A Day in the Life: Bushy the Head Elf

Bushy the elf outside Santa's Woodland Workshop

Bushy the elf outside Santa’s Woodland Workshop

My Center Parcs history
I’ve been an elf all my life, but have worked at Center Parcs with Santa for eight years. We often get adults and other non-believers ask: “If you’re an elf, why aren’t you at the North Pole?” Well, everyone needs a break once in a while – even Santa Claus – so he decided around a decade ago that he would stay Center Parcs for six weeks before Christmas and set up his Woodland Workshop here. It’s a great way for us elves to practice our toy-making and we love to meet all the children in the run up to the big day. It also gives thousands of little ones the chance to make any last-minute requests to Santa that they may have missed off their list.

I love being here at Sherwood Forest, in fact, I love it so much that I stay here in the summer too. Santa likes to make sure there are a few of us watching over the children, to make sure they’re behaving. It’s a beautiful place to work, and is much warmer than the North Pole too!
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Your #CPfestive family break highlights

For the past few weeks, we’ve been asking our guests to share their festive holiday highlights on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ve loved seeing your photos and videos from your Winter Wonderland breaks. Here are a few our favourites this week that we wanted to share with you all.

Naomi White shared this fantastically festive photo of her family at Elveden; we particularly loved the jumpers!Naomi White
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Guest at Longleat Forest gets more sparkle than expected on her winter break…

Jessica Withers thought she and her boyfriend James Sellick were about to enjoy their annual photo session at Prêt-a-Portrait. But James had other ideas

James surprises Jessica during their photoshoot

James surprises Jessica during their photoshoot

Center Parcs fan Jessica will have a very merry Christmas this year, as James, her boyfriend of over eight years, popped the question during their break at Longleat Forest.

Theatre Manager James and his childhood sweetheart Jessica, a midwife from Somerset, first met on stage in 2004 in a production of Grease. Now, a decade later, the pair had another special moment in front of the camera as romantic James planned his surprise proposal at Prêt-a-Portrait, during their annual photo session this week.
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In Focus: Indoor Climbing Wall

On your next break why not embrace our ‘have a go’ philosophy and try something new? This month we tell you everything you need to know about our Indoor Climbing Wall

The Indoor Climbing Wall at Woburn Forest

The Indoor Climbing Wall at Woburn Forest

Where: Whinfell Forest, Sherwood Forest, Elveden Forest and Woburn Forest.

Who: Anyone can join in, with height and weight restrictions applying.

Appearance: A few different walls with a variety of paths and difficulties. Intrepid climbers should wear sporty gear with some sturdy footwear.

What’s involved? A trained instructor will safely fit you into a harness and teach you the ropes. Then you can pit you climbing expertise against your friends or family in this climbing activity.
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Your Christmas Day meal, made easy

If the turkey is filling you with terror and you’re stressing over sprouts, help is at hand! Group Executive Chef James Haywood serves up his top tips for Christmas Day

James Haywood - Group Executive ChefCan you hear that? That sound…it’s the official “oh-no-there’s-just-two-weeks-until-Christmas-Day” claxon, accompanied by the sound of sheer panic from the less organised of us. December 25th is a day of pure excitement, gift swapping, family time and sheer indulgence. But for many mums (and some dads) out there, the thought of preparing and serving up a Christmas dinner to a small army fills them with dread. What if the turkey’s dry? What if my roast potatoes aren’t crispy enough? Will they eat the sprouts?
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Are you getting enough me time?

aqua sana

Not enough alone time? Aqua Sana Spa could be the answer…

Have you ever stopped to really think about how much you time you dedicate to yourself? And no, I’m not talking about time away from your work desk or days off where you’re still pottering around doing at home. What I’m talking about is time solely dedicated to you, without any outside pressures. And as I’m sure you know, that sort of time is pretty hard to come by, especially around Christmas.
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Your #CPfestive family break highlights

Mark Picken and his family head on their way to The Pancake House

Mark Picken and his family head on their way to The Pancake House

We’ve been asking our guests to share their festive holiday highlights on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Here are a few our favourites this week that we wanted to share with you all.

Don’t forget, you can share your own photos and videos using #CPfestive; you might even make the cut for next week’s highlights!
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From budget to blow-out: the Aqua Sana guide to Christmas gifts

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what would make your loved ones happier than feeling and looking good? There’s something to suit all your needs – and budget – in our Aqua Sana Spa gift guide, brought to you by Group Aqua Sana Manager, Kerry Fenton-Kent.

Stocking Fillers

lip-balmDecleor Lip Balm Cracker: £9.50
Go crackers for this novelty festive gift with a hidden treat inside. To make sure lips stay puckered this Christmas, each cracker opens to reveal a Decleor Aroma Solutions Nutri-Smoothing Lipstick. The soothing lip balm combines essential waxes and oils for soft and smooth lips while giving optimal protection and nutrition. All you need now is the mistletoe.
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FREE download: Nature Notebook October

Written by the nature and conservation experts at our five Villages, the Nature Notebook details what sights and sounds have been unearthed at Center Parcs in the past month

Redwing birds have been spotted at Elveden Forest

Redwing birds have been spotted at Elveden Forest

The warm weather has really been hanging around in many of our Villages, with Elveden Forest still spotting a flurry of butterflies right up until the end of October, which is unusual for this time of year. Our butterfly records have included sightings of more than 20 Red Admiral butterflies and two Clouded Yellow butterflies. Despite the warm weather though, Elveden has spotted our first winter bird visitors, Redwings and Fieldfares.
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