25 things you probably didn’t know about Elveden Forest

To celebrate Elveden Forest's 25th birthday, here's a guide to everything you need to know about Center Parcs' second Village

Venture Cove at Elveden Forest
Venture Cove at Elveden Forest
Venture Cove at Elveden Forest
Venture Cove at Elveden Forest

1. Since it opened in 1989, Elveden Forest has welcomed more than 10 million guests.

2. It has the longest Zip Wire of all Center Parcs Villages. The wire, which runs across the Lake, was extended in May this year and now measures 270 metres in length.

3. A rare butterfly, the Dingy Skipper, is often seen at Elveden Forest during May and the beginning of June. As its name suggests, the dank colours of greys and brown make it extremely difficult to spot in the forest.

4. Elveden Forest is home to the UK’s only revolving restaurant, Lakeview Restaurant. Situated next to the 88-bedroom hotel it’s the best place to visit for a freshly cooked breakfast, with spectacular views to boot.

5. The Village also has another unique offering: Center Parcs’ only Water Cable Ski. It’s a great way to try waterskiing, wakeboarding or kneeboarding.

6. Over the past 25 years, two million pancakes have been flipped in The Pancake House.

7. The famous water ride, Tropical Cyclone, is not replicated anywhere else in the world. Since opening two years ago it has attracted guests from as far as Austria.

8. Having suffered a fire in 2002, Elveden Forest was temporarily closed. But just 12 months later, after a £60m rebuild and a fresh new design, the Village came back stronger than ever.

9. After 25 years of bowling-lane action, 185 million skittles have been knocked down.

10. Muntjac deer, a guest favourite at Elveden Forest, were first introduced from China to Woburn Park in Bedfordshire in the early 20th century.

11. The area that the Village now sits on was used to store munitions during WW2.

12. It’s home to a number of rare plants and flowers, such as the Twayblade Orchid, Spanish Catchfly and Meadow Clary.

13. Elveden Forest was the first Village to offer Aqua Sana Spa Suites. Opening in 2011, there are four luxury suites available to book for an overnight stay.

14. The Watersports Lake at Elveden Forest is the largest of all Villages. In fact, it’s so big that it can be classed as a reservoir.

15. Not one to stand still, the Village unveiled a children’s water playground, Venture Cove, in July 2013. The £3million investment – aimed at children includes a shallow heated pool, two-lane slide and water fountains.

16. The Village made its celebrity TV debut in 2009, as Peter Andre’s visit with his family was captured on his ITV show My Life.

17. Elveden Forest is the only Center Parcs Village with no Comfort accommodation.

18. The King is alive! Village General Manager, James Barratt, is an Elvis enthusiast. He even ran the London Marathon dressed as the American legend.

19. Since opening, bikes from the Cycle Centre have travelled 22 million miles – that’s 899 times around the Earth!

20. Elveden Forest is an area of significant historical interest. The British Museum and Time Team held an archaeological dig at the site uncovering rare evidence of human activity that dated back 400,000 years.

21. Elveden Forest is a haven for wildlife. More than 2,000 species of butterfly have been recorded and monitored by the Conservation Rangers.

22. There are 1,800 employees at the Village, 18 of whom have been there from day one.

23. There are 35 Head of Departments at Elveden Forest, with 348 years’ combined service.

24. The last maharajah of the Sikh empire, Maharajah Duleep Singh, once lived with his family in Elveden Hall, the centrepiece of the Elveden Estate where Elveden Forest sits.

25. Since 1989, families have hit more than 4 million golf balls on the Adventure Golf course.

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Amy Dickson

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Amy Dickson

As Brand Content Manager I plan, create and curate the best articles, photos, videos and music for our channels, in particular the blog. With a degree in Journalism under my belt and many years’ experience in the big smoke as a journalist and editor, my focus is firmly on discovering the little gems hidden away in Center Parcs life, before buffing them up to make them sparkle online. From on-village events to the latest travel industry trends, I’ll be there – notepad in hand – to bring you the most entertaining and interesting stories.