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Action Activities For Guests At Center Parcs May 12, 2012

Action Holidays at Center Parcs

As well as all the traditional sports such as tennis, badminton & pool, Center Parcs also offers many outdoor activities to get your blood pumping and heart racing. There are adrenaline sports such as paintball and wall climbing as well as clever thinking and nous, such as the Aerial Adventure. Coming out to Center Parcs is a great place to explore your sense of adventure and experience new challenges.

Here are my top 3 recommendations:

Aerial Adventure

This is brilliant for everyone, if you have kids, couple’s, stag/hen parties, whatever. This is a course that is 30 foot in the air. You are safely harnessed up and it is your challenge to get to the other side. Along the way are a variety of obstacles that will make it more and more difficult to finish up on the zip wire at the end.

This is a fairly expensive activity costing £25 per person and containing only one attempt at the course. However a good trick is to book up the morning slots (before 10.am) or the evening ones (after 5.pm). These are the off peak hours for this activity and will save you £7 per person. If there is a large group of you this is something you probably want to consider as it will save a considerable amount.

Additionally if you have small children it is advisable to get them measured before booking. The height limit is 1 metre 22cm and many children do get turned away. This is also an opportunity for everyone else as it obviously frees up a space so if you see a session happening, ask them if everyone has turned up. If they haven’t you can join in and then go and pay after.

This activity ends in a zip wire that takes you over half the lake. This is what the children love and is a great opportunity for you to get an action photo of them.

Climbing Skills/ High Ropes

This is situated on the other side of the lake than the aerial adventure and is more skills based. Many guests ask the difference and the only real difference is that you are taught the basics and given a much better understanding of how to handle yourself whilst strapped to a harness.

Whereas the aerial adventure is meant purely for enjoyment and entertainment, this is a little more serious. The sessions last 2 hours and are the same price as the aerial adventure so offer much better value for money.

If you have an interest in climbing or are looking to start climbing then this will be more suited to you. The staff are excellent and all highly trained. They make the sessions extremely enjoyable and you will play a number of different games and take part in various exercises. These include capture the flag in which you have to climb to the top of the wall the fastest whilst competing as a team. Whilst aimed at everybody, for children under their teenage years I would recommend the aerial adventure.

 

Horse Riding

Although it may not be viewed as the most daring or enthralling activity, for those who have never done it before it is something completely different and exciting. There are a number of different difficulty levels and courses for different age groups. This is the perfect opportunity to try out this age old tradition in a safe environment.

What many guests don’t realise is that the horse riding takes place off site. This is something you should be aware of and probably isn’t advertised enough. Depending on the session you book in for, you need to check whether you will be transported by bus (which happens on woodland walk sessions) or whether you will have to make your own way there.

This is a great activity for children who have never experienced horse riding before. Again the staff are very understanding and helpful. It is very enjoyable and an activity I would definitely recommend.

Twitter: @LongleatCPBlog

 

Activities For Couple’s At Center Parcs May 4, 2012

Activities For Couple’s At Center Parcs Longleat

There are numerous activities for guests at Center Parcs but as a couple you probably want something slightly different and with no children running around:

Aqua Sauna

This is the perfect activity for any couple on a romantic weekend, away from everything. Personally this is my favourite place within Center Parcs. The whole sauna has been recently renovated and you can definitely tell. The whole building is clean and fresh with all the facilities that you would expect from a high end sauna.

It is around £40 for a 3 hour session and this is more than value for money. On arrival you are given a freshly washed dressing gown and towel to go over your swim shorts or bikini. Once inside the rooms available will blow you away.

I’m not usually easily impressed but there are so many different rooms all of high quality. In total there are 15 different spa experience rooms ranging from a sauna, Turkish hammam, water beds, Zen garden, Japanese salt steam room and an Indian blossom steam room. This is a place to come and get rid of all of your stresses.

What’s more there are always staff on hand giving talks about products you can buy or offering massages and treatments. For couple’s this is a brilliant place to just enjoy each other’s company whilst experiencing un heard of treatments.

Here is a link for a full list of treatments:
http://www.aquasana.co.uk/sana/aboutthespa/new_experiences.jsp

Cross bows/ Archery

Although it may not be romantic, or calming, this is a great experience to have fun with your other half and try something new and interesting. There are both Archery and Cross Bow sessions that run every day of the week except for Mondays.

I have listed both as it is down to your personal preference as to which you would prefer. Both are taken by trained instructors and last for an hour. I would personally choose the cross bows as I believe them to be more exciting and something that you are unlikely to be able to do again for a while.

This is perfect for couple’s as you can help each other out and have competitions between yourselves. Also this is one of the few places where equipment and the teaching is of real quality and up to the standard you would expect. Many of the jobs within Center Parcs are seen as a waste of time by some staff, but this is one activity that those who teach it enjoy doing. Maybe it’s because they get paid more?

The staff are enthusiastic and help out anyone that needs help. After a couple of goes they are mainly there just for you safety and to tell you when to collect your arrows. This is a really exciting activity and something that you can both enjoy.

Falconry

Again this is something completely different but may not be to every bodies tastes. Here you get to experience what it is like handling a bird of prey and get to hold and fly one of them. This may not appeal to everybody but is something that couple’s can enjoy and learn about together.

Why would you want to take your partner somewhere where you are doing all the same activities that you could do at home?

For more information visit the Center Parcs activities website

http://www.centerparcs.co.uk/villages/longleat/todo/index.jsp

Twitter: @LongleatCPBlog

 

Activities In The Local Area For Families At Center Parcs Longleat

When you’re on holiday you might not want to be stuck inside Center Parcs facilities for the whole time you’re there. Here are my top three recommendations for families:

Longleat Grounds & Safari Park

This is situated directly opposite but it is still worth getting in the car to go other. There is a busy road in between and the walk from the top down into the centre of the grounds will take a good half an hour.

My first piece of advice would be to book online before you even get to Center Parcs. Plan your holiday before and recognise which day you would preferably wish to go to Center Parcs. If you can’t do this then still book online before you leave the park as there is a 15% discount on online tickets.

Secondly decide which ticket is best for your family. Prices are expensive with it costing £27.50 per adult and £19.50 for a child. Decide whether you wish to use everything in the park, for example the Safari and the Adventure Playground, if not then get a House & Gardens ticket which are considerably cheaper at £13.50. Bearing that in mind the Safari and Adventure offer great fun and excitement for the children. I would advise that if you have children between 5-16 then pay the extra for the all day ticket.

The Safari is one of only three in the UK and will give you a chance to see lions, tigers, rhinos and monkeys. However the monkeys do try to take bits off of your car so be a little wary.

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Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo is about an hour’s drive from Center Parcs but is easy to get too and uses mainly A roads. Its more than likely that you won’t want to do this and Longleat but this is a good option if Longleat doesn’t appeal to you or if you’ve been there before.

It is advisable to leave early and leave plenty of time to get there to be able to fully appreciate and enjoy your day. The roads can get busy and you don’t want to spend more time in the car than in the zoo. Again there is a discount for online bookings and the prices are more reasonable than Longleat. This is a great place for younger children and also offers more interaction and talks about the various animals than you would find at Longleat.

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Westbury White Horse

Westbury is around a 10 minute drive from Center Parcs. It is free and perfect for a hot sunny day. You might decide to take a picnic or just go for a walk around the area. There has been a horse on the site for 300 years and it is the oldest of 13 white horse landmarks that Wiltshire is famous for.

With it being free it is something that you can enjoy without having to pay a premium for. The area is lovely and you will have views of the beautiful countryside around as well as neighbouring towns. However you will also have a view of a large, concrete chimney that has been the bane of campaigners lives for many years now. However it has been shut down recently so may, someday in the future, be demolished.

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Here are some useful links for more information about Center Parcs & the surrounding area:

www.longleat.co.uk

www.bristolzoo.org.uk

http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/site/around-wiltshire/tourist-information-centres

Twitter: @LongleatCPBlog

 

Activities For Families At Center Parcs Longleat April 26, 2012

Activities

Center Parcs has activities for children of all sizes and adults with fears. You’re likely to feel guilt if you don’t join in with your children whether you have a fear or not.

Participating in activities at Center Parcs comes at a cost for the family. £8 for a badminton court, 50p for hire or racquet and £1.50 to buy a shuttle cock, my advice is to bring your own. if you don’t have it then at least make sure you keep your shuttle cock for next time. Many families hand them back in and end up paying again. The facilities for all activities aren’t  great either, table tennis tables are wonky and the roller skates are old and worn. Participate in the activities but be wary and check that some are up to your standards before using.

Here are my recommended activities that always get great feedback.

Get Active:

This activity takes the kids away from you for 3 hours and is aimed at 8-13 year olds.

Get active can consist of a variety of activities depending on the weather conditions and the preferences of the children. Three activities that are always part of the day are mini-archery, mini-fencing and team games. These activities are slightly different and unique to what your children may have participated in before.

Although, at £23 per child, this is one of the more expensive activities it gets the children completely out of your hair for three hours. Mini-archery and mini-fencing would set you back £16 for a start, the day also includes a game on the mini-bowling which costs £11 for 45 minutes. That’s £27 already so this is great value for money.

The children as split into teams and individuals throughout the day and participate in a fun, yet competitive environment. The mini-fencing involves fully kitting up and gives a real authentic feel and experience for the children. If I’m honest the team games aren’t great. They are usually games suggested by the children such as bulldog. There is little input from the staff in this but the children enjoy them. Although they may be games they always play, and may seem as if you’re paying for something they could do all the time, it is something they will be unable to do elsewhere on the holiday.

Indoor Climbing Wall:

This is very popular with people of all ages. There is a minimum height of 1.1m and the price is £6 for 20 minutes. This again offers something that children may not usually be able to take part in so appeals to their sense of adventure. Also adults can use it as well so there can be races between parents and children.

They are harnessed up by a trained instructor and alternated between the 4 different sides of the wall, each of varying difficulty. This is a very good activity at times that you are waiting for something. However make sure to book it up as it does become very popular the longer the day goes on. The last booking is at 16.40 and it doesn’t run on a Monday or Friday.

The Swimming Pool:

This is the best value for money in Center Parcs. It is one of the few activities that are free and children spend countless hours exploring and sliding around. In the swimming pool there are slides and pools for all ages. This is the activity that the kids enjoy the most and is the place where you are likely to spend the majority of your stay.

What’s more you will be able to enjoy it just as much. There are slides aimed towards children but also hot tubs, plunge pool and the rapids. These are for older children and adults.

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For more information on how to book & the various other activities available please visit: http://www.centerparcs.co.uk/

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