Celebrating Longford Forest turning three

Exterior view of Subtropical Swimming Paradise with lake in front of it at Longford Forest

28th July 2022

Celebrating Longford Forest turning three

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Longford Forest, opened its doors to guests three years ago on 29th July 2019. It’s fair to say that we have been welcomed to Ireland with over 1 million guests enjoying a break in the forest so far. One family in particular, The Gaffney Family, have already built family traditions with us by visiting Longford Forest a whopping 10 times since we opened!

I caught up with Mum, Sinead Gaffney, on why they love Center Parcs so much.

“We try and book a Center Parcs break every 2 -3 months. It’s a place the whole family can get together, and we all stay in a four-bed lodge.

Longford Forest is only an hour and 20 minutes drive from Dublin, we pack up the car with all our favourite foods and goodies and on our merry way we go! Every one of us loves it equally, grownups, teenagers and children. We treat it like home from home.

I always aim to arrive on village for around lunchtime and book one of the restaurants to have lunch at. Once we have re-fuelled we head back to collect our car to unpack at the lodge.

We have stayed in every corner of Longford Forest and all lodges are amazing. We treated ourselves once to an Executive Lodge with a hot tub, steam room and games room – wow, it was an experience!

Once unpacked, the whole family will head to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise for a swim. I always make sure to book a delivery option for the first evening. Once we have splashed and raced down the rapids, we head back to our lodge, light the fire, our food delivery from one of the restaurants arrives and we settle for the evening with one of our favourite movies and nibbles.

The whole family’s favourite part of Center Parcs is the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. We bring small babies and my nephew Corey, who is autistic, so the Cabana’s are great – our own private little space where we can chill and have a break from swimming. Corey loves the water and is spoiled for choice with all the different pools and slides.

There’s plenty of options for eating and the restaurants cater for everyone – the children’s menus are brilliant. The Pancake House is a big hit with our family, with so many options and toppings. The ParcMarket is a supermarket which has absolutely everything – so don’t worry if you forget to pack something!

On the days we don’t have many activities booked there is still lots to do. The lake and beach area are gorgeous – we pack our buckets and spades and let the little ones play in the sand for hours. The grown ups get a lovely coffee from the van parked at the beach – bliss.

We always hire cycles, and the children love the trailers and being pulled along by mum! Corey, my nephew benefits from the Duet cycles Center Parcs provide and allows my sister to cycle with a wheelchair on the front, so they can ride around together.

Autumn, winter, spring, and summer – we have visited in all seasons. Wellies and raincoats for splashing in puddles in the winter and disposable barbecues for alfresco dining in summer. In the summer we wait until it gets dark and make s’mores and watch out for any wildlife in the forest – magical is how we describe it.

All the activities we have done, we have booked them again every time. Indoor Climbing Adventure, hiring a boat on the lake, Teddy Bear Making, Pottery Painting, Tennis, Family Ball Wall, Chocolate Chefs Academy and so much more!

We have had the option of travelling abroad but we still get more excited about our trips to Center Parcs, Longford Forest. The whole place is delightful, the scenery, the accommodation, the food and the friendly staff couldn’t do enough for everyone!”

-Sinead Gaffney


We also looked back at how well Longford Forest has done over the three years, with interesting figures shared by colleagues on the village.

Since opening Longford Forest has:

  • Had 1.1 million swimmers in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise
  • Sold 14,200 pottery pieces at Pottery Painting Studio
  • Served 367,510 children’s meals
  • Seen 50,500 guests fly down the zip wire on Aerial Adventure
  • Given 100,000 facial treatments at Aqua Sana Spa
  • Served 18,068 fish and chip meals
  • Provided 7,462 games of Badminton
  • Sold 72,451 pints of Guinness

Fun facts:

  • When Longford Forest first opened, 29 cultural and historical features were identified
  • Longford Forest has created many wildflower meadows which are super for pollinating insects
  • There have been 20 species of butterflies identified at Longford Forest
  • There are banana trees in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise that carry fruit in the summer
  • During a mid-week break there are 330 activities on offer to our guests


Have you had a family break at Longford Forest? We would love to hear your story. Share your memories with us via email:  village.life@centerparcs.co.uk


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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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