parcs seems to do is allow chain restaurants to use the site and this adds convenience to your stay as you will probably have dined out at one of these chains and so most likely know what you want. There are some of their own food outlets to try but although all Center parcs locations have certain chains within them some sites will be different. If you want to check out what restaurants Center Parcs has to offer then here is the link to their website. “Center Parcs Restaurants”
Rajinda Pradesh is in the Jardin de Sports and as with many of the restaurants at Center Parcs you must book with a £5 deposit per person, this comes off your bill at the end. Due to our tired muscles, we decided to get the Land Train down to the sports centre. The land train is a great idea if you don’t want to hire bikes it takes you all around the park and is even good for a nice ride to explore. The times it stops are available at the stop itself and is generally around 4 times around the hour.
We were a little early to the restaurant so this meant that we could have few games of pool, which was great as I needed to redeem myself from the bowling. The sports bar is directly opposite the pool tables so we got some drinks and went to find a table, I’m pleased to say I won all three of the games we played so was in a good mood.
We were about 5 minutes early for our booking but this was OK as we were kindly showed to our seats early, our waiter Fernando was certainly an excitable character who was very attentive making our meal even better. The food there was fantastic a little pricier than our usual Indian but they clearly market themselves at a higher level and it showed in the taste and presentation of the food. I would recommend visiting the Indian on site but urge you to book early as it is quite popular.
After our meal, we decided to go for a short walk around the lake, the pathways are all lit up by streetlight and you can walk most places without being lost in the dark. There were still plenty of people walking around and the sports centre was still open, despite this we decided to head back to the apartment and watch some telly.
After arriving in I quickly raided the cupboards for some Krispy Kreme Donuts we bought earlier from the Parc Market, its seems my full belly had worn off by then. After watching Die Hard until midnight, I thought it was time to get some sleep, as we had planned on waking up early and getting a head start on the day.
The morning light came scattering through the windows and I managed to haul myself out of bed to make a cup of tea. That morning I had ended up waking at 7am, after tea and a shower I made my way to the Parc Market to get some croissants however as I entered the Plaza there was nobody there, it was quite surreal having only seen it heaving with people. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday and the Parc Market opens at 10am, which would explain how quiet it was.
After satisfying myself with some bagels rather than fresh croissants we headed out to explore some more of the park. We wondered around some of the beaten tracks you find within Center Parcs Longleat and even saw some deer grazing in the woodland. If you get a lodge keep an eye out for various wildlife on your patio area outside, it’s not uncommon to have deer come all the way up to the lodge…fingers crossed.
We had a twilight spa booked from 4pm so I knew the best location for us was the sports bar which was convenient as the Wimbledon final was on. We had a good lunch in the sports bar consisting of a huge burger and chips, just the thing you want before a spa. Nevertheless, we soaked in the atmosphere, as you can imagine it was a bit crowded but we had front row seats.
The spa we booked was a couple’s twilight spa which meant I could indulge in some relaxation without losing too much dignity. I don’t mind so much anymore I was a little apprehensive the first time around but lots of guys seem to partake in spa days now. The spa was busier at the beginning of the evening and slowly got less crowded as the night went on.
Aqua Sana at Center Parcs Longleat is one of the only spas I can find that offers multiple steam rooms and saunas. We always have a wonderful time and feel extra relaxed afterwards. If your thinking of visiting Center Parcs as a couple i highly recommend using the Spa. Prices are what you would expect depending on how long you want to stay there. Aqua Sana is another one of those activities that makes Center parcs a great place for couples and adults to stay. They also do lots of different treatments for men and woman or even double treatments for couples, its what ever takes your fancy.
On the last day of your stay you can pretty much use the entire day to do what you want, so I recommend making use of all the facilities and you can even book activities for the last day too. Kicking out time is technically 10 am but if you’re clearly loading your car up and vacating the room they don’t mind you being a little bit over, I also saw cars being loaded well towards 11am so don’t worry. It was actually very easy for us as we had packed the previous night and woke earlier than usual…. I know pat on the back.
After the car was loaded and parked over in the main car park again, the park was ours for the taking, we decided to start with some swimming which we indulged in for quite some time, by then it was certainly getting on for lunchtime. Knowing this we headed down to the Jardin de Sports and sat in the onsite Starbucks I enjoyed a very nice mozzarella and red pesto Panini with a strawberry frappe.
Center Parcs Longleat is a wonderful place for families and children but one thing that’s never really advertised is the fact that it’s such a good couple’s retreat away. It’s a chance to unwind from reality and switch off for a bit, we may not have done lots of activities but I feel for a weekend break it’s well worth it.