10 essential tips to make the most of your break

Whether you’re a first-timer or a Center Parcs expert, knowledge is power when it comes to going away with the family. To make sure your stay is relaxing and stress-free, we’ve put together ten tips to help you get the most out of your break.

ParcMarket at Woburn Forest
ParcMarket at Woburn Forest
ParcMarket at Woburn Forest
ParcMarket at Woburn Forest

1. Our Villages are set in 400 acres of woodland – that’s a lot of space! If the location of your accommodation is important to you, you can choose a particular Lodge for a small charge. Use our interactive Village map to explore further.

2. You can book bikes, activities, events and restaurants up to six months before you arrive; this will give you a real head start to enjoying your break and, because places are limited, no one will be disappointed at missing out on an activity. To book you’ll just need your booking reference number – don’t forget to print out your itinerary before your break!

3. Here’s a little-known fact: if your booking includes 10 or more adults, our personal event planner can help with organising your activity and restaurant bookings. They can even arrange special sessions just for your group, including paintballing, tree trekking and more. Get in touch with our Contact Centre for more information on 08448 266 200.

Who wants to dampen the excitement of arriving at Center Parcs by waiting to check-in? Register the details of your party before you get here to speed up the check-in process once you arrive.  Just visit My Booking and log in using your booking number and party details. Remember – less time spent checking in means more time in the pool!

5. Are you celebrating a special occasion during your stay? Maybe a birthday, anniversary or honeymoon? You could pre-order one of our gifts to surprise that special person, clocking up some serious brownie points along the way. View our full celebration selection here.

6. Need to check the football score while you’re away, or want to post that great photo to Facebook? Free WiFi is available in all our Executive Lodges, plus we have wireless hotspots in all guest areas as well as in our restaurants and bars.

7. If you have any special dietary requirements, including allergies, bring them to the attention of the restaurant before placing your order so we can do our best to serve your requirements.

8. Practical footwear is essential for our woodland paths and many activities, so our advice is that you dress for comfort. Every venue is relaxed and casual so don’t worry about looking out of place. And, as our Villages are based in the indecisive climates of England, don’t forget to bring clothing for all weathers, just in case!

9. If you have a tiny tot in tow, the majority of our accommodation contains a baby’s cot and a highchair. If you need extra items, simply give us a call and we can arrange this for you. The only bedding you’ll need to bring is for a baby’s cot; all your beds will be made up with fresh linen before you arrive.

10. Feeling peckish? From meals and snacks to dips and drinks, we’ve got it covered with ParcMarket. If you spend more than £40 we’ll deliver your food for free, and will even put perishables into your fridge so you don’t need to wait in. We’re putting the super in supermarket!

Have we missed anything? What are your top tips for a Center Parcs break?

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  1. Avatar
    Andy Simpson

    Tip 1) We often take a bike foldable trailer, helps avoid the rush when the gates open to drive round to the villa and drop off belongings; just make a few trips with luggage on the trailer. Harder work, but helps! Alternatively park up early by the barrier, but that’s boring! Also do the same on departure day, or, again, get up early on your last day (<7.0am) get your car loaded, then back to the villa and then get a cooked brekkie.
    Tip 2) Theft. CP is a village and as such some residents will be less than reliable; bring your own bikes into the villa at night, or when left outside the villa for any extended period during the day. Use your own (stronger) bike locks when locking them up, the provided ones are easily beaten. Also, obviously, lock up the villa properly when leaving, and make sure nothing 'tempting' is on show.
    Tip 3) Book activities before going, obvious I know (and stated above) but it makes life a lot easier. Also work out timings when you do, e.g. travelling distance between events (bike, walking) so that you don't have to rush.
    Tip 4) Arrive early; firstly 'cos it means more holiday(!), but also to use it as time to get your bearings of the site before your holiday starts properly. Scout round; where your villa is (before it's ready for you) and where the facilities are in relation to it; village centre, sports centre etc.
    Tip 5) In conjunction with 4); do a shop and get it delivered; the earlier the better so you get it by teatime! Alternatively, buy food on the way to your parc, and keep in cooler boxes before you can get in to your villa.
    Tip 6) Book a nature walk activity early on in your stay, cos they're ace, but also to help with getting your bearings of the site.

    • Avatar
      Amy Dickson

      Hi Andy, thanks for your comment. There are some great tips here that other readers are sure to find useful. Just to highlight Tip 3 with regards to theft, we do advise all guests to apply the same sensible security precautions you would take in your own home to your belongings during a break.

      With regards to Tip 5, you’re absolutely right in that buying food before you arrive is a great way to be prepared and make the most of your break. But as our forests are virtually traffic-free environments, we do not allow external companies to deliver food to the Villages. However, the Village supermarket, ParcMarket does stock all your essential groceries and even offers a free delivery service to your Lodge if you spend more than £40.

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Laura Cumberpatch