With the gutting realisation that abroad holiday’s are not the best option to take right now for a trip away, myself and my boyfriend Joe, decided to take a staycation to Center Parcs Elveden.
I have never been to Center Parcs but I had a feeling it would be a holiday that I’d love! I’m someone who likes to chill out but also keep busy by doing things and being in a relaxing environment. We went during September for a Monday – Friday stay. We decided to stay in the apartments instead of a lodge, simple because the lodges were sold out (not surprising when most people are holidaying in the UK atm!). But, I was happy with the apartments since you still have your own kitchen and can do self-catering if you wanted, instead of eating out.
The apartment was SO lovely. It overlooked the golf course which was a beautiful view. The shower was huge which I absolutely loved. Comfy beds and a lovely working kitchen. I really recommend staying in the apartments if you want a cheaper accommodation option.
Some people would say that Center Parcs is expensive, which I agree with. But I think in this current time, I personally felt okay to maybe spend more on a UK stay than what I normally would, considering I had holidays cancelled this year and therefore had money back from them. But, understandable, for a family of 4 for example, it would be a expensive holiday to do.
However, I do think it was worth it for myself and Joe. We only did a few activities, so the price did stay down obviously depending on how many activities you do. We decided to do badminton and table tennis, along with swimming on 2 of the days. Also, we hired out bikes!
The swimming pool was probably my favourite part. The slides and rapids were really good and it’s kinda cool to have slides inside, compared to water parks abroad. I also loved the design and look of the swimming pool, it suits every age!
I suggest that hiring bikes is quite a good idea. For us, the apartments were quite far away from the main centre (village square), so it was worth us paying for the bikes since it didn’t take as long to get around to places. Plus, I think in an environment like that, it’s nice to be able to ride around – very relaxing!
We also decided to take advantage of the self-catering option with the kitchen and made our meals ourselves, again, just to keep the price down a bit! But, Center Parcs has a lovely village square with some lovely food options such as Bella Italia, Café Rouge, and a Sports Café. On our first night, we decided to eat at the Sports Café just since we arrived a bit later and then didn’t want to have to cook after driving. The Sports Café was so cool! They had so many tv’s in there, Joe was loving it! The food was also really nice and worth the price. Good size portions too.
In terms of visiting during a pandemic, I found that Center Parcs really made me feel safe. There was hand gel dotted around the parks and whenever you entered anywhere. Signs to ensure you understand that you have to wear a mask. Also, something that I found really good was in the swimming pool, staff were going around with watering cans with what I assume, some sort of anti-back to spray across the floor in the changing rooms and along the pool sides. Also, they took your temperate before swimming, but it wasn’t the usual temperate gun being pointed at your forehead which can be a bit ‘scary’ for some people, instead you put your wrist to the sensor! Another thing was, when getting the bikes and taking them back, the staff stayed back while you tested out the bike, and when we handed them back, I saw them spraying the bikes down again with anti-back. It felt super clean and on the ball with ensuring everyone kept safe – well done Center Parcs!
I really enjoyed my stay at Center Parcs and I would LOVE to go back one day. I found it refreshing and a break I needed considering the world right now. It was also fantastic that during a time like this, they made me feel so safe and had no concerns at all. The staff were so helpful and kind if we ever needed some help or had any questions.
I think if you are wondering where you could go in the UK, Center Parcs is a great option. It may cost a bit but to me, it was worth it!