Behind the scenes of our new TV advert

20 December 2021


Have you seen our brand-new TV advert? Our Family.Refreshed. campaign shows how families can feel re-energised, rejuvenated and revitalised during a short break at Center Parcs - exploring the beautiful forest environment, trying new activities or simply spending time together. We filmed the advert at our Sherwood Forest village in Nottinghamshire in September 2021. It took months of planning and preparation to make sure we produced something of a high quality, and we are very excited that you can now watch it on your screens.

We caught up with a handful of colleagues from Sherwood Forest who helped behind the scenes on the day the advert was shot.


“I have worked at Center Parcs for three years as part of the Action Challenge team, which includes the popular Aerial Adventure activity.

The film crew came to visit a few weeks before they filmed, which I showed them the course to enable them to work on ideas and the logistics of how they could get the equipment to the top of the course. On the day of the shoot, I was up on the course with the film crew, to help set up the kit. We wanted to be as accommodating as we could to get the best shot possible for the advert, whilst still following our safety regulations to keep everyone safe.

It was amazing to see the team in action, there’s a lot more that goes into it than you realise. It was mesmerising to see the number of moving parts and people required to take the wonderful zip wire shot across the lake.”

- James Mottershaw – Team Leader, Action Challenge, Sherwood Forest


“Over the last 10 years of working at Center Parcs I have experienced working in the unique Subtropical Swimming Paradise, Leisure Facilities and Cycle Centre.

My role, behind the scenes of our newest TV Advert, was to come in extra early to get everything set up and ready before we open. To avoid clashing with guests, the pool shots were filmed before the guests arrived at 10am. Myself and my team of lifeguards did our usual checks including water testing, making sure all the water features were turned on and appropriate lifeguards were in position and the areas looking the best they can. There was a lot of people involved for the pool shot but for me it was juggling lifeguards and then making sure we are on track and ready to open to our guests once the film crew left.

This must have been the biggest TV production we have had with the amount of kit and people involved. It was great to see the crew in action and it’s great to watch the advert and being able to link what we saw behind the scenes to what’s shown in the TV advert.

It’s a great talking point for me knowing I was part of the Center Parcs TV advert, watching it on TV with my two little girls they can say ‘that’s where daddy works.’”

- Lee Barrowcliff – Subtropical Swimming Paradise Manager, Sherwood Forest


“I have been working for Center Parcs for 15 years in various roles. I started on village at Sherwood Forest in the Central Kitchen, moved on to work as Kitchen Manager in Sports Café, then had the opportunity to work on Food and Beverage projects at Head Office to then my role as Group Development Chef.

My involvement in the behind the scenes work for the new TV advert started by giving Marketing a list of food that I thought would look the best on the advert. On the day, we shot at the famous Pancake House where we cooked and presented all the food you will see the family enjoying. The shot in particular, where mum pinches a bit of food from the little one’s fork, took a few takes. This meant we had to re-cook and re-cook so the food looks the best it can at all times. We also shot in Huck’s American Bar and Grill where the older family enjoyed a meal. The family were feasting on our fajitas which has an iconic sizzle, which meant I was running back and forth to keep them sizzling for about an hour!

I’ve seen other campaigns and projects being worked on but not in as depth as this. If it takes that many people to make a 60 second advert, how many would it take to a make a film! It was amazing to see the amount of work that went into creating it.

I feel proud to be part of something that’s on TV. I’ll be sat at home with my wife saying, ‘I did that, I made that ‘sizzle’.”

- Lee Waring - Group Development Chef, Head Office Operations


“I joined Center Parcs 11 years ago in 2010 as a Booking Advisor. Since then, I have had many roles across the village including at the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, Nature Centre, Cycle Centre and now as Assistant Manager at our Outdoor Activity Centre, home to the Off-road Explorers activity.

On the day of shoot myself and my team trimmed and cleaned the area the crew were filming to make it look nice. We also got maintenance to come and check the track was all ok. Working behind the scenes I got to meet and talk to the actors who were friendly people. I chatted to ‘dad’ and gave him tips on how to control the little girls in the Off-road Explorers car to make sure it all went smoothly. We also needed to make sure we carried out the activity like we would on a normal session, so the TV advert is a true reflection, for example making sure the ‘dad’ had the control in his hand and not someone behind on set.

I remember thinking ‘crikey this is a proper film that’s going on!’ I go to work every day as normal and then suddenly it’s transformed into a film set, it was amazing and quite surprising to see so many people working on it – it was quite magical.

I’m really proud to say I was part of it, and I can’t wait to see it on TV, watching it with my mum or friends saying, ‘I told that child what to do to go round that track!’”

- Jamie Murfin – Assistant Manager, Outdoor Activity Centre, Sherwood Forest


“My journey at Center Parcs has been over 20 years! I started in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise and then moved to Aqua Sana where I have seen it being built and transform over the years.

On the day of the shoot, I came in early to set up, putting the experiences and sauna on and making sure the crew had adequate lighting. On the day, the crew wanted some water movements in the background of the spa shot, which meant I ended up in the water and went for a swim up and down whilst they took the shots – a workout at the same time of featuring in the advert!

It was a proud moment for me featuring in the advert, even if it is just a little cameo. I have been working at Center Parcs for a long time and I love it. I’m very proud, it was good fun and I enjoyed it. The Nordic Sauna we shot in, in Aqua Sana, looked amazing all lit up, looking into the forest. It’s such a great privilege and it was a great atmosphere to be a part of. It’s fascinating seeing it all put together and how it’s turned out, from the music to the zip wire.”

- Adam Hutchinson – Team Leader, Aqua Sana, Sherwood Forest 


If you haven’t managed to watch our brand-new TV advert you can find it here



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This blog post was written by a former colleague of Center Parcs; the content in the post is still relevant for you to keep up to date with all things Center Parcs.

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