Longleat Forest celebrates 30 years

The Land Train at Longleat Forest

8th July 2024

Longleat Forest celebrates 30 years

Body Content

Center Parcs Longleat Forest, which is located in Wiltshire, is celebrating 30 years of making family memories following its opening on 14 July 1994.

With a 97% occupancy rate, the village welcomed its millionth guest just four years after opening - and is expecting to welcome its 10 millionth guest this year – of whom more than 105,000 have celebrated a birthday at Longleat Forest.

The village currently employs more than 1,640 colleagues, with the vast majority living locally. This year, 20 employees are celebrating 30 or more years of service!


Guest Favourites

While the Subtropical Swimming Paradise is a firm favourite with guests, in the last 20 years Ariel Adventure has proved to be the most popular outdoor activity with over 27,000 thrill seekers taking on the zip wire. This was followed by the most popular indoor activity – Badminton – with 9,000 guests getting their racquets at the ready.

With a range of restaurants from Las Iguanas to Bella Italia, Center Parcs’ renowned favourite Huck’s American Bar and Grill came up on top, as more than 60,000 families enjoyed its South, Californian and Mexican-inspired dishes.


Aqua Sana

Hidden among its giant redwood trees is Aqua Sana, which Longleat Forest has invested significantly in its forest spa concept. With around 150,000 guests visiting for a spa day since 2005, the spa includes 25 innovative multi-sensory experiences across five zones – from the atmospheric Forest Cavern to the calming Moonlight Steam Room. Guests can also choose from a range of treatments and enjoy lunch at Vitalé Café Bar.


Improving Biodiversity

Center Parcs has been committed to protecting and enhancing the woodland since the very beginning – having been awarded The Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark for 17 consecutive years - and a team of dedicated rangers have worked hard over the last 30 years, to create and manage habitats that attract native wildlife. As a result, there are now Great Crested Newts, Hazel Dormouse and the European Otter – all of which are European Protected Species.

Similarly to other Center Parcs UK villages, there was no water before it was built and since the waterways were created they have been a great habitat for insects. Just to mention a few, these include the rare species of Oil Beetle, the Silver Washed Fritillary Butterfly and a Strawberry Spider which was recorded for the first time since 2003. In the last 12 years, glowworms and 14 species of dragonfly and damselfly were also recorded in the highest numbers in over a decade.

Longleat Forest is also home to one of the most significant bird populations in Wiltshire – Siskins – as well as Woodcock and the incredibly rare Firecrest.


Some words from Longleat Forest’s Village Director

Sarah Deverill, Village Director at Longleat Forest, said: “I joined Center Parcs in June 2016 as Village Financial Controller and very quickly realised I had a huge passion for the operational elements of our business, I was delighted to be promoted to Deputy Village Director in 2018 before taking on the Village Director role last spring.

“We’re always looking at how we can improve our offering and service to our guests as well as improve our colleague experience, our beautiful village is consistently changing from the incapsulating forest environment we get to work in every day, to the significant financial investment into our village. For example, this year includes a refurbishment to our guest services area, a new Adventure Golf course, as well as an extended brand-new Leisure Bowl facility which will also be open in the autumn, which will both be open in autumn.

“It’s been fantastic to see colleagues grow and develop with the business over the years, there are so many success stories to celebrate, and I am so proud of the team and all we have achieved – Happy 30th Birthday Longleat Forest!”

To find out more about Longleat Forest, visit: www.centerparcs.co.uk/village-news/longleat-news.html


About Center Parcs

Center Parcs is the UK & Ireland’s leading short break holiday operator with six high-quality short break destinations: Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire; Elveden Forest in Suffolk; Longleat Forest in Wiltshire; Whinfell Forest in Cumbria; Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire; and Longford Forest in County Longford, Ireland.


About Center Parcs Longleat Forest

Longleat Forest is home to rolling hills, valleys and towering giant redwoods – with one of its trees being the second tallest in Europe. Long by name and long by nature, this 400-acre village can be explored on foot, two wheels or even its free land train. 

The Village Square, 30 years ago and today
The Pancake House, 30 years ago and today
A graphic with various timelines and facts about Longleat Forest
The lake at Longleat Forest, 30 years ago and today

Hannah Dooley

As PR Assistant at Center Parcs, I’m here to give you an insight into all that is new and exciting across our villages. For me, there is no better family time than a short break in the forest and I’m lucky enough to be able to share everything I know, from lovely guests stories to top tips, so you can make the most out of your stay with us.

Hannah Parker