- Get into gear
The main means of transport for most of our guests is on two wheels. Bicycles can be brought with you or you can rent them – as well as trailers and accessories – during your break from our Cycle Centre. With the onset of autumn and soon winter, nights and mornings will be darker. So if you’re bringing along your trusty cycle remember to bring a set of lights. We recommend all cyclists wear a helmet, but at this time of year – especially after an autumnal downpour – the leafy ground can get slippery, making a helmet even more important. Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten yours; you can rent one from the Cycle Centre.
- Making a splash
Right at the heart of all five Center Parcs Villages is the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. It’s completely free to use, with unlimited access, so it’s little wonder why it’s such a firm favourite. It’s heated to a relaxed 29.5°C all year round, so whatever the weather you’ll find some respite in here. A variety of slides, rides and rapids will keep the little ones entertained all day. Each Subtropical Swimming Paradise is open every day until 9pm, so as the nights draw in you can relax in our warm outdoor pools, watching the stars above. Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten your swimwear or children essentials such as armbands and swim nappies; just visit Aquatique at each Village.
- All-weather clothing
We can guarantee a lot of things, but not the weather. We’ve just had the driest September since records began, and weather bods are confident the temperate climate will stay around for a couple of weeks at least. That being said, this is Britain. Now I’m sure everyone will bring a fairly snug pair of shoes; comfort is essential, particularly as the terrain can vary at each of our Villages varies. But wellies shouldn’t be necessary, but bring along a waterproof jacket just in case!
- Campfire treats
You are spoilt for choice in terms of eating options at all of our Villages. You can dine out at one of our many restaurants or cafes. Alternatively, you can order Chinese, Indian or pizza to be delivered to your Lodge from our Village takeaway, Dining In. But for a real autumnal treat why not have a campfire feast around the barbecue available on the patio of your Lodge? Head to ParcMarket and pick up some marshmallows, bananas and chocolate bars.
Prepare the bananas
With the skin on, slice down the middle of the banana making sure not to cut through to the other side, opening up gently. Break bits of chocolate off and put inside the slice, then wrap in tin foil and rest in some embers. While you wait for the bananas to cook for – which takes about five minutes – you can toast some marshmallows as a delicious starter. When the bananas are ready peel off the tin foil and scoop out the warm, chocolatey fruit with a spoon.
- A torch
The majority of our paths are well lit so you can see your way around whatever the time. However, if you’re adventurous and stray from the beaten paths at night it might be useful to carry a torch around, to keep an eye out for roots or bobbles in the paths. You can use it to have some old-fashioned fun with when putting the children to bed, making shadow puppets on the ceilings and walls.
What is an absolute must-have for you on a Center Parcs break? Let me know in the comments below.