I have a huge fear of flying so when someone mentioned a trip to Centre Parcs for a week with the kids, I jumped at it!
Although I had some reservations I logged onto the website to have a nosey at what they have to offer.
There's something for everyone at Sherwood Forest and you can do as much or as little as you like.
Activities for adults and children:
There is a on site Aqua sana that does great spa treatments and Decleor facials. These can be booked online or as and when, and enjoyed when you children are in the Time out Clubs.
They have free play areas for the under-5s - soft play areas and ball pools. One is located in the Restaurant Hucks. These play areas have cameras all around them and screens so you can watch your kids while you are eating and relaxing. Outside the play area is also a selction of Apple Mac computers loaded with games like Disney Cars and Disney Incredibles.
They also have Time out Clubs for all ages. These sessions last two or three hours so you can have enough time to relax at the Aqua Sana or just chill out over a meal.
The Time Out Clubhouse is registered with Ofsted and all activities are supervised by our skilled Time Out Club Nursery Nurses. And some of these activities have been awarded Tommy's Parent Friendly Award and Prima Baby Best Buy.
Bumblebees (3 months - up to 3rd Birthday)
There is a Crèche with a sleeping area, a well equipped soft play area and a new activity every day.
Crickets (3 yrs - 5th Birthday) and Dragonflies (5 yrs - 7th Birthday)
Time Out Zone and Virtual Zone (8-14 years)
Super Spy - Your secret agent training begins here. Our village is a cover for a secret spy training base designed by former surveillance experts.At the Virtual Zone, you will be allocated a unique code name and password to allow you to access your on-line mission briefings. Solve puzzles, crack codes and find clues during 8 live missions around the village.
This costs around £5 and lasts around 1 hour.
Jungle Journey -The children make their very own jungle animals to take away and join in with the animal antics.
Party Time - They make party hats, face painting, eat party food and play party games. They also arrange the Ugly Bug Ball that includes singing, dancing and party games.
Sherwood Forest also host a huge amount of indoor activities:
Five a Side Soccer Tournament
Indoor Climbing Wall
Madness & Mayhem
Make a Memory
Messy Play for Busy Bees
Mini and Mega Mousemats
Mini Soccer Academy
R U a D J?
Teddy Bear's Picnic
They also have a Sub Tropical swimming pool which has loads of slides for all ages and bars and cafes. It is really warm and has locker, dryer and changing room facilities. The pool is free of charge and there is no need to book.
They have several different types of accomodation for you to choose from:
Comfort Plus Villa
Original Style Executive Villa
New Style Executive Lodge
These all vary in prices and depend on the availability and location. The accomodation sleeps from 2 people up to 8 and all the basic comfort villa comes with, a fully equipped kitchen, open plan living space, central Heating, patio Furniture and multi-channel TV's. The most expensive Executive Lodge comes with a fully equipped kitchen, TVs in all bedrooms, outdoor hot tub, Private parking space, sauna and steam rooms. All lodges come with free WiFi connection.
It has a huge choice of pubs, cafes and places to eat from French to American and even a Pancake House.
Cafe Rouge (French)
Dining In (this is the take away service that also do delivery)
Rajinda Pradesh (Indian)
All are child friendly and layed out really well so you can eat and drink but still watch your children playing. Reasonably priced and lovely quality food. You can also book these on line.
There are loads of shops availble for browsing or purchasing, from jewelry to sweets and designer clothes and swimwear. There is also a village shop that sells all your daily essentials.
My family (2 adults 2 children) went in the middle of July and paid £999 for one week in a Original style villa. When we arrived it was quite confusing to figure out where we were going and ended up driving round in circles, not to mention that you couldn't go to your villa till after 2pm so you had to hang around.
Once we were allowed in we were allowed to pull up outside our villa to unload and then had to drive back down to the main car park to leave our car there for the week, then walk back up.
The villa was lovely. It had a real wood log fire, TV's and DVDs in all rooms, a Jacuzzi and a patio with BBQ area and tables and chairs layed out. All the linen was white and clean and we had the jacuzzi in our en suite and the boys had their own bathroom with shower.
The kitchen had a dishwasher and huge fridge which helped as we planned on going to ASDA to get supplies forthe week as we had heard that the villiage shop was expensive.
Once we had settled in, we soon realised that we needed to hire bikes as everything was up hill, down hill and miles away from where we were staying. I would advise that you take your own bikes if you have them, as it cost us £80 to hire 2 bikes with child seats on the back of them. The kids loved them but my thighs aches for weeks after!! Also not advised riding when tipsy, especially when you have a 3 year old on the back of it! However, I only fell off my bike once, and that was completely sober and I ended up with gravel burn down my face and very imbarrassed as a pregnant lady had to pick me up. : )
There is parking for the bikes near the food places, childrens clubs and parks and you are issued with keys and locks for safety.
The pool was great. It was the only activitie that was free of charge and it was hassle free and really enjoyable. We never had to que for it and it was really warm so the kids stayed in nearly all day.
The children went to a time out club for a couple of hours and they made cakes and biscuits. They really loved it and the people organising it were really helpful and nice to the kids. They took our mobile number in case of emergencies. Outside the time out club was a rock climing centre, badmington and amusement arcade - Children Heaven!!
We also made teddy bears and dressed and stuffed them ourselves - a great reminder of good holidays!
We ate regulary at Hucks. The kids loved it everytime. There was a play area with cameras and we would sit finishing our meal whilst the kids played in the area and we could even watch on the screens to monitor them. There was only one exit so they could never creep past me. There is also computers which are downloaded with games for the kids.
The kids loved the Pancake House which was located over looking the Lake that hosted various water sports. The Pancake House served sweet and savory pancakes but could get quite busy so you may need to book. There was a park right outside so you could eat and keep and eye on the kids and down the road was an amazing park with water features and bridge and loads of slides and quirky activities to do.
We noticed various forms of wildlife outside our room and the surroundings were stunning and peaceful. We had a couple of BBQ's and although this attracted little flies we still enjoyed ourselves.
The linen was changed everyday and towels were changed aswell. When we had a problem with the Jacuzzi (We couldnt turn it off!) we phoned down and someone came immediatly to fix it.
Although this place is expensive and including toys, food and some activities, it cost us in total £1700. I would pay this again but this time probably go with more family so we could get more out of it.
You have to be quite fit as I found cycling up and down hills all the time really tireing and our car got a bump in the car park (much to my boyfreiends disgusht!) so if you wanted to keep an eye on it, then I would suggest booking the villas with private parking.
If you have children, try to limit what you do with them as everything costs. Everyone was really helpful and polite and we had such a lovely time that we are booking it again! The only thing that this place cant guarantee is the weather, but you will still have fun no matter what.
I was going to give it 6 stars but they wont let me do it.!