Center Parcs Longleat
We were looking after the Boys for a long weekend while G and Mr G were at Mad Cool in Madrid, so we decided to take them to Center Parcs Longleat. We’ve never been to Center Parcs, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Longleat Center Parcs is only an hour and half away from us so we thought that would be perfect for a weekend as it’s not too far to travel.
On the Friday we collected the boys from school and all jumped in the car for the drive to Center Parcs, we’d already packed up the car.
The traffic was heavier than usual, even for a Friday, as there had been a couple of crashes so it took us about 2 hours to get there.
So, what did I like and Dislike best about Center Parcs longleat?
What did I like the best about Center Parcs Longleat
The actual location was stunning and being in the middle of the forest was very peaceful, which I never expected from a visit to Center Parcs.
Longleat Forest is in Wiltshire and is situated in the Longleat Estate. The Parc is set in 400 acres with a landscape of rolling hills and valleys, with some stunning scenery. It’s also home to rare 100-year-old Giant Redwood trees.
The Parc was so much bigger than I had expected, and I never felt that anywhere was too crowded.
The Check In / Arrival Process
The arrival process was very easy. As we drove in we saw the arrivals lodge, which is a bit like a drive through. You just drive up to one of the windows when the light goes green and the check in process only takes a couple of minutes as they give you your wrist bands that act as your accommodation and locker key.
Once you have your wrist bands you’re free to drive to your accommodation to unload and then return the car to the car park where it stays for the weekend.
The Variety of Activities
I loved the variety of activities on offer at different prices. You could easily spend a fortune if you booked the kids on every activity but there was enough choice to be able to pick and choose without breaking the bank.
The boys loved the indoor giant Pool Football and it only cost £10 to hire the table for an hour. They also really enjoyed the Laser Combat which was more expensive but very enjoyable.
You can choose to do as much or as little as you want and there’s plenty to do without the additional activities if you’re on a budget.
The Sub-Tropical Swimming Pool
I have to admit that before we went I thought the swimming pool would be extremely crowded and noisy, so I booked a Cabana for our first day.
Again I was pleasantly surprised that although it was busy it didn’t feel overcrowded and there were enough quiet places to sit, even if we hadn’t had the Cabana. This may have been because the weather was so nice the weekend we went as the outdoor area was being fully used as well.
I like the Cabana as it was nice to be able to have somewhere to sit and read a book and we had our lunch in there. However, I’m not sure it was worth the price.
The boys loved it in the pool, especially the Rapids and Flumes and I struggled to get them out, even after 3.5 hours in there!
The Beach area and Lake.
Again, because the weather was so gorgeous the weekend we went it was lovely sitting on the beach by the lake watching the boys canoeing and boating.
The Land Train
Longleat Center Parcs is extremely hilly with some very steep hills. We didn’t have bikes with us and I’m glad we didn’t. However, the Land Train was perfect. There was a stop 2 minutes from our Lodge and the Land Train ran every 15 minutes and was perfect to hop on and off at various locations around the Parc.
What didn’t I like about Center Parcs Longleat
There wasn’t a lot I didn’t like but I do think they could improve the children’s menu choices at the restaurants.
Restaurants and Cafes
There was quite a broad selection of restaurants and cafes but as we hadn’t booked one for our second night we did find that there weren’t any tables available until 20:30 which was a bit late. If we’d booked in advance that wouldn’t have been a problem, but we weren’t sure where we wanted to eat before we went.
It would have been helpful to have a more comprehensive list of restaurants and menus on the website so that we could have pre-booked.
I also found that the children’s menus were a bit samey at the restaurants and by the end of the weekend I felt they boys were lacking vegetables in their diets; not that they were complaining.
However, for a weekend that wasn’t the end of the world. If we’d been there for a week I think I would have cooked more in the Lodge.
Overall impression of Center Parcs Longleat.
I have to say it exceeded my expectations and we would certainly take the boys again. If we do book another stay I would like to go for higher grade accommodation as ours was looking slightly tired, although it perfectly clean and had everything we needed.